First Session - 114th Congress: 2015 Votes, Part 2
by Rep. Elise Stefanik

Updated: January 20, 2016


Omnibus Appropriations -- Adoption - Vote Passed (316-113, 5 Not Voting) - The chamber adopted an amendment that funds government operations through September 30, 2016, at about $1.149 trillion in discretionary spending, with $1.067 trillion subject to discretionary spending caps, $73.7 billion designated as Overseas Contingency Operations funds, $7.1 billion designated as disaster spending, $698 million designated as emergency spending and $1.5 billion designated as program integrity initiatives. It also ends the U.S. ban on crude oil exports; reauthorizes the 9/11 first-responder health care and victim compensation programs; reauthorizes U.S. intelligence programs and provides for a voluntary cybersecurity information-sharing process between the government and the private sector; requires individuals who have been in certain nations, such as Syria and Iraq, to get regular visas that involve in-person interviews with U.S. officials in order to enter the United States; and reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund. It also includes several other tax provisions, including delaying for two years the health care law's tax on certain high-value employer-sponsored health insurance plans and phaseouts of wind and solar energy tax credits.

Tax Extenders -- Adoption - Vote Passed (318-109, 6 Not Voting) - The House adopted an amendment that retroactively renews for the current 2015 tax year most of the expired provisions and further extends them for varying periods, including by making more than a dozen permanent and extending most others for two years (2015 and 2016). Those made permanent include taxpayers being able to deduct state and local sales taxes in lieu of state and local income taxes, the research and development tax credit, Section 179 capital expensing for businesses, and expanded versions of the child tax credit, Earned Income Tax Credit and American Opportunity Tax Credit for college expenses. It also includes a two-year moratorium on the medical device tax created by the 2010 health care overhaul law.

Visa Waiver Program -- Passage - Vote Passed (407-19, 7 Not Voting) - The chamber passed legislation that prohibits individuals who have been to specified nations such as Syria and Iraq from entering the United States unless they are interviewed by U.S. officials and get a regular visa, even if they are from countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program.

Red River Private Property -- Passage - Vote Passed (253-177, 3 Not Voting) - The House passed a bill that requires the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to sell to current and adjacent landowners the roughly 30,000 acres of federal land along the Red River, which forms part of the border between Texas and Oklahoma.

Trade Enforcement -- Passage - Vote Passed (256-158, 19 Not Voting) - The House agreed to the conference report on the bill that includes numerous provisions to facilitate trade and improve U.S. trade enforcement, including formally establishing the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency and enhancing its authority, including authorizing an automated system for the agency to process imports and exports. It also makes permanent the ban on state and local taxation of Internet access and phases out the taxes imposed in seven states in which they were grandfathered.

Fiscal 2016 Intelligence Authorization -- Passage - Vote Passed (364-58, 11 Not Voting) - The chamber passed a bill that authorizes classified amounts in fiscal 2016 for 16 U.S. intelligence agencies and intelligence-related activities of the U.S. government, including the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), the CIA and the National Security Agency (NSA), as well as foreign intelligence activities of the Defense Department, FBI, State Department, Homeland Security Department and other agencies.

EPA Existing Power Plant Rule Disapproval -- Passage - Vote Passed (242-180, 11 Not Voting) - The House agreed to a joint resolution expressing disapproval of the rule submitted by the EPA concerning carbon emissions at existing power plants.

EPA New and Retrofitted Power Plant Rule Disapproval -- Passage - Vote Passed (235-188, 10 Not Voting) - The House agreed to a joint resolution expressing disapproval of the rule submitted by the EPA concerning carbon emissions at new and retrofitted power plants.

K-12 Education Reauthorization -- Passage - Vote Passed (359-64, 10 Not Voting) - The chamber agreed to the conference report on the bill that reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965 for four years, through fiscal 2020, and modifies programs and policies throughout the law with the overall goal of giving states, school districts, schools, teachers and parents greater control over all aspects of elementary and secondary education. It maintains some federal oversight of state programs through the Education Department's ability to approve state plans for the use of federal funds, but it places strong restrictions on department actions and control.

Energy Security and Infrastructure Overhaul -- Passage - Vote Passed (249-174, 10 Not Voting) - The House passed legislation which promotes the accelerated development and construction of natural gas pipelines and hydropower projects by increasing the authority of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and requiring the agency to set hard deadlines for environmental reviews and permitting, and by requiring the designation of at least 10 corridors across federal lands in the Eastern U.S. where pipelines could be built. It also includes numerous provisions intended to increase the security and reliability of the nation's electrical power grid; revises national energy efficiency standards and requires the Energy Department to expedite decisions on applications to export liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Surface Transportation Reauthorization-- Passage - Vote Passed (359-65, 9 Not Voting) - The House adopted the conference report on the bill that reauthorizes federal highway and transit programs for five years, through fiscal 2020, at increased funding levels to begin addressing the nation's transportation infrastructure needs. It transfers more than $70 billion from Treasury's general fund and other funds to cover projected shortfalls in the Highway Trust Fund over that time and fully fund the measure's estimated $305 billion cost. The measure also reauthorizes Amtrak and restructures its funding to reflect its major lines of business, renews the charter for the Export-Import Bank and rolls back a reduction in the crop insurance program.

Bank Mortgage Liability -- Passage - Vote Passed (255-174, 4 Not Voting) - The bill creates a safe harbor from lawsuits for banks that originate non-qualified mortgages that do not comply with ability-to-repay requirements, as long as the bank retains the mortgage in its own portfolio.

Auto Loans -- Passage - Vote Passed (332-96, 5 Not Voting) - The bill nullifies 2013 guidance issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) regarding fair lending practices for indirect auto lenders, after the CFPB determined that car loans provided through auto dealers were artificially high and discriminatory.

Federal Reserve Overhaul -- Passage - Vote Passed (241-185, 7 Not Voting) - The bill modifies Federal Reserve operations and oversight in an effort to make it more accountable, including by requiring the Fed to develop detailed strategies with set goals for conducting monetary policy that would be reviewed by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and requiring the Fed chairman to testify before Congress if GAO determines that the strategy no longer complies with bill requirements. It also provides for GAO audits of all Fed activities, including its deliberations over monetary policy. The legislation requires Fed to conduct cost-benefit analyses of all proposed rules and limits the Fed's emergency lending powers.

Syrian and Iraqi Refugees -- Passage - Vote Passed (289-137, 8 Not Voting) - The bill prohibits refugees from Syria or Iraq from being admitted into the United States unless the individual has had a comprehensive background check and the government, including the FBI and national intelligence director, certifies to Congress that he or she does not pose a threat.

Revised Defense Authorization -- Passage - Vote Passed (370-58, 5 Not Voting) - The House agreed to legislation that authorizes $599 billion for the Pentagon and defense-related programs for fiscal 2016, $5 billion less than both the president's overall request and the original conference agreement. It provides $33 billion of the original $38 billion in added funds for defense, including $8 billion through the Overseas Contingency Operations account. The measure authorizes $715 million for Iraqi forces fighting the Islamic State, $406 million to train and equip Syrian opposition forces and $300 million for lethal weapons for Ukraine. It modifies the military retirement system, blocks the Pentagon from retiring the A-10 Warthog aircraft and authorizes $11 billion for the F-35 Fighter.

Surface Transportation Reauthorization -- Passage - Vote Passed (363-64, 6 Not Voting) - The House passed legislation that reauthorizes surface transportation programs for six years, with policy provisions including those that would replace the Surface Transportation Program with a block grant program, create a new grant program for nationally significant freight and highway projects, and make a number of changes to the environmental review process. It also would liquidate the Federal Reserve's surplus funds and redirect that money to the General Fund. Future money that would have been deposited in the funds would also be deposited in the General Fund. The more than $325 billion, six-year surface transportation reauthorization package also contains Senate amendments that offset to cover Highway Trust Fund shortfalls for three years and a reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank. Efforts to fully fund all six years of the reauthorization are expected to be made in conference with the Senate.

Retail Investor Protection-- Passage - Vote Passed (245-186, 3 Not Voting) - The House passed a bill that prohibits the Labor Department from implementing a final rule on fiduciary standards for retirement investment advisers until after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) conducts a study and issues a final rule setting standards of conduct for broker-dealers.

Export-Import Bank Reauthorization-- Passage - Vote Passed (313-118, 3 Not Voting) - The chamber moved a measure that reauthorizes the official export credit agency of the United States for four years; sets new, lower, lending caps; aims to increase accountability and transparency at the bank; and directs the president to initiate negotiations to reduce and eventually eliminate government export subsidies worldwide.

Budget Agreement and Debt Limit -- Passage - Vote Passed (266-167, 2 Not Voting) - The House agreed to legislation which suspends the debt limit until March 15, 2017, and it partially rolls back the sequester of discretionary spending scheduled for fiscal 2016 and fiscal 2017 to increase caps for those two years by a total of $80 billion, split equally between defense and non-defense. It requires additional funding through the war-related Overseas Contingency Operations account for both years, as well. It also prevents a sharp increase in Medicare Part B premiums for certain beneficiaries in 2016 and keeps the Social Security disability insurance trust fund solvent until 2022. It includes $79.9 billion in mandatory spending cuts and revenue increases to offset the bill's costs, and would reduce the deficit by $497 million according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Debt Prevention -- Passage - Vote Passed (235-194, 5 Not Voting) - The House passed legislation that allows the Treasury Department, once the statutory debt limit is reached, to continue borrowing above that limit in order to pay the principal and interest on both government debt held by the public as it comes due and on obligations held by the Social Security trust fund.

District of Columbia Opportunity Scholarship Program Reauthorization -- Passage - Vote Passed (240-191, 3 Not Voting) - The House passed a bill that reauthorizes the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results program for five years, through fiscal 2021. It is a federally funded program under which eligible students in Washington, D.C., can receive vouchers to attend private schools and is the nation's only federally funded private school voucher program.

National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production -- Passage - Vote Passed (254-177, 3 Not Voting) - The House passed legislation that reclassifies certain mining operations as "infrastructure projects" in order to allow the permitting for mining on federal lands to be conducted under a streamlined permitting process created for infrastructure projects by a 2012 presidential order.

Health Care Reconciliation -- Passage - Vote Passed (240-189, 5 Not Voting) - The House passed a bill that repeals key elements of the 2010 health care overhaul law including the individual and employer mandates and the medical device and "Cadillac" taxes, and it blocks for one year federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

Establishing a Select Investigative Panel Under the House Energy and Commerce Committee--Adoption - Vote Passed (242-184, 8 Not Voting) - The House adopted a resolution which created the Select Investigative Panel on Abortion and Fetal Tissue Donation under the House Energy and Commerce Committee. This select panel will be allowed to investigate and report on all issues related to medical procedures and practices involving fetal tissue donation and procurement, federal funding and support for abortion providers, and late-term abortions.

Homebuyers Assistance Act -- Passage - Vote Passed (303-121, 10 Not Voting) - The House passed legislation which effectively delays until Feb. 1, 2016, implementation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's integrated rules regarding lender disclosures to consumers applying for home mortgage loans, prohibiting enforcement of the rules and lawsuits against lenders until then as long as the lender makes a good-faith effort to comply with the rules.

Native American Energy Act -- Passage - Vote Passed (254-173, 7 Not Voting) - The House passed a bill that provides for the expedited review and consideration of energy projects on Native American lands, and it limits participation in required environmental reviews of such projects and requires that judicial reviews of all energy projects involving Indian tribes be considered by the D.C. District and Circuit courts.

Repeal Oil Export Ban --Passage - Vote Passed (261-159, 14 Not Voting) - The House passed legislation that allows the export of crude oil produced in the United States by removing the export ban imposed by the 1975 Energy Policy and Conservation Act (PL 94-163), and it prohibits U.S. officials from imposing or enforcing restrictions on U.S. crude oil exports.

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