MegaVote Nov. 4, 2013

In this MegaVote for New York’s 25th Congressional District:

Recent Congressional Votes

  • Senate: Nomination of Patricia Ann Millett to US Court of Appeals – Cloture
  • House: Veterans Disability Claims Backlog – Passage
  • House: Swaps Regulations – Passage

Upcoming Congressional Bills

  • Senate: Workplace Discrimination

Editor’s Note: The House is in recess until November 12.
Recent Senate Votes Nomination of Patricia Ann Millett to US Court of Appeals – Cloture – Vote Rejected (55-38, 3 Present, 4 Not Voting)

President Obama’s nominee for the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Virginia attorney Patricia Ann Millett, failed to reach the 60-vote threshold to invoke cloture for a final vote. The Thursday vote rekindled the argument over changes to Senate filibuster rules. Only one Republican – Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski – voted with chamber Democrats and independents to allow Millett’s nomination to proceed, while three Republicans voted “present.” Millett would fill one of three vacant seats on the circuit bench, which decides most challenges to federal administrative rules and is considered a launching pad to the Supreme Court. Republicans agreed Millett, who has argued 32 cases before the Supreme Court, is qualified for the position but argued that the circuit’s workload does not warrant filling its vacancies. After the vote, Senate Democrats revisited the idea of changing Senate rules to forbid filibusters of executive nominations. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., promised to bring the nominations of Millett and several other judges back to the floor soon.

Sen. Charles Schumer voted YES
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand voted YES

Recent House Votes Veterans Disability Claims Backlog – Passage – Vote Passed (404-1, 25 Not Voting)

The House passed a bill on Monday with nearly unanimous support that would establish a panel to study the Veterans Affairs Department’s backlog of disability claims. It would be tasked with finding ways to shorten the appeals process for claims and also prioritize claims for particular groups like those who are elderly or terminally ill. The Veterans Affairs committee in the Senate has received the bill.

Rep. Louise Slaughter voted YES

Swaps Regulations – Passage – Vote Passed (292-122, 16 Not Voting)

On Wednesday, the House approved a bill that would repeal new restrictions imposed by the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial regulatory law on derivatives trading by banks. The Dodd-Frank law encourages banks to “push out” their swaps desk to affiliates by restricting their access to deposit insurance and discount credit. Republicans argue that the regulation increases costs for companies and derivatives users; Most Democrats counter that a removal of the regulation would allow banks to partake in the risky trading that led to the 2008 financial crisis. 70 Democrats and nearly all Republicans voted in favor of the bill. The House also passed a bill last week to delay regulations that would require broker-dealers advising retirement accounts to have a fiduciary duty to put the interests of their clients ahead of their own. The Senate is unlikely to consider either of these bills, and the White House does not support the current versions of either bill.

Rep. Louise Slaughter voted NO

Upcoming Votes Workplace Discrimination – S.815

This week, the Senate will consider a bill that would ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

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