Pennsylvania Member of Congress Tracking Report – 10/27/19

56 mins read
Graphic by Kelly Pollock.

This is a 100% volunteer effort brought to you by a handful of progressive Democrats and Independents who share a vision of an informed electorate.  We want to offer a big thank you to the Pennsylvania Together, Pennsylvania Statewide Indivisible and Demcast organizations who host our report and help us share it out to the residents of our Commonwealth!

Tracking Congress in the Age of Trump

The lower the number, the more the legislator votes in opposition to the Trump agenda.

Member of CongressThis week’s scoreChange from last report
Senator Bob Casey (D)28.2%-0.2%
Senator Pat Toomey (R)87.7%+0.1%
PA-01 Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R)68.5%+0.2%
PA-02 Rep. Brendan Boyle (D)13.9%-0.1%
PA-03 Rep. Dwight Evans (D)12.5%-0.1%
PA-04 Rep. Madeleine Dean (D)2.0% 0.0%
PA-05 Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D)5.7%-0.1%
PA-06 Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D)4.0%-0.1%
PA-07 Rep. Susan Wild (D)7.5%-0.2%
PA-08 Rep. Matt Cartwright (D)22.0%-0.1%
PA-09 Rep. Dan Meuser (R)97.9% 0.0%
PA-10 Rep. Scott Perry (R)88.2%+0.2%
PA-11 Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R)95.1% 0.0%
PA-12 Rep. Fred Keller (R)90.0% 0.0%
PA-13 Rep. John Joyce (R)98.0% 0.0%
PA-14 Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R)93.9% 0.0%
PA-15 Rep. Glenn W. Thompson (R)97.9% 0.0%
PA-16 Rep. Mike Kelly (R)95.8% 0.0%
PA-17 Rep. Conor Lamb (D)26.7%-0.3%
PA-18 Rep. Mike Doyle (D)16.1%-0.1%

Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight website assesses the voting records of our MoCs to provide this index, by comparing any legislation where President Trump has stated a position, and comparing the vote of each MoC to the President’s opinion. One vote was scored from each house – the House election security bill and the Senate attempt to repeal an Internal Revenue Service regulation on state and local tax deductions.

Want to see exactly what votes went into giving your MoC the numbers above?  Click on the name of any legislator and you will be brought to their 538 webpage, where all of the positions that went into the index are listed in an easy-to-read format.

Words From Our Founders

— Abigail Adams, from a letter sent to John Adams on May 7, 1776 

Votes of Interest 

House passes Election Security package

House Vote on H.R. 4617: the SHIELD Act 

The “Shield” in the title of this bill stands for “Stopping Harmful Interference in Elections for a Lasting Democracy Act.”  CBS News recapped the contents of the bill:

The SHIELD Act would require that candidates and political committees notify the FBI and other authorities if a foreign power offers campaign help. It also tightens restrictions on campaign spending by foreign nationals and requires more transparency in political ads on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. And it would explicitly prohibit campaigns from exchanging campaign-related information with foreign governments and their agents….

Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren, the bill’s chief sponsor, said it would close loopholes that allow dishonest behavior, increase disclosure and transparency requirements, and ensure that anyone who engages with foreign actors to influence the outcome of an election will be held accountable by law.

The Hill observed that “the bill marks the third time this year the House has passed major legislation addressing various aspects of election security, with the For the People Act and the Securing America’s Federal Elections Act both also passing along party lines.”

This bill includes content drafted by a pair of Pennsylvania MoCs. 🔵 PA-06’s Rep. Chrissy Houlahan had introduced H.R. 4114: Stop Supporting Foreign Interference in Our Democracy Act, and that bill has been included in Section 303 of the Shield Act. 🔵 PA-17’s Rep. Conor Lamb had sponsored H.R. 4703: DEFEND Act (Defending Elections From Foreign Efforts to Negate Democracy Act), and the text of his bill is in Section 101 of this election security package.

It should be noted that the ACLU has taken a position against this bill, and sent a letter to legislators during the bill’s mark-up, noting some problematic sections of the bill. They pointed out that the broad approach to prohibiting political speech from all foreign nationals, even permanent resident non-citizens in the United States, could create situations where the First Amendment would be infringed upon.  That letter provided this thought-provoking hypothetical situation – “…people that have received protection from deportation under the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) program, under the SHIELD Act, may not be able to take out a paid advertisement referring to President Donald Trump’s immigration policies because such an ad arguably opposes President Trump’s reelection.”

The vote on the Shield Act took place on Wednesday, October 23, 2019.  The measure passed 227-181. All Republicans present voted NO, and they were joined by Democrat Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota and Independent Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan. All YES votes were from Democrats.  Here is how our PA MoCs voted:

NoRFitzpatrick, BrianPA 1st
NoRPerry, ScottPA 10th
AyeDBoyle, BrendanPA 2nd
NoRSmucker, LloydPA 11th
AyeDEvans, DwightPA 3rd
NoRKeller, FredPA 12th
AyeDDean, MadeleinePA 4th
NoRJoyce, JohnPA 13th
AyeDScanlon, MaryPA 5th
NoRReschenthaler, GuyPA 14th
AyeDHoulahan, ChrissyPA 6th
NoRThompson, GlennPA 15th
AyeDWild, SusanPA 7th
NoRKelly, MikePA 16th
AyeDCartwright, MatthewPA 8th
AyeDLamb, ConorPA 17th
NoRMeuser, DanielPA 9th
AyeDDoyle, MikePA 18th

Several Pennsylvania MoCs had comments about the passage of the Shield Act:

🔵 PA-03’s Rep. Dwight Evans, @RepDwightEvans, 10/23/19:

🔵 PA-05’s Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, @RepMGS, 10/24/19:

Rep Scanlon re-tweeted this tweet:

🔵 PA-06’s Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, @RepHoulahan, 10/24/19:

🔵 PA-07’s Rep. Susan Wild, @RepSusanWild, 10/23/19:

🔵 PA-08’s Rep. Matt Cartwright, @RepCartwright, 10/24/19:

🔵 PA-17’s Rep. Conor Lamb, @RepConorLamb, 10/23/19:

🔵 PA-18’s Rep. Mike Doyle, @USRepMikeDoyle, 10/23/19:

Rep Doyle re-tweeted this tweet:

House passes bill to crack down on shell companies

House Vote on H.R. 2513: Corporate Transparency Act

The Corporate Transparency Act seeks to eliminate the ability of business owners to protect themselves from claims of criminality, wrongdoing and liability by setting up companies with anonymous shell corporations as owners. Accounting Today explains:  

The Corporate Transparency Act would require companies to disclose their true, beneficial owners at the time the company is formed to prevent anonymous shell companies from evading law enforcement and hiding illicit activities… The bill would close loopholes that enable traffickers, corrupt officials, terrorists and other criminals to hide, launder, move and use their money. This legislation requires corporations and limited liability companies to disclose their beneficial owners to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

Original co-sponsor of the bill Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.), our neighboring MoC from just across the Delaware River who sits on the Foreign Affairs Committee, provided details on how this bill not only affects people here at home, but promotes anti-corruption and democracy-promotion efforts abroad:

There is no better way for America to stand up for people suffering under repressive regimes around the world than by cutting off their corrupt leaders’ ability to launder money through shell companies and real estate on American soil. I am proud the House passed the Corporate Transparency Act today, and I urge the Senate to take up this vital bipartisan legislation immediately.

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy concurred with Rep. Malinowski’s assessment of the international implications of the bill, adding, “enacting the Corporate Transparency Act could make it easier for the U.S. to obtain cooperation from other countries in cracking down on tax evasion and other cross-border crimes.” 

The Corporate Transparency Act came to the floor for a vote on Tuesday, October 22, 2019. It passed, 249-173. All but 5 members of the Democratic caucus voted YES, and they were joined by 25 Republicans.  Here is how our PA delegation voted:

AyeRFitzpatrick, BrianPA 1st
NoRPerry, ScottPA 10th
AyeDBoyle, BrendanPA 2nd
NoRSmucker, LloydPA 11th
AyeDEvans, DwightPA 3rd
NoRKeller, FredPA 12th
AyeDDean, MadeleinePA 4th
NoRJoyce, JohnPA 13th
AyeDScanlon, MaryPA 5th
NoRReschenthaler, GuyPA 14th
AyeDHoulahan, ChrissyPA 6th
NoRThompson, GlennPA 15th
AyeDWild, SusanPA 7th
NoRKelly, MikePA 16th
AyeDCartwright, MatthewPA 8th
AyeDLamb, ConorPA 17th
NoRMeuser, DanielPA 9th
AyeDDoyle, MikePA 18th

Republicans attempt to censure House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff

House Vote on the Motion to Table H. Res. 647

In the same week that House Speaker Pelosi announced the impeachment inquiry, the House Republicans staged a stunt vote and attempted to censure her. Coming, as it did, in the wake of her big impeachment press conference, most media outlets paid very little attention to it.  The same cannot be said of one of this week’s GOP actions to attempt to draw attention away from the impeachment inquiry. The GOP attempt to censure House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff received broad attention from both journalists and social media. Introduced by Arizona Republican and Freedom Caucus member Rep. Andy Biggs, the resolution reads in part:

Whereas, instead of quoting directly from the available transcript, Chairman Schiff manufactured a false retelling of the conversation between President Trump and President Zelensky;

Whereas this egregiously false and fabricated retelling had no relationship to the call itself…

Whereas, for more than 2 years, Chairman Schiff has spread false accusations that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia;

Whereas, on March 20, 2017, then-Ranking Member Schiff read out false allegations from the Steele dossier accusing numerous Trump associates of colluding with Russia…

Whereas members of the Intelligence Committee have lost faith in his objectivity and capabilities as Chairman, with every Republican member on the Committee having signed a letter calling for his immediate resignation as Chairman…

…the House of Representatives censures and condemns Representative Adam Schiff for conduct that misleads the American people in a way that is not befitting an elected Member of the House of Representatives.

All nine of Pennsylvania’s GOP House members co-sponsored this resolution.  The Republicans attempted to bring this to the floor on Monday, October 21, 2019.  This vote is a motion to table the resolution, so YES votes are those who oppose the measure, and NO votes are those who support it.  The motion to table this censure resolution passed, 218-185. This vote was on party lines, with Independent Rep. Justin Amash joining with Democrats.  This is how our PA MoCs voted:

NoRFitzpatrick, BrianPA 1st
NoRPerry, ScottPA 10th
AyeDBoyle, BrendanPA 2nd
NoRSmucker, LloydPA 11th
AyeDEvans, DwightPA 3rd
NoRKeller, FredPA 12th
AyeDDean, MadeleinePA 4th
NoRJoyce, JohnPA 13th
AyeDScanlon, MaryPA 5th
NoRReschenthaler, GuyPA 14th
AyeDHoulahan, ChrissyPA 6th
NoRThompson, GlennPA 15th
AyeDWild, SusanPA 7th
NoRKelly, MikePA 16th
AyeDCartwright, MatthewPA 8th
AyeDLamb, ConorPA 17th
NoRMeuser, DanielPA 9th
AyeDDoyle, MikePA 18th

Many Republicans lawmakers tweeted about this resolution to censure Rep. Schiff:

🔴 PA-10’s Rep. Scott Perry, @RepScottPerry, 10/21/19:

The MoC retweeted this content from Rep. Andy Biggs, who sponsored the failed resolution to censure House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff

🔴 PA-11’s Rep. Lloyd Smucker, @RepSmucker, 10/21/19:

🔴 PA-12’s Rep. Fred Keller, @RepFredKeller, 10/21/19:

🔴 PA-13’s Rep. John Joyce, @RepJohnJoyce, 10/21/19:

🔴 PA-16’s Rep. Mike Kelly, @MikeKellyPA, 10/21/19:

Let’s give the last word on this to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff:

The House takes on the Rape Kit backlog

House Vote on H.R. 777: Debbie Smith Reauthorization Act 

There are 200,000 unopened, untested rape kits sitting on the shelves of evidence rooms in police departments across the country. The House took a big step this week by passing the Debbie Smith Reauthorization Act.  The bill is a reauthorization of a program that was initially passed in 2000:

  1. To carry out, for inclusion in the Combined DNA Index System of the Federal Bureau ofInvestigation, DNA analyses of samples collected under applicable legal authority.
  2. To carry out, for inclusion in such Combined DNA Index System, DNA analyses of samples from crime scenes, including samples from rape kits, samples from other sexual assault evidence, and samples taken in cases without an identified suspect.
  3. To increase the capacity of laboratories owned by the State or by units of local government to carry out DNA analyses of samples specified in paragraph (1) or (2)

MissouriNet reports that the new bill authorizes up to $151 million in funding each each year to handle untested rape kits.  The bill came up for a vote on the floor of the House on Wednesday, October 23, 2019 under a suspension of the rules, so a ⅔ supermajority was needed to pass the measure.  The final vote was 402-1, with the only NO vote coming from Independent Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan. 

The Pennsylvania delegation’s vote tally reads as an attendance roster for the President’s pro-fracking event appearance in Pittsburgh.  All of those “no vote” entries represent the MoCs who chose to take a ride on Air Force One to do photo-ops with President Trump at the Shale Insight Conference.

AyeRFitzpatrick, BrianPA 1st
AyeRPerry, ScottPA 10th
AyeDBoyle, BrendanPA 2nd
no voteRSmucker, LloydPA 11th
AyeDEvans, DwightPA 3rd
no voteRKeller, FredPA 12th
AyeDDean, MadeleinePA 4th
no voteRJoyce, JohnPA 13th
AyeDScanlon, MaryPA 5th
no voteRReschenthaler, GuyPA 14th
AyeDHoulahan, ChrissyPA 6th
no voteRThompson, GlennPA 15th
AyeDWild, SusanPA 7th
no voteRKelly, MikePA 16th
AyeDCartwright, MatthewPA 8th
AyeDLamb, ConorPA 17th
no voteRMeuser, DanielPA 9th
AyeDDoyle, MikePA 18th

A selection of unanimously passed House bills from this week

  • H.R.724 – Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act
  • H.R.835 – Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act of 2019
  • H.Res.552 – Calling on the Government of the Russian Federation to provide evidence of wrongdoing or to release United States citizen Paul Whelan
  • S.693 – National POW/MIA Flag Act
  • H.R.4405 – Women’s Business Centers Improvements Act of 2019
  •  S.Con.Res.27 – a concurrent resolution to allow Rep. Elijah Cummings to lie in state in the Capitol

The Senate Democrats attempt to overturn an IRS rule about state and local taxes

Senate Vote on S.J.Res. 50: using the Congressional Review Act on the IRS rule “Contributions in Exchange for State or Local Tax Credits” 

In last week’s MoCTrack we covered an unsuccessful attempt by Senate Democrats to use the Congressional Review Act to overturn an awful new Trump Administration regulation to hamstring the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate emissions from power plants. This week Senate Democrats used the same procedure to attempt to overturn an unpopular Internal Revenue Service and Department of the Treasury rule related to state and local tax deductions.  

The roots for this week’s vote lie in the passage of the 2017 tax reform bill, with its cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions.  The Hill provides some context:

…the cap has been one of the most controversial portions of the GOP tax law, with policymakers in some blue states arguing that it unfairly punishes their residents with high property taxes and will make it harder for their states to offer public services to their residents. Several GOP House members from New York, New Jersey and California joined with Democrats in voting against the tax law due to concerns about the SALT deduction cap, though no GOP senators hail from those states and no Republican senator voted against the final version of the 2017 law.

In the aftermath of the implementation of caps on SALT deductions, a number of states in predominantly Democratic areas implemented new tax laws to help residents deal with the massive tax increase, primarily by allowing people affected to get a 100% tax credit on charitable donations to offset their tax increase (that’s a massive oversimplification – check out this Roll Call article for a more precise explanation). In response the IRS introduced a rule change that, per The Hill, “are designed to prevent the donation-and-credit programs from being used as workarounds to the SALT deduction cap.” 

This Senate vote, then, is to overturn the new IRS rule that would nullify state laws designed to workaround the 2017 tax bill.  The vote came to the floor on Wednesday, October 23 , 219, and it failed, 43-52. Fifty-one Republicans were joined by Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Col.) in voting NO.  Forty-one Democrats were joined by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) in voting YES. Casey voted YES and Toomey voted NO.

Judicial confirmation

Senate confirmation vote on Justin Reed Walker to the federal court in Kentucky

Full disclosure.  Your MoCTrack editor is still very upset (understatement) over the Supreme Court confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh.  As such, it was a struggle to compose a recap of this confirmation vote of Kavanaugh attorney and spokesman Justin Walker to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky without it just being a string of expletives and incoherent keyboard pounding.  Thankfully, the inestimable Elie Mystal of Above the Law wrote a spectacular explainer on this nomination, and it is quoted below:

Justin Reed Walker is a Donald Trump judicial nominee to fill a seat in the Western District of Kentucky, Mitch McConnell’s home state. His confirmation hearing is scheduled for tomorrow. As I can tell, the man’s only qualification for being a federal judge is that he defended Brett Kavanaugh in the media, a lot.

Walker graduated from Harvard Law School in 2009. After that he clerked for (wait for it) Brett Kavanaugh on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. After that, he clerked for Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court. After that… well there hasn’t really BEEN much after that because Trump and McConnell are nominating a judge who is a mere ten years out of law school.

Does he have a record of judicial opinions? No, he’s never been a judge.

Does he have significant legal scholarship to speak of? No, he’s only been a professor at the University of Louisville for four years.

Does he have significant litigation or practitioner experience? No, but he did summer at Gibson Dunn and went back there for a year after his SCOTUS clerkship, probably just to get his clerkship bonus before he bounced.

What makes this 39-year-old white man deserving a job from which he can never be fired? Well, according to his judicial questionnaire, homeboy was all over the Kavanaugh hearings. He wrote articles, did radio hits, and got on the T.V. to talk about how great of a guy Brett Kavanaugh is and how unfair people were being to the man accused of attempted rape and perjury.

The Vetting Room adds that the nominee “has not tried a single case as primary counsel.”  Also, Mr. Walker received a “not qualified” rating from the American Bar Association.  But despite this pile of clearly disqualifying information, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell brought this nomination to the floor of the Senate for a vote on Thursday, October 24, 2019.  Mr. Walker was confirmed, 50-41. This was a party line vote, with Maine Independent Angus King joining the Democrats in voting NO. Casey voted NO and Toomey voted YES. 

The Senate confirms a new Ambassador to the UN in Geneva

Senate confirmation vote on Andrew P. Bremberg to be Representative of the United States of America to the Office of the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva

This week the Senate voted on the nomination of Andrew Bremberg, who would represent the United States at our mission in Geneva.  That position, according to its website, “advances U.S. policy on the front lines of multilateral diplomacy at over 100 international organizations in Geneva. U.S. Mission personnel engage daily on issues as diverse as refugee crises, global health, international law, economic development, trade, the environment, arms control and human rights.” For this position, the Trump Administration chose a former head of the  White House Domestic Policy Council who helped craft the international ‘gag rule’ on abortions. Rewire News reports:

Bremberg during another nomination hearing said he helped craft the administration’s expanded global “gag rule.” The anti-choice restriction, also known as the “Mexico City Policy,” prohibits foreign nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) from receiving U.S. family planning aid from providing abortion care or information about the medical procedure. Though Republican administrations have long implemented the policy, under Trump’s leadership, it was expanded to apply to all U.S. global health programs.

Mr. Bremberg’s nomination brought forth objections from many organizations that support reporductive freedom and LGBTQ rights. That same Rewire article cites a statement from International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region CE Giselle Carino, who said, “Every day around the globe, the reproductive health of millions of women and girls, the LGBTQ community and immigrants are at risk or being denied entirely. Andrew Bremberg’s confirmation to this critical position will only continue the cycle of targeted attacks and discrimination against these vulnerable communities.”  And the International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC) issued a lengthy statement earlier this year, urging senators to vote against this nomination.  It states, in part:

Bremberg, currently the director of the president’s Domestic Policy Council, holds no diplomatic experience or foreign policy expertise. He does however have a long history of anti-abortion extremism that appears to be a prerequisite for employment in the current US administration…

…IWHC is extremely concerned by Bremberg’s unequivocal support for the recently announced Commission on Unalienable Rights. His insistence on focusing on the ideas of “natural law and natural rights” that are “endowed by our Creator” echoes longstanding efforts by anti-rights actors to attack women’s and LGBTQI rights globally. Any supporter of such a commission, which puts the US out of step with international human rights norms and threatens global progress, should not be sent to Geneva to engage with global human rights bodies.

Finally, if Bremberg’s extremist views on health, gender, and human rights do not disqualify him from serving in the position to which he has been nominated, his record on immigration should. Bremberg has been part of this administration’s harsh and discriminatory immigration policies, including the family separation policy. His complicity in these inhumane policies, many of which have been criticized by UN bodies, renders him completely unsuitable to represent the United States to the very international organizations tasked with protecting the rights of migrants and refugees.

The vote on Mr. Bremberg’s nomination took place on Tuesday, October 22, 2019.  He was confirmed with a vote of 50-44. The 50 YES votes were all from Republicans.  The 44 NO votes came from all Democrats present, Maine Independent Angus King, and a pair of Republicans – Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Casey voted NO and Toomey voted YES.

A Must Read article about our Senators’ positions on Health Care

Pennsylvania Business Central shared an article this week titled “Senators Toomey and Casey debate the future of the Affordable Care Act.” It is a detailed piece in which our two senators share their views on the current health care system and the changes that they each want to see to (in their respective views) improve the system.  MoCTrack encourages you to read the full piece. Here is a sample of the ideas expressed:

From Senator Toomey:

The experience of the past several years has proven that Obamacare is fundamentally flawed in its approach to improving the nation’s health care sys­tem.

It forced people to buy overpriced health plans they do not want, hiked taxes and put im­portant and personal health care decisions in the hands of politi­cians and bureaucrats instead of patients and their doctors.

Further, Obamacare exacerbated the already perilous fiscal condition of Medicaid, America’s largest health care program, by adding millions to its rolls without any reforms that could make the program sustainable for the long-term.

From Senator Casey:

The GOP talking point that the ACA isn’t working is a flat-out lie.

Since becoming law, the ACA has helped over 20 million Ameri­cans gain coverage, which means Ameri­cans now have access to health care services who would have been on their own otherwise. For example, there are tens of thousands of people getting treatment for substance use disorder because of Medicaid expansion.

And the ACA put into place vital protections for more than 50 million Americans with pre-existing condi­tions, so while President Trump and the Republicans may think the ACA needs to be scrapped, and are working hard to undermine it, I think they’re a hundred percent wrong.

This debate matters.  While neither of our senators is up for re-election in 2020 (Toomey’s next election is 2022, Casey’s is 2024), Senator Toomey is currently the Chair of the Subcommittee on Health Care in the powerful Senate Finance Committee. And President Trump has said that he wants to take on health care after the 2020 election.  Accordingly, if Trump wins again, and if the GOP are still in the majority in the Senate after the 2020 election season, Senator Toomey will be in the unique position of being in charge of hearings and committee deliberation over any health care bills. So where he stands on health care matters an awful lot

Twitter Action – Impeachment inquiry/ SCIF pizza party

Twitter coverage is contributed by @ElastigirlVotes

🔵 Senator Bob Casey, @SenBobCasey, 10/24/19:

🔵 PA-03’s Rep. Dwight Evans, @RepDwightEvans, 10/23/19:

🔵 PA-04’s Rep. Madeleine Dean, @RepDean, 10/21/19:

🔵 PA-05’s Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, @RepMGS, 10/24/19:

🔵 PA-06’s Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, @RepHoulahan, 10/22/19:

🔴 PA-10’s Rep. Scott Perry, @RepScottPerry, 10/23/19:

Note:  Rep Perry already had access to the witness testimony as he is on the committee.

🔴 PA-12’s Rep. Fred Keller, @RepFredKeller, 10/23/19:

Note:  Rep Keller already had access to the witness testimony as he is on the committee.

🔴 PA-13’s Rep. John Joyce, @RepJohnJoyce, 10/22/19:

🔴 PA-14’s Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, @GReschenthaler, 10/22/19:

Tweet quotes misleading tweet by Doug Collins.

🔴 PA-15’s Rep. Glenn W. Thompson, @CongressmanGT, 10/22/19:

🔵 PA-18’s Rep. Mike Doyle, @USRepMikeDoyle, 10/23/19:

Twitter Action – Healthcare

🔵 Senator Bob Casey, @SenBobCasey,10/25/19:

🔵 PA-03’s Rep. Dwight Evans, @RepDwightEvans, 10/22/19:

🔵 PA-04’s Rep. Madeleine Dean, @RepDean, 10/21/19:

🔵 PA-07’s Rep. Susan Wild, @RepSusanWild, 10/24/19:

🔴 PA-09’s Rep. Dan Meuser, @RepMeuser, 10/25/19

🔴 PA-12’s Rep. Fred Keller, @RepFredKeller, 10/26/19:

🔴 PA-13’s Rep. John Joyce, @RepJohnJoyce, 10/22/19:

🔴 PA-16’s Rep. Mike Kelly, @MikeKellyPA, 10/22/19:

🔵 PA-18’s Rep. Mike Doyle, @USRepMikeDoyle, 10/19/19:

Twitter Action – MoCs on Legislation

🔵 Senator Bob Casey, @SenBobCasey, 10/24/19:

🔴 Senator Pat Toomey, @SenToomey, 10/23/19:

🔴 PA-01’s Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, @RepBrianFitz, 10/21/19:

🔵 PA-02’s Rep. Brendan Boyle, @RepBrendanBoyle, 10/23/19:

🔵 PA-03’s Rep. Dwight Evans, @RepDwightEvans, 10/23/19:

🔵 PA-04’s Rep. Madeleine Dean, @RepDean, 10/23/19:

🔵 PA-05’s Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, @RepMGS, 10/22/19:

🔵 PA-06’s Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, @RepHoulahan, 10/22/19:

🔵 PA-07’s Rep. Susan Wild, @RepSusanWild, 10/23/19:

🔵 PA-08’s Rep. Matt Cartwright, @RepCartwright, 10/25/19:

🔴 PA-09’s Rep. Dan Meuser, @RepMeuser, 10/22/19:

🔴 PA-11’s Rep. Lloyd Smucker, @RepSmucker, 10/21/19:

🔴 PA-12’s Rep. Fred Keller, @RepFredKeller, 10/25/19:

🔴 PA-13’s Rep. John Joyce, @RepJohnJoyce, 10/24/19:

🔴 PA-14’s Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, @GReschenthaler, 10/22/19:

🔴 PA-15’s Rep. Glenn W. Thompson, @CongressmanGT, 10/23/19:

🔴 PA-16’s Rep. Mike Kelly, @MikeKellyPA, 10/22/19:

The MoC didn’t have anything this week promoting new legislation, but he did share his thoughts opposing the topic of last week’s MoCTrack call to action and Learning about Legislation segments, H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Prices Now Act

🔵 PA-17’s Rep. Conor Lamb, @RepConorLamb, 10/23/19:

🔵 PA-18’s Rep. Mike Doyle, @USRepMikeDoyle, 10/24/19:

Tweet of the Week

🔵 Senator Bob Casey, @SenBobCasey, 10/25/19:

🔵 PA-02’s Rep. Brendan Boyle, @RepBrendanBoyle, 10/23/19:

🔵 PA-03’s Rep. Dwight Evans, @RepDwightEvans, 10/21/19:

🔵 PA-04’s Rep. Madeleine Dean, @RepDean, 10/26/19:

🔵 PA-05’s Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, @RepMGS, 10/23/19:

🔵 PA-06’s Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, @RepHoulahan, 10/23/19:

🔵 PA-07’s Rep. Susan Wild, @RepSusanWild, 10/24/19:

🔴 PA-09’s Rep. Dan Meuser, @RepMeuser, 10/26/19:

🔵 PA-18’s Rep. Mike Doyle, @USRepMikeDoyle, 10/27/19:

Casey in the News 

Courtesy of contributor Linda Houk.

The Turkish attacks against the Kurds are attacks against humanity, and our President is sitting back and watching. 

from an article on WSB-TV titled “As Congress returns, both parties are livid over Trump move in Syria

That means the basic procedures of the government impeachment trial. There’s not necessarily a lot of clarity there, because sometimes the procedures that govern an impeachment trial are decided upon in the moment, where the Senate has to come together and almost decide, ‘well how are we going to conduct ourselves?

Both parties should be very cognizant that one of our first responsibilities would be to make sure that the process is fair, that there’s enough time to consider the evidence.”

What I don’t know yet is whether or not in addition to the evidence the House has gathered, can the Senate consider other additional evidence? My guess is that we can. There would be additional evidence introduced, especially by those who are taking the president’s defense…”

For example, if you’re a juror in a criminal trial, what the judge instructs you to do among other things is you have to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. We wouldn’t have that charge. We would have a much lower standard. We can make an assessment on our own, [based on] what we believe to be abusive power.

As soon as the case lands there [the Senate], some Republican senator might stand up and say to the Chief Justice, ‘I hereby move to dismiss this article of impeachment or use.’ And then there would likely be a vote on whether to dismiss the proceeding right then and there. Right at the beginning,

I think there’s plenty of evidence for an impeachment inquiry. But, I also have to make a separate determination as to whether or not that impeachable conduct is enough to remove him from office. And that’s a different standard.

from an article in Al Dia titled “President Trump impeachment inquiry: Senator Bob Casey explains the process

He’s got strength in Northeast Pennsylvania that very few presidential candidates have had in many, many years. 

from an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer titled “Joe Biden really loves Scranton. His hometown fans love him back — but want to see more fight.” 

There could be a future president in this room. There could be a future governor, a mayor, any public official. But we just hope that you’ll do that because your generation is going to lead the change that we need in our country.

from an article on Lancaster’s WGAL Channel 8 website titled “U.S. Senator Bob Casey tours York school, answers questions from students

Hazing has absolutely no place in our society or in our schools. I am proud to join Senator Cassidy in introducing the Educational Notification and Disclosure of Actions Risking Loss of Life by Hazing Act (End All Hazing Act), to provide much needed transparency to students and parents. I am also proud to cosponsor the Report and Educate About Campus Hazing (REACH) Act to ensure that these horrific incidents are appropriately reported and that students are educated on the dangers of hazing. I want to express my sincere condolences to the Piazza and Braham families, and thank them for their tireless advocacy to stop hazing on college campuses and prevent other families from losing loved ones.

from an article on Louisiana’s WAFB Channel 9 website titled “La., Pa. senators introduce bill to require colleges to post information online about hazing incidents”  

Toomey in the News 

Courtesy of contributor Elayne Baker.

Because impeachment is a grave matter, it has traditionally been conducted in a transparent, accountable, and fair manner. Unfortunately, House Democrats are disgracefully breaking with that bipartisan precedent. 

from an article in the Allentown Morning Call titled “Pat Toomey backs Senate resolution condemning House impeachment probe

“That would make it more difficult for people who have no right to buy a firearm to buy a firearm. That’s violent criminals and the dangerous and mentally ill.”  

from an article on the website of Syracuse Channel 9 titled “Legislative limbo: Sen. Toomey continues to push background checks for guns

People who intentionally harm animals are among the most depraved individuals in our society and must be punished,” said Toomey. “I applaud the House — especially the work done by the Pennsylvania delegation — for passing of the PACT Act today. The Senate approved this legislation unanimously the last two sessions of Congress, and I hope we will move quickly to approve it once more and send this bipartisan bill to President Trump for his signature.

from an article in  The Bradford Era titled “Toomey applauds House passage of the PACT Act

We owe it to those service members and their families to ensure that our nation never forgets their sacrifices.

from an article in American Military News titled “POW/MIA flag to be required to fly alongside US flag on some buildings if Trump signs the bill on his desk

I support putting tough sanctions on Turkey that will last until they reverse course… I disagreed with removing those American forces as a time when the region was not necessarily able to maintain that stability in the absence of American forces.

from an article in Erie News titled “Toomey among GOP Senators pushing Turkey sanctions despite Trump deal” 

Pennsylvania produces about 20% of the natural gas produced in the United States. That has meant hundreds of thousands of well-paying jobs, lower costs for home heating, lower energy costs for manufacturers and a significant reduction in the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.

Most environmentalists are concerned about greenhouse gas emissions. Natural gas displaces coal. … When it does that, it reduces carbon dioxide emissions. Environmentalists should be all about natural gas.

[We should] keep drinking water safe, but you can do that without unnecessary, excessive and time-consuming regulatory burdens.

from a TribLIVE article titled “Toomey praises Trump for shale gas exploration policies in Pennsylvania, U.S.

Committee Corner

Last week’s Committee Corner was devoted to the House Education and Labor Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee mark-up session for H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act.  We had noted that the House Ways and Means Committee would have a mark-up session this week. 

On Tuesday, October 22, 2019, Ways and Means did hold a mark-up session for a number of health care related bills.  What follows are a pair of contributions of the Pennsylvania members of that committee on another of the bills they considered in that 11+ hour session.

🔵 PA-02’s Rep. Brendan Boyle – “Our nation faces a healthcare workers shortage, one that gets worse each and every year. This bill will help every single one of our districts, from my district of urban Philadelphia to the rural communities that many of my colleagues represent. This is a program that can lift up workers and prepare them for the successful careers and occupations where shortages already exist. I’d like to reiterate my support for the Pathways to Health Careers Act, and I urge my colleagues to do the same.”

(remarks start at 0:50:30 of the YouTube video)

🔵 PA-03’s Rep. Dwight Evans – “Philadelphia is home to many talented and ambitious health professionals who go to work every day eager to improve the lives of patients and their families. It is our job to not only create more opportunities for them, but to excel. The Healthcare Professional Opportunity Grant Program will have the potential to truly level the playing field and create opportunities for low income people across this country.” 

(remarks start at 0:52:45 of the YouTube video)

Call to Action – Oppose the nomination of Steven Menashi! 

This week MoCTrack is handing the mic over to Why Courts Matter Pennsylvania, an organization that does statewide advocacy and educational work to ensure that people understand the role of the judiciary. As they say on their website, “No matter the issue — voting rights, employment discrimination, environmental regulation, health care, immigration — our federal judiciary plays an important role in the lives of hardworking Americans.”   Please be sure to check out the organization’s Facebook page and their Twitter presence. Here is what the Campaign Director of Why Courts Matter PA, Kadida Kenner,  has to say about the nomination of Steven Menashi for the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals:

Our courts are more important now than ever. The judiciary is a critical line of defense in protecting our rights and checking the other legislative and executive branches’ dangerous policies and outrageous abuses of power. Our courts have an enormous impact on our everyday lives, deciding significant issues such as whether we have fair legislative maps, clean air to breathe and clean water to drink, who can marry, whether people can be discriminated against on the job and whether people can make their own reproductive choices. 

Under the current administration, the Senate has gradually destroyed the process of confirming judicial nominees. It began with the lowering of the threshold of required votes from 60 to a simple majority. It continued with the confirmation of Eric Miller to the 9th Circuit over the objection of both home state senators marking the first time in over 100 years that the Senate broke with the blue slip tradition and ignored objections of both home-state senators. ProtectOurCourts #CourtsMatter 


SCRIPT: “Senator Toomey/Casey, Pennsylvanians will not tolerate extremist ideologues and activists, backed by the Federalist Society and Heritage Foundation for lifetime appointments on our federal bench. Please take your role of providing advice and consent seriously by only voting for fully vetted nominees who are well qualified, fair-minded constitutionalists. The judiciary must remain an independent branch of government — NOT A RUBBER STAMP for the current administration. Please vote ‘No’ on any nominee for the federal courts who can’t confirm during their Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing that Brown v. Board of Education was correctly decided. 

This includes Steven Menashi for the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals (Justice Thurgood Marshall’s seat): Menashi’s record shows a history of contempt for women, LGBTQ people, communities of color, and sexual assault survivors. He’s promoted racist comments, compared the collection of race data in college admissions to Germany under Hitler, criticized sexual assault prevention advocates, opposed need-based financial aid on the grounds that it hurts the wealthy, and supported religious nonprofits’ challenges to the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate. He currently serves in the White House, working with Stephen Miller on advancing President Trump’s draconian immigration policies. During his hearing last week, Menashi showed the kind of contemptuous and evasive behavior we saw from Brett Kavanaugh, leaving even Republican senators unsatisfied with his answers.”

If you would like to learn more about this nomination, please watch Kadida Kenner’s appearance at the October 22nd Tuesdays with Toomey rally. Those amazing activists still gather each week in front of Senator Toomey’s office, and if you can, you should look into joining them!  

Scheduling note: So as to allow our MoCTrack volunteers more time to give to Get Out The Vote efforts next weekend (the last weekend before Election Day!), we will have a modified, vote recaps only MoCTrack Report next week.  

This report brought to you by the Pennsylvania MoCTrack team… 

  • Elayne Baker 
  • Gary Garb
  • Helen a.k.a. @ElastigirlVotes
  • Linda Houk
  • Kierstyn Piotrowski Zolfo

We can always use additional assistance. Our Congresspeople are always busy and there is always more for us to cover — tasks big and small to fit any level of time commitment or experience. Can you help us out?  Please email and put “MoCTrack Help” in the subject. Thanks!

DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.

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