Mitch McConnell’s Graveyard, Part 1

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24 mins read

The Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called himself the “Grim Reaper” and vowed to put a stop to bills coming out of the House of Representatives.  He is currently denying 307 bills that passed the House the opportunity to be considered in the Senate.  Let’s take a closer look at some of the legislation that he is thwarting.

H.R. 5: Equality Act

TL;DR – This bill will amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to define sex discrimination to include discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, giving the LGBTQ community full protection.

  • 💯 over 100 co-sponsors (240)
  • 🤝 bipartisan co-sponsors
    🗳received bipartisan votes

The bill’s sponsor says:

“Equal treatment under the law and a commitment to fairness and equality are founding values of our country. Discrimination of any kind is wrong and no one should ever be treated as less than equal because of who they are or who they love,” said Rep. David Cicilline, Democratic Policy and Communications Committee Chair. “The American people overwhelmingly support this bill in every single state. In fact, 84% of Kentucky residents support protections for the LGBTQ community. I hope that Senator McConnell will bring this bill to floor as soon as possible. If he chooses not to do so, his constituents will have a chance to hold him accountable in just 18 months.”

Pennsylvania lawmaker votes:

AyeRFitzpatrick, BrianPA 1st
NoRPerry, ScottPA 10th
AyeDBoyle, BrendanPA 2nd
no voteRSmucker, LloydPA 11th
AyeDEvans, DwightPA 3rd


vacantPA 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

The House vote on this bill was taken on May 17, 2019, and it passed 236-173.  

It is stalled in the Senate.

R.I.P. to the bill that will extend civil rights and protections to millions of Americans!

Additional Reading:


H.R. 7: Paycheck Fairness Act

TL;DR – This is a bill that would address the problem of pay disparities between men and women by increasing transparency and civil penalties for violations of equal pay provisions.

  • 💯 over 100 co-sponsors (239)
  • 🤝 bipartisan co-sponsors
  • 🗳 received bipartisan votes

The bill’s sponsor says:

“At its core, this bill is about a simple principle: women and men working in the same job deserve the same pay,” said Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro. “We have fought for more than two decades to make that principle a reality by strengthening the Equal Pay Act. Equal pay is a matter of right and wrong, and pay discrimination is unacceptable. It is critical for working families, and we are all diminished when we fall short. I look forward to its consideration on the House Floor.”

Pennsylvania lawmaker votes:

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

The House vote on this bill was taken on March 27, 2019, and it passed 242-187.  

It is stalled in the Senate.

R.I.P. to the bill that would enable half of our nation to pursue pay equity.

Additional Reading:


H.R. 8: Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019

TL;DR – This is a bill that would close a number of loopholes that exempt many gun purchases/sales from undergoing background checks. Of particular note, this bill closes the notorious “gun show loophole” that exempts private gun sales from checks. 

  • 💯 over 100 co-sponsors (232)
  • 🤝 bipartisan co-sponsors
  • 🗳 received bipartisan votes

The bill’s sponsor says:

“The House has passed a bipartisan background check bill that is commonsense and narrow,” wrote Gun Violence Prevention Task Force Chairman Mike Thompson in a letter to President Trump.  “It requires a background check for every sale. Keeping our hunting and gun-owning tradition in mind, it allows for transfers within the family and for hunting purposes. This bill in no way infringes on the 2nd Amendment. If it did, it would not have my name on it.”

Pennsylvania lawmaker votes:

AyeRFitzpatrick, BrianPA 1st
NoRPerry, ScottPA 10th
AyeDBoyle, BrendanPA 2nd
NoRSmucker, LloydPA 11th
AyeDEvans, DwightPA 3rd


vacantPA 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

The House vote on this bill was taken on February 27, 2019, and it passed 240-190.  

It is stalled in the Senate.

R.I.P. to the bill that would keep guns out of the hands of those who should not have them.

Additional Reading:


H.R. 9: Climate Action Now Act

TL;DR – This bill will require the President to stay in the Paris Climate Agreement and to develop a plan to meet our nation’s determined contribution to combat climate change, including cutting our greenhouse gas emissions by 26%-28% below 2005 levels by 2025.

  • 💯 over 100 co-sponsors (224)
  • 🗳 received bipartisan votes 

The bill’s sponsor says:

“The United States is still in this agreement and Democrats are doing everything in our power to make sure it stays that way.  We cannot hide from the climate crisis and we do not cut and run from our commitments,” said Rep. Kathy Castor, Chair of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.  “The Senate should act as soon as possible. If Republicans refuse to hold a vote, they should offer a serious alternative for addressing our climate crisis.  If they can’t offer any solutions, they’re not doing their jobs and the American people will see right through them.”

Pennsylvania lawmaker votes:

AyeRFitzpatrick, BrianPA 1st NoRPerry, ScottPA 10th
AyeDBoyle, BrendanPA 2nd NoRSmucker, LloydPA 11th
AyeDEvans, DwightPA 3rd   vacantPA 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

The House vote on this bill was taken on May 2, 2019, and it passed 231-190.  

It is stalled in the Senate.

R.I.P. to the bill that would reintegrate the US into the international community of people who see out world is burning and want to do something about it.

Additional Reading:


H.R. 95: Homeless Veteran Families Act

TL;DR – This is a bill that would change the way benefits are calculated for homeless veterans, to include costs for caring for minor children.

  • 💯 over 100 co-sponsors (301)               
  • 🤝 bipartisan co-sponsors
  • 🗳 received bipartisan votes                 
  • 🎇 passed unanimously

The bill’s sponsor says:

“It is absolutely unacceptable that veterans with children are living out on the street or in other unsafe locations because VA can’t reimburse community agencies for housing them,” said Congresswoman Julia Brownley. “This is an issue that disproportionately impacts women veterans — the fastest-growing veteran population. It is imperative that we fix chronic homelessness amongst our veteran population and help keep families together and safe, while providing long-term, stable living environments for veterans to thrive. This bill is one step towards that goal. I’m pleased that my bill has received strong bipartisan support and passed the House today, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to see this bill reach the White House and be signed into law.” 

Pennsylvania lawmaker votes:

AyeRFitzpatrick, BrianPA 1st
AyeRPerry, ScottPA 10th
AyeDBoyle, BrendanPA 2nd
AyeRSmucker, LloydPA 11th
AyeDEvans, DwightPA 3rd
AyeRKeller, FredPA 12th
AyeDDean, MadeleinePA 4th
AyeRJoyce, JohnPA 13th
AyeDScanlon, MaryPA 5th
AyeRReschenthaler, GuyPA 14th
AyeDHoulahan, ChrissyPA 6th
AyeRThompson, GlennPA 15th
AyeDWild, SusanPA 7th
AyeRKelly, MikePA 16th
AyeDCartwright, MatthewPA 8th
AyeDLamb, ConorPA 17th
AyeRMeuser, DanielPA 9th
AyeDDoyle, MikePA 18th

The House vote on this bill was taken on October 15, 2019, and it passed 408-0.  

It is stalled in the Senate.

R.I.P. to the bill that would help care for both homeless veterans and children.

Additional Reading:


H.R. 724: Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act

TL;DR – This is a bill that would update and revise the criminal codes to include a particular type of animal torture.

  • 💯 over 100 co-sponsors (301)          
  • 🤝 bipartisan co-sponsors
  • 🗳 received bipartisan votes              
  • 🎇 passed unanimously

The bill’s sponsor says:

“Today’s vote is a significant milestone in the bipartisan quest to end animal abuse and protect our pets,” said Congressman Ted Deutch. “This bill sends a clear message that our society does not accept cruelty against animals. We’ve received support from so many Americans from across the country and across the political spectrum. Animal rights activists have stood up for living things that do not have a voice. Law enforcement officers have sought a federal overlay to help them stop animal abusers who are likely to commit acts of violence against people. And animal lovers everywhere know this is simply the right thing to do. I’m deeply thankful for all of the advocates who helped us pass this bill, and I look forward to the Senate’s swift passage and the President’s signature.”

Pennsylvania lawmaker votes:

This was a voice vote, so no tally of individual votes is kept.  Voice votes are presumed unanimous, as any member can call for a recorded vote if they wish to object to legislation.

The House vote on this bill was taken on October 22, 2019, and it passed unanimously.  

It is stalled in the Senate.

R.I.P. to the bill that would further penalize animal abusers.

Additional Reading:


H.R. 748: Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act

TL;DR – This is a bill that would repeal the “Cadillac tax” that could be applied to many employee-provided health care plans.

  • 💯 over 100 co-sponsors (369)           
  • 🤝 bipartisan co-sponsors
  • 🗳 received bipartisan votes               
  • 🌟 passed with over 400 votes in favor

The bill’s sponsor says:

“The American people gave Congress a mandate: address the rising cost of health care,” said Congressman Joe Courtney. “Out of pocket costs are increasingly unaffordable for families, even those with insurance. If the 40% tax on employer sponsored health plans goes into effect, the affordability crisis will dramatically worsen. This tax has never generated a penny of revenue, yet it continues to threaten working Americans’ health benefits. After over a decade of work towards this effort, the House did the right thing today for families across America by voting to fully repeal the tax. Now, Senator McConnell must take a cue from the strong statement made today in the House and bring this bill up for a vote in the Senate.”

Pennsylvania lawmaker votes:

AyeRFitzpatrick, BrianPA 1st
AyeRPerry, ScottPA 10th
AyeDBoyle, BrendanPA 2nd
AyeRSmucker, LloydPA 11th
AyeDEvans, DwightPA 3rd
AyeRKeller, FredPA 12th
AyeDDean, MadeleinePA 4th
AyeRJoyce, JohnPA 13th
AyeDScanlon, MaryPA 5th
AyeRReschenthaler, GuyPA 14th
AyeDHoulahan, ChrissyPA 6th
AyeRThompson, GlennPA 15th
AyeDWild, SusanPA 7th
AyeRKelly, MikePA 16th
AyeDCartwright, MatthewPA 8th
AyeDLamb, ConorPA 17th
AyeRMeuser, DanielPA 9th
AyeDDoyle, MikePA 18th

The House vote on this bill was taken on July 17, 2019, and it passed 419-6.  

It is stalled in the Senate.

R.I.P. to the bill that would eliminate a tax that both parties agree is unhelpful.

Additional Reading:


H.R. 1044: Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act

TL;DR – This is a bill that would get rid of per-country limits on employment-based visas and replace it with a “first come, first served” system.

  • 💯 over 100 co-sponsors (311)       
  • 🤝 bipartisan co-sponsors
  • 🗳 received bipartisan votes           
  • ⭐️ with over 300 votes

The bill’s sponsor says:

“In order for American industries to remain competitive and create more jobs, they must be able to recruit and retain the best talent in the world,” said Rep. Zoe Lofgren, Chair of the House Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship. “This becomes increasingly difficult when workers from high-population countries must compete for the same limited number of visas as workers from low population countries. Our bipartisan bill would phase-in a visa system where the applicant’s nationality is irrelevant, providing relief to individuals who’ve waited patiently for a green card for years, if not decades, while they continue to work and contribute to our economy.” 

Pennsylvania lawmaker votes:

AyeRFitzpatrick, BrianPA 1st
AyeRPerry, ScottPA 10th
AyeDBoyle, BrendanPA 2nd
AyeRSmucker, LloydPA 11th
AyeDEvans, DwightPA 3rd
AyeRKeller, FredPA 12th
AyeDDean, MadeleinePA 4th
NoRJoyce, JohnPA 13th
AyeDScanlon, MaryPA 5th
AyeRReschenthaler, GuyPA 14th
AyeDHoulahan, ChrissyPA 6th
AyeRThompson, GlennPA 15th
no voteDWild, SusanPA 7th
AyeRKelly, MikePA 16th
AyeDCartwright, MatthewPA 8th
AyeDLamb, ConorPA 17th
AyeRMeuser, DanielPA 9th
AyeDDoyle, MikePA 18th

The House vote on this bill was taken on July 10, 2019, and it passed 365-65.  

It is stalled in the Senate.

R.I.P. to the bill that would bring more skilled workers to our country.

Additional Reading:


H.R. 1146: Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act

TL;DR – This is a bill that would repeal the part of the 2017 GOP Tax Scam that opened up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to energy exploitation, and stop the Bureau of Land Management from administering an oil and gas leasing program.

  • 💯 over 100 co-sponsors (182)
  • 🤝 bipartisan co-sponsors
  • 🗳 received bipartisan votes

The bill’s sponsor says:

“The Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act reflects a very simple proposition: there are some places too wild, too important, too unique to be spoiled by oil and gas development,” said Rep. Jared Huffman. “The Arctic Refuge’s Coastal Plain is one of those special places. Today the House voted to repeal the Trump tax law’s mandate to drill in the Arctic Refuge, protecting not just the beating biological heart of the largest wildlife refuge in the United States, but the indigenous people who depend on this sacred, natural landscape.”

Pennsylvania lawmaker votes:

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

The House vote on this bill was taken on September 12, 2019, and it passed 225-193.  

It is stalled in the Senate.

R.I.P. to the bill that would protect our great and fragile wilderness from energy exploitation and development.

Additional Reading:


H.R. 3375: Stopping Bad Robocalls Act

TL;DR – This bill will change federal laws to broaden what is considered a robocall, and will require phone companies to implement new technologies to authenticate caller-ID information and preventing call spoofing at no cost to consumers.

  • 💯 over 100 co-sponsors (237)
  • 🤝 bipartisan co-sponsors
  • 🌟 passed with over 400 votes in favor

The bill’s sponsor says:

“I hear from many of my constituents who are sick and tired of receiving annoying and illegal robocalls. Many of these robocalls are often predatory as scammers try to disguise themselves as the IRS or local governments. It’s time to take our phones back,” said Rep. Frank Pallone, Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee. “My bipartisan bill provides common-sense and meaningful solutions that will put consumers back in control of their phone and give them more help in controlling the unwanted calls they consistently receive. I would like to thank our business community and consumer advocates for their help in the fight to combat these often-predatory and irritating interruptions to our day.”

Pennsylvania lawmaker votes:

AyeRFitzpatrick, BrianPA 1st
AyeRPerry, ScottPA 10th
AyeDBoyle, BrendanPA 2nd
AyeRSmucker, LloydPA 11th
AyeDEvans, DwightPA 3rd
AyeRKeller, FredPA 12th
AyeDDean, MadeleinePA 4th
AyeRJoyce, JohnPA 13th
AyeDScanlon, MaryPA 5th
AyeRReschenthaler, GuyPA 14th
AyeDHoulahan, ChrissyPA 6th
AyeRThompson, GlennPA 15th
AyeDWild, SusanPA 7th
AyeRKelly, MikePA 16th
AyeDCartwright, MatthewPA 8th
AyeDLamb, ConorPA 17th
AyeRMeuser, DanielPA 9th
AyeDDoyle, MikePA 18th

The House vote on this bill was taken on July 24, 2019, and it passed 429-3.  

It is stalled in the Senate.

R.I.P. robocall bill that would let us all have dinner in peace!

Additional Reading:

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