Mitch McConnell’s Graveyard, Part 2

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23 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.

See Part 1

H.R. 6: American Dream and Promise Act of 2019

TL;DR – This is a bill that would grant dreamers 10 years of legal residence status if they complete at least two years of higher education or military service, or after they work for three years. It also helps people in this country under Temporary Protected Status (TPS). 🗳

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

The bill’s sponsor says:

“Our vote sends a strong, clear message that Dreamers, TPS recipients, and DED beneficiaries are an essential part of modern America,” said Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard.  “Their talents and traditions strengthen our communities and our economy.  They contribute $27 billion a year in federal, state, and local taxes, and they hold $75 billion in buying power.  It makes no moral, cultural, or economic sense to remove these proud Americans from the land they love. With the help and support of leaders like Speaker Pelosi, Congresswomen Velázquez and Clarke, Chairman Nadler, and all of the bill’s supporters and advocates, we are getting closer to making H.R. 6 the law of the land.  I urge my Senate colleagues to follow the House’s lead and pass the Dream and Promise Act.”

Pennsylvania lawmaker votes:

AyeRFitzpatrick, BrianPA 1st
NoRPerry, ScottPA 10th
AyeDBoyle, BrendanPA 2nd
NoRSmucker, LloydPA 11th
AyeDEvans, DwightPA 3rd
NoRFred KellerPA 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 June 4, 2019, and it passed 237-187.  

It is stalled in the Senate.

R.I.P. to the bill that would remove the cloud of uncertainty from million of people who came here as children and know no other home but here.

Additional Reading:


H.R. 247: Federal CIO Authorization Act of 2019

TL;DR – This is a bill that would create a new high-level government position – the Federal Chief Intelligence Officer.  All Information Technology leaders from other government agencies would work under this new position, and technology infrastructure and security would be coordinated by that office.

  • 🤝 bipartisan co-sponsors
  • 🗳 received bipartisan votes
  • 🎇 passed unanimously

The bill’s sponsor says:

“Americans should be able to trust their government to keep their information safe,” said Rep. Will Hurd.  “This bill helps keep the vast information stored by the Federal government secure from hackers by making clear that the Federal CIO is in charge of the security of our data across the government.”

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 January 15, 2019, and it passed unanimously.  

It is stalled in the Senate.

R.I.P. to the bill that would help keep our nation’s information technology secure.

Additional Reading:


H.R. 397: Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act

TL;DR – This is a bill that would modify a government-run pension run guarantee program so it can help a number of multi-employer pension programs that are on the verge of failure.

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

The bill’s sponsor says:

“With 1.3 million workers and retirees in multiemployer plans that are quickly running out of money, we are in the midst of a crisis. The Butch Lewis Act is the first piece of legislation I introduced as Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee precisely because of the urgency of this problem. Now, after years of inaction, Congress has finally made progress to protect hardworking Americans who planned for their retirements, forgoing pay raises to save for their futures,” said Rep. Richard Neal.  “The House worked as it should – we passed a good piece of legislation with bipartisan support. It’s now time for the Senate to step up and do what’s right for men and women who played by the rules their whole careers, who deserve to receive the savings they earned.”

Pennsylvania lawmaker votes:

AyeRFitzpatrick, BrianPA 1st
NoRPerry, ScottPA 10th
AyeDBoyle, BrendanPA 2nd
NoRSmucker, LloydPA 11th
AyeDEvans, DwightPA 3rd
NoRFred KellerPA 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 July 24, 2019, and it passed 264-169.  

It is stalled in the Senate.

R.I.P. to the bill that would secure the retirement earnings of over a million Americans.

Additional Reading:


H.R. 582: Raise the Wage Act

TL;DR – This is a bill that would gradually raise the federal minimum wage to $15 and hour across a seven year period.

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

The bill’s sponsor says:

“According to the Congressional Budget Office’s review of a similar proposal, the Raise the Wage Act would lift roughly 1.3 million Americans out of poverty, including 600,000 children.  But the Raise the Wage Act is not only good for workers, it is good for the economy. When we put money in the pockets of workers, they will spend that money in their local economies. Gradually increasing the minimum wage to $15 by 2025 will stimulate economic growth, particularly in struggling communities,” said Rep. Bobby Scott.

“I commend my colleagues for taking this important step towards creating an economy that works for everyone. Now, Senate Republicans must decide to either stand with American workers or turn their backs on hardworking people across the country.”

Pennsylvania lawmaker votes:

AyeRFitzpatrick, BrianPA 1st
NoRPerry, ScottPA 10th
AyeDBoyle, BrendanPA 2nd
NoRSmucker, LloydPA 11th
AyeDEvans, DwightPA 3rd
NoRFred KellerPA 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 6, 2019, and it passed 231-199.  

It is stalled in the Senate.

R.I.P. to the bill that would do the bare minimum to address economic inequality.

Additional Reading:


H.R. 647: Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act

TL;DR – This is a bill that would drastically increase the capacity for training people specializing in end of life care – nurses, social workers, and doctors in a variety of specialities that would serve to strengthen palliative care networks.

  • 💯 over 100 co-sponsors (295)        
  • 🤝 bipartisan co-sponsors
  • 🗳 received bipartisan votes             
  • 🎇 passed unanimously

The bill’s sponsor says:

“Every one of us has been touched by serious illness,” Rep. Eliot Engel said. “Whether we have been affected personally, or stood by a loved one, we all know how trying those situations can be for all involved. Last Congress, the House passed the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act but it never received a vote in the Senate. My hope is that we can pass this bill again and get the Senate to act so that we will move one step closer to relieving the stresses of illness and tremendously improving patients’ quality of life.”

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 28, 2019, and it passed unanimously.   

It is stalled in the Senate.

R.I.P. to the bill that will help ease pain and provide the best possible passing for many of us.

Additional Reading:

Bill would boost end-of-life care,” from The Las Vegas Sun (editorial)


H.R. 1112: Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019

TL;DR – This is a bill that would close the “Charlestown Loophole,” a technicality that let people who should have been disqualified from purchasing a firearm do so if the background check took too long to complete.

  •  🤝 bipartisan co-sponsors
  • 🗳 received bipartisan votes

The bill’s sponsor says:

“It has been more than two years since the racially motivated attack at Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina took nine lives and injured three others.  As we discovered after the tragedy, the assailant used a firearm that was purchased through a loophole in our background check system, and thousands of weapons slip through this loophole each year.  Congress must act to close this loophole immediately,” said Rep.James Clyburn, the House Majority Whip.

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
no voteRMeuser, DanielPA 9th
AyeDDoyle, MikePA 18th

The House vote on this bill was taken on February 28, 2019, and it passed 228-198.  

It is stalled in the Senate.

R.I.P. to the bill that would prevent mass shootings, like the one in Charleston.

Additional Reading:


H.R. 1423: Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal Act

TL;DR – This is a bill that would give consumers and workers the ability to agree to arbitration, but would eliminate forced arbitration clauses in employment, consumer, and civil rights contracts.

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

The bill’s sponsor says:

“Forced arbitration agreements undermine our indelible Constitutional right to trial by jury, benefiting powerful businesses at the expense of American consumers and workers,” said Rep. Hank Johnson, chair of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Court, Intellectual Property and the Internet. “Americans with few choices in the marketplace may unknowingly cede their rights when they enter contracts to buy a home or a cell phone, place a loved one in a nursing home, or start a new job. We must fight to defend our rights and re-empower consumers.”

Pennsylvania lawmaker votes:

NoRFitzpatrick, BrianPA 1st
NoRPerry, ScottPA 10th
AyeDBoyle, BrendanPA 2nd
NoRSmucker, LloydPA 11th
AyeDEvans, DwightPA 3rd
no voteRKeller, 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 20, 2019, and it passed 225-186.  

It is stalled in the Senate.

R.I.P. to the bill that would stop giving corporations the upper hand in disputes with individuals.

Additional Reading:


H.R. 1644: Save the Internet Act of 2019

TL;DR – This is a bill that would restore Net Neutrality and the open internet order of the Federal Communications Commission

  • 💯 over 100 co-sponsors (197)
  • 🗳 received bipartisan votes

The bill’s sponsor says:

People around the country care deeply about a free and open internet because it is critical for so many communities and sectors of our economy.” Rep. Mike Doyle, Chair of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology said on the House Floor during debate on H.R. 1644. “The legislation that we are considering here today charts a new course for Net Neutrality and would put in place 21st Century rules for a 21st Century Internet.”

Pennsylvania lawmaker votes:

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

The House vote on this bill was taken on April 10, 2019, and it passed 232-190.  

It is stalled in the Senate.

R.I.P. to the bill that would stop corporations from undermining net neutrality principles.

Additional Reading:


H.R. 2722: Securing America’s Federal Elections Act

TL;DR – This is a bill that would increase election security by mandating verifiable paper ballots and providing $600 million in grant money to states and local governments to update voting equipment 

  • 🗳 received bipartisan votes

The bill’s sponsor says:

As we all should know and now appreciate, our country suffered ‘multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election’ in the 2016 presidential election,” said Rep. Zoe Lofgren, Chair of the House Administration Committee. “While we have made modest progress to bolster our defenses, it’s clear from the analysis of our intelligence community and a host of independent experts from across the political spectrum that more must be done.”

Pennsylvania lawmaker votes:

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

The House vote on this bill was taken on June 27, 2019, and it passed 225-184.  

It is stalled in the Senate.

R.I.P. to the bill that would help us keep our elections from being hacked… again.

Additional Reading:


H.R. 3239: Humanitarian Standards for Individuals in Customs and Border Protection Custody Act

TL;DR – This is a bill that would address the awful conditions that migrants, detainees, asylum-seekers and children have been experiencing in our nation’s custody.  It mandates specific and improved new minimum standards for food, hygiene, sanitation, space and oversight.

  • 💯 over 100 co-sponsors (160)
  • 🗳 received bipartisan votes

The bill’s sponsor says:

“When I visited the CBP detention facilities at our border, I saw dirty, inhumane conditions that threatened the health of infants, toddlers, and pregnant women. Six children have now died under the custody, and therefore the responsibility, of our federal government,” said Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. “Today’s vote brings us closer than ever to preventing the deaths of children and restoring humanity to our treatment of children and families seeking asylum. I urge the Senate to pass my bill, the Humanitarian Standards for Individuals in Customs and Border Protection Custody Act, to ensure our treatment of children, women, and families is consistent with our American values and the principles of basic human dignity.”

Pennsylvania lawmaker votes:

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

The House vote on this bill was taken on July 24, 2019, and it passed 233-195.  

It is stalled in the Senate.

R.I.P. to the bill that would ensure detainees receive the treatment we owe to all people.

Additional Reading:


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