Pennsylvania Member of Congress Tracking Report – 01.19.20

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30 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 Demcast and Pennsylvania Statewide Indivisible 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)29.6%+0.7%
Senator Pat Toomey (R)87.3%-0.8%
PA-01 Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R)65.4%-0.8%
PA-02 Rep. Brendan Boyle (D)13.2%-0.2%
PA-03 Rep. Dwight Evans (D)12.1%-0.2%
PA-04 Rep. Madeleine Dean (D)3.1%-0.1%
PA-05 Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D)5.9%-0.2%
PA-06 Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D)4.6%-0.2%
PA-07 Rep. Susan Wild (D)7.4%-0.2%
PA-08 Rep. Matt Cartwright (D)20.6%-0.3%
PA-09 Rep. Dan Meuser (R)98.4%+0.1%
PA-10 Rep. Scott Perry (R)89.3%+0.1%
PA-11 Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R)95.5%0.0%
PA-12 Rep. Fred Keller (R)94.3%+0.4%
PA-13 Rep. John Joyce (R)98.4%0.0%
PA-14 Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R)95.2%+0.1%
PA-15 Rep. Glenn W. Thompson (R)98.1%0.0%
PA-16 Rep. Mike Kelly (R)96.2%0.0%
PA-17 Rep. Conor Lamb (D)23.3%-0.6%
PA-18 Rep. Mike Doyle (D)15.2%-0.2%

Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight website assesses the voting records of our MoCs to provide this index, by comparing any bills where President Trump has stated a position, and comparing the vote of the legislator to that opinion. Three votes were scored this week: the passage of the USMCA in the Senate, and House votes about age discrimination and student loans.

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.

Votes of Interest

The Senate passes the USMCA 

Senate Vote on H.R. 5430: United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Implementation Act

The trade deal that will replace NAFTA, President Trump’s heavily promoted USMCA, passed the Senate this week, after having passed the House at the end of 2019.  The version that passed includes a number of provisions that Democrats negotiated for and added to the original bill, including strengthened environmental protections, increased access to Canadian dairy markets for US farmers, and raised wage provisions.  

Vote date: Thursday, January 16, 2020 Vote Tally: 89-10 (passed)

Party Breakdown:  This trade agreement received supermajority support from both parties.  The NO votes were from 8 Democrats, Independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and one Republican – our own Senator Pat Toomey. Sen. Toomey’s statement on his vote, along with a reprint of his paywalled Wall Street Journal piece with a more detailed rationale on his opposition to the USMCA, are available here.

Additional Reading:

Casey voted YES and Toomey voted NO. This vote accounts for their major shifts in their respective Trump Tracker index numbers on page 1.

The House appoints Impeachment Managers 

House Vote on H. Res. 798: Appointing and authorizing managers for the impeachment trial of Donald John Trump, President of the United States

The House voted to appoint the following seven representatives to the position of impeachment managers, the people who will perform the role of prosecutors in the coming impeachment trial in the Senate:

  1. Adam Schiff of California, Chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, who will be the lead manager
  2. Jerry Nadler of New York, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee 
  3. Hakeem Jeffries of New York, Chair of the House Democratic Caucus
  4. Zoe Lofgren of California, Chair of the House Administration Committee
  5. Val Demings of Florida 
  6. Jason Crow of Colorado 
  7. Sylvia Garcia of Texas

This vote was largely ceremonial, but it marks the official transition of impeachment jurisdiction from the House to the Senate.

Vote date: Wednesday, January 15, 2020 Vote Tally: 228-193 (passed)

Party Breakdown: Independent Justin Amash joined all but one Democrat (Minnesota’s Collin Peterson) in voting YES.  All Republicans voted NO.

Additional Reading:
NoRFitzpatrick, BrianPA 1stNoRPerry, ScottPA 10th
AyeDBoyle, BrendanPA 2ndNoRSmucker, LloydPA 11th
AyeDEvans, DwightPA 3rdNoRKeller, FredPA 12th
AyeDDean, MadeleinePA 4thNoRJoyce, JohnPA 13th
AyeDScanlon, MaryPA 5thNoRReschenthaler, GuyPA 14th
AyeDHoulahan, ChrissyPA 6thNoRThompson, GlennPA 15th
AyeDWild, SusanPA 7thNoRKelly, MikePA 16th
AyeDCartwright, MatthewPA 8thAyeDLamb, ConorPA 17th
NoRMeuser, DanielPA 9thAyeDDoyle, MikePA 18th

The House passes an anti-Discrimination bill to assist Older Workers

House Vote on H.R. 1230: Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act

A 2009 Supreme Court decision (Gross v. FBL Financial Services) changed the burdens placed on claimants looking to prove an age discriminiation case.  This bill, along with its accompanying Senate bill (introduced by Pennsylvania’s own Sen. Bob Casey), would ensure that the same standards that are used to judge cases of discriminiation by gender, race or religion are used in age discrimination cases.  President Trump has threatened to veto this bill, if it manages to pass the Senate.

Vote date: Wednesday, January 15, 2020 Vote Tally: 261-155 (passed)

Party Breakdown: All Democrats voted YES, and they were joined by 34 Republicans, which is about 17% of their caucus.

Additional Reading:
AyeRFitzpatrick, BrianPA 1stNoRPerry, ScottPA 10th
AyeDBoyle, BrendanPA 2ndNoRSmucker, LloydPA 11th
AyeDEvans, DwightPA 3rdNoRKeller, FredPA 12th
AyeDDean, MadeleinePA 4thNoRJoyce, JohnPA 13th
AyeDScanlon, MaryPA 5thNoRReschenthaler, GuyPA 14th
AyeDHoulahan, ChrissyPA 6thNoRThompson, GlennPA 15th
AyeDWild, SusanPA 7thNoRKelly, MikePA 16th
AyeDCartwright, MatthewPA 8thAyeDLamb, ConorPA 17th
NoRMeuser, DanielPA 9thAyeDDoyle, MikePA 18th

The House Moves to Block a Damaging Trump Administration Rule about Student Loans 

House Vote on H.J.Res. 76: Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Department of Education relating to “Borrower Defense Institutional Accountability”

The collapse of several for-profit colleges caused the Obama Administration to implement new rules related to clearing defrauded students from paying back their loans. Since then, Betsy Devos, Trump’s Secretary of Education, has balked at implementing the rule, and has since introduced new guidelines that would stop cancelling out the debt of defrauded students.

Vote date: Thursday, January 16, 2020 Vote Tally: 231-180 (passed)

Party Breakdown: All Democrats present voted YES, and they were joined by 6 Republicans, including former Democrat Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey.

Additional Reading:
AyeRFitzpatrick, BrianPA 1stNoRPerry, ScottPA 10th
AyeDBoyle, BrendanPA 2ndNoRSmucker, LloydPA 11th
AyeDEvans, DwightPA 3rdNoRKeller, FredPA 12th
AyeDDean, MadeleinePA 4thNoRJoyce, JohnPA 13th
AyeDScanlon, MaryPA 5thNoRReschenthaler, GuyPA 14th
AyeDHoulahan, ChrissyPA 6thNoRThompson, GlennPA 15th
AyeDWild, SusanPA 7thNoRKelly, MikePA 16th
AyeDCartwright, MatthewPA 8thAyeDLamb, ConorPA 17th
NoRMeuser, DanielPA 9thAyeDDoyle, MikePA 18th

A Bill to fix an Insider Trading Loophole Passes the House

House Vote on H.R. 4335: 8-K Trading Gap Act of 2019

Form 8-K is a Securities and Exchange Commission required filing that publicly traded companies must use to notify shareholders of ‘important events’ like changes in corporate leadership or bankruptcy filing.  Corporations have a four day period between when a major decision is made, and when they must file that form, and that period has been used by people in corporate leadership to benefit themselves by trading on their knowledge before stockholders are informed of the qualifying event. This bill will close that four day loophole by requiring corporations to develop policies to prohibit trading during that period of time, thus closing the loophole.

Vote date: Monday, January 13, 2020 Vote Tally: 384-7 (passed, needed ⅔)

This vote was taken under a suspension of the rules, which requires a ⅔ supermajority.

Party Breakdown: The seven votes against this bill came from six members of the House Freedom Caucus and Independent Justin Amash.

Additional Reading:
AyeRFitzpatrick, BrianPA 1stAyeRPerry, ScottPA 10th
AyeDBoyle, BrendanPA 2ndAyeRSmucker, LloydPA 11th
AyeDEvans, DwightPA 3rdAyeRKeller, FredPA 12th
AyeDDean, MadeleinePA 4thAyeRJoyce, JohnPA 13th
AyeDScanlon, MaryPA 5thAyeRReschenthaler, GuyPA 14th
AyeDHoulahan, ChrissyPA 6thAyeRThompson, GlennPA 15th
AyeDWild, SusanPA 7thAyeRKelly, MikePA 16th
AyeDCartwright, MatthewPA 8thAyeDLamb, ConorPA 17th
AyeRMeuser, DanielPA 9thAyeDDoyle, MikePA 18th

We have a new FEMA Administrator

Senate Confirmation Vote on Peter Gaynor to be Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Homeland Security

The Senate confirmed  nominee Peter Gaynor to fill the top role at FEMA. This position has been vacant for nearly a year, since the previous administrator resigned over a scandal involving his private usage of government vehicles.  In the interim, another nominee was withdrawn after credible accusations of a violent altercation were aired.

The New administrator has been serving as the acting leader at FEMA for the past 11 months.  Before his work at FEMA, he was the director at the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency. Prior to that, he served in the Marines for over 25 years.

Vote date: Tuesday, January 14, 2020 Vote Tally: 81-8 (confirmed)

Party Breakdown: All eight NO votes came from Democrats.

Additional Reading:

Casey voted YES and Toomey voted YES.

Unanimously passed legislation

It looks like the Congress.gov website is undergoing some updates this holiday weekend and is running quite slowly.  Once the website is back to running at full speed, we’ll return with this section next week.

Twitter Action

Our twitter action sections are brought to you by Helen, aka @ElastigirlVotes

Twitter Action – Impeachment

🔵 Senator Bob Casey, @SenBobCasey, 01/16/20:

🔵 PA-02’s Rep. Brendan Boyle, @RepBendanBoyle, 01/15/20:

🔵 PA-03’s Rep. Dwight Evans, @RepDwightEvans, 1/15/20:

🔵 PA-04’s Rep. Madeleine Dean, @RepDean, 1/16/20:

🔵 PA-05’s Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, @RepMGS, 01/17/20:

🔵 PA-06’s Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, @RepHoulahan, 01/12/20:

🔴 PA-09’s Rep. Dan Meuser, @RepMeuser, 01/18/20:

🔴 PA-10’s Rep. Scott Perry, @RepScottPerry, 01/15/20:

🔴 PA-11’s Rep. Lloyd Smucker, @RepSmucker, 01/15/20:

🔴 PA-12’s Rep. Fred Keller, @RepFredKeller, 01/17/20:

🔴 PA-13’s Rep. John Joyce, @RepJohnJoyce, 01/15/20:

🔴 PA-14’s Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, @GReschenthaler, 01/15/20:

🔵 PA-18’s Rep. Mike Doyle, @USRepMikeDoyle, 01/15/20:

Twitter Action – Healthcare

🔵 Senator Bob Casey, @SenBobCasey, 01/13/20:

🔵 PA-03’s Rep. Dwight Evans, @RepDwightEvans, 1/13/20:

🔵 PA-07’s Rep. Susan Wild, @RepSusanWild, 1/17/20:

🔵 PA-08’s Rep. Matt Cartwright, @RepCartwright, 1/14/20:

Twitter Action – Promoted Legislation

🔵 Senator Bob Casey, @SenBobCasey, 01/17/20:

🔵 PA-02’s Rep. Brendan Boyle, @RepBrendanBoyle, 01/16/20:

🔵 PA-03’s Rep. Dwight Evans, @RepDwightEvans, 01/17/20:

🔵 PA-07’s Rep. Susan Wild, @RepSusanWild, 01/16/20:

🔵 PA-08’s Rep. Matt Cartwright, @RepCartwright, 01/15/20:

🔴 PA-09’s Rep. Dan Meuser, @RepMeuser, 01/14/20:

🔴 PA-10’s Rep. Scott Perry, @RepScottPerry, 01/16/20:

🔴 PA-11’s Rep. Lloyd Smucker, @RepSmucker, 01/15/20:

🔴 PA-13’s Rep. John Joyce, @RepJohnJoyce, 01/14/20:

🔴 PA-14’s Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, @GReschenthaler, 01/17/20:

🔴 PA-15’s Rep. Glenn W. Thompson, @CongressmanGT, 01/15/20:

🔵 PA-18’s Rep. Mike Doyle, @USRepMikeDoyle, 01/16/20:

Twitter Action – Tweet of the Week

This is where we collect the best and worst of MoC content each week

🔵 Senator Bob Casey, @SenBobCasey 01/16/20:

🔴 Senator Pat Toomey, @SenToomey, 01/13/20:

🔴 PA-01’s Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, @RepBrianFitz, 01/14/20:

🔵 PA-02’s Rep. Brendan Boyle, @RepBrendanBoyle, 01/17/20:

🔵 PA-03’s Rep. Dwight Evans, @RepDwightEvans, 01/13/20:

🔵 PA-04’s Rep. Madeleine Dean, @RepDean, 01/14/20:

🔵 PA-05’s Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, @RepMGS, 01/16/20:

🔵 PA-06’s Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, @RepHoulahan, 01/14/20:

🔵 PA-07’s Rep. Susan Wild, @RepSusanWild, 01/14/20:

🔵 PA-08’s Rep. Matt Cartwright, @RepCartwright, 01/15/20:

🔴 PA-09’s Rep. Dan Meuser, @RepMeuser, 01/15/20:

🔴 PA-10’s Rep. Scott Perry, @RepScottPerry, 01/16/20:

🔴 PA-11’s Rep. Lloyd Smucker, @RepSmucker, 01/17/20:

🔴 PA-12’s Rep. Fred Keller, @RepFredKeller, 01/17/20:

🔴 PA-14’s Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, @GReschenthaler, 01/13/20:

🔴 PA-15’s Rep. Glenn W. Thompson, @CongressmanGT, 01/14/20:

🔴 PA-16’s Rep. Mike Kelly, @MikeKellyPA, 01/15/20:

🔵 PA-17’s Rep. Conor Lamb, @RepConorLamb, 01/16/20:

🔵 PA-18’s Rep. Mike Doyle, @USRepMikeDoyle, 1/17/20:

Casey in the News 

Courtesy of contributor Linda Houk

[This is] an important step forward towards providing much needed transparency, protection and justice for families affected by PFAS contaminants… It was unacceptable that key PFAS provisions were excluded from last year’s defense and appropriations bills, and with House action on these provisions now complete, I will continue to press for a full Senate vote on this legislation. Affected communities deserve information and protections, and we must respond with the urgency that the situation demands.

from an article in the Daily Local News titled “PFAS bill clears U.S. house, local lawmakers react

“The new NAFTA represents progress from the status quo. The initial version negotiated by the Trump administration was a corporate trade deal and completely unacceptable… it is only because of the Democratic improvements that I am able to support this agreement.

from an article on WESA titled “Toomey Voices Opposition To USMCA Ahead Of Senate Vote” (Editor’s note – despite the name of the article, this quote is indeed from Senator Casey)

“The American people expect, and have the right to expect, a fair trial, and I think a major element of that would be to have witnesses… We need to put all the evidence on the table.

from an article on KDKA 2 CBS Pittsburgh titled “Pennsylvania Senators Bob Casey And Pat Toomey To Face Off During Impeachment Trial Of President Donald Trump

The constitution requires substantial consultation with Congress regarding matters of war, except in limited urgent circumstances… Acting with disregard for these standards, President Trump took this lateral action.

from an article in the Daily Item titled “Sen. Casey speaks on Senate floor about Iran

The right to vote is one of the fundamental pillars of American democracy, but that right is under threat due to barriers that prevent or make it hard for older Americans and people with disabilities to cast their ballots… The Accessible Voting Act would ensure the full process of voting — from registering to vote, to casting a ballot in person or by mail — is open and accessible for everyone. Congress should be doing everything in its power to strengthen voting access for seniors and people with disabilities.

from an article in the Bradford Era titled “Casey introduces bill to remove barriers to voting

I am pleased to join my colleagues to honor the service of the brave Veterans and servicemembers who have served on the USS Pittsburgh (SSN-720)… This U.S. Navy vessel took part in vital missions and offered support to our soldiers around the world in its 35 years of exemplary service. Like its namesake city, the USS Pittsburgh represents the best of American ingenuity, duty and excellence.

from an article on KDKA Radio titled “USS Pittsburgh Inactivation Ceremony: Local leaders are reacting to the sub and those who served on it

Toomey in the News 

Courtesy of contributor Elayne Baker

The Senate should conduct a fair trial consistent with past precedent. We will allow House managers to make their case, the president’s lawyers to make their defense and senators to pose questions. At the conclusion of these presentations, the Senate can then decide what, if any, further steps are necessary.

from a WHYY article titled “Toomey says Senate trial should be fair, mum on witnesses

It will mean higher prices for American consumers, who will have to pay more money for a car and therefore will have less money available for any of the other things they would like to consume… It will probably lead to an increase or acceleration in the shift of automation.

from an article in VOA News titled “US Senate Approves New North American Trade Deal” 

We are going to consider a trade agreement that is designed to diminish trade, which should be very disturbing for those of us who understand how much economic growth comes from trade.

It’s really the end of free trade in automobiles and auto parts with respect to Mexico. The agreement imposes minimum-wage requirements that are designed to be impossible for Mexican factories to meet — and when they don’t meet them, Mexican autos and auto parts will be subject to a tax…

We have never put a termination date on a trade agreement.  A free and fair and reciprocal trade agreement that has no barriers to trade doesn’t necessarily need to be renegotiated with any specific frequency. 

from a WESA article titled ”Toomey Voices Opposition To USMCA Ahead Of Senate Vote

For the first time in American history, we’re enacting a trade agreement that restricts free trade and reduces economic growth. Unlike its predecessor NAFTA, USMCA contains many protectionist provisions that are designed to reduce the exchange of goods between the United States and Mexico.

Outside of a few necessary modernizations and modest market access improvements for Pennsylvania’s dairy farmers, USMCA is a step backwards and I could not support its passage.  

from an article in The Times Online titled “Toomey bucks Trump on USMCA vote; Casey backs it citing ‘Democratic improvements’

Learning about Legislation – the 2020 Congressional Calendar

Below, please find a copy of the Congressional Quarterly/Roll Call calendar for 2020. The Red and Blue weeks match with the party conventions. Yellow days have both houses in session, while light blue days are Senate only. Green days are House only.

Call to Action – Keep Calling Senator Toomey to Demand Witnesses 

With the House impeachment managers having delivered the articles of impeachment to the Senate, it is now time to be 100% certain that Senator Toomey is hearing from his constituents.  The only way we can ensure that we will have something other than a sham trial under Mitch McConnell is if we find four Republican votes to join with the Senate Democrats. And that means we have to do our piece of this, and keep the pressure on Senator Toomey.

There will be a messaging blitz this coming Tuesday, January 21st. 
Please do your part and contact the senator in as many ways as you can.

 CALL:

  •  TOLL FREE – (855) 552-1831
  •  Harrisburg – (717) 782-3951
  •  Philadelphia – (215) 241-1090
  •  Pittsburgh – (412) 803-3501
  •  Washington – (202) 224-4254

 RESISTBOT:

  •  Text RESIST to 504-09

 FAX:

TWEET:

  • Use the Hashtag #DoTheRightThingToomey and #HonorYourOath

Messaging suggestions:

  1. Senator Toomey, when you took an oath of office you vowed to protect the Constitution. The only way to live up to that oath you took is to tell the leadership of your party that you support a fair trial, with witnesses and evidence. Do the right thing!
  2. Senator Toomey, you know that our nation’s founders felt that checks and balances were critical to a healthy democracy, and built them into the Constitution. If you respect our country, you must fulfill your role as one of our state’s senators and vote for a full and fair trial with witnesses and evidence. Do the right thing!
  3. Senator Toomey, do not demean yourself and become part of a cover-up. You were elected to represent the people of our Commonwealth, not your party.  Fulfill your oath of office,do the right thing, and vote for a full and fair trial with witnesses and evidence. 

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 are seeking 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 KierstynPZ@gmail.com and put “MoCTrack Help” in the subject. Thanks!


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