Here’s the roll call on Rep. Thompson’s votes last week (this comes from goerie.com). My even-shorter synopsis, which of course obscures important nuance: 1) more money for the military; 2) no need to wait for the CBO score before rushing the American Health Care Act through; 3 and 4) plaintiffs who file “frivolous” lawsuits have to pay attorneys’ fees to defendants, and this could include people who sue President Trump for violating the Emoluments Clause.
WASHINGTON — Area members of Congress voted on legislation related to military spending and public land in the week ending March 10. In the week of March 13, the House will debate bills concerning the Department of Veterans Affairs, while the Senate will vote on Trump administration nominees.
1) $578 billion for U.S. military: Voting 371 for and 48 against, the House on March 8 passed a $577.9 billion military appropriations bill for fiscal 2017 that includes $61.8 billion in emergency funding for war fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and other combat zones. The bill (HR 1301) would fund a 2.1 percent military pay raise; fund weapons systems for the four branches; set troop strengths of 1.3 million active-duty and 826,000 Guard and reserve personnel; fund programs for military victims of sexual assault and provide $50 billion-plus for active-duty, family and retiree health care. A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate.
U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-5th Dist.: Yes.
2) Official cost projections on health bill: The House on March 8 blocked, 232 for and 189 against, a bid by Democrats to delay committee and floor votes on the Republicans’ new health care bill until after the Congressional Budget Office releases its official, nonpartisan cost projections. This vote (H Res 174) was in response to the GOP leadership’s allowing committees to approve the bill without waiting several days for the CBO to complete its work. The American Health Care Act was introduced March 6 and the Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce committees voted three days later to approve it. A yes vote was to quash a Democratic bid to delay committee votes on the bill until after the CBO issues cost projections.
3) Lawsuits involving the Emoluments clause: Voting 186 for and 232 against, the House on March 10 defeated a Democratic motion that sought to exempt from HR 720 (below) any lawsuits alleging violations by President Trump of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which prohibits presidents from accepting payments “of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State” without the consent of Congress. Although the president has removed himself from active management of the Trump Organization he retains his ownership. A yes vote was to adopt the Democratic motion.
4) Penalties for lawsuits deemed frivolous: Voting 230 for and 188 against, the House on March 10 passed a GOP-drafted bill (HR 720) requiring federal courts to impose financial penalties on plaintiffs who file lawsuits deemed frivolous by the presiding judge. The bill would require offending parties to pay compensation such as attorneys’ fees to those on the receiving end of frivolous suits. At present, judges can levy such penalties at their discretion. A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate.