CongressNews

How Colorado’s congressional delegation voted this week

Author: Tom Ramstack - March 31, 2018 - Updated: April 9, 2018

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State of the UnionLights shine inside the U.S. Capitol Building as night falls in Washington, D.C., in 2018. (Photo by J. David Ake/The Associated Press)

H.R. 4467: Strengthening Aviation Security Act of 2017

This was a vote to pass H.R. 4467 in the House, which won unanimous support from the Colorado delegation to Congress.

The Strengthening Aviation Security Act of 2018 requires the Federal Air Marshal Service to assign air marshals and other resources to duties based on an accurate assessment of the safety risks for each commercial flight. In other words, a flight with a high risk for a terrorist attack or hijacking would be more likely to have an air marshal assigned to it using the “risk-based strategies” required by H.R. 4467.

The Transportation Security Administration would be required under the legislation to report regularly to Congress on progress in using the risk-based strategies.

The bill was introduced and approved by members of the House Homeland Security Committee, which explained the need for the legislation in a statement saying, “In September 2017, [the Government Accountability Office] reported that [the Transportation Security Administration] does not measure data on the effectiveness and deterrence value of federal air marshals. This is a major problem for accountability — federal air marshals deployment cost taxpayers $800 million in fiscal year 2015 — as well as for the value of the program itself, where the primary goal is to deter threats and minimize risk to passengers and crew.”

The Federal Air Marshal Service is supposed to detect and deter hostile acts against aviation on domestic and international flights. The armed marshals also perform investigative work in cooperation with other law enforcement agencies.

Passed.

Yes  D DeGette, Diana CO 1st
Yes  D Polis, Jared CO 2nd
Yes  R Tipton, Scott CO 3rd
Yes  R Buck, Ken CO 4th
Yes  R Lamborn, Doug CO 5th
Yes  R Coffman, Mike CO 6th
Yes  D Perlmutter, Ed CO 7th

H.R. 5089: Strengthening Local Transportation Security Capabilities Act of 2018

This was a vote to pass H.R. 5089 in the House.

This is a bill to improve security at U.S. airports, on railroads and mass transit systems.  The Strengthening Local Transportation Security Capabilities Act is designed to reduce emergency response times by assigning more federal law enforcement officers and resources near high-risk surface transportation facilities. They include major airports in Los Angeles and elsewhere.

Other portions of the bill would provide new terrorism-focused training to law enforcement personnel. It also is supposed to improve cooperation between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies by establishing a network of unified operation centers.

The Homeland Security Department would coordinate the operation centers. The agency also would oversee how threat-assessments are made and how resources are assigned to address them.   

The bill was introduced by U.S. Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragan, D-Calif., who said, “Commuter rail, buses and airports are well-known targets for terrorists. We must not let our guard down and work to ensure that our law enforcement officers are equipped to meet our security challenges. This bill would provide necessary resources and tools to help keep our transit systems safe and secure.”

She also said the effort overseen by the Homeland Security Department would “bridge potential gaps in communication and coordination capabilities.”

Passed.

Yes  D DeGette, Diana CO 1st
No Vote  D Polis, Jared CO 2nd
Yes  R Tipton, Scott CO 3rd
Yes  R Buck, Ken CO 4th
Yes  R Lamborn, Doug CO 5th
Yes  R Coffman, Mike CO 6th
Yes  D Perlmutter, Ed CO 7th

H.R. 1625: Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018

This was a vote to pass H.R. 1625 in the Senate.

This bill was the Senate version of the omnibus government spending appropriations legislation for the rest of fiscal 2018. The House had already passed the same bill when the Senate voted. President Donald Trump signed it but said it was flawed and represented excessive spending.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act provides $1.3 trillion of appropriations for the military and discretionary government programs through September 2018. The funds include $660 billion for the military, a $3 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health and $4 billion for programs to combat opioid addictions. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called it “a victory for safe, reliable, 21st century infrastructure” because of its investments in the transportation system. McConnell also liked the bill’s increased funding for school safety, border security and immigration enforcement, as well as for federal law enforcement agencies. However, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said the rush for the Senate to approve the bill was “a ridiculous process” of budgeting.

Passed.

Yes  D Bennet, Michael CO
No  R Gardner, Cory CO

 

Tom Ramstack

Tom Ramstack