CongressNews

How Colorado’s congressional delegation voted this week

Author: Tom Ramstack - April 27, 2018 - Updated: May 10, 2018

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In this 2017 file photo, a early morning runner crosses in front of the U.S. Capitol as he passes the flags circling the Washington Monument in Washington. Congress returns from spring break Monday, April 9, 2018, scrambling to compile a to-do list that will satisfy a president they desperately need to be touting their achievements, not undermining them, as they prepare to hit the campaign trail. (AP Photo/J. David Ake, File)

H.R. 4744: Iran Human Rights and Hostage-Taking Accountability Act

This was a vote to pass H.R. 4744 in the House.

This bill condemns Iran for a series of what it calls crimes against humanity, focusing primarily on the 1988 massacre of an estimated 30,000 political prisoners and dissidents by hangings and firing squads. It also calls for a U.S. investigation into the massacre and other persecutions of religious or ethnic minorities as well as critics of the Iranian government.

Some victims were allegedly killed for refusing to renounce political affiliations. Suspicions against them sometimes were as thin as possessing political reading material, according to the bill’s sponsors. The victims included prisoners of conscience, teenagers and pregnant women.

The bill accuses Iran of violating the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which its government leaders signed. One accusation says that after voting irregularities that led to the 2009 election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian regime brutally suppressed peaceful political dissent during the “Green Revolution.” The suppression allegedly included beatings, torture and assassination.

Another incident mentioned in the bill says that in 1999, the Iranian regime brutally suppressed a student revolt that was one of the largest mass uprisings in 20 years.

The proposed legislation recommends that the U.S. government “work with international partners to investigate human rights violations by senior officials of the government of Iran, regardless of where or when such violations took place.”

It says the U.S. government should “help the people of Iran produce, access and share information freely and safely via the internet and other media.”

Passed. How they voted:

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. 5447: Music Modernization Act

This was a vote to pass H.R. 5447 in the House.

The Music Modernization Act was advocated by music creators and the bill’s sponsors as an update to music licensing laws in a digital age. A key provision of the bill sets up a “SoundExchange” for songwriters to monitor credits and the royalties they are due when digital services play their music. It also would require royalty amounts to be determined by supply and demand of the marketplace, rather than standardized rates.

Another provision abolishes the loophole that denied royalties to musicians whose music was published before 1972. It extends the royalty rights beyond songwriters to include producers, sound engineers and mixers.

Broad support for the bill from the Recording Academy, the American Association of Independent Music and the American Federation of Musicians helped give it the political support it needed to win a unanimous vote in the House. It was introduced by Rep. Robert Goodlatte, R-Va., and Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y.

Goodlatte said on the floor of the House before the vote that “music is no longer written on piano rolls and our laws shouldn’t be based on that technology either.” He added that “the problems and failures in our nation’s music laws have imposed real financial costs upon artists and creators.”

Passed. How they voted:

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. 3144: To provide for operations of the Federal Columbia River Power System pursuant to a certain operation plan for a specified period of time, and for other purposes

This was a vote to pass H.R. 3144 in the House.

This bill would reverse a federal judge’s order that required water to be spilled over four Pacific Northwest dams to help migrating salmon reach the Pacific Ocean. Sponsors of the legislation say the spills reduced the amount of water available to produce hydroelectric power, thereby driving up electricity bills for consumers.

The bill would require dam operations to continue without court intervention, such required water spills, until 2022. It was sponsored by Washington state Republican Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Dan Newhouse.

The sponsors deny claims by environmentalists that the bill could push wild salmon closer to extinction. Instead, they say salmon runs would stay close to record levels while the dams continue providing hydropower and flood control.

Some environmentalists want the dams removed completely to help salmon and other wildlife. McMorris Rodgers said “dams and fish can coexist.”

Passed. How they voted:

Yes  D DeGette, Diana CO 1st
No  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
No  D Perlmutter, Ed CO 7th

H.R. 5086: Innovators to Entrepreneurs Act of 2018

This was a vote to pass H.R. 5086 in the House.

This bill is intended to make government technology development more easily transferred to industry. It expands a National Science Foundation effort called the Innovation Corps Program, or I-Corps.

The National Science Foundation developed the I-Corps in 2011 under authority of the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act. Sponsors of H.R. 5086 credit the program with increasing the commercialization of government-funded research.

I-Corps offers entrepreneurial education to graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and other researchers in engineering and science to help them pursue careers in business. So far, it has been directed at their education before they enter the business world.

The Innovators to Entrepreneurs Act would expand the training to small businesses as they move toward commercialization of technology. Originally, the training was offered only to grantees of a few federal agencies. H.R. 5086 would make the training available to grantees of all federal agencies and businesses willing to pay the cost of attending the training sessions.

“The success of the I-Corps Program at promoting entrepreneurship within research institutions and encouraging research commercialization has been due in part to the National Science Foundation’s efforts to date on building a national network of science entrepreneurs, including convening stakeholders, promoting national I-Corps courses, cataloguing best practices and encourage sharing between sites and institutions, and developing a mentor network,” the text of the bill says. “As the I-Corps Program continues to grow and expand, the National Science Foundation should maintain its focus on networking and information-sharing to ensure that innovators across the country can learn from their peers and remain competitive.”

Passed. How the voted:

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

 

Sources: Govtrack, congressional and media reports

Tom Ramstack

Tom Ramstack