Follow My Votes
May 19, 2017
Probation Officer Protection Act of 2017
I voted “Yes” on H.R. 1039, the Probation Officer Protection Act of 2017.
This bill provides federal probation officers further protections under law. It gives them the ability to arrest a third-party if there is probable cause that the individual "assaulted, resisted, opposed, impeded, or intimidated” an officer during the performance of their official duties.
Although probation officers have the authority to arrest offenders they are monitoring, they are not able to detain individuals who pose a tH.R.eat to them during their work. This creates a grave concern for probation officers, especially if law enforcement is not immediately available in especially dangerous circumstances. This bill addresses this issue by rightly providing probation officers this limited authority.
This bill was agreed to by a bipartisan vote of 229-177.
Strengthening State and Local Cyber Crime Fighting Act of 2017
This bill will further enhance our ability to fight cyber and electronic crime by authorizing a program run by the U.S. Secret Service that will train state and local law enforcement officers, prosecutors and judges in these areas.
American Law Enforcement Heroes Act of 2017
This bill will put our veterans first by incentivizing, under the COPS Hiring program, agencies that prioritize hiring veterans.
May 18, 2017
Honoring Hometown Heroes Act
This bill allows a state’s governor to order the American flag to be flown at half-staff to honor a first responder who dies in the line of duty. Under current law, governors are only permitted to fly the flag at half-staff to honor members of the military who lost their life in the line of duty. This bill would extend this privilege to first responders and allow governors the ability to honor their sacrifice in the same manner.
This legislation was agreed to by a vote of 411-1.
The Thin Blue Line Act
I voted Yes on H.R. 115, the Thin Blue Line Act.
This law protects our first responders by including violence against local and state law enforcement officers, firefighters and other first responders to the list of aggravating factors that a jury must consider in federal death sentence cases. Under current law, there are 16 aggravating factors, including whether a victim was a “high public official.” The Thin Blue Line Act expands these factors to include considerations for local and law enforcement and first responders.
This act will provide our local first responders with the same federal protections that are provided to federal officials. In addition, it holds those who do them harm accountable for their actions.
This act passed with a bipartisan vote of 271-143.
May 17, 2017
Removing Outdated Restrictions to Allow for Job Growth Act
I voted “Yes” today to H.R. 1177, the Removing Outdated Restrictions to Allow for Job Growth Act.
This act would require the secretary of Agriculture to take away restrictions on certain land at the request of the City of Old Town, Maine. In the early 1980s, the City of Old Town was given 15 acres of federal land to be used as part of their airport. Under the terms of the acquisition, these lands could only be used for the airport. This legislation removes the original restrictions and frees the land for economic development.
This bill was agreed to by a bipartisan vote of 418-1.
May 4, 2017
American Health Care Act of 2017
I voted “Yes” on H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act of 2017.
Upstate New Yorkers deserve health care options that empower them, their families and their doctors while preserving coverage protections and peace of mind. The American Health Care Act is the first step in ensuring this level of access at a far more affordable cost than exists now.
Prior to the enactment of Obamacare in 2010, it was clear that we needed to reform our health care system. Health care costs were rising faster than individual incomes and too many Americans were being left behind. If they could afford adequate coverage at all, many were stuck with expensive plans that failed to meet their needs. As a percentage of average median income, families were spending roughly 8.4 percent of their yearly income on premium and deductible contributions.
Obamacare has not succeeded at addressing these issues or expanding access at a lower cost. Under Obamacare, American families are spending a larger share of their income on premiums and deductibles than ever before. In 2015, it is estimated that health care expenses related to premium contributions and deductibles exceeded 10 percent of the average median income.
It is not hard to see why: both premiums and deductibles have soared. The average premium for an employer-sponsored family plan is up by 20 percent from 2011, to $18,142. Unfortunately for consumers, deductibles are also rising. On average, individuals with employer-based coverage have seen their deductibles increase by 49 percent since 2011. Where high-deductible plans were once the exception, covering about 18 percent of employees in 2008, now more than 50 percent of American workers have them. Small businesses have experienced this increase most acutely, with 65 percent of their employees paying an average of $2,069 each year just to meet their deductibles.
Premiums and deductibles have also risen on the exchanges, which have fewer options for individuals to select from each year. In 2017, premiums for the most frequently purchased midlevel plans are set to jump by 25 percent in 21 states. What’s more, a third of counties in the country will have only one insurance company offering plans on the exchange in 2017.
The American Health Care Act is the first step in a comprehensive process to bring choice, affordability, and quality back to health care. The bill eliminates the individual and employer mandates, which have forced too many Americans to purchase plans they do not want and raised operation costs for small businesses across the 22nd District. The bill also eliminates a range of onerous taxes that were imposed by Obamacare on everything from medical device manufacturers, health insurance companies, and over-the-counter medications. These taxes have done little other than increase costs for consumers.
While eliminating overreaching mandates and harmful taxes, the bill keeps in place advanceable tax credits to assist Americans with incomes under $75,000 in purchasing health insurance. Amid concerns I raised that such tax credits were not adequate to provide meaningful assistance to older Americans, an additional $90 billion was set aside for this purpose. To spur competition and choice in the individual insurance market, the legislation ultimately allows Americans the flexibility and freedom to use their tax credits to purchase a policy of their choosing. Rather than requiring Americans to use credits on government mandated-exchanges, many of which are on the brink of collapse with few options, this bill empowers consumers to shop around.
The legislation reigns in Obamacare’s costly and unsustainable 90 percent Medicaid match in 2020, while ensuring that those already benefiting from it are not impacted so long as they remain on the program. After 2020, New York can continue to enroll individuals on Medicaid as it always has but will be reimbursed based on a new per capita formula, which will increase over time as the cost of providing coverage rises. To ensure that these increases are enough to cover the disabled and elderly, I fought for changes to the per capita formula that would provide additional assistance based on the number of elderly and disabled receiving care. I was pleased to see that House leadership made these changes, which will provide an estimated $41 billion more in assistance for states to provide care to disabled and elderly Medicaid populations.
This bill also maintains many of the bipartisan provisions of Obamacare that garnered broad support. These include pre-existing coverage requirements and the option of allowing dependents to stay on their parents plan until age 26. Although states have the flexibility to opt out of some of these provisions, I am confident that New York will continue to uphold these protections. Moreover, I also voted for, and cosponsored a bill, H.R. 2192, which clarifies that members of Congress and their staffs will not be exempt from any of this bill’s provisions.
To bring tangible tax relief to upstate New York taxpayers for the first time in a generation, I also successfully fought for the inclusion of the Collins-Faso amendment in this final bill. This amendment would relieve Upstate counties of Albany’s egregious and burdensome Medicaid property tax mandate, which costs taxpayers in the 22nd District more than $160 million each year and drives up our local taxes. For decades, Albany has forced Upstate counties to bear a disproportionally large share of the state’s Medicaid budget. In 2015, this share amounted to $7.5 billion – seven times more than any other states’ counties contribute. This has caused our property taxes to soar and diverts local money to Albany to subsidize the government’s runaway spending.
The final bill is not perfect and there is far more work to be done to get our nation’s health care system to where it should be. By working through the regulatory and legislative processes, we will continue to improve upon this bill and implement new reforms to increase access to high quality health care services at a price that is truly affordable. Throughout this process, I will continue to listen to the concerns of my constituency and will bring your feedback to Congress.
This legislation was agreed to by a vote of 217-213.
May 3, 2017
Disaster Declaration Improvement Act
I voted “Yes” on H.R. 1665, the Disaster Declaration Improvement Act.
This bill would require the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to alter the way it provides emergency disaster response recommendations. It would require the agency to consider the severity of local impacts resulting from a disaster as well as the number of disasters that an area has experienced over time. Together, these changes will ensure that FEMA’s recommendations better reflect the actual circumstances on the ground following natural disasters.
This legislation was agreed to by a vote of 425-0.
Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act
I voted “Yes” on H.R. 1678, which makes changes to the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.
This bill amends the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act. It establishes a tH.R.ee-year statute of limitations for which FEMA may seek to recoup disaster or emergency relief funds provided to states and localities. This change will create more certainty for states by ensuring that FEMA acts to recover funds swiftly and in a more transparent way.
This legislation was agreed to by a vote of 423-0.
I voted “Yes” on H.R. 244, which provides for funding tH.R.ough Fiscal Year 2017.
This bill provides funding tH.R.ough the remainder of the Fiscal Year, which ends on September 30. The bill abides by established spending caps, while making targeted investments in our national defense and border security. H.R. 244 provides for a $25 billion increase in defense spending, which includes a 2.1 percent pay increase for military personnel. This is the largest increase in pay our troops have received in six years. Further, it includes a significant increase in funding for security along our borders to hire more agents and invest in new technology.
For upstate New York, this bill includes a 4 percent increase in funding for Rome Lab, which will allow the installation to grow its groundbreaking research and development. In the Southern Tier, the bill provides full funding for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, components of which are produced in Owego. The bill also includes full funding for the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund to support vital dredging operations in ports around the country like in Oswego. To better care for patients tH.R.oughout the 22nd District, the bill also increases funding for rural health programs as well as opioid-related drug prevention and treatment initiatives at the state level.
I am not supportive of every provision in this bill and I am disappointed that it took Congress almost eight months to finally pass a full-year appropriations bill for 2017, which is a problem that extends well beyond the current fiscal year. Congress has time and again failed to take up and pass appropriations bills in a timely manner and under the established procedures, and this is simply unacceptable. The American people deserve better and Congress must deliver.
This legislation was agreed to by a bipartisan vote of 309-118.
May 2, 2017
FEMA Accountability, Modernization and Transparency Act
I voted “Yes” on H.R. 1679, the FEMA Accountability, Modernization and Transparency Act.
This bill directs the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to develop an online system for individuals to submit and track applications for federal emergency assistance. The web-based platform must enable applicants to fill out, submit, and track financial assistance applications.
In the wake of emergencies, FEMA relief is often vital to communities. However, existing application procedures have proven to be cumbersome and difficult for individuals to navigate. This bill would establish a more robust application system that better meets the needs of applicants.
This bill was agreed to by a vote of 419-0.
The Working Families Flexibility Act
I voted “Yes” on H.R. 1180, the Working Families Flexibility Act.
This bill would allow private-sector employees to convert earned overtime pay into paid time off. The decision to do so would be voluntary on the part of employees, and employers would be prohibited from compelling employees to choose one option or another.
This bill maximizes flexibility for both employees as well as employers. Under current law, public-sector employees already have the ability to convert overtime pay into paid time off. This bill simply extends this same option to private-sector employees while maintaining existing workplace protections and adding new anti-retaliation measures to protect workers from being coerced into an option.
May 1, 2017
Fair Access to Investment Research Act
I voted “Yes” on H.R. 910, the Fair Access to Investment Research Act.
This bill directs the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to establish rules that provide a safe harbor for investment research reports related to exchange traded funds (ETFs). The SEC would have 270 days to enact the final rule.
Although safe harbors currently exist for investment research reports related to emerging growth company securities, the same protections do not apply to open-ended funds or ETFs. For this reason, research on ETFs are not publicly available and consumers have limited options when looking to assess various investment products. This bill would provide the requisite liability protections to enable this information to be shared with consumers, allowing them to make more prudent financial decisions.
This bill was agreed to by a vote of 405-2.
Small Business Capital Formation Enhancement Act
I voted “Yes” on H.R. 1312, the Small Business Capital Formation Enhancement Act.
This bill requires the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to publicly review recommendations proposed by the Government-Business Forum on Small Business Capital Formation. The SEC must review the recommendations and disclose what necessary actions it will take in response, if any.
Since 1982, the Government-Business Forum on Small Business Capital Formation has met annually to discuss barriers that prevent small-businesses from growing. Although the forum has regularly made recommendations to the SEC, the body has not been compelled to review these ideas or disclose information to the public about such reviews. This bill will ensure that the SEC takes these recommendations seriously and issues public reports outlining any actions that should be taken as a result of them.
This bill was agreed to by a vote of 406-0.
Follow the Rules Act
I voted “Yes” on H.R. 657, the Follow the Rules Act.
This bill would extend workplace protections to individuals within the federal workforce who refuse to comply with orders they believe violate established rules or regulations.
Under current law, protections only extent to employees who refuse to comply with an order that violates enacted law. This bill would rightly extend such protections to ensure that federal employees who refuse to comply with an order that violate federal rules or regulations are protected.
This bill was agreed to by a vote of 407-0.
April 25, 2017
Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act
I voted “Yes” on H.R. 1695, the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act.
This bill would modify the existing process for selecting the U.S. Copyright Office's Register of Copyrights. In particular, it would require that the position be nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate for 10-year terms.
The goal of the U.S. Copyright Office is to oversee and administer an effective national copyright system. Under current law, the Register of Copyrights is not appointed by the president. Given the important role the Copyright Office plays, this bill will ensure better congressional oversight of the position.
This bill was approved by a bipartisan vote of 378-48.
Aviation Employee Screening and Security Enhancement Act
I voted “Yes” on H.R. 876, the Aviation Employee Screening and Security Enhancement Act.
This bill would direct TSA to improve its screening procedures by requiring that airport employees provide social security numbers when undergoing background checks. It would further require TSA to identify technologies that could be used to improve the security of employee-only areas at airports.
Congress has a vital role to play in overseeing the safety of our nation’s airports as well as the agencies tasked with providing for their security. This bill would direct the TSA to take commonsense steps to further improve the integrity of employee screening processes at airports nationwide.
This legislation was agreed to by a vote of 409-2.
April 6, 2017
Today I voted in support of H.R. 1219, Supporting America’s Innovators Act.
This bill will help small businesses and startup companies access the necessary capital they need to survive, hire and grow locally.
This common-sense legislation will remove unnecessary and outdated regulations, replacing them with a regulatory framework that will promote the growth of innovative forms of
capital formation to help create jobs and grow businesses.
This legislation was agreed to by a bipartisan vote of 417-3.
April 5, 2017
I voted “Yes” on H.R. 1304, the Self-Insurance Protection Act.
This legislation ensures that stop-loss insurance purchased by employers to provide financial support in the event of increased claims, is not regulated under the same set of rules as health insurance. This would protect such plans from regulations that were otherwise intended for traditional health insurance plans. As a result, the bill increases flexibility for employers and preserves affordable coverage options for employees.
This legislation furthers my goal of proactively seeking ways to work across the aisle to lower healthcare costs and increase efficiency in the market. By distinguishing stop-loss insurance from health insurance, this bill will maintain regulatory oversight structures that have existed for decades under federal law while enabling employers to more affordably offer insurance coverage to their employees. I was pleased to see that both Democrats and Republicans came together in a bipartisan manner to support this commonsense legislation.
This bill was agreed to by a bipartisan vote of 400-16.
April 4, 2017
Today, I voted in support of H.R. 1343, the Encouraging Employee Ownership Act.
This bipartisan piece of legislation updates an outdated Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rule, making it easier for small businesses to offer opportunities for employees seeking ownership and a stake in the future of the companies where they work.
In the late 1980s, the SEC adopted a rule which allowed private companies to offer securities as part of written compensation agreements to employees. This rule allows smaller businesses across the 22nd district to reward employees through ownership in the company. However, decades have passed since the rule has been updated. The Encouraging Employee Ownership Act updates the SEC’s outdated rule to account for decades of inflation.
This legislation was agreed to by a bipartisan vote of 331-87.
April 3, 2017
H. Res. 92
I voted “Yes” on H. Res. 92, which condemns North Korea’s development of multiple intercontinental ballistic missiles.
This resolution condemns North Korea’s continued development of ballistic missiles and calls for the timely deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in South Korea. THAAD will provide South Korea with the capability to respond to a potential North Korean strike.
North Korea’s continued provocation in the region is inexcusable. Last year, the country conducted two illegal nuclear tests and is on target to conduct even more this year. As the country continues to flout international laws and pursue an illicit missile program, we must work actively to constrain its capabilities and support our allies in the region.
This resolution was adopted by a bipartisan vote of 398-3.
I voted “Yes” on H.R. 479, the North Korea State Sponsor of Terrorism Designation Act.
This legislation expresses the sense of Congress that North Korea meets the criteria to warrant a designation as a state sponsor of terrorism. It further requires the Secretary of State to submit a report to Congress within 90 days determining whether this is the case.
For two decades, North Korea was rightly designated as a state sponsor of terrorism for its actions in support of terrorist organizations around the world. However, in 2008, the Obama Administration removed this designation as a result of commitments made by North Korea to roll back its nuclear weapons program. As our intelligence agencies and North Korea’s own tests have confirmed, this has not happened and North Korea continues to aggressively pursue nuclear arms and fan the flames of international terror. As a result, there is little doubt that the country should once again be designated as a state sponsor of terror.
This resolution was adopted by a bipartisan vote of 394-1.
March 30, 2017
Today I voted in favor of H.R. 1431, EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act of 2017, introduced by Representative Frank Lucas. This bill addresses the issues of transparency and partiality that currently plague the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Specifically, this Act would alter the selection process for membership on EPA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) to include a balance of scientific outlooks. Under the bill, the SAB’s subcommittees would be required to publicly release the scientific determinations used to inform its advisories to EPA, and the public would be allowed to file open remarks on these determinations.
Currently, there are no guidelines to the SAB membership selection process and there are strong concerns over the exclusion of advisors from the states, localities, and the private sector. Additionally, the Congressional Research Service released a report in which it showed that since 2000, almost 60 percent of the membership of the SAB’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee have been the direct recipients of grants from the agency. H.R. 1431 addresses the serious issues that the Science Advisory Board faces.
March 29, 2017
I voted “Yes” on H.R. 1430, the Honest and Open New EPA Science Treatment Act.
This legislation prevents the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from proposing new rules unless the agency makes all of the relevant scientific and technical information related to the rule available for public review. Certain information, including personal information, trade secrets, and commercial or financial information, would not be subject to release under this legislation.
Congress and the American people have a right to access and review the information that the EPA uses when imposing new regulations. The cumulative costs of EPA regulations on our nation’s economy are staggering and while the agency has a role to play in enforcing clean air and water standards, they do not have a blank check. This legislation simply requires the EPA to be honest and forthcoming with regard to the information it uses.
This legislation was agreed to by a bipartisan vote of 228-194.
March 28, 2017
I voted “Yes” on S.J.Res. 34, which disapproves of a recent FCC regulation related to Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
S.J.Res.34 formally disapproves of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) recent ISP Privacy Rule, which was issued in December 2016. This rule would require ISPs such as Verizon, Frontier, or Time Warner to obtain opt-ins from customers before sharing their personal information.
I believe strongly in the need for privacy protections and support the underlying aim of the FCC’s rule in this regard. However, I have concerns that the rule promotes conflicting and inconsistent oversight standards. For example, the rule only covers ISPs and does not apply to websites such as Google and Facebook that rely heavily on the collection of personal information but that are overseen by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). With a lack of coordination between the FCC and FTC, there is now a conflicting set of privacy standards and consumers are left unaware of the fact that websites continue to collect and share their private data. Moreover, ISPs have been placed at a disadvantage since they are subject to significantly different privacy standards than websites for no other reason than Congress has yet to clarify the authorities of the FTC and FCC.
Rather than relying on oversight structures that were established in the early 1900s to address today’s internet privacy issues, Congress must develop a set of consistent and uniform standards to govern and oversee online privacy – the American people deserve as much. The FCC’s rule misses this mark and its ad hoc regulations create confusion and unfair standards across the internet. Congress must act to improve privacy through an open process that establishes strong, clear, and legally unambiguous protections for consumers. As your representative in Congress, this remains my priority.
This bill was agreed to by a vote of 215-205.
March 27, 2017
Today, the House of Representatives passed two pieces of legislation. With my support, the House passed H.R. 1117, which would require the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to submit a report to Congress outlining the agency’s plans for more effectively responding to applications for federal emergency disaster assistance. This legislation will require FEMA to review its existing process and improve identified deficiencies. This legislation was passed by a vote of 408-0.
I also supported H.R. 654, the Pacific Northwest Earthquake Preparedness Act. This legislation requires FEMA to develop a plan for deploying an early warning system for earthquakes. The legislation also establishes a task force to conduct an interagency review of our existing capabilities to respond to and recover from earthquakes. This legislation was agreed to by a vote of 395-11.
March 22, 2017
Today, with my support the House of Representatives passed two bipartisan bills to improve our nation’s health care system and bring more market-based reforms to the sector. H.R. 1101, the Small Business Health Fairness Act, would expand association health plans. This would allow small businesses to pool together to reduce their health care costs. This bill was passed with bipartisan support by a vote of 236-175.
I also voted to support the passage of H.R. 372, the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act. This bill, which passed by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 416-7, would increase competition between insurers by removing an antitrust exemption that has allowed the insurance industry to become highly concentrated. This will ultimately encourage competition in the private sector, which will drive down consumer prices.
Finally, I also voted for H.R. 1238, the Securing our Agriculture and Food Act. This bill would require the Department of Homeland Security to more effectively coordinate efforts to protect our nation’s food supply. This bill was passed by a bipartisan vote of 406-6.
March 21, 2017
Today, with my support the House of Representatives passed two bipartisan bills to improve the functions and oversight of the Department of Homeland Security. The first, H.R. 1297, the Quadrennial Homeland Security Review Technical Corrections Act, makes several changes to DHS’s quadrennial review, which is submitted to Congress every four years. In particular, the bill requires that DHS broaden the scope of its review to include new offices as well as an analysis of potentially wasteful programs within the department. This legislation was agreed to by a vote of 415-0.
The second bill, H.R. 1353, the Transparency in Technological Acquisitions Act, requires more frequent reports from the Transportation Security Administration on the agency’s five-year technological investment plan. This bill will improve oversight of new acquisition programs and provide Congress better insight into how federal funds are being spent by the agency. This legislation was agreed to by a vote of 414-2.
March 20, 2017
Today, with my support the House of Representatives passed three bills to improve the efficiency and oversight of the Department of Homeland Security.
The first bill, H.R. 1294, the Reducing DHS Acquisition Cost Growth Act, would enhance reporting requirements related to major DHS acquisition programs. The bill will ensure that DHS meets cost, schedule and performance goals for all major acquisition programs. This bill was agreed to by a bipartisan vote of 408-0.
The second bill, H.R. 1249, the DHS Multiyear Acquisition Strategy Act, would require DHS to submit a long-term strategy outlining the agency’s future acquisition needs. This bill would also require the Government Accountability Office to review and assess the strategy. This bill was agreed to by a bipartisan vote of 409-0.
The final bill, H.R. 1252, the DHS Acquisition Authorities Act, formally designates the undersecretary for management at DHS as the chief acquisition officer. This change will streamline and clarify acquisition authorities within DHS and ultimately improve management of acquisition programs. This bill was similarly agreed to by a bipartisan vote of 407-1.
March 8, 2017
Today, with my support the House of Representatives passed H.R.1301, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2017.
National Security is a primary role of the Federal Government, as such it is the responsibility of Congress to provide adequate funding for all defense related operations. Our vote today confirms our commitment to providing a strong national defense, while properly funding our servicemen and women who make the selfless sacrifice to bravely serve our nation.
The defense bill would also provide a total of $225 million in funding to Rome Lab, $5 million more than was required by the President this year. With the additional funding, Rome Lab will have the resources needed to continue to innovate and lead.
Additionally, the bill provides $11.1 billion in funding for the procurement of 74 new F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, as well as funding for further research and development. This will provide jobs for the 22nd district as nearly 100 employees at the Lockheed Martin plant in Owego are expected to work on the project.
As the mother of a US Marine, I understand the vital importance of ensuring that our military has the resources necessary to deter and preempt any threats to our nation and I look forward to continuing to advocate for a strong national defense and the needs of our military.
March 2, 2017
I voted today to pass H.R. 1004, the Regulatory Integrity Act of 2017. This act would require all federal departments and agencies to keep a public and searchable online database of all the regulations that the department or agency has taken as well as a list of the public communication that the department or agency has made regarding those regulations. This bill would make the federal rulemaking process transparent and accessible to the public. A public database will allow for scrutiny of overreaching and otherwise problematic regulations. This bill was passed by a bipartisan vote of 246-176.
March 1, 2017
Today, I voted for H.R. 998, the Searching for and Cutting Regulations That Are Unnecessarily Burdensome (SCRUB) Act. This bill establishes a 9-member commission, the Retrospective Regulatory Review Commission, which will identify federal regulations that should be repealed in order to lower the cost of regulations. The commission is required to submit an annual report to Congress that details its activities for the year and lists recommendations for repealing regulations. Ultimately, Congress is given the final say in cutting these regulations through an up or down vote. This bill was passed by a bipartisan vote of 240-185
H.J. Res. 83
I also voted for H.J. Res. 83, Disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of Labor relating to "Clarification of Employer’s Continuing Obligation to Make and Maintain an Accurate Record of Each Recordable Injury and Illness." This legislation overturns a recent Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rule that extended the period for which an employer can be cited for failing to make and maintain a record of workplace injury or illness from six months to five years. This rule places a burden on small businesses and exceeds the authority granted to OSHA by Congress under law. When Washington employs top down regulatory schemes, it is our small businesses that are left to deal with the fallout. This bill was passed by a vote of 231-191.
Additionally, I voted for H.R. 1009, the OIRA Insight, Reform, and Accountability Act. This act codifies the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, first established by President Bill Clinton, into statute. The bill grants OIRA review authority, which cannot be rescinded or limited by future presidencies. The Act enshrines OIRA as the first line of defense against excessive and onerous regulations and allows OIRA to ensure the consistency of regulations. OIRA review of rules and regulations will protect against duplicative rules before they are enacted. This bill was passed by a bipartisan vote of 241-184.
February 27, 2017
Today, with my support, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 699, the Mount Hood Cooper Spur Land Exchange Clarification Act. This bill modifies the terms of a land exchange first authorized in 2009 between the Forest Service and Mount Hood Meadows ski area in Oregon by reducing the amount of land the Forest Service can convey to the ski area from 120 acres to 107 acres, setting deadlines for specific actions and modifying the mandated easements. Under the measure, the two parties must select an appraiser to appraise the land within 120 days of enactment. This bill was passed by a bipartisan vote of 415-1.
I also voted for H.R. 863, to facilitate the addition of a park administration site at the Coltsville National Historical Park. This bill modifies the original requirement that 10,000 square feet of space in the East Armory of the Coltsville National Historical Park be provided for park administration and visitors services, instead allowing the National Park Service to select an alternative location that they have already identified for these services within the Colt complex. This bill was passed by a bipartisan vote of 369-42.
February 14, 2017
Today, with my support the House of Representatives passed H.R. 428, the Red River Gradient Boundary Survey Act. This bill directs the Bureau of Land Management to conduct a land survey to identify the boundaries of the Red River, which separates portions of Texas and Oklahoma. Without this bill to clarify the boundary lines and update outdated maps, there will continue to be significant confusion over which land in the region is federal and which is owned by individuals in either state. This bill was passed by a bipartisan vote of 250-171.
February 13, 2017
Today, with my support the House of Representatives passed two bills that will expand support for America’s veterans. The first bill, H.R. 244, the HIRE Vets Act, will establish a voluntary program to recognize employers that make a concerted effort to hire and retain veterans. This bill was passed by a bipartisan vote of 409-1. The second bill, H.R. 974, the BRAVE Act, authorizes the Department of Veterans Affairs to give preference to private contractors who employ veterans. This bill was passed by a bipartisan vote of 407-0.
February 7, 2017
Today, with my support the House of Representatives passed three resolutions disapproving of onerous rules put in place by federal agencies without congressional input. The first, H.J.Res. 44 disapproves of a rule by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) related to land use plans. Under the rule, the BLM broadens its authority over land use plans and further centralizes the process in Washington. BLM already has wide-ranging discretion over land use planning and the effect of this new rule will be to reduce the planning input of local communities. This legislation was passed by a bipartisan vote of 234-186.
I also supported H.J.Res. 58, which disapproves of a rule by the Department of Education that widens the agency’s authority to regulate teaching colleges. The rule risks increasing regulatory costs for colleges as well as exacerbating teacher shortages in high-needs communities. This legislation was agreed to by a bipartisan vote of 240-181.
I voted to support H.J.Res. 57, which disapproves of another rule from the Department of Education that undermines the recently passed Every Student Succeeds Act by dictating to states what requirements must be included in state-based accountability and oversight plans. This bill was passed by a vote of 234-190.
February 6, 2017
Today, with my support the House of Representatives voted to pass two bills. The first, H.R. 689, the Bolts Ditch Access and Use Act, requires the Forest Service to grant a special use waiver to the town of Minturn, Colorado. This waiver will permit the town to more effectively manage and maintain its local water sources. This legislation was agreed to by a bipartisan vote of 409-1.
The second bill, H.R. 337, the Black Hills National Cemetery Boundary Expansion Act, directs the Bureau of Land Management to transfer 200 acres to the Veterans Administration in order to expand an existing veterans’ cemetery. Since the land is held by the federal government, congressional approval is required for the transfer to take effect. This legislation was agreed to by a vote of 407-0.
February 3, 2017
Today, with my support the House of Representatives passed H.J.Res 36, disapproving of the Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Rule.
While well-intentioned, this one-size-fits all regulation is duplicative of several state laws throughout the country and is similar to many of the initiatives companies are already undertaking to improve the efficiency and safety of oil and natural gas operations, making additional regulations unwarranted. Commonsense regulations are necessary to set standards and maintain compliance, especially when it comes to the protection of our environment. However, this rule is a solution in search of a problem. This resolution was agreed to by a bipartisan vote of 221-191.
February 2, 2017
Today, with my support the House of Representatives passed two resolutions to overturn burdensome federal rules.
The first resolution, H.J.Res. 40, overturns a rule by the Social Security Administration (SSA) that jeopardizes the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. The rule, which was published in December 2016, would require the SSA to report individuals who receive disability benefits and who are deemed incapable of managing their own finances to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. This rule could potentially strip individuals of their right to keep and bear arms without adequate due process. This legislation was agreed to by a bipartisan vote of 235-180.
The second resolution, H.J.Res. 37, prohibits a rule from going into effect that would require companies bidding on federal contracts to disclose alleged labor law violations before they are fairly adjudicated. While well-intentioned, the rule would require companies to disclose alleged violations before they are even disputed in court, thereby blacklisting companies who are bidding on contracts without providing them any due process on the front end. This rule was blocked by a U.S. District Court for its lack of due process provisions. Further, existing regulations already prevent companies with poor labor records from competing for federal contracts. This legislation was agreed to by a bipartisan vote of 236-187.
February 1, 2017
H.J. Res. 41
Today, I voted in support of H.J. Res. 41, which requests that the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) revisit a costly Dodd-Frank provision that puts American companies at a competitive disadvantage. We need reasonable and sensible regulations that allow American companies to compete on a level playing field. This resolution simply sends the SEC back to the drawing board to come up with a better rule based on free market principles. This vote was agreed to by a vote of 235-187.
H.J. Res 38
Today I voted in support of H.J. Res 38, disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of Interior (DOI) known as the Stream Protection Rule. The Stream Protection Rule, introduced during the Obama Administration, attempted to alter the already existing regulations under the Stream Buffer Zone rule. However, due to the of lack of transparency in the 7-year rewrite, which cost taxpayers nearly $10 million, the rule ended up being duplicative and a one-size fits all approach. The process also failed to involve input from states, who regulate 97% of coal mines. Reports issued by the DOI confirm that nearly all coal mines operate under safe conditions, have no off-site impacts and are being restored responsibly and successfully.
It is imperative that Congress is involved in the issuing of new regulations, as bureaucrats in federal agencies often fail to consider how these actions will affect the average American. The Stream Protection rule would cause the loss of a third of all coal mining jobs throughout the United States and reduce coal production in 22 states, leading to increased energy costs and a large burden on hardworking Americans.
January 30, 2017
Today, I voted for H.R. 374, which removes the sunset provision for the tri-state Dungeness crab management plan and makes the existing management authority permanent. Under this plan, Washington, Oregon, and California will continue to collaboratively manage their Dungeness crab populations, as they have done for several years. This bill was agreed to by a vote of 396-8.
I also voted for H.R. 538, the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park Boundary Revision Act of 2017. This bill updates the boundaries of the national park in Georgia and permits the National Park Service to accept donated land to expand the park. This bill was agreed to by a vote of 388-0.
January 24, 2017
Today, I voted for H.R. 7, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. Since 1976, the Hyde Amendment has prohibited certain federal funds from being spent on abortion services. H.R. 7 formally codifies the Hyde Amendment, ensuring that its provisions apply government-wide and that no taxpayer dollars are used to fund abortion services. The bill also prohibits tax credits or subsidies under the Affordable Care Act from being used to purchase health insurance plans that cover abortion. The bill includes exceptions for abortions that are the result of rape or incest, or that are necessary to preserve the life of the mother. A majority of Americans support prohibiting taxpayer funding of abortions and this bill reaffirms this consensus. H.R. 7 was passed by a vote of 238-183.
As a mother, I understand how vitally important it is that we work to promote a culture that respects life at all stages. As a pro-life woman in Congress, I will provide a strong voice for all women by advancing pro-life, pro-woman legislation, including reallocating Planned Parenthood funds, ending late-term abortions and turning the Hyde Amendment into permanent law.
January 23, 2017
Today I voted for H.R. 423, the Anti-Spoofing Act. This bipartisan legislation would prohibit parties from providing misleading or inaccurate caller ID information by text message or through a call originating outside of the United States. Under current law, the prohibition only applies to landline calls originating in the United States. However, as technology progresses, it is important for Congress to ensure federal telecommunications laws keep pace with these changes and that consumers are adequately protected. This legislation was agreed to by a vote of 398-5.
I also voted for H.R. 582, Kari’s Law Act. This bill would require that multiline telephone systems which are publicly accessible have the functionality to provide for direct dial access to 911 calls. Currently, many phone lines in hotels and public facilities require that a dial out digit be pressed before initiating a call, which has prevented individuals in emergency circumstances or who have a diminished capacity from easily calling 911 in an emergency. This legislation was agreed to by a vote of 408-0.
January 13, 2017
Today, I voted in favor of S.Con.Res.3, a joint budget resolution that allows Congress to repeal-and-replace Obamacare. Obamacare has failed to deliver on the promises made to the American people and it must go. Americans were promised they could keep their doctor and insurance if they chose to do so. That has been proven to be false. Millions of Americans are being denied the high-quality, patient-centered care they deserve. Under Obamacare, the quality of care has deteriorated, while the cost of services has skyrocketed for average consumers who have less choice and less freedom because of this law. The House vote today signals to the American people that the Republican Congress will make good on its promise to repeal-and-replace Obamacare with a high-quality and truly affordable healthcare policy for all Americans.
In New York state, premiums are scheduled to rise again in 2017 by an average of 16.6 percent. That is on top of an average premium rise of 10.4% in 2016. The healthcare law has made good, quality insurance coverage unaffordable for my constituents and millions of hard-working families across the state and country. Over 20 million individuals have felt this pinch and chosen to pay the tax penalty instead of purchasing the insurance available under this law. At the same time, major insurance companies are fleeing the exchanges, limiting the coverage choices available to Americans.
The small businesses, family farms, seniors, doctors and patients across Central New York and the Southern Tier deserve, and will get, better healthcare at more affordable rates than what is allowed under this law. I look forward to ensuring that happens as soon as possible.
January 12, 2017
Today, the House of Representatives passed two pieces of legislation that will reduce burdensome regulations and enhance the accountability of federal agencies. The first bill, H.R. 238, the Commodity End-User Relief Act, eliminates onerous regulations on swaps and derivatives trading. In particular, the bill provides much-needed relief from burdensome recordkeeping requirements on agribusinesses and places new standards on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to ensure that regulations it passes are subject to well-documented cost-benefit analyses. With my support, this bill was passed by a vote of 239-182.
The second bill, H.R. 78, the SEC Regulatory Accountability Act, requires the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to conduct formal cost-benefit analyses of all new regulatory proposals. It must also perform an analysis of existing rules and improve the regulations based on any subsequent findings. All other federal agencies are required to conduct cost-benefit analyses of proposed regulations, but because the SEC is considered an independent agency, it does not have this same requirement. H.R. 78 will ensure that the SEC follows the same rules as other agencies. With my support, this bill was also passed by a vote of 243-184.
January 11, 2017
Today, I voted with my House colleagues to pass H.R. 39, the TALENT Act, and H.R. 5, the Regulatory Accountability Act. H.R 39 formally authorizes the Presidential Innovation Fellows Program, which is aimed at attracting exceptionally talented individuals to serve in the federal government. This bill was passed overwhelmingly by a bipartisan vote of 386-17.
I also voted for H.R. 5, the Regulatory Accountability Act. This commonsense bill reforms and strengthens the federal rule making process to ensure that government agencies implement cost-effective and well-tailored regulations. In particular, the bill would require all agencies to consider how their rules impact small businesses. It would also provide for greater judicial review of pending regulations, allowing the courts to thoroughly review legal challenges to regulations before they go into effect. This legislation was passed by a vote of 238-183.
January 10, 2017
Today I voted in support of the Helping Angels Lead our Startups (HALOS) Act. The HALOS Act removes a regulatory burden that requires angel investors to complete onerous paperwork before attending showcase events, which are intended to introduce entrepreneurs and investors. This regulation has made it increasingly difficult for angel investors to connect with entrepreneurs looking for opportunities to open a new business. This bill passed the House with strong bipartisan support, 344-73.
The HALOS Act works to cut red-tape and roll back burdensome regulations, giving entrepreneurs looking to start or grow a business the chance to easily connect with investors. This important piece of legislation will help support our business community in the 22nd district by rolling back Washington’s excessive regulations, giving startup businesses easier access to capital and credit. The disconnect between Washington and Main Street is clear—small businesses with fewer than 20 employees face a cost of 45 percent more per employee to comply with federal regulations than larger businesses. It is vital that we work to create an environment that allows startup businesses, small businesses and family farms to grow here in upstate New York and across the county. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. True economic growth begins by cutting costly regulations and allowing small businesses to flourish.
January 9, 2017
Today I voted in support of H.R. 315, the Improving Access to Maternity Care Act. This bill will help to increase access to maternity health care professionals by determining areas that face a shortage in services. The Department of Health and Human Services will then publish the data, allowing public health professionals to find a solution for high-needs areas. This bill was passed by the House in the 114th Congress with bipartisan support.
I also voted in support of H.R. 304, the Protecting Patient Access to Emergency Medication Act of 2017. This bill would allow an emergency medical service (EMS) agency to become registered to dispense controlled substances, instead of registering each practitioner in the EMS agency individually. To ensure proper oversight and patient care, all EMS agencies are overseen by medical directors. This bill would work to cut red tape, giving EMS personnel the increased ability to administer necessary medication and care to patients. This bill was passed by the House in the 114th Congress with bipartisan support.