WASHINGTON — Here's how area members of Congress voted on major issues in the week ending April 11.
Health insurance for expatriates
By a vote of 257 for and 159 against, the House on April 9 failed to reach a two-thirds majority needed to pass a bipartisan bill (HR 4414) that would exempt Americans abroad and foreigners working in the U.S. from the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. Backers said the bill would protect jobs at U.S. insurance companies that sell policies to expatriates, while foes said it would undermine the ACA and result in expatriates receiving inferior health coverage.
John Carney, D-Del., said the bill "ensures that American expatriate insurance carriers are on a level playing field with their foreign competitors, so that American jobs stay here in America."
Jim McDermott, D-Wash., called the bill "special treatment for certain insurance companies who would like nothing more than to avoid the responsibilities under the (ACA) and sell inferior insurance policies...."
A yes vote was to pass the bill.
Voting yes: John Kline, R-2, Erik Paulsen, R-3, Michele Bachmann, R-6, Collin Peterson, D-7
Voting no: Tim Walz, D-1, Betty McCollum, D-4, Keith Ellison, D-5, Rick Nolan, D-8
Not voting: None
Accounting for credit programs
Voting 230 for and 165 against, the House on April 7 approved GOP-sponsored accounting rules (HR 1872) that would raise the stated cost of direct-loan and loan-guarantee programs in the U.S. budget by giving more weight to risk. The bill would partially base the cost of credit programs on the fair-market value of the assets to which they are linked. This would replace the existing method of counting funds actually spent and revenue actually received to value specific programs. Democrats said that to define credit programs such as student loans as more costly would make them a more inviting target for spending cuts.