Voterama In Congress

WASHINGTON — Here’s how Minnesota’s members of Congress voted on major issues during the legislative week ending July 31.

HOUSE Expanding tax credits for child care

Voting 250 for and 161 against, the House on July 29 passed a bill (HR 7327) that would make the child and dependent care tax credit fully refundable; create a new tax credit to help childcare providers pay rent, mortgage and utility costs; guarantee $10 billion per year over five years in infrastructure grants to help childcare centers address health hazards such as mold, lead paint and inadequate ventilation; designate childcare personnel as “essential workers” eligible for benefits including pay bumps because they perform a hazardous public service during the pandemic, and reimburse these essential workers for their own childcare costs.

At present, households filing federal tax returns can claim a child and dependent care credit of up to $3,000 per child 12 years or younger or $6,000 for two or more children in the same age range. In addition, they can claim a $3,000 or $6,000 credit to offset the cost of caring for spouses or dependents older than 12 who are mentally or physically incapable of self-care. By making these credits fully refundable, the bill enables low-income working families to receive Treasury checks of $3,000 per qualified individual (or $6,000 for multiple individuals) even if they have no tax liability.

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate.

Minnesota

Voting yes: Angie Craig, D-2; Dean Phillips, D-3; Betty McCollum, D-4; Ilhan Omar, D-5; Collin Peterson, D-7; Pete Stauber, R-8

Voting no: Jim Hagedorn, R-1; Tom Emmer, R-6

Not voting: None

Providing $50 billion for child care

Voting 249 for and 163 against, the House on July 29 passed a bill (HR 7027) that would appropriate $50 billion in fiscal 2020 to help childcare providers stay in business during the pandemic so that parents can return to work. The funding would be used to subsidize in-home services as well as licensed childcare operations of all sizes, and it could be used to prop up functioning centers or reopen those forced to close because of the pandemic.

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate.

Minnesota

Voting yes: Craig, Phillips, McCollum, Omar, Peterson, Stauber

Voting no: Hagedorn, Emmer

Defeating GOP childcare alternative

Voting 195 for and 212 against, the House on July 29 defeated (killed) a package of proposed Republican changes to HR 7027 (above) that sought, in part, to qualify unlicensed childcare sites run by churches and public camps to receive grants under the bill and require grant recipients to demonstrate competence in recognizing and addressing child abuse.

A yes vote was to approve the GOP childcare plan.

Minnesota

Voting yes: Hagedorn, Emmer, Stauber

Voting no: Craig, Phillips, McCollum, Omar, Peterson

Defunding Affordable Care Act litigation

The House on July 30 voted, 234 for and 181 against, to deny funding of the Department of Justice’s participation in a lawsuit brought by Republican governors and attorneys general to overturn the Affordable Care Act. The suit is pending before the Supreme Court, and the Trump administration has filed a brief there calling for the law to be struck down. The defunding language was added to a bill (HR 7617), later passed, that would appropriate $33.2 billion for the department along with more than $1 trillion to fund the budgets of numerous other cabinet departments and agencies in fiscal 2021.

A yes vote was to block the funding.

Minnesota

Voting yes: Craig, Phillips, McCollum, Omar, Peterson

Voting no: Hagedorn, Emmer, Stauber

SENATE Confirming Trump budget official

Voting 71 for and 21 against, the Senate on July 30 confirmed Derek Tai-Ching Kan as deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, putting him second in charge of an agency that directs budget and regulatory policies for the White House. Kan joined the administration in 2017 to serve as a Department of Transportation undersecretary, and before that he was an Amtrak board member and executive with the Lyft transportation company.

A yes vote was to confirm the nominee.

Minnesota

Voting yes: Tina Smith, D, Amy Klobuchar, D

Voting no: None

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