Here’s how members of Congress voted on major issues during the legislative week of March 20-24.

The floor of the U.S. House of Representatives



Voting 213 for and 208 against, the House on March 24, 2023, passed a Republican-sponsored bill (HR 5) that would expand the role of parents in areas of K-12 public education that traditionally have been mainly the purview of teachers, administrators and school boards. The bill would allow parents to review and formally object to textbooks, library books and course materials and require parental notification of extracurricular events such as guest speakers in classrooms. Provisions addressing students who identify as transgender would require notification to parents if a youth whose gender at birth was male is allowed to participate in athletic activities designated for females or use restrooms or changing rooms set aside for females. In addition, public school websites would be required to publish a broad range of information about their operations including listings of parental rights.

The bill would not apply to private and parochial schools or home-schooling. Federal funding under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act could be withheld from public schools that fail to grant parents the powers conferred by the bill.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Supporter Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., said the bill would “affirm a parent’s right to review course curriculum, meet with the child’s teacher and be heard at school board meetings without fear of reprisal. [Democrats] are saying [the] bill is punishing teachers or seeking to push a right-wing agenda. This is false. Our education system is spiraling out of control as parents are pushed further outside the classroom. This bill will restore the role of parents….When parents are involved in their child’s education, students thrive.”

Opponent Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., said: “Don’t tell me this is a parents’ bill of rights. This is not addressing gun violence. It’s not addressing mental health. It’s not addressing childcare, pre-K and all the other things that would be part of a parents’ bill of rights. Instead, we’re spending time on a bill that sews doubts about public education and our teachers and also targets our very vulnerable trans kids….The provisions in this bill that ‘out’ trans kids are cruel and dangerous.”

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate, where it was likely to fail.


Voting 203 for and 218 against, the House on March 24, 2023, defeated a motion offered by Democrats that sought to prevent HR 5 (above) from taking effect until the comptroller general certifies it would not lead to the banning or censorship of books or diminish the quality of public K-12 education. The comptroller general heads the Government Accountability Office, a legislative branch unit that conducts auditing and investigations of federal laws and policies as requested by members of Congress.

There was no debate on the motion.

A yes vote was to adopt the Democratic motion.


The House on March 23, 2023, failed to override President Biden’s veto of a GOP-sponsored measure that would limit the scope of investments by employer-sponsored retirement plans. The tally of 219 for and 200 against fell short of the two-thirds majority required to quash the veto. This kept in place a Department of Labor rule clarifying circumstances under which employer-sponsored plans may consider companies’ environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices when placing workers’ pension funds.

The rule, which took effect Jan. 30 after two years in the making, replaced a Trump administration rule generally barring plan administrators from ESG investing. They are still required to give top priority to financial returns in making investment decisions. But when competing opportunities offer nearly the same risk and return, the rule allows them to choose the one that better serves ESG objectives such as using clean energy or improving workplace conditions.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Supporter Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., said: “We have the highest debt that we’ve ever had in this country. We are staggering under an inflation rate that is historic. And so we obviously don’t think [that] what we’ve inherited from the last two years of total ‘Democrat’ dominance…is positive. But I think we can make a small attempt to make some changes…by overriding the president’s veto.”

Opponent Robert Scott, D-Va., said: “Workers should be able to invest their retirement savings in a way that reflects their values such as combating climate change without sacrificing investment returns. That’s why the…administration issued a rule to clarify that retirement plan managers may consider the economic effect of climate change or other environmental, social and government factors.”

A yes vote was to override the veto.


Voting 404 for and seven against, the House on March 22, 2023, passed a bill (HR 1159) that would require the Department of State to regularly report to Congress on the status of cooperation between Taiwan and the United States under of the Taiwan Assurance Act of 2020. The law compels relevant federal agencies to lend ample non-military support to the Republic of China (ROC) in its standoff against the Peoples Republic of China (PRC). The United States does not have a treaty commitment to deploy troops to support the ROC against a PRC attack. But America sells arms to Taiwan, and under the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, it is politically committed to helping the ROC defend itself.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Supporter Ann Wagner, R-Mo., said the bill would “ensure that the State Department’s policy of engagement with Taiwan is appropriate to today’s geopolitical challenges. We must acknowledge the growing threat Taiwan faces and help build resilience to that threat.”

Supporter Gerald Connolly, D-Va., said: “This is a crucial moment for the U.S.-Taiwan relationship. It requires a sober and comprehensive understanding of the challenge China can pose to the United States and its security and prosperity, as well as that of the people of Taiwan.

No member spoke against the bill.

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate, where passage was likely.


Voting 393 for and four against, the House on March 22, 2023, passed a bill (HR 1093) directing the Department of State to report to Congress within 60 days on the status of the Australia-United Kingdom-United States security partnership known as AUKUS. The Biden administration helped form AUKUS in 2021 to check mainland China’s military expansion and trade and navigational disruption in the Indo-Pacific region. The partnership recently announced plans to equip Australia with conventionally armed nuclear-powered submarines, and it is cooperating in fields such as hypersonic weaponry, quantum computing, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence to develop advanced technologies for defending the region. The bill directs the department to ease export controls in order to expedite technology transfers to advance these efforts.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Supporter Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said: “We are facing a generational challenge from the Chinese Communist Party. We must bring all tools to bear in our effort to counter Chairman Xi’s attempts to disrupt the global balance of power. With AUKUS, our three nations can achieve the shared strategic goal of defending the Indo-Pacific region while maintaining our technological and military superiority.”

Supporter Joe Courtney, D-Conn., said: “Both the majority and opposition parties in the U.K. and Australia are rock solid in support of this agreement, and [this] bill is a strong signal of bipartisan support in the U.S. Congress.”

No member spoke against the bill.

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate, where passage was likely.



Voting 36 for and 60 against, the Senate on March 22, 2023, defeated an amendment to repeal the 2002 authorization for use of military force (AUMF) against Iraq while enacting a new war authorization against Iranian-backed Shiite militias confronting American troops in Iraq. The amendment was offered to a bill (S 316) that would repeal two AUMFs against Iraq that remain on the books even though Iraq is now a U.S. ally. Congress adopted the first one in 1991 in response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait and the second in 2002 ahead of America’s invasion of Iraq. The bill to which the amendment was offered remained under debate.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Sponsor Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., said his amendment would protect the 2,000 U.S. troops in Iraq against Shiite attacks. “Let’s not expose our troops to being attacked. Let’s don’t continue the narrative that we are pulling out of the Middle East, because you do so at your own peril.”

Opponent Tim Kaine, D-Va., said the amendment was unnecessary because President Biden already has authority under Article II of the Constitution “to take action against Iranian-backed militias in Iraq. The president is doing that every day.”

A yes vote was to adopt the amendment.