Here’s how members of Congress from all states voted on major issues during the legislative week of May 8-12.

The floor of the U.S. House of Representatives



By a vote of 219 for and 213 against, the House on May 11, 2023, passed a bill (HR 2) that would reinstate Trump-era measures for securing the southwestern border while placing new restraints on asylum applicants and illegal immigrants in search of permanent U.S. residence. Projected to have a net cost of $6.1 billion over 10 years, the Republican bill seeks to toughen immigration enforcement while weakening or eliminating humanitarian programs now in place. The bill would require construction of at least 900 miles of wall on the 2,000-mile border with Mexico at a cost of $25 million per mile; establish criminal penalties for those who overstay their visas for at least 10 days; prohibit the Department of Homeland Security from contracting with nongovernmental and religious organizations to transport, shelter or feed undocumented aliens; scale back a DHS program known as “humanitarian parole” that grants temporary U.S. residence to immigrants from countries including Ukraine; require employers, including those in agribusiness, to use the federal E-Verify website to determine if workers have legal status; expand the number of Customs and Border Protection agents from 19,000 to 22,000 and begin polygraph testing of job applicants; distribute $110 million annually to state, local and tribal law enforcement; expand manned surveillance flights and require 24-hour drone surveillance of the border and require eradication of invasive vegetation along the Rio Grande River. 

The bill would also prohibit the transfer of migrant families to U.S. communities while they await hearings in immigration court, instead requiring detention near the border. The bill establishes an accelerated process for returning unaccompanied children to their native country unless that would expose them to sex trafficking, and it would end federal funding of attorneys to represent them in immigration proceedings. The bill also puts in jeopardy the temporary legal status of 800,000 “dreamers” brought illegally to the United States as children before 2014.

The bill would deny asylum eligibility to those who fail to cross the U.S.-Mexico border at an official point of entry or who voluntarily lived in a third country for at least one year without suffering persecution or torture. The Department of Homeland Security could deny U.S. entry to asylum seekers if necessary for “operational control” of the border. The bill would prohibit gang members and felons from applying for asylum, assess a $50 fee on asylum applications and limit the use of an app for scheduling court hearings on asylum claims.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Supporter Chip Roy, R-Texas, said: “We should be exporting the rule of law rather than importing lawlessness, fentanyl, death and destruction. The legislation we have before us would be a giant step toward ensuring that we can hold this administration accountable to make sure that we secure our border, protect our citizens and protect migrants who seek to come here.”

Opponent Mary Gay Scanlon, D-Pa., said: “Jailing families indefinitely or sending unaccompanied children back to dangerous and exploitive situations and refusing to provide working legal pathways to residents will not make us any safer; neither will wasting American taxpayer dollars to build a discredited and ineffective border wall…or defunding trusted nonprofit organizations that provide support to immigrants. “

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


Voting 211 for and 221 against, the House on May 11, 2023, defeated a Democratic motion that would have replaced a Republican-sponsored immigration bill (HR 2, above) with the proposed American Dream and Promise Act that the House passed in 2021, when Democrats were in the majority. The Democratic bill, which did not win Senate approval, would provide an opportunity for lawful permanent residency to undocumented children brought to the United States by parents lawfully admitted as temporary workers. To qualify, children would have to have arrived before their 19th birthday and before Jan. 1, 2021, have lived continuously within U.S. borders for at least four years and meet standards of good citizenship and educational attainment. The bill also would reinforce the temporary legal status of some 800,000 “dreamers” covered by the Obama administration’s Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which is under challenge in federal court.

There was no debate on the motion.

A yes vote was to approve the Democrats’ alternative immigration bill.


Voting 230 for and 200 against, the House on May 11, 2023, passed a bill (HR 1163) that would give states more tools for collecting accidental or fraudulently obtained overpayments of unemployment insurance during the Covid 19 pandemic. Improper payments totaled $164 billion to $191 billion, according to the Department of Labor. In part, the bill targets the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which issued jobless checks to individuals who lost work because of Covid but did not qualify for regular state-federal unemployment insurance. Many overpayments were the result of antiquated systems at state agencies overwhelmed by a surge of claims filed by crime syndicates as well as legitimate applicants. The bill allows states to use 25 percent of the overpayments they collect to upgrade their systems. The bill would extend from five to 10 years the statute of limitations for bringing federal criminal charges against those who fraudulently collected unemployment benefits.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Supporter Jason Smith, R-Mo., said: “Criminal organizations and foreign fraudsters exploited the pandemic to steal…hundreds of billions in payments intended to keep workers afloat…. These are stolen tax dollars, which makes every person in America a victim of this fraud. Today’s vote is an important step toward ending suffering and delivering accountability.”

Opponent Sydney Kamlager-Dove, D-Calif., said the bill “would allow states to send surprise bills to workers for unemployment benefits overcompensation paid to them during the pandemic for as long as 10 years after the overpayment was issued. Is it the job of the American people to keep the receipts of 10 years past of UI payments so that they don’t go to jail? People who applied for these benefits and were overpaid did not know they had been overpaid. These were the result of a government mistake.”

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate, where its prospects were uncertain.



Voting 51 for and 49 against, the Senate on May 11, 2023, approved a resolution (SJ Res 24) that would remove the northern long-eared bat as an endangered species. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service designated the bat for protection on January 30 to safeguard its habitat in 38 north-central and Atlantic Coast states against intrusive wind-energy and infrastructure projects and forestry. The listing would reduce the bat’s exposure to the fungus-caused disease known as white-nose syndrome that is decimating its population during hibernation in caves and abandoned mines. “Bats are critical to healthy, functioning natural areas and contribute at least $3 billion annually to the U.S. agriculture economy through pest control and pollination,” according to the service.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Supporter Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., said “two-thirds of all endangered species are located on private lands [and] private landowners must be part of the solution and not treated as the enemy. Unfortunately, through aggressive critical-habitat designations…private landowners are penalized and harmed instead of incentivized to help with species recovery.”

Opponent Thomas Carper, D-Del., said the endangered-species designation “not only helps the northern long-eared bats but also supports other bat species that are in decline due to white-nose syndrome. By protecting this species, we are protecting our farmers, our agricultural communities and the revenues that they depend on.”

A yes vote was to send the resolution to the House, where it was likely to be approved and sent to President Biden.


Voting 52 for and 45 against, the Senate on May 10, 2023, confirmed the nomination of Colleen Joy Shogan as archivist of the United States. She will lead the National Archives and Records Administration, an independent agency charged with preserving and documenting government and historical records dating to the start of the republic and administering the 15 presidential libraries and museums. Shogan, 47, was employed most recently as assistant deputy for collections at the Library of Congress and deputy director of the library’s Congressional Research Service. She also has served as vice-chair of the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission and associate professor of government and politics at George Mason University, among other positions.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Supporter Gary Peters, D-Mich., said: “As an accomplished political scientist who has held nonpartisan leadership roles throughout her career, Dr. Shogan is well qualified to lead the National Archives. She would also be the first woman to hold this job.”

No senator spoke in opposition.

A yes vote was to confirm the nominee.


Voting 51 for and 47 against, the Senate on May 10 confirmed the nomination of Geeta Rao Gupta as ambassador at large for global women’s issues, putting her in charge of a Department of State office dedicated to advancing gender equality and the status of women. Gupta recently headed a program for girls and women at the United Nations Foundation, and she also has been deputy executive director of UNICEF, president of the International Center for Research on Women and a senior fellow at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, among other positions. Gupta was born in 1956 in Mumbai, India, and emigrated to the United States in the 1980s.

There was no debate on the nomination.

A yes vote was to confirm the nominee.