Here’s how members of Congress from all states voted on major issues during the legislative week of May 15-19.

The floor of the U.S. House of Representatives



The House on May 17 voted, 221 for and 204 against, to avoid a direct vote on expelling Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., from Congress. The freshman lawmaker is under federal indictment on 13 charges of wire fraud, money laundering, theft of public money and making false statements to Congress. On this vote, the House adopted a Republican motion to refer a Democratic expulsion measure (H Res 114) to the Ethics Committee, which already is probing misconduct by Santos before and after his election to the House. Had the Republican motion failed, the House could have voted directly on expulsion, with a two-thirds majority required for adoption.

There was no debate on the Democratic expulsion bid or the Republican motion to send it to the Ethics Committee.

A yes vote was to sidestep a direct vote on whether to expel Santos.


Voting 232 for and 198 against, the House on May 17 passed a bill (HR 3091) that would allow federal law enforcement officers to purchase firearms including handguns and AR 15-style assault rifles that federal agencies have retired from their arsenals. Officers could purchase retired firearms at fair market value for lawful civilian purposes. Current law requires agencies including the Secret Service and Customs and Border Protection to destroy or transfer to another agency weapons they retire from use.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Supporter Michelle Fischbach, R-Minn., said “federal law enforcement agencies are required to destroy retired and unneeded firearms. The Fraternal Order of Police estimates that this wastes up to $8 million a year. This bill is a commonsense solution to save taxpayer dollars and support law enforcement officers.”

Opponent Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., faulted the bill for not requiring purchasers to undergo tests of good standing or background checks. “I do not think 30 seconds is too long to wait to ensure that a gun does not fall into the wrong hands,” he said.

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


Voting 218 for and 217 against, the House on May 17 amended HR 3091 (above) to expand the types of retired firearms federal law enforcement officers could buy. The bill originally limited purchases to handguns. This amendment expanded the measure to weapons including shotguns and AR 15-style assault rifles, but it prohibited the purchase of machine guns.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Sponsor Matthew Rosendale, R-Mont., said federal law officers “are highly trained. Whether they are using an AR-15 or…a similar high-powered rifle with a high-intensity scope, they are trained to do such.” If they are “retiring from that duty of protecting the civilians…[and] want to purchase a weapon that they have been utilizing for who knows how much time, they should be able to do so.”

Opponent Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said: “Though the amendment excludes machine guns, it does not exclude other firearms subject to heightened regulation under the National Firearms Act, such as short-barreled rifles and even grenade launchers. The federal government should not be selling these dangerous weapons to people operating in their civilian capacity.”

A yes vote was to adopt the amendment.


Voting 216 for and 219 against, the House on May 17 defeated an amendment to HR 3091 (above) that sought to require agencies to certify that law enforcement officers are in good standing before selling them a retired federal firearm. Such a determination would reveal, for example, whether the officer is under a domestic violence restraining order that would prohibit gun purchases.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Sponsor Sara Jacobs, D-Calif., said: “Police officers are human. They aren’t immune from mental illness, domestic and family conflict and other stressors that can lead to tragedies. We can and should have guardrails to prevent those tragedies….Existing federal law already carves out special treatment for law enforcement officers by allowing them to have a gun even if they have a domestic-violence restraining order. That is dangerous.”

Russell Fry, R-S.C., said: “Good standing is already universally understood by all federal agencies. If an officer has been suspended, they surrender their badge and gun and do not have law enforcement authorities. This is not a new concept. In fact, the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act signed into law 19 years ago requires a finding of good standing…for retired officers to be eligible to carry a concealed weapon.”

A yes vote was to adopt the amendment.


Voting 255 for and 175 against, the House on May 17 passed a bill (HR 2494) that would require deportation under the Immigration and Nationality Act of any noncitizen, including lawful U.S. residents, who has admitted or been convicted of a serious or minor assault on a local, state or federal police officer performing his or her official duties. This goes beyond current law requiring deportation of undocumented immigrants convicted of serious assaults on law enforcement.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Barry Moore, R-Ala., said the bill “gives adjudicators a tool to ensure that these criminal aliens can quickly be removed from this country. In doing so, we make America safer, not only for our citizens but also for the hardworking men and women of law enforcement who serve our community every day.”

Opponent Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., called the bill an attempt to “scapegoat immigrants and to score cheap political points for National Police Week….This is not about undocumented immigrants who are, of course, already removable, and this is not about people who are seeking to enter the United States. This is about people who have come here the so-called `right way’ [as] lawful, permanent residents.”

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


Voting 209 for and 225 against, the House on May 17 defeated an amendment to HR 2406 (above) under which lawful U.S. residents could be deported only if they have been convicted of a serious assault on a police officer. The amendment sought to strike language from the bill allowing deportation of green card holders if they have admitted such a crime but not yet been found guilty in court.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Sponsor Lou Correa, D-Calif., said that in the bill “We are talking about the ability to deport lawful permanent residents, people with green cards. Do we really want to deport these individuals — many of whom are close to becoming U.S. citizens — not based on convictions but simply an accusation? What about the constitutional notion of innocent until proven guilty?”

Opponent Barry Moore, R-Ala., said “not every ground of removability in the Immigration and Nationality Act requires a conviction. In fact, here are some of the removable offenses that do not require conviction: Smuggling, marriage fraud, drug abuse or drug addiction, trafficking, document fraud, terrorist activities and participation in violations of religious freedom. By requiring at least an admission of assault, this bill conforms” to those standards.

A yes vote was to adopt the amendment.



Voting 50 for and 47 against, the Senate on May 17 approved a resolution (SJ Res 18) that would nullify a Biden administration rule designed to protect the legal status of immigrants whose children receive public benefits including Medicaid and nutritional assistance. The rule applies to situations where the children are citizens because they were born in the United States and the parents are noncitizens with lawful U.S. residency. The rule provides that the children’s eligibility for benefits to which they are legally entitled does not render their immigrant parents likely to become a public charge and thus subject to deportation. Under immigration law, green card holders can lose their legal status if they become a public charge.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Nullification advocate Roger Marshall, R-Kan., said: “The Biden administration’s public charge rule makes a mockery of the law and the intent of Congress to ensure that immigrants are self-sufficient.”

Opponent Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said the rule “does not make a single immigrant eligible for public benefits” and reaffirms the policy “that an individual is ineligible for a green card if the individual relies on public benefits for income.”

A yes vote was to send the resolution to the House, where approval was likely.


The Senate on May 16 voted to repeal a District of Columbia police accountability law intended to prevent the use of excessive force by the Metropolitan Police Department and crack down on officer misconduct. The Republican-sponsored and House-passed resolution of disapproval (HJ Res 42) was adopted by a tally of 56 for and 43 against.

The D.C. statute prohibits the use of extreme neck restraints including chokeholds, requires body-camera footage to be released to the public and prohibits the hiring of officers convicted of crimes or found to have engaged in official misconduct in other employment. The law empowers the police chief to discipline or remove officers found guilty of misconduct on the job or breaking laws while off duty, taking that authority away from more lenient arbitration panels established by collective bargaining with the police union. In addition, the law expands the right to a jury trial on misdemeanor charges.

Under the 1973 District of Columbia Home Rule Act, the federal territory has limited authority to conduct its own affairs but must receive congressional approval of laws such as this one passed by the city council. But since the normal 60-day congressional review period has expired, city officials said the disapproval resolution would have no effect even if it were to be cleared over President Biden’s threatened veto.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Supporter Roger Marshall, R-Kan., said nullification would “send a clear message to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue: We in the Senate will not stand by while our law enforcement officers are vilified and cut off at the knees when trying to do their job….”

No senator spoke on the other side of the issue.

A yes vote was to repeal the D.C. law.