Here’s how U.S. House members and senators voted on major issues during the legislative weeks starting Sept. 18 and Sept. 25.

The floor of the U.S. House of Representatives



Voting 335 for and 91 against, the House on Sept. 30, 2023, passed a continuing resolution (HR 5860) that would fund the government on a stopgap basis through Nov. 15. The Senate was expected to approve the bill later in the day, averting a partial government shutdown slated to begin at midnight Sept. 30 without enactment of this legislation. The bill, which President Biden was prepared to sign into law, would fund disaster assistance for U.S. locales ravaged by floods and wildfires but omit military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine,

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Supporter, Michael Lawler, R-N.Y., said: “To shut the government down would be disastrous for the American people, our military and our economy. The time has come for everyone to put the American people above all interests and continue to do our work as responsible, reasonable and serious legislators.”

Another supporter, Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., said: “Yesterday, Republicans voted to defund our support for our allies in the Middle East, including a billion-dollar cut to Israel….That did not work, so today, the target is Ukraine, despite the fact that it is the [bipartisan] majority’s will, demonstrated several times this week, to provide support for Ukraine’s self-defense.”

No member spoke against the bill.

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


Voting 198 for and 232 against, the House on Sept. 28, 2023, defeated a Republican-sponsored continuing resolution (HR 5525) intended to keep the government fully open during October while Congress seeks agreement on regular funding for the new fiscal year. Opposed by 21 Republicans and all 211 Democrats who voted, the bill slashed discretionary spending by up to 30 percent at all agencies except the departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security. The vote occurred after Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said he would not allow the House to consider a popular bipartisan continuing resolution working its way through the Senate (below). McCarthy’s decision, which placated the far-right fringe of the GOP caucus, increased odds that a partial government shutdown would start at midnight on Sept. 30.

The House bill also sought to reinstate harsh Trump-era immigration policies for securing the southwest border and punishing undocumented immigrants including those seeking asylum pursuant to U.S. and international law. In part, the bill would speed the return of unaccompanied migrant children to their native country unless doing so would expose them to sex trafficking, and it would end federal funding of attorneys to represent these youths in immigration proceedings. The bill would prohibit the transfer of migrant families to U.S. communities while they await hearings in immigration court, instead requiring their detention near the border, among other provisions.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Supporter Mike Johnson, R-La., said: “We have to change the way that the Biden administration is administering the economy. We have to change…this radical green energy transition. It is nonsense. The American people have had enough. They see the `Democrat’ policies destroying our economy, destroying our security, destroying opportunity for their children and grandchildren. We are taking a stand here. We are operating in good faith. We are negotiating together for the best outcome for the people, and we do not desire a shutdown.

Opponent Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said: “With just hours remaining before…an unnecessary shutdown, the House is being forced to waste time on a measure that would impose draconian cuts to vital federal programs and compel the enactment” of Trump-era immigration policies. The Senate will not take up [the bill] and it will never go to the president’s desk. The House must come together today and stop coddling extreme MAGA members looking to get former President Trump’s failed illegal and immoral policies enacted into law.”

A yes vote was to pass the bill.


Voting 212 for and 214 against, the House on Sept. 19, 2023, defeated a parliamentary rule for debating a bill (HR 4365) that would appropriate $826.5 billion to fund the Department of Defense and intelligence agencies in fiscal 2024. This occurred because four far-right Republicans and one moderate GOP member voted to block the bill with arguments that Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has done too little to hold down spending in 2024 budget bills including this one. McCarthy could not afford that many defections because Democrats voted unanimously against the rule, basing their opposition on the bill’s abortion, climate and culture-war provisions.

Two days later, McCarthy brought the rule up for another vote but again suffered defeat when several members of his fractured caucus voted to prevent the bill from reaching debate on the House floor. Nine days later, on Sept. 28, the House passed the military budget for 2024.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Supporter Tom Cole, R-Okla., said the defense bill “ensures that the Biden administration cannot continue to put politics ahead of national security. It preserves…longstanding bipartisan bans on taxpayer funding for abortions. It also ensures that federal dollars cannot be used to indoctrinate our troops with progressive ideology like critical race theory training, and instead ensures that the Pentagon’s focus is…on military readiness and preparedness so that our warfighters can defeat aggression and defend freedom anywhere in the world.”

Opponent Teresa Leger Fernandez, D-N.M., said: “Extreme MAGA Republicans are weakening our military readiness. In the Senate, Republicans are refusing to allow votes on flag officers, so we don’t have the generals, admirals and top military officers we need to lead our troops. Here in the House, instead of passing what should be and has historically been a bipartisan defense appropriations bill, extreme Republicans are inserting the kitchen sink of culture war issues that we have seen too often.”

A yes vote was to advance the bill to debate on the House floor.


Voting 93 for and 339 against, the House on Sept. 27, 2023, defeated an amendment that sought to remove U.S, military aid to Ukraine from the fiscal 2024 defense appropriations bill (HR 4365), which was later passed. Congress has approved $113 billion in military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine since it was invaded by Russia in February 2022, and the Biden administration has asked Congress to approve tens of billions more in the 2024 budget year.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Sponsor Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., said: “I do not fear broken Russian tanks rolling through Europe. I fear Russia’s nuclear weapons and the risk that we could be sleepwalking into a nuclear conflict that could end life as we know it on the planet, all for what? To live out some neoconservative dream in Ukraine? Give me a break.”

Opponent Betty McCollum, D-Minn., said: “Putin and his thugs are committing war crimes on a mass scale. The United States and the other democratic nations of the world must continue to oppose him. If we do not, then he or another authoritarian leader will try something like this again, yes, either in Ukraine or elsewhere in the world.”

A yes vote was to adopt the amendment.



Voting 83 for and 11 against, the Senate on Sept. 20, 2023, confirmed the appointment of Air Force Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., to a four-year term as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a panel of top brass from all services that advises the president on national security policies and strategies. The first African-American to head a branch of the U.S. military, Brown, born in 1962, served most recently as Air Force chief of staff. He has logged over 3,000 flight hours including 130 hours in combat.

This vote temporarily lifted a six-month blockade by Sen. Tommy Turberville, R-Ala., on the promotions of 300 or more military officers. The Senate then confirmed Army and Marine Corps leaders (below). Tuberville said he would continue to obstruct military appointments in protest of a Pentagon policy on reproductive rights, which enables military servicewoman and family members to go out-of-state for abortions if the state in which they are based has virtually or totally outlawed the procedure. His authority to singlehandedly freeze military promotions is rooted in an arcane Senate rule requiring the consent of all senators for business to proceed.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said: “We cannot allow Senator Tuberville to set us on a path that no senator wants to travel. We cannot allow Senator Tuberville to decide which of our dedicated and brave servicemembers get promoted and which get to languish, which military families are able to settle in their new posts and which must remain in limbo. We cannot and we should not allow that to be the case.”

Tuberville said: “So to be clear, my hold is still in place. The hold will remain in place as long as the Pentagon’s illegal abortion policy remains in place. If the Pentagon lifts the policy, then I will lift my hold — easy as that. That has been my position from the very beginning.”

A yes vote was to confirm Gen. Brown as the nation’s top military adviser.


Voting 96 for and none against, the Senate on Sept. 21, 2023, confirmed the appointment of Gen. Eric M. Smith, 58, as Marine Corps commandant. The four-star general had combat deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq and participated in operations in Liberia and Venezuela, among other overseas duty. A Marine for 36 years, Smith served most recently as assistant and then acting commandant of the corps. He has held top positions with the Marine Corps Combat Development Command and III Marine Expeditionary Force.

There was no debate on the appointment.

A yes vote was to confirm Gen. Smith to lead the Marines.


Voting 96 for and one against, the Senate on Sept. 21, 2023, confirmed the appointment of Gen. Randy George, 57, as chief of staff of the Army. The negative vote was cast by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah. George served most recently as Army vice chief of staff, and among earlier career assignments, he commanded the 4th Infantry Division. Twice awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, George served in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

There was no debate on the appointment.

A yes vote was to confirm Gen. George to lead the Army.