Here’s how U.S. House members and senators voted on major issues during the legislative weeks starting Oct. 16 and Oct. 23.

The floor of the U.S. House of Representatives



Republicans on Oct. 25, 2023, elected Mike Johnson, a four-term GOP representative from Louisiana as the 56th speaker of the House. Johnson, who aided Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, drew support from all 220 Republicans who voted. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., was backed by all 209 Democrats who voted. The four members not voting were Republican Derrick Van Orden of Wisconsin and Democrats Brendan Boyle of Pennsylvania, Lou Correa of California and Vicente Gonzalez of Texas.

Johnson’s elevation to speaker, which puts him second in the line of presidential succession, followed three weeks of Republican infighting after the removal of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy instigated by far-right lawmakers. Johnson, who is considered more conservative than McCarthy on social issues, favors a federal ban on abortions after six weeks of pregnancy with virtually no exceptions, opposes federal funding of gender-affirming care for children and supports federal and state laws that prohibit same-sex marriage, among other stands.

After the 2020 presidential election, Johnson took the lead in soliciting House GOP signatures  in support of a Texas lawsuit asking the Supreme Court to decertify the electoral votes of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, all states won by Joe Biden. The court declined to hear the case. Weeks later, when Congress reconvened after the Jan. 6, 2021,  attack on the Capitol by Trump supporters, Johnson was among more than 100 House Republicans who voted without success to decertify Pennsylvania and Arizona electoral votes for Biden and have the results reviewed by GOP-controlled legislatures.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Johnson supporter Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., said: “A man of deep faith, [Johnson] epitomizes what it means to be a servant leader. A deeply respected constitutional lawyer, Mike has dedicated his life to preserving America’s great principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness….Americans fundamentally understand that the federal government has been illegally weaponized against we the people, shredding the Constitution, targeting conservatives and parents…. The people are looking to this great chamber to save America and save America we will.”

Jeffries supporter Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., said: “This has been about one thing. This has been about who can appease Donald Trump. House Republicans have put their names behind someone [Johnson] who has been called the most important architect of the electoral college objections. He spearheaded the legal effort, joined by more than 100 of our colleagues on the other side of the aisle, in support of a dangerous and baseless lawsuit to overturn the results of the 2020 election.”


Voting 412 for and 10 against, the House on Oct. 25, 2023, adopted a resolution (H Res 771) declaring the United States is “standing with Israel as it defends itself against the barbaric war launched by Hamas and other terrorists.” The measure also condemned Iran’s support for terrorist groups including Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad while affirming Israel’s right to defend itself and America’s continuing military, intelligence and diplomatic support of Israel.

Members voting no were Republican Thomas Massie of Kentucky and Democrats Delia Ramirez of Illinois, Jamaal Bowman and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Cori Bush of Missouri, Andre Carson of Indiana, Al Green of Texas, Summer Lee of Pennsylvania, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.

Six members, all Democrats, avoided taking a stand by answering “present.” They were Greg Casar of Texas, Joaquin Castro of Texas, Pramila Jayapal of Washington, Jesus Garcia of Illinois, Nydia Velazquez of New York and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Sponsor Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said the measure “condemns in the strongest possible terms the atrocities of Hamas and reiterates Israel’s right to defend herself, along with America’s unwavering support for the state of Israel. All roads lead back to Iran. Their fingerprints are all over this attack. They have consistently funded Hamas and other Palestinian groups to the tune of $100 million per year.”

No member spoke against the resolution during floor debate.

Opponent Andre Carson, D-Ind., called the resolution “horribly one-sided” in written comments in the Congressional Record. He added: “By failing to acknowledge the growing loss of Palestinian lives or that all Palestinians are not Hamas, this resolution creates further division….We must defend our Jewish brothers and sisters from antisemitism. Muslims must also be defended from Islamophobia and not have their patriotism questioned because they believe in justice for Palestinians.” 

A yes vote was to adopt the resolution.


Rep. Jim Jordan, a nine-term Republican from Ohio who helped plan and implement the Jan. 6, 2023, effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election, lost a bid to become speaker of the House on Oct. 17. He received 200 of the 217 votes he needed to assume the gavel. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York, the Democratic leader, received the votes of all 212 members of his caucus, and 20 Republicans voted for individuals other than Jordan. One Republican was absent, and there are two vacancies in the 435-member House.

The House on Oct. 18 and Oct. 20 rejected two additional bids by Jordan to become speaker with him losing support on each new vote.

According to a report by the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol, Jordan was “a significant player” in former President Donald Trump’s efforts to throw out the results of the presidential election in some states won by Joe Biden, helping to develop “strategies for challenging the election, chief among them claims that the election had been tainted by fraud.” Jordan refused to appear before the committee.

When legislative business resumed hours after the January 6 attack on the Capitol, Jordan was among 121 Republicans voting to reject Arizona’s 11 electoral votes for Biden, saying in debate “80 million Americans, 80 million of our fellow citizens, Republicans and Democrats, have doubts about this election; and 60 million people, 60 million Americans think it was stolen. But Democrats say: No problem. No worries. Everything is fine.” He then was one of 138 Republicans voting to not count Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes in furtherance of Trump’s unsuccessful attempt to thwart Biden’s election by sending dozens of electoral votes back to states for review by GOP-controlled legislatures.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Supporter Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., said: “Jim Jordan is a patriot. He’s an America-first warrior who wins the toughest of fights, going after corruption and delivering accountability at the highest levels of government….Jim is the voice of the American people who have felt voiceless for far too long….Jim is strategic, scrappy, tough and principled. He’s a mentor, a worker and, above all, he’s a fighter…a winner on behalf of the American people.”

Opponent Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., said: “A vote today to make the architect of a nationwide abortion ban, a vocal election denier and an insurrection insider to [become] the speaker of the House would be a terrible message to the country and our allies. It would send an even more troubling message to our enemies, that the very people who would seek to undermine democracy are rewarded with positions of immense power. We are talking about somebody who has spent his entire career trying to hold our country back.”

All Democrats voted for Jeffries.

All Republicans except for the following members voted for Jordan.

Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida, Tony Gonzalez and Kay Granger of Texas, Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania, John Rutherford of Florida, Mike Simpson of Idaho and Steve Womack of Arkansas voted for Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana.

Reps. Don Bacon of Nebraska, Lori Chavez-DeRemer of Oregon, Carlos Giminez of Florida, Jennifer Kiggans of Virginia, Doug LaMalfa of California and Mike Lawler of New York voted for former Speaker Kevin McCarthy of California.

Reps Anthony D’Esposito, Andrew Garbarino and Nick LaLota of New York  voted for former GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York.

Rep. Jake Ellzey of Texas voted for GOP Rep. Mike Garcia of California.

Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado voted for GOP Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota.

Rep. John James of Michigan voted for GOP Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma.



Voting 53 for and 45 against, the Senate on Oct. 25, 2023, adopted an amendment that would restore the gun rights of individuals judged by the Department of Veterans Affairs to be so mentally impaired that they cannot manage their own veterans’ benefits. By law, the department must appoint a fiduciary to manage their benefits. The department also must report the individual’s name to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check (NICS) system, which disqualifies the individual from purchasing a firearm because of his or her mental condition. This amendment would ban funding to carry out the NICS reporting requirement. The amendment was added to a bill (HR 4366), later passed, that would provide appropriations for agencies including the departments of Veterans Affairs and Transportation in fiscal 2024.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Sponsor John Kennedy, R-La., said” “We shouldn’t take away a person’s gun without a judge — not a bureaucrat at the VA — ruling that person to be mentally incompetent.”

Opponent Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said: ”One-third of the veterans we are talking about in this category are diagnosed schizophrenics, and this amendment allows for every single one of them to have their gun rights restored.”

A yes vote was to adopt the amendment.


Voting 59 for and 38 against, the Senate on Oct. 25, 2023, adopted an amendment that would prohibit the Department of Transportation and agencies including Amtrak from requiring masks to be worn to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Applying to surface but not airborne transportation, the amendment was added to a bill (HR 4366), later passed, that would provide appropriations for agencies including the departments of Transportation and Veterans Affairs in fiscal 2024.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Sponsor J.D. Vance, R-Ohio, said: “If people want to wear masks, of course, they should be able to. But if people don’t want to wear masks on airplanes, on transit, they should have that option as well, and that is all that my amendment does….I think it is reasonable to not ask the American people to reenter the era of mask mandates.”

Opponent Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, said “I don’t think President Biden or the head of Amtrak or [Transportation] Secretary Buttigieg or anyone else” is planning a mask mandate. But if a future Covid variant proves “10 times as virulent, 100 times as deadly and airborne, then I do think public health officials should be able to consult with agencies to try to figure out what measures ought to work.”

A yes vote was to adopt the amendment.


The Senate on Oct. 18, 2023, voted, 53 for and 42 against, to nullify a proposed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rule that would prevent banks and other lenders from denying credit requests for on the basis of the applicant’s race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status or in most cases age. The rule requires creditors to report much of the demographic information they collect from applicants on an en masse, anonymous basis to the agency. In other provisions, the rule requires lenders to retain records of credit applications, notify applicants of all actions taken on their requests, report credit histories in the names of both spouses and provide applicants with copies of appraisal reports. This vote adopted SJ Res 32, which is now before the House.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

John Kennedy, R-La., who sponsored the nullification resolution, said: “Why would the CFPB need this information? Well, the truth is, they don’t, but I will tell you why. The CFPB is setting these small-business people — but also these small banks — up for lawsuits. That is exactly what they are doing. What happens if a small-business person goes into the bank and the banker says: ‘Listen, I hate to have to ask you this, but the CFPB says I have to ask you. Are you gay?’ As if that is anybody’s business.”

Opponent Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said: “We are talking about basic data on the borrowers’ demographics, loan pricing, application approvals and other critical information — just like we do with [applications for] mortgages….With this data, we will be able to see gaps in the small business lending market, allowing programs to expand access to credit for small businesses…. Of course, big banks and their lobbyists are putting up a fight. They always do. Any time there is a rule that might change their behavior, they come up with the same song and dance….”

A yes vote was to adopt the resolution.