WASHINGTON — Here’s how area members of Congress voted on major issues during the legislative week ending Jan. 22.

HOUSE

WAIVER FOR SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Voting 326 for and 78 against, the House on Jan. 21 approved a waiver (HR 335) allowing retired Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III to serve as secretary of defense even though he has been out of uniform for less than the seven-year hiatus required by law in keeping with the American principle dating to 1783 of civilian control of the military. Austin retired in April 2016.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said: “In the face of the many threats both foreign and domestic confronting our nation it is essential that (he) be immediately confirmed.”

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

Voting yes: G.K. Butterfield, D-1, Deborah Ross, D-2, David Price, D-4, Virginia Foxx, R-5, Kathy Manning, D-6, Richard Hudson, R-8, Dan Bishop, R-9, Patrick McHenry, R-10, Alma Adams, D-12

Voting no: Gregory Murphy, R-3, David Rouzer, R-7, Madison Cawthorn, R-11, Ted Budd, R-13

Not voting: None

SENATE

WAIVER FOR SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Voting 69 for and 27 against, the Senate on Jan. 21 joined the House (above) in granting a waiver (HR 335) allowing retired Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III to serve as secretary of defense even though seven years have not lapsed since his retirement as the law requires in keeping with the American principle dating to 1783 of civilian control of the military. Austin retired in April 2016. There was no debate on the bill.

A yes vote was to send the bill to President Biden.

Voting yes: None

Voting no: None

Not voting: Thom Tillis, R, Richard Burr, R


AVRIL HAINES, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Voting 84 for and 10 against, the Senate on Jan. 20 confirmed Avril D. Haines, 51, as director of national intelligence, elevating her as the first woman to lead the U.S. intelligence community. Created in response to 9/11, her office is charged with overseeing the 16 U.S. civilian and military spy agencies. An attorney and trained physicist, Haines was deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2013-2015, the first woman to hold that office, and before that a top aide to former President Barack Obama on security issues.

Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., said: “After a tumultuous four years and a president who routinely scorned the work of our intelligence community, it is critical to restore professional leadership who will work with the administration and Congress, deliver honest assessments and speak truth to power. Ms. Haines is the right woman for the job.”

No senator spoke against the nominee.

A yes vote was to confirm Haines.

Voting yes: Burr

Voting no: None

Not voting: Tillis

LLOYD AUSTIN, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Voting 92 for and three against, the Senate on Jan. 22 confirmed retired Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III as secretary of defense. He is the first African-American to hold the position in its 74-year history. When Austin, 67, retired from active duty in April 2016, he was leader of the United States Central Command. He was the last commanding general in Iraq between 2010-11 and directed the drawdown of U.S. troops there.

Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, said: “We are living through ... a pandemic, racial tensions, riots, turmoil at the top of the Pentagon and rising dangers from China, Russia and Iran. Mr. Austin’s confirmation won’t solve all of these problems, but it will help. He represents the best of America, a man of integrity, humility and character and a wealth of relevant experience.”

No senator spoke against the nominee.

A yes vote was to confirm Austin.

Voting yes: None

Voting no: None

Not voting: Tillis, Burr

Contact jstorm@reflector.com or 252-329-9587.