Washington Week

U.S. Senate vote

Back in session for the first time in 2014, the U.S. Senate confirmed Janet Yellen Monday to serve as the Chairwoman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve. Yellen, who replaces outgoing chairman Ben Bernanke, becomes the first woman to ever head the Federal Reserve. The Senate confirmed Yellen by a 56-26 margin, with 11 Republicans joining 45 Democrats in voting yes. All 26 no votes were cast by Republicans. Eighteen senators missed the vote, with many having travel delays stemming from the Polar Vortex cold snap that affected much of the country.

Jeff Merkley (D) Y

Ron Wyden (D) Y

The Senate also invoked cloture on a bill that would extend emergency unemployment benefits for people who have exhausted their state-funded unemployment benefits. By invoking cloture, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., can bring the matter to a floor vote after 30 hours of debate, although Reid chose not to schedule a passage vote on the bill last week. Needing 60 votes to pass, the procedural vote was approved by a 60-37 margin, with 55 Democrats and five Republicans voting in favor of advancing the bill. All of the no votes were cast by GOP senators.

Jeff Merkley (D) Y

Ron Wyden (D) Y

U.S. House vote

On Friday, the House of Representatives passed the Health Exchange Security and Transparency Act, which proponents maintain would apply additional protections to information provided to users of the online exchanges created by ObamaCare. The White House opposed the measure, saying it would be expensive and would not improve the security of users’ online data. The measure passed by a 291-122 margin, with 67 Democrats breaking with the administration and voting in favor of the bill with 224 Republicans. All of the 122 no votes were cast by Democrats.

Greg Walden (R) Y

Earl Blumenauer (D) N

Suzanne Bonamici(D) N

Peter DeFazio (D) Y

Kurt Schrader (D) Y

— Andrew Clevenger, The Bulletin