This week in Congress: How Polk’s representatives voted

WASHINGTON – This is how members of Congress voted on important issues during the Legislative Week ending May 14th.


CRACKING DOWN ON DEBT COLLECTORS: The House voted 215 for and 207 against, and passed a law on May 13 (HR 2547) prohibiting abusive practices by private companies collecting debts from consumers, student loan borrowers and anyone else seriously in arrears. The bill would require a two-year grace period before efforts to recover medical debts from seriously ill people could begin. And it would allow both co-signers and private student loan borrowers to settle their debts on a complete and permanent basis of disability, just as severely disabled federal student loan borrowers and their co-signers can. The bill would also:

• Prohibit companies from collecting medical debts or reporting them to a credit reporting agency without first informing consumers of their rights.

• Limit fees to 10% of collections from companies hired by federal agencies to collect debt.

• Prohibit debt collection agencies from making malicious, unfounded threats against military personnel.

• Increase the monetary damage inflicted by the Fair Collection Practices Act of 1977 on companies that engage in unfair and misleading practices.

• Prohibit debt collection agencies from using email and text messages to harass backward people without their permission.

• Extend protection for small and minority businesses from debt collection.

Deborah Ross, DN.C. said the bill was necessary because “debt collection agencies often go with impunity, threaten service workers, disobey small business owners, and harass customers and homeowners with repeated calls, texts, and emails. Debt collection agency harassment is negative focus on student career choices, small business growth, home ownership, and family financial stability. “

Guy Reschenthaler, R-Pa., Said, “Consumers are already protected from harmful debt collection practices under applicable law,” adding that “it is absolutely clear that [Democrats] are using the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to dismantle our free market system and impose their radical, progressive agenda on the American people. “

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

Polk County Representative:

Vote yes: Darren Soto, D-Kissimmee

Vote no: Scott Franklin, R-Lakeland, Greg Steube, R-Sarasota

WORK ACCOMMODATION FOR PREGNANCY: With 315 votes in favor and 101 against, the House passed a law (HR 1065) on May 14 that requires private companies and government agencies with at least 15 employees to provide adequate workplace accommodation for workers and applicants who are pregnant or who are recently pregnant born. The bill would not oblige employers to create accommodations that place undue burden on their business. GOP critics said it offered insufficient protection to religious organizations.

Lois Frankel, D-Fla., Said pregnant women at work might “be denied … an extra toilet break, a place to sit, or an easier lift.” [be] Dismissed for asking for basic accommodation or simply revealing that she is pregnant. So many women have to choose between the health of their pregnancy and eating on their family’s table. We put women in danger every day while holding back this action. “

Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., Said, “The passage of this law means that a small business or religious organization could be forced to give an employee paid time off for an abortion, even if it is against the organization’s religious beliefs violates These groups can be sued for damages for failing to take all steps to accept pregnant workers. That means churches and small businesses, the backbone of America, will stand in court for years … “

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

Polks representative

Vote yes: Soto

Vote no: Franklin, Steube


NULLIFYING TRUMP ADMINISTRATION BANKING RULE: The Senate voted 52 for and 47 on May 11 against a six-month-old Trump administrative rule that made it easier for state-regulated predatory lenders to form volatile alliances with national banks and federal savings banks to circumvent state banking regulations, including usury rules Limit interest rates. The federal institutions involved in such agreements are not subject to state regulations. The Office of the Currency Checker published the rule on October 30, 2020. With that vote, the Senate passed a resolution (SJ Res 15) that would repeal it by the Congressional Review Act. Defense lawyers said the rule rightly allows the national banks to become the lender if they raised the money and signed their names at the point of origin. They said the annulment would penalize community banks that partner with internet-based financial institutions (“fintechs”) to expand their portfolios.

Chris Van Hollen, D-Md, said the rule of unscrupulous lenders “go to a national bank and essentially rent their name. In doing so, you create a loophole that allows you to bypass the applicable state laws put in place to.” to protect against this kind of predatory lending … “

Pat Toomey, R-Pa., Said the rule “ensures that national banks are responsible for the loans they make through these loan partnerships, and that the OCC must oversee those loans to comply with consumer protection and anti-discrimination laws.” “

A yes vote was to send the annulment measure to the house.

Florida Senators

Vote yes: Marco Rubio, Republican

Vote no: Rick Scott, Republican

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

ANDREA PALM, DEPUTY HEALTH SECRETARY: The Senate voted 61 for and 37 against Andrea J. Palm, 47, as deputy secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services on May 11th. Palm was a senior HHS official and adviser to the White House as well as during the Obama administration. She worked under Hillary Clinton when she represented New York in the Senate. Palm most recently served as secretary and agent for the Wisconsin Department of Health.

A yes vote should confirm the candidate.

Florida Senators

Vote no: Rubio, Scott

Senator Rick Scott, R-Fla.

CINDY MARTEN, DEPUTY EDUCATION SECRETARY: On May 11, the Senate voted 54 for and against 44 against Cindy M. Marten as Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Education. From 2013 to 2021 she was Superintendent of the San Diego Unified School District. A former class teacher and principal, Marten is a literacy specialist who served as president of the San Diego Council of Literacy Professionals.

A yes vote should confirm the candidate.

Florida Senators

Vote no: Rubio, Scott

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