|Negative Record: 57.1%/100%
The following are negative actions that Representative Poliquin has taken in the 115th Congress of 2017-2018:
- Roll Call 17 on H. Amdt. 8 (Rep. Poliquin acted negatively by voting no): When U.S. Representative Henry Johnson saw that the REINS deregulatory act was about to be passed by the House of Representatives, he introduced an amendment, creating an exemption to allow protections from dangerous consumer products for children under the age of two. House Amendment 8 was defeated in a roll call vote. Bruce Poliquin voted against protecting babies with his NO vote.
- Roll Call 18 on H. Amdt. 10 (Rep. Poliquin acted negatively by voting no): Reasonable people can have philosophical disagreements about the role of government regulations in American democracy. However, a small number of activities are so dangerous that stringent federal protections are necessary to prevent disaster. One of these dangerous activities is running a nuclear power plant. Rep. Jerrold Nadler offered H. Amdt. 10, an amendment to the blanket-deregulatory REINS Act. The REINS Act is designed to sabotage the creation of federal protections that adapt to changing technologies and scientific knowledge. Nadler’s amendment would have preserved the ability to craft provisions requiring that nuclear power plants are operated safely. Nevertheless, H. Amdt 10 was quashed in this Roll Call vote #18. Bruce Poliquin voted against nuclear power safety with his NO vote.
- Roll Call 19 on H. Amdt. 11 (Rep. Poliquin acted negatively by voting no): At the same time that Donald Trump is approving massive new pipeline projects to carry volatile and toxic fossil fuels across the United States, the REINS Act sabotages regulations that protect Americans from fuel spills. Rep. Jerry McNerny introduced H. Amdt. 11 in order to address this confluence of risks. H. Amdt. 11 would have created an exemption from the REINS Act to ensure that administrative protections establishing the safety of pipelines containing natural gas or other dangerous substances would remain in place. With his NO vote, Bruce Poliquin acted with the Republican majority to kill this amendment and to put American communities near pipelines at elevated risk.
- Roll Call 20 on H. Amdt. 12 (Rep. Poliquin acted negatively by voting no): Rep. Bobby Scott of Virginia introduced this amendment to rein in the REINS Act, legislation to impose blanket impediments upon all sorts of regulations, including those designed to protect people from corporate malfeasance. Every year, workers die unnecessarily in coal mines – from accidents, from black lung disease, from cancer due to workplace exposures. H. Amdt. 12 would have created an exemption allowing the federal government to continue to create provisions to protect coal miners from dangerous working conditions. By a vote of 232 to 193, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to kill the Scott amendment, denying coal miners a means to better safety and better health. Bruce Poliquin was among their number.
- Roll Call 23 on H.R. 26 (Rep. Poliquin acted negatively by voting yes): The REINS Act (H.R. 26) prevents federal agencies from passing administrative rules according to authority already provided by Congress. Under the REINS Act new administrative rules could only take effect if Congress passes new legislation specifically authorizing the rules within 70 days. The problem is, Congress almost never passes legislation within 70 days; the current Republican-controlled Congress will easily be able to stall protective regulatory legislation for 70 days, quashing it. The REINS Act will ensure that only rules that are designed to serve powerful corporate interests will be instituted. The REINS Act is designed to hamper the ability of the federal government to implement existing laws to serve the American people.
- Roll Call 45 on H.R. 5 (Rep. Poliquin acted negatively by voting yes): H.R. 5, the Regulatory Accountability Act creates delays and obstructions that in combination with the provisions of the REINS Act make any new rule protecting Americans from dangerous substances and working conditions very difficult to implement. The RAA allows corporations to gain new leeway to pollute, to abuse, to cheat, and to cut corners putting Americans in harm’s way for the sake of profit. Under the new system implemented by this bill, government will become more bureaucratically tied down and less transparent in their efforts to protect people, while corporations will be less constrained in pursuing profit at the cost of public safety.
- Roll Call 72 on H.J. Res. 41 (Rep. Poliquin acted negatively by voting yes): H. J. Res. 41 destroys the Disclosure of Payments by Resource Extraction Issuers rule at the Securities and Exchange Commission a protection that required American fossil fuels and mining companies to disclose the payments they make to foreign governments. Before the creation of this rule bribery of corrupt officials of foreign governments was a common practice. By destroying the rule H. J. Res. 41 re-establishes a shroud of secrecy over corrupt practices by big mining oil and gas corporations, a lack of transparency that is especially concerning given the confirmation of Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson as U.S. Secretary of State.
- Roll Call 83 on H.J. Res 44 (Rep. Poliquin acted negatively by voting yes): H.J. Res. 44, introduced by Representative Liz Cheney, stands to eliminate a key Resource Management Planning reform from the Obama Administration. The Obama-era reform specifically addressed citizen concerns about a lack of responsiveness generally to public input and also more particularly to tribal input at the Bureau of Land Management. The Obama rule increased public access in the decision-making process regarding land management plans. H.J. Res. 44 eliminates this new responsiveness to the public and returns the Bureau of Land Management back to the bad old days of unresponsive, overextended, opaque bureaucracy of a kind that only well-paid lawyers will be able to manage.
The following are negative actions Representative Poliquin could have taken that he has fortunately avoided taking:
- Cosponsorship of H.R. 140 (Rep. Poliquin has not cosponsored this bill). A coalition in the U.S. Congress is trying to take away the citizenship of babies born right here in the USA. Their vehicle is H.R. 140, the ironically-named Birthright Citizenship Act.For a hundred and fifty years the way U.S. citizenship works has been simple and straightforward: if you are born in this country you are a citizen. Being American isn’t about having the right ancestry, the right parents, the right blood; it’s about the idea that everyone born in America has the same rights no matter who their parents were.Some members of the House of Representatives have introduced H.R. 140 to change this long tradition of American citizenship. They want to deny the constitution’s presumption of citizenship rights to take away the citizenship of kids born in America. That’s not an exaggeration. H.R. 140 is a bill designed to remove the guarantee that what makes you an American is being born in the USA. This bill ironically named the Birthright Citizenship Act actually takes away birthright citizenship from people born in the USA if their parents aren’t permanent residents or citizens.If passed, H.R. 140 would adopt the old German Heimatland model of citizenship only through by proper bloodline. Over generations this bill would create entire classes of people whose parents and even grandparents were born in the USA but who are denied the full rights of citizens.
- Cosponsorship of H.R. 637 (Rep. Poliquin has not cosponsored this bill). Global warming caused by the elevation of atmospheric greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide is wreaking havoc on the planet and its people. In 2017, Arctic Ocean sea ice has hit its lowest extent on record. In wealthy nations, cities like Miami and Venice are being forced to elevate their streets due to rising sea levels. Resource-poor nations like Tuvalu are preparing to disappear from the planet entirely as the ocean threatens to overtake their territory completely. It is the job of the Environmental Protection Agency to address environmental threats, but some members of Congress are trying to keep the EPA from doing that job. If passed, H.R. 637 would specifically prohibit the EPA from regulating the emission of carbon dioxide and would also permit political appointees at the EPA to halt all agency work on the prevention of global warming. As the planet warms dangerously, supporters of H.R. 637 are directing their outrage at the public servants who are trying to do something about it.
- Cosponsorship of H.R. 743 (Rep. Poliquin has not cosponsored this bill). If passed, H.R. 743 would eliminate the standard Davis-Bacon rule for federally-funded projects. The Davis-Bacon rule isn’t extravagant, only requiring that construction workers on federally-funded projects be paid at least the prevailing wage of the area in compensation for their labor. That prevailing wage standard is low even below the poverty level in many places. But for the supporters of H.R. 743, poverty-level pay for hard work isn’t low enough.
- Cosponsorship of H.R. 861 (Rep. Poliquin has not cosponsored this bill). On February 3 2017 first-term Representative Mark Gaetz introduced H.R. 861, a bill to entirely eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency without any replacement. With the elimination of the EPA, there would no longer be any agency empowered to stop corporations from polluting our cities, mountains, rivers, beaches, or air.
- Cosponsorship of H.R. 997 (Rep. Poliquin has not cosponsored this bill). If passed, H.R. 997 would require that millions of U.S. Government employees refrain from using any non-English language in their work and that only non-English words are politically correct enough to be used. Under H.R. 997, if a government employee uses a non-English language in her or his work, a person who is offended by non-English words would be able to file a lawsuit against that government employee.
|Positive Record: 6.3%/100%
The following are positive actions Representative Poliquin could have taken that he did actually take:
- Roll Call 73 on H.J. Res. 38 (Rep. Poliquin acted positively by voting no): In 2016 the Stream Protection Rule was established to transfer some the costs of mining pollution away from American taxpayers and back onto the mining corporations that cause the problem in the first place. The rule simply required mining corporations to monitor water quality in streams and rivers around their mines and to conduct remediation to decrease the pollution from their mines before abandoning them. This standard of environmental protection was considered unacceptable by members of Congress, so Republican Bill Johnson of Ohio introduced H.J. Res. 38 legislation to destroy the Stream Protection Rule.
The following are positive actions Represenative Poliquin could have taken that he has unfortunately failed to take:
- Cosponsorship of H.R. 371 (Rep. Poliquin has not added his support by cosponsoring this bill). In years past it has been regular practice for a sitting president to divest of any direct business dealings and place investments into a blind trust. Since President Donald Trump has refused to divest of his business interests and even refused to disclose the extent and nature of his business dealings, some members of Congress are seeking formalize these expectations in law. If passed, the Presidential Conflicts of Interest Act of 2017 (H.R. 371 in the House of Representatives) would legally require the President and Vice President to disclose and divest themselves of any business holdings that represent a potential financial conflicts of interest. This would help to guard the most power-laden office on Planet Earth from the taint of corruption.
- Cosponsorship of H.R. 804 (Rep. Poliquin has not added his support by cosponsoring this bill). On January 30 2017, President Donald Trump kicked senior non-partisan intelligence officials off the National Security Council. In their place he appointed his partisan political advisor, Steve Bannon, to the influential government group. Bannon’s had accumulated no relevant professional experience before joining the NSC, and has the troubling experience of running an anti-Semitic and white supremacist blog. H.R. 804 would prevent this kind of unilateral move in the future, stipulating that no political appointees in the White House shall be assigned membership on the National Security Council or be allowed to attend NSC meetings.
- Cosponsorship of H.R. 489 (Rep. Poliquin has not added his support by cosponsoring this bill). The last time the United States of America mandated the registration of an entire class of people based on religious or ethic membership was 72 years ago, when the government packed more than 110,000 people into internment camps because they had Japanese ancestry. The forcible registry of another class of Americans — many millions of slaves — ended some 80 years before that. Is it time for America to make that mistake again? President Donald Trump has spoken out in favor of putting Muslims in a required national registry. “It’s a precedent,” a spokesman for President Trump declared. Americans who have sworn to uphold the “Never Again” promise after World War II are organizing. In the U.S. House of Representatives Rep. Suzan DelBene of New Jersey has introduced H.R. 489, a bill that would prohibit the imposition of an American registry of Muslims or other religious groups.
- Cosponsorship of H.R. 305 (Rep. Poliquin has not added his support by cosponsoring this bill). All U.S. Presidents in modern history have released their tax returns as a gesture of transparency to reassure the American people that their actions are not influenced by inappropriate sources of income, guided by inappropriate debts to outside influences, or steered by the pursuit of personal profit. The release of presidential tax returns has been an essential bulwark against corruption. As Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once wrote, “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.” President Donald Trump has failed to release his tax returns despite promising to do so. President Trump’s ethical failure has led to the introduction of the Presidential Tax Transparency Act (H.R. 305 in the House of Representatives), a bill that if passed would require presidents and major candidates for president to release their tax returns for public review.
- Cosponsorship of H.R. 399 (Rep. Poliquin has not cosponsored this bill). For years now, U.S. corporations have been taking tax deductions of up to $1 million for each corporate executive who receives exorbitant pay. The same corporations have been claiming tax deductions on even larger amounts through such tricks as re-labeling executive compensation as a “commission” or “incentive pay.” Such tax deductions are in effect a U.S. government subsidy for high CEO pay. If H.R. 399 is passed, corporations will remain free to pay their executives whatever they wish, but they won’t be able to take a tax deduction for a compensation package of more than $1 million.
- Cosponsorship of H.R. 786 (Rep. Poliquin has not cosponsored this bill). H.R. 786, the ACHE Act, proposes a moratorium on the practice of mountaintop removal coal mining until scientific studies of the health impact of the mining procedure are completed. The Appalachian Communities Health Emergency Act notes that “Peer-reviewed scientific research and reports have raised serious concerns about mountaintop removal mining with respect to elevated risks in categories of birth defects studied: circulatory/respiratory, central nervous system, musculoskeletal, and gastrointestinal.” Mountaintop removal coal mining also destroys local ecosystems, filling in clean mountain streams with heavy metal toxic debris. The passage of H.R. 786 would prioritize human and environmental health over corporate profit.
- Cosponsorship of H.R. 1172 (Rep. Poliquin has not cosponsored this bill). The President of the United States can influence economic relations with other nations in a number of ways. Presidents can modify tariffs to raise or lower to price of goods from particular nations. Presidents can negotiate trade investment and foreign aid pacts that reward or punish nations and the enterprises that operate within them. Despite this a president is not a king and must be answerable for his or her actions to the coequal legislative and judicial branches of American government. A President who corruptly alters economic deals with other nations to enrich himself or herself must also be answerable to the people of the United States. In order to enable presidential transparency and accountability H.R. 1172 requires the President of the United States to disclose personal assets debts and income associated with a nation when making economic policy decisions pertaining to that nation. If H.R. 1172 is passed such information must be reported to Congress in a timely manner when a President takes policy action that economically rewards or harms a nation and the economic interests within it. If H.R. 1172 is not passed a President will be able to secretly benefit from making deals using the immense power of the White House. Without H.R. 1172 presidential corruption in international trade goes unchecked.