Jeff vs. Justin

The truest expression of someone’s values is not in what they say, but what they do – and few places is that made more clear than when members of Congress cast their votes. Not being a career politician like Congressman Amash, I don’t have a voting record to evaluate, so here is the next best thing – a selection of noteworthy votes from the past few years, how Justin voted, and what I would have done in his place.

This page will be updated with more votes as the 115th Congress continues its work.

No Sanctuary for Criminals Act (H.R.3003)

June 29, 2017

Jeff: No     Justin: No

Comments: Justin Amash and I agree that this bill would represent massive (and likely unconstitutional) overreach by the Federal government in terms of compelling states and communities to assist with immigration enforcement. However, we part ways in that I also find it to be fundamentally misguided in its hostility to immigrants and to communities trying to cope humanely with our nation’s broken immigration policy, whereas Justin’s explanation of his vote implied that it was “aimed at policy goals that [he] support[s].”

The Financial CHOICE Act of 2017 (H.R.10)

June 8, 2017

Jeff: No     Justin: Yes

Comments: This bill weakens measures put in place by Dodd-Frank to improve the stability and conduct of companies in the financial sector in light of their role in bringing about the great recession. While some of the goals of the bill (simplifying compliance processes in particular) may have merit, on the whole it is an irresponsible piece of legislation that would harm consumers and make another financial crisis more likely.

Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse Act (H.R.1973)

May 25, 2017

Jeff: Yes     Justin: No

Comments: This bill was passed in response to the USA Gymnastics sex abuse scandal. It would require national amateur sports organizations to report suspected cases of sexual abuse of minor athletes to law enforcement, and strengthen the ability of victims of such abuse to seek justice. It passed the house 415-3 with bipartisan support, and I am embarrassed on behalf of our district that Justin Amash was one of the “no” votes. Curiously, he does not appear to have posted a public explanation of this vote.

American Health Care Act (AHCA / H.R.1628)

May 4, 2017

Jeff: No     Justin: Yes

Comments: The AHCA would cause over 20 million Americans to lose their health insurance, make it harder for people with pre-existing conditions to get the care they need, and take hundreds of billions of dollars away from working families, all in order to fund a massive give-away to the very rich. It is a historically terrible piece of legislation.

Repeal of FCC rule forbidding internet providers from sharing data on customers’ activities (S.J.Res.34)

March 28, 2017

Jeff: No     Justin: No

Comments: This bill removed key protections preventing large internet service providers from selling data about customers’ activities without their consent. That this represents an egregious violation of privacy is something that Justin and I agree on.

Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act (REINS Act / H.R.26)

January 5, 2017

Jeff: No     Justin: Yes

Comments: This bill is a cowardly attempt to allow members of Congress to block needed protections for consumers, workers, the environment, etc. without having to put themselves on record as having done so. If Congress wants to increase its influence on what regulations are put into place, it should do so in the form of passing actual legislation, not by giving itself a painless pocket veto.

Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act

December 12, 2016

Jeff: Yes     Justin: No

Explanation: The WIIN Act provided desperately needed aid for Flint in response to the water crisis, as well as measures to improve our country’s water management and infrastructure. I would have been pleased to join every member of the Michigan congressional delegation (except Justin) in voting for this bill.

Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act

December 3, 2015

Jeff: Yes     Justin: No

Explanation: While imperfect in the manner of most compromises, the FAST Act was the first long-term surface transportation funding bill to pass in a decade. It provided much-needed investment in our nation’s transportation infrastructure without increasing the deficit, and its passage was a rare moment of bipartisan cooperation.