Name: John Walsh
Senate: Montana, Democrat
Cumulative Freedom Index Score: 6%
Status: Former Member of the Senate
6% (113th Congress: 2013-2014)
|On the Point of Order H.R. 83: To require the Secretary of the Interior to assemble a team of technical, policy, and financial experts to address the energy needs of the insular areas of the United States and the Freely Associated States through the development of energy action plans aimed at promoting access to affordable, reliable energy, including increasing use of indigenous clean-energy resources, and for other purposes.|
|Vote Date: December 13, 2014||Vote: NAY||Bad Vote.|
|Executive Action on Immigration.|
During consideration of the omnibus appropriations bill (H.R. 83), Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) raised a constitutional point of order that the bill violates the Constitution's separation of powers, its enumerated powers, and its requirement that the president faithfully execute the laws because the bill would fund activities related to President Obama's executive action on amnesty. During debate on his point of order, Cruz said, "If you believe President Obama's amnesty is unconstitutional, vote yes. If you believe President Obama's amnesty is consistent with the Constitution, then vote no."
The Senate rejected Cruz's point of order on December 13, 2014 by a vote of 22 to 74 (Roll Call 353). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because President Obama's executive amnesty was unconstitutional for the reasons listed above.
|On the Motion (Motion to Concur in the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to H.R. 83): To require the Secretary of the Interior to assemble a team of technical, policy, and financial experts to address the energy needs of the insular areas of the United States and the Freely Associated States through the development of energy action plans aimed at promoting access to affordable, reliable energy, including increasing use of indigenous clean-energy resources, and for other purposes.|
|Vote Date: December 13, 2014||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
According to Congressional Quarterly, appropriations bill H.R. 83, dubbed the "CRomnibus bill" (combination of Continuing Resolution and Omnibus),"would provide $1.013 trillion in discretionary appropriations in fiscal 2015 for federal departments and agencies covered by the 12 unfinished fiscal 2015 spending bills."
The Senate agreed with the House version of this appropriations bill on December 13, 2014 by a vote of 56 to 40 (Roll Call 354). We have assigned pluses to the nays because with this fiscal 2015 omnibus appropriations bill, Congress is failing to address its fiscally and constitutionally irresponsible budgeting and appropriating process that is currently yielding annual federal deficits measured in the hundreds of billions of dollars that contribute directly to the dramatic growth of our already $18 trillion national debt.
|On Passage of the Bill S. 2280: A bill to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline.|
|Vote Date: November 18, 2014||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|Keystone XL Pipeline.|
S. 2280 would immediately allow TransCanada to construct, connect, operate, and maintain the Keystone XL pipeline, including any revision to the pipeline route within Nebraska as required or authorized by the state. It also would consider the January 2014 environmental impact statement issued by the State Department sufficient to satisfy all requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act. The bill would grant the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia exclusive jurisdiction regarding legal disputes over the pipeline or the constitutionality of the bill.
The Senate rejected S. 2280 on November 18, 2014 by a vote of 59 to 41, after having agreed by unanimous consent to raise the majority requirement for passage to 60 (Roll Call 280). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because this bill essentially gets the federal government out of the way of economic development. While one could correctly argue that the federal government should not have been involved in this issue in the first place, and that from a constitutional standpoint it should be left up to the states, private property owners, and TransCanada to work out an arrangement, this bill is definitely a step in the right direction since it would remove unconstitutional federal regulatory road blocks against the pipeline project.
|On the Cloture Motion S. 2199: A bill to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to provide more effective remedies to victims of discrimination in the payment of wages on the basis of sex, and for other purposes.|
|Vote Date: September 15, 2014||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
The "Paycheck Fairness Act" (S. 2199) was intended to ensure that men and women receive equal pay for equal work by, for example, requiring businesses to demonstrate that pay-gaps between men and women with similar jobs and qualifications are "job-related with respect to the position in question; and ... consistent with business necessity." The bill also authorizes enhanced penalties for sex discrimination.
The Senate did not vote on the underlying bill itself but on a procedural motion to invoke cloture, and thus limit debate, so that the bill could come up for a vote. The motion to invoke cloture was rejected on September 15, 2014 by a vote of 52 to 40 (60 votes, three-fifths of the full Senate, are needed to invoke cloture; Roll Call 262). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the federal government has no constitutional authorization to determine the value of employees' labor in the private sector, whether in the absolute sense or relative to other wages. Wages instead should be determined by the market.
|On the Cloture Motion S.J.Res. 19: A joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to contributions and expenditures intended to affect elections.|
|Vote Date: September 11, 2014||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|Campaign Finance Constitutional Amendment.|
Senate Joint Resolution 19 would propose an amendment to the Constitution granting Congress and state lawmakers the "power to regulate the raising and spending of money and in-kind equivalents with respect to federal and state elections." The resolution's proposed amendment would also prohibit "corporations or other artificial entities" created by law "from spending money to influence elections."
The Senate did not vote on S. J. Res. 19 itself but on a motion to invoke cloture, and thus limit debate, on the joint resolution so that it could come up for a vote. The Senate rejected this motion on September 11, 2014 by a vote of 54 to 42 (60 votes, three-fifths of the full Senate, are needed to invoke cloture; Roll Call 261). We have assigned pluses to the nays because this proposed constitutional amendment would effectively repeal the free speech provision of the First Amendment, since restricting the amount of money that may be spent on political speech would restrict political speech.
|On the Motion (Motion to Waive All Applicable Budgetary Discipline Re: S.2648): A bill making emergency supplemental appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2014, and for other purposes.|
|Vote Date: July 31, 2014||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|Illegal Immigrant Children Supplemental Appropriations.|
S. 2648 would authorize $3.6 billion in supplemental appropriations, including $2.73 billion "to cover necessary expenses to respond to the significant rise in unaccompanied children and adults with children at the southwest border," $615 million for wildfire suppression activities of the Forest Service, and $225 million that would be provided "to the Government of Israel for the procurement of the Iron Dome defense system to counter short-range rocket threats."
During the floor debate, Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) commented that this bill is "a blank check that does not solve the crisis along our southern border.... Well, today we are exercising our constitutional right in cutting off funding for the President to expand his administrative amnesties."
The Senate did not vote on the underlying bill itself but on a motion to waive all applicable budget laws with respect to a point of order against the bill so that the bill could move forward. The Senate rejected this motion on July 31, 2014 by a vote of 50 to 44 (60 votes, three-fifths of the full Senate, are needed to waive the applicable budget laws; Roll Call 252). We have assigned pluses to the nays because most of the $3.6 billion requested by President Obama would be used to expand his amnesty program of deferred action for childhood arrivals, an unconstitutional usurpation of Congress' power to "to establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization."
|On the Amendment S.Amdt. 3584 to H.R. 5021 (Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014): To empower States with authority for most taxing and spending for highway programs and mass transit programs.|
|Vote Date: July 29, 2014||Vote: NAY||Bad Vote.|
During consideration of the Highway Trust Fund re-authorization bill (H.R. 5021), Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) introduced an amendment to transfer local transportation infrastructure projects to the states, rather than having the federal government fund and oversee the spending on such projects. Part of this would be accomplished by lowering the federal gasoline tax from the current 18.4 cents per gallon to 3.7 cents per gallon by 2019, and allowing the states to use that money for their own projects as they see fit.
Lee noted that his amendment "would empower States and communities to customize their own infrastructure according to their own needs, their own values, and their own imagination," and the amendment "would, over 5 years, gradually transfer funding and spending authority over local transportation infrastructure projects to the States."
The Senate rejected Lee's amendment on July 29, 2014 by a vote of 28 to 69 (Roll Call 246). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the federal government has no constitutional authority to interject itself into local and state highway infrastructure projects in the first place. Constitutionally, the states should fund their own transportation projects, without the money for such projects being routed through Washington.
|On Cloture on the Motion to Proceed S. 2578: A bill to ensure that employers cannot interfere in their employees' birth control and other health care decisions.|
|Vote Date: July 16, 2014||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
S. 2578 would force employers to pay for contraceptives (including abortifacients) even when they object on religious grounds. This legislation was introduced in response to the Supreme Court's June 2014 decision that Hobby Lobby could not be forced to cover employees' contraception because the owners had religious objections.
The Senate did not vote on the underlying bill itself but on a procedural motion to invoke cloture, and thus limit debate so that the bill could be advanced. The motion to invoke cloture was rejected on July 16, 2014 by a vote of 56 to 43 (60 votes, three-fifths of the full Senate, are needed to invoke cloture; Roll Call 228). We have assigned pluses to the nays not only because the federal government has no constitutional authority to determine what healthcare coverage employers provide but also because requiring anyone to pay for practices violating their religious convictions is immoral and un-American.
|On Passage of the Bill H.R. 803: An act to amend the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 to strengthen the United States workforce development system through innovation in, and alignment and improvement of, employment, training, and education programs in the United States, and to promote individual and national economic growth, and for other purposes.|
|Vote Date: June 25, 2014||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
H.R. 803 would consolidate workforce training programs under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, reauthorize adult-education programs, and reauthorize other workforce-related programs under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
The Senate passed H.R. 803 on June 25, 2014 by a vote of 95 to 3 (Roll Call 214). We have assigned pluses to the nays because there is no constitutional authorization for federal workforce-training programs. This is not to say that workforce training is a bad thing, but such programs are best handled by the private sector, which would surely provide more and better jobs if the federal government were to siphon less money out of the economy for programs to improve the economy.
|On the Nomination PN1342: Stanley Fischer, of New York, to be Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System for a term of four years|
|Vote Date: June 12, 2014||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
On January 10, 2014, President Obama nominated Stanley Fischer to be vice chairman of the Federal Reserve System Board of Governors. Before being tapped for the number two position at the Federal Reserve, Fischer had a notable career within globalist elitist ranks, previously serving as governor of the Bank of Israel from 2005 to 2013, first deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from 1994 to 2001, a distinguished fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and a participant of the 2011 Bilderberg meeting. Fischer is also a frequent speaker at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, which is one of the premier global think tanks and which has played an especially important role in promoting the WTO, IMF, United Nations, and supposed "free trade" agreements.
The Senate confirmed the nomination on June 12, 2014 by a vote of 63 to 24 (Roll Call 191). We have assigned pluses to the nays because Fischer's record indicates that he is supportive of central bank inflationary policies that create economic havoc. Moreover, the Federal Reserve, America's central bank that creates money out of thin air, is unconstitutional.
|On the Nomination of Sylvia Burwell: Sylvia Mathews Burwell, of West Virginia, to be Secretary of Health and Human Services|
|Vote Date: June 5, 2014||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
On April 11, 2014, President Obama nominated Sylvia Mathews Burwell to succeed Kathleen Sebelius as secretary of Health and Human Services. One of the most remarkable things about Burwell's resume is that she has served in so many high-level positions in government and the non-profit sector. For example, while serving for eight years in the Clinton administration, she rose to become deputy chief of staff to the president. During her decade serving in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (2001-2011), she was executive vice president, chief operating officer, and president of the Global Development Program. Of course, the Gates Foundation is a huge financial supporter of pro-abortion organizations, such as Planned Parenthood Federation of America and International Planned Parenthood Federation, and has funded the creation of the Common Core educational standards. She is also a member of the globalist-minded Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), serving on its Board of Directors from 2007 to 2013, and the Trilateral Commission. With this network of establishment elite connections, Burwell is especially well suited to implement the unconstitutional, socialistic ObamaCare legislation.
The Senate confirmed the nomination on June 5, 2014 by a vote of 78 to 17 (Roll Call 175). We have assigned pluses to the nays because opposing the nomination of such a high-ranking establishment operative to be point person for implementing the unconstitutional ObamaCare law should be a no-brainer for Constitution-supporting senators.
|On Cloture on the Motion to Proceed S. 2223: A bill to provide for an increase in the Federal minimum wage and to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend increased expensing limitations and the treatment of certain real property as section 179 property.|
|Vote Date: April 30, 2014||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
During consideration of the bill to increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 (S. 2223), Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) offered a motion to invoke cloture, and thus limit debate, so the bill could come up for a vote.
The Senate rejected Reid's motion to invoke cloture on April 30, 2014 by a vote of 54 to 42 (60 votes, three-fifths of the full Senate, are needed to invoke cloture; Roll Call 117). We have assigned pluses to the nays because any debate on the Senate floor that could prevent a federal minimum wage increase is a good thing. A federal minimum wage is unconstitutional, since nowhere in the Constitution is the federal government authorized to dictate how much private businesses pay their employees for services performed as part of a private, voluntary contract. Furthermore, many studies have demonstrated that minimum wage increases always lead to more unemployment among the poor and unskilled workers, the very people whom the wage increase is ostensibly intended to help.
|On Passage of the Bill H.R. 3979: A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to ensure that emergency services volunteers are not taken into account as employees under the shared responsibility requirements contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.|
|Vote Date: April 7, 2014||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|Unemployment Benefits Extension.|
This bill (H.R. 3979) was for the extension of unemployment benefits through May 31 of 2014. These extended benefits were to be paid for by adjustments to employers' pension contributions and by extending U.S. Customs and Border Protection user fees through 2024.
The Senate passed H.R. 3979 on April 7, 2014 by a vote of 59 to 38 (Roll Call 101). We have assigned pluses to the nays because, by paying people unemployment benefits, the federal government is essentially subsidizing unemployment. That the federal government does this in the first place is bad enough, but any extension of said benefits is even worse. At a time when government debt is nearly $17 trillion, paying unemployment benefits is fiscally irresponsible. Furthermore, the U.S. Constitution nowhere authorizes the federal government to provide unemployment benefits to workers. This type of welfare should be handled on the state or local level, if handled by the government at all.
|On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2867 to H.R. 4152 (Support for the Sovereignty, Integrity, Democracy, and Economic Stability of Ukraine Act of 2014): In the nature of a substitute.|
|Vote Date: March 27, 2014||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
The Senate version of this legislation - offered in the form of a substitute amendment to the House version, H.R. 4152 â€” would provide $150 million for direct aid to Ukraine. It would also provide for loan guarantees (meaning that the U.S. taxpayers would be stuck holding the bag if the loans are not paid). And it would impose sanctions on Russian and ex-Ukrainian officials deemed responsible for the crisis in the Ukraine.
The Senate adopted the substitute amendment to H.R. 4152 on March 27, 2014 by a vote of 98 to 2 (Roll Call 88). We have assigned pluses to the nays because foreign aid is unconstitutional. The rationale for providing U.S. aid to Ukraine is that the country needs our assistance to resist Russian hegemony and build "democracy." Yet the oligarchs wielding power in Ukraine are hardly "democrats," and (because money is fungible) U.S. assistance could effectively be funneled to Russia in the form of Ukrainian energy and debt payments.
|On Passage of the Bill S. 1086: A bill to reauthorize and improve the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990, and for other purposes.|
|Vote Date: March 13, 2014||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
This bill (S. 1086) would reauthorize the Child Care and Development Block Grant program through fiscal 2020 and would further institute new standards for education, health, and safety on child care providers that receive funds under this program. It would also expand the information required from states regarding how they will make use of the funds, as well as require that the states develop plans that include guidelines for training and teaching children from the time they are born until they enroll in kindergarten. The CBO has estimated that implementing this bill would cost $16.8 billion over the 2015-2020 period.
The Senate passed S. 1086 on March 13, 2014 by a vote of 96 to 2 (Roll Call 77). We have assigned pluses to the nays because childcare funding is an unconstitutional activity of the federal government. Just based on the brief description of S. 1086 in the above paragraph, it is clear that this bill would increase federal oversight of child care and impose national standards reminiscent of what the widely reviled Common Core State (read National) Standards are doing to K-12 education.
|On the Motion (Motion to Concur in the House Amendment to S.540): An act to temporarily extend the public debt limit, and for other purposes.|
|Vote Date: February 12, 2014||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|Debt Limit Suspension.|
This bill (S. 540), entitled the "Temporary Debt Limit Extension Act," would suspend the national debt limit on federal debt through March 15, 2015 - the temporary aspect of the legislation. But the additional debt accumulated between enactment of this bill and March 15, 2015 would not be "temporary," since on the following day the legislation would automatically re-establish the debt limit at a higher level, reflecting the additional debt.
The Senate passed S. 540 on February 12, 2014 by a vote of 55 to 43 (Roll Call 34). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the federal government should live within its means, suspending the debt limit is even worse than raising it, and most of the spending responsible for the ballooning national debt is unconstitutional. (The House passed this bill on February 11; see House vote below.)
[ This bill (S. 540), entitled the "Temporary Debt Limit Extension Act," would suspend the national debt limit on federal debt through March 15, 2015 - the temporary aspect of the legislation. But the additional debt accumulated between enactment of this bill and March 15, 2015 would not be "temporary," since on the following day the legislation would automatically re-establish the debt limit at a higher level, reflecting the additional debt. ]