WASHINGTON -- Beneath the radar screen, and at least temporarily, it seems that the House is acting in a more bipartisan manner.
And Western New York's lawmakers fit into that short-term trend.
Last week, for example, all three local representatives who voted -- Democrats Brian Higgins and Kathleen C. Hochul, along with Republican Tom Reed -- supported reauthorizing the Import/Export Bank. They voted in tandem on a measure, which failed, to increase funding for the Economic Development Administration. They supported increased funding for community-oriented policing. And they rejected a 1 percent across-the-board cut in funding to Commerce, Justice and science programs.
Those votes may be just a quirk of the legislative calendar, which brought issues to the floor that New York Democrats and Republican could agree on. Or they could be a sign of evolution -- especially by Rep. Tom Reed of Corning, a conservative Republican who crossed party lines to join Democrats on some of those measures.
Here are the votes of Western New York's four members of the House of Representatives and the state's two U.S. senators on major legislation in Congress last week. A "Y" means the member voted for the measure; an "N" means the member voted against the measure; an "A" means the member did not vote.
* Economic Development Administration: The House rejected an amendment, sponsored by Rep. Michael H. Michaud, D-Maine, to the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Ac. The amendment would have increased funding for the Economic Development Administration by $38 million and offset the increase by cutting an identical amount from census programs. Michaud said his amendment would have continued "level funding for a program that is uniquely designed to address almost any economic development activity," including "chronically poor and distressed areas, post-disastrous economic recovery, and the consequences of plant closures or downsizing." An opponent, Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., said the EDA was "a very, very political use of capital" that failed to help the economy.
The vote May 8 was 190 yeas to 218 nays.
Reps. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, Y; Kathleen C. Hochul, D-Amherst, Y; Louise M. Slaughter, D-Fairport, A; Tom Reed, R-Corning, Y.
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