WASHINGTON -- Amid a series of routine bipartisan votes, the House last week considered two more contentious issues that could have longer-lasting political ramifications.
But Western New York's representatives voted in predictable, party-line ways on both of those measures.
First, the House rejected a proposal to ban abortions that are based on sex selection -- but that happened only because it was considered under a procedure that requires a two-thirds majority. Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, and Rep. Kathleen C. Hochul, D-Amherst, both voted against that measure, which is no surprise, given that they typically support abortion rights. Rep. Tom Reed, a Corning Republican and abortion opponent, voted for the measure.
Abortion rights supporters and opponents are likely to try to use the issue to rally their respective bases in the coming fall election.
More surprisingly, the House approved a measure that allows project labor agreements on defense construction projects. The reliably pro-labor Hochul and Higgins favored the measure, while Reed opposed it.
Not only was the measure sponsored by a Republican -- Rep. Michael Grimm of Staten Island -- it also proved that on a rare occasion, a pro-labor measure can pass the GOP-led House.
-- Jerry Zremski
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.
* FDA Reauthorization: The House passed the Food and Drug Administration Reform Act, sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich. The bill would reauthorize and extend the Food and Drug Administration's user-fee programs for prescription drugs and medical devices and establish user-fee programs for generic drugs and biosimilars. Upton said the bill would promote "American innovation by improving the predictability, consistency, transparency, and efficiency of FDA regulation."
The vote May 30 was 387 yeas to 5 nays.
Reps. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, Y; Kathleen C. Hochul, D-Amherst, Y; Louise M. Slaughter, D-Fairport, A; Tom Reed, R-Corning, Y.