2016 Scorecard - 114th Congress

October 25, 2016
US Capitol Building at sunrise. Photo credit: trekandshoot/Shutterstock

Commonsense public health and environmental protections have been under attack by anti-environment, anti-regulation Congresses since 2011. The latest session  of Congress has been no exception.  Led by House Speaker Paul Ryan, the House of Representatives has voted dozens upon dozens of times to weaken, undermine fundamental protections and stop progress on major issues like climate change. The Senate, under the leadership of Majority Leader McConnell, has been no better.

Clean Water Action tracks key votes and compiles this Scorecard to help members and others assess the votes of U.S. Representatives and Senators on policies related to clean water, clean air, public health, climate change, and energy production.

So much is at stake in the 2016 election. It is vital that we hold elected officials accountable for the attacks on clean water, inaction on climate change, and defending polluters bottom-lines instead of the health of their constituents.

Clean Water Action only scored Senators and Representatives in states where the we actively organize programs to protect clean water, safeguard communtities from the impacts of the oil and gas industry, and other vital issues. To find out how your Senators and Representatives scored, click on your state below.

The Votes

The votes in the Senate

Supporting Climate Change Science (Schatz amendment to S. 1):

Senator Brian Schatz's [D-HI] amendment to S.1, the Keystone XL Pipeline Act, stated that Congress believes climate change is real and that human-caused pollution is a major contributor. [January 21, 2015; rejected 50-49]

Pro-environment vote was YES.

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Prioritizing Drilling on Public Lands (Lee amendment to S.1):

Senator Mike Lee's [R-UT] amendment to S.1, the Keystone XL Pipeline Act, would have fast tracked drilling on public lands and reduced public access and transparency in the permitting process. [January 22, 2015; rejected 51-47]

Pro-environment vote was NO.

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Increasing Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Exports (Cruz amendment to S.1):

Senator Ted Cruz’s [R-TX] amendment to S.1, the Keystone XL Pipeline Act, would have fast tracked the Department of Energy review of Liquefied Natural Gas export terminals and undermined safeguards for public health and the environment. [January 28,2015 ; rejected 53-45]

Pro-environment vote was NO.

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Closing a Fracking and Drinking Water Loophole (Gillibrand amendment to S.1):

Senator Kristen Gillibrand's [D-NY] amendment to S.1, the Keystone XL Pipeline Act, would have closed the “Halliburton Loophole,” a provision in the 2005 Energy Policy Act that exempted hydraulic fracturing (fracking) from Federal regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act. [January 28 2015; rejected 35-63]

Pro-environment vote was YES.

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Extending Clean Energy Tax Credits (Heitkamp amendment to S.1):

Senator Heidi Heitkamp’s [D-ND] amendment to S.1, the Keystone XL Pipeline Act, would have renewed and extended, for five years, the tax incentive for renewable energy projects. [January 28,2015; rejected 47-51]

Pro-environment vote was YES.

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Approving the Keystone XL Pipeline (S.1):

Senator John Hoeven's [R-ND] bill would have skipped the federal review process and automatically approved the Keystone XL Pipeline, which threatened major sources of  groundwater used for irrigation and drinking water. [January 29,2015 ; passed 62-36]

Pro-environment vote was NO.

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Overriding a Presidential Veto:

Following House passage of S.1 President Obama vetoed the bill and the Senate attempted to override the veto. [February 24, 2015; failed 62-37].

Pro-environment vote was a NO.

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Undermining Clean Water Protections (S.1140):

Senator John Barrasso's [R-WY] Federal Water Quality Protection Act would have blocked the Clean Water Rule and forced the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to propose a new rule at taxpayers’ expense.  [November 3, 2015: failed 57-41]

Pro-environment vote was NO.

___________________

Attacking Clean Water Protections (S.J. Res. 22):

Senator Joni Ernst’s [R-IA] “Resolution of Disapproval” under the Congressional Review Act would have blocked the Clean Water Rule and prohibited the agencies from developing any “substantially similar” rule in the future. [November 4, 2015; passed 53-44]

Pro-environment vote was NO.

___________________

Attacking Carbon Pollution Standards For New Power Plants (S.J. Res 23):

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's [R-KY] “Resolution of Disapproval” under the Congressional Review Act would have blocked the Environmental Protection Agency’s Carbon Pollution Standards for New and Modified Power Plants. [December 1, 2015: passed 52-46]

Pro-environment vote was NO.

___________________

Attacking Carbon Pollution Limits For Existing Power Plants (S.J. Res 24):

Senator Shelley Moore Capito's [R-WV] “Resolution of Disapproval” under the Congressional Review Act would have permanently blocked the Clean Power Plan, which established the first national limits on carbon pollution from existing power plants.  [December 1, 2015: approved 52-46]

Pro-environment vote was NO.

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Overriding the Presidential Veto of S.J. 22:

President Obama vetoed S.J. Res 22. Two days later the Senate attempted to override the veto. [January 21, 2016; rejected 52-40]

Pro-environment vote was NO.

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Ending Subsidies for Fossil Fuel Companies (Schatz amendment to S.2012):

Senator Brian Schatz's [D-HI] amendment to the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015, would have ended billions of dollars in unnecessary giveaways to the oil and gas industry. [February 2, 2016; Rejected 45-50]

Pro-environment vote was YES.

The Votes in the House of Representatives

Increasing Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Exports (H.R. 351):

Representative Bill Johnson's [R-OH], Permitting Certainty and Transparency Act would have expedited LNG export applications, rushing the Department of Energy’s decision-making process for considering environmental impacts and clearing the way for increased hydraulic fracturing and gas production. [January 28, 2015;  passed 277-133]

Pro-environment vote was NO.

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Approving the Keystone XL Pipeline (S.1):

Senator John Hoeven's [R-ND] bill would have skipped the federal review process and automatically approved the Keystone XL Pipeline, which threatened major sources of  groundwater used for irrigation and drinking water. [February 11, 2015; passed 270-152]

Pro-environment vote was NO.

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Undermining Clean Water Protections (H.R. 1732):

Rep. Bill Shuster’s [R-PA]  Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015 would have blocked protections for clean water by requiring the then-proposed Clean Water Rule be withdrawn and forcing federal agencies to start over and propose a new rule, wasting time waste time and taxpayer money. [May 12, 2015: passed 261-155]

Pro-environment vote was NO.

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Fast Tracking Trade Agreements (H.R. 1314):

Representative Patrick Meehan's [R-PA] Trade Act of 2015 authorized the Executive Branch to send trade deals to Congress with no chance to debate amendments. The Act severely hampers the ability of Congress to ensure trade deals, such as the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), do not contain environmentally harmful provisions. [June 12, 2015; passed 219-211]

Pro-environment vote was NO.

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Prioritizing Drilling On Public Lands (Lawrence amendment to H.R. 2822):

Representative Brenda Lawrence's [D-MI] amendment to H.R. 2822, attempted to stike another amendment which would have prohibited the Bureau of Land Management from implementing its updated fracking regulations. [July 8, 2015; defeated, 179-250]

Pro-environment vote was YES.

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Subsidizing Oil Production on Public Lands (Pearce Amendment to H.R. 2822):

Representative Steve Pearce’s [R-NM] amendment to the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2016,  would have blocked any efforts to raise royalty rates on oil and gas produced on public lands. Current public lands royalty rates are significantly lower than state lands or offshore areas. [July 8, 2015; passed 231-198]

Pro-environment vote was NO.

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Protecting Streams from Mining Waste (Grijalva amendment to H.R. 2822):

Representative Raúl Grijalva's [D-AZ] amendment would have removed language in the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2016 blocking increased protections for streams from mining waste. [July 8, 2015; rejected 189-239]

Pro-environment vote was YES.

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Weakening Protections from Toxic Coal Ash (H.R. 1734):

Representative David McKinley's [R-WV] Improving Coal Combustion Residuals Act of 2015 would substantially weaken environmental protections for communities burdened with toxic coal ash pollution. [July 22, 2015: passed 258-166]

Pro-environment vote was NO.

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Blocking Health, Water and Air Protections (H.R. 427):

Rep. Todd Young’s [R-IN] Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act is a reoccurring anti-regulatory effort intended to delay new health and environmental safeguards by requiring Congressional approval for all new regulations. [July 28, 2015: passed 243-165]

Pro-environment vote was NO.

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Lifting the Crude Oil Export Ban (H.R. 702):

Representative Joe Barton's [R-TX], bill to end the 40-year old ban on crude oil exports would trigger an increase in oil production and carbon pollution. [October 9, 2015; passed 261-159]

Pro-environment vote was NO.

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Attacking the Carbon Pollution Standards For New Power Plants (S.J. Res 23):

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's [R-KY] “Resolution of Disapproval” under the Congressional Review Act would have blocked the Environmental Protection Agency’s Carbon Pollution Standards for New and Modified Power Plants. [December 1, 2015: passed 235-188]

Pro-environment vote was NO.

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Attacking Carbon Pollution Limits For Existing Power Plants (S.J. Res 24): 

Senator Shelley Moore Capito's [R-WV] “Resolution of Disapproval” under the Congressional Review Act would have permanently blocked the Clean Power Plan, which established the first national limits on carbon pollution from existing power plants. [December 1, 2015: approved 242-180]

Pro-environment vote was NO.

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Encouraging Dirty Fossil Fuels (H.R. 8):

Rep. Fred Upton’s [R-MI] North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act of 2015 (H.R. 8) would have moved us further away from a clean energy economy by accelerating the use of dirty, expensive and inefficient fossil fuels for energy. [December 3, 2015: passed 249-174]

Pro-environment vote was NO.

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Assaulting Clean Energy, Clean Water and Protected Species (H.R. 5055):

Rep. Michael K. Simpson's [R-ID] Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2017, would have cut funding for clean energy research, blocked clean water protections, undercut the Endangered Species Act and undermined safeguards for California’s rivers and fisheries. [May 26, 2016: rejected 112-305]

Pro-environment vote was NO.

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Protecting Air Quality by Closing Fracking Loopholes (Polis amendment to H.R. 4775):

Representative Jared Polis' [D-CO] amendment would have closed loopholes  in the Clean Air Act that oil and gas companies have exploited and protected local air quality for fence line communities. [June 8, 2016: defeated 160-251]

Pro-environment vote was YES.

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