IL-14: Two Bills Sponsored by Lauren Underwood Pass House But Underwood Claims Partisan Legislation as Bipartisan When Truth Says Otherwise

Lauren Underwood

On Thursday afternoon, the House of Representatives passed two bills sponsored by Congresswoman Lauren Underwood. These are, in the order they were passed:

  • H.R. 3526 — Counter Terrorist Network Act
  • H.R. 3525 — U.S. Border Patrol Medical Screening Standards Act

While Underwood is to be congratulated to have one of her sponsored bills pass the House, two on the same day is impressive. While the bulk of this article will focus on H.R. 3525, McHenry County Blog wants to highlight the one, genuine bipartisan legislation sponsored by Underwood yesterday first.

In order to help readers, a MyC-SPAN account was created in order to do user clips of video of a C-SPAN broadcast event. It is hoped discerning voters will find this tool useful to see the full contextuality of the proceedings of Congress.

Bipartisan Legislation: H.R. 3526

Yesterday’s session of the House took less than 10 minutes of time to bring H.R. 3526 to the floor, have quick discussion, and pass the legislation on a voice vote. Both the Democratic majority and Republican minority spoke in favor of passage, and no speaker from the minority spoke against the bill.

Earlier this year, McHenry County Blog commended this legislation as Underwood’s first genuine bipartisan legislation, even to the point of having a Republican co-sponsor in Congressman John Katko (R, NY). The C-SPAN video clip for floor action is below for reference, and includes a brief 3 minute speech by Underwood.

For the passage of this legislation, Underwood should be commended, and its future in the Senate, given the real bipartisan support, bright:

H.R. 3526 C-SPAN Link:

Partisan Legislation: H.R. 3525

Unfortunately, Underwood has chosen to, once again, use a loose definition of “bipartisan”, as she did in her thread of tweets upon the successful passage of H.R. 3525 bill.

Note in the 3rd part of the tweet-thread, Underwood says “…passed the House w/ bipartisan support…” Here’s the vote grid from California Target Book for the final passage of H.R. 3525:

Source: California Target Book

It almost goes without saying that when each side of the Yeas and Nays are overwhelmingly one color, that’s partisan. Period. Yes, two Republicans, plus the one Republican-turned-Independent voted with the Democrats. And Underwood calls it “bipartisan”, when 227 of the 230 votes in favor are Democrats.

And it cannot be overlooked two Democrats voted against H.R. 3525. As has been said previously here on McHenry County Blog, it would be equally wrong to say there is “bipartisan opposition” to this legislation because of those two Democratic “nays”.

The video link for the over 48 minutes of floor debate on H.R. 3525 is below, and if you choose to watch/listen, you can hear in the speeches of the Republicans, including two M.D.s that Republicans genuinely wanted to work with the Democrats, and the Republicans clearly understood and supported the noble intents of the bill.

But the reality this legislation’s unrealistic mandates of both time and cost, will doom it in the Senate. Listening to the video, President Trump has made his intention known that he would veto this bill if it ever came to his desk.

H.R. 3525 C-SPAN Link:


If you listened to the full link of H.R. 3525 above, one of the Democratic proponents, Congresswoman Kathleen Rice (D, NY) referred to this bill as “it’s bipartisan” at the 27:06 minute mark.

Why would Congresswoman Rice say something like that? Was H.R. 3525 at any time bipartisan? The answer is no, and the embedded video below of the House Homeland Security Committee will prove this.

The committee’s “Markup” meeting took place on July 17 (the label on the video that says “July 16” is not accurate). Since the video was not made by C-SPAN, a clip could not be created, but it is below for reference.

Starting at the 1:40:12 point on the video, when Chairman Bennie Thompson (D, MS) calls up H.R. 3525, and after Underwood speaks to her legislation and amendments, Congressman Clay Higgins (R, LA), who was sitting-in for Ranking Member Mike Rogers (R, AL) as the acting ranking member, expressed strong objection to the “within 12-hours” direction of the Underwood legislation for treating migrants at the border, noting Americans, particularly veterans at VA facilities, do not have such protections. 

Congressman Higgins’ response to Underwood begins at 1:45:44.

After Higgins’ discussion of his objections, and a procedural amendment-to-an-amendment and after Chairman Thompson weighs-in his support, 2 voice votes took place on the amendments, and a final voice vote to advance Underwood’s bill to the House. 

No Republican spoke in support of H.R. 3525 at the July 17 committee meeting.

On all 3 voice votes, the “ayes” had prevailed, though on each voice vote, there were audible “no”s heard on the video. 

Back in July, Underwood mistakenly issued a press release saying H.R. 3525 was passed “unanimously” at the committee. It is noted in Thursday’s floor debate, Underwood was clear to say the bill advanced out of committee on a voice vote. 

The H.R. 3525 segment ends at the 1:51:04 mark of the committee’s video.

Underwood’s H.R. 3526, the Counter Terrorist Network Act, was passed unanimously at the committee level, through bundling the bill with other bills under a “unanimous consent” approval. 

This procedure is comparable to how local boards approve “consent agendas”. 

There was no discussion on H.R. 3526 prior to its approval.  Towards the end of the committee meeting at the 2:36:20 portion of the video, Underwood addressed the committee, and points out her working with fellow committee member, Congressman John Katko (R, NY) on this legislation. 

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IL-14: Two Bills Sponsored by Lauren Underwood Pass House But Underwood Claims Partisan Legislation as Bipartisan When Truth Says Otherwise — 19 Comments

  1. LOL – people from both parties voted for the bill. That’s bipartisan.

    But nice try in your attempted spin to pretend otherwise.

  2. Is Alabama retarded? Seems like it. Is he making the Underwood kool-aid or just quaffing it?

  3. Lopez –

    Your mission of getting everyone to conform to your definition of bi-partisan is not catching on:

    “It’s the second time that Congress has voted to block Trump’s plan to divert billions in Pentagon funding to his wall and amounts to a bipartisan rebuke of the president. Eleven Senate Republicans joined Democrats earlier in the week to pass the bill.”

    Attacking her for being misleading and untruthful when she’s using the commonly accepted definition is exactly what dentbla states. It’s grasping at straws.

  4. Every single one of the 174 Republicans in the house voted against. 41 of 52 Republican Senators voted against. Lopez – that’s Republicans 215 v 11.

    Politico said that is a bi-partisan rebuke.

    Quit writing that she’s dishonest when she’s using the verbiage that’s accepted.

    Just because you disagree with what a term means (and not for nothing but your understanding and usage of it may very well be the minority here) does not mean she’s not telling the truth.

    Hold yourself to a higher standard and you should be honest in your critiques.

  5. Oh, dear, I already got my vindication a month ago about my definition of “bipartisan”, and here is what I wrote back on 8/25:

    “Personally, and this is how John Lopez keeps his sanity when referring to bipartisan legislation initiated in the House, I use the 10% rule on a bill in the 116th Congress. If a bill sponsored by a majority Democratic member has at least 10% of Republicans in the affirmative on the final vote to pass the legislation, then it is “bipartisan” in my book. The 10% number of Republicans in the House is 20, given the Republican caucus is currently at 197 members, and I choose to round up.”

    Apply my 10% rule to the Senate vote on Tuesday that your 10:21AM comment references, and the 11 Republican defectors represents over 20% of the Senate’s Republican majority caucus. That’s bipartisan in my book and if I read that POLITICO article correctly, it was referring to the Senate result from Tuesday as “bipartisan”.

    Let’s see, 53 Republican Senators, 10% = 5.3, 20% = 10.6, # of Republicans voting with the Democrats is 11, yup, my definition applied.

    Please, go back and read the McHenry County Blog 8/25 article, and what happened when Senate Democratic Leader Schumer tried to make a 1-Republican-voted-for-it out of the SAFE Act and claim it was “bipartisan”.

    And I do note a commenter or two back then thought my “10%” rule only represents “minimal” bipartisanship, well, they may be right, too, but at least I was vindicated back then, and your call-out has not changed that, in fact, it’s enhanced it.

  6. “It’s the second time that Congress has voted to block Trump’s plan to divert billions in Pentagon funding to his wall and amounts to a bipartisan rebuke of the president”

    Take out the prepositional phrases and the sentence reads:

    “It’s the second time that Congress has voted to block Trump’s plan and amounts to a bipartisan rebuke of the president”

    Take out some adjective phrase (if that’s what it’s called…I’m no English major):

    “Congress has voted to block Trump’s plan and amounts to a bipartisan rebuke of the president”

    Lopez, “if I read that POLITICO article correctly, it was referring to the Senate result from Tuesday as “bipartisan”.

    Nope, you did not read it correctly. The sentence in which the Politico author writes that Congress rebuked the President in a bi-partisan manner referred to Congress, not the Senate.

    Be better with your critiques.

  7. Oh on, shuffle off back to get Franks more coffee.

    And make sure it’s hot this time.

    Frogmarch it to the Jackal.

  8. Oh, I always hold try to hold myself to the Highest standard, and the truth here is on my side, addressing now your 10:45AM comment.

    First, I stand by what I said concerning Underwood in the article, because 2, let’s give her the independent since he was once a Republican, 3 out of 199 non-Democrats in the House is not “bipartisan”. As I said earlier in previous comment, if Chuck Schumer, or any other Democrat, tries to take this H.R. 3525 vote to the Senate and claim it’s “bipartisan”, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will or should laugh-at-them in their faces. He did that with the SAFE Act back in July.

    Since the “verbiage that’s accepted” does not even apply to Underwood’s fake bipartisan claim, your point is simply inapposite.

    Thank you for the comments though. The Senate vote was what makes this a bipartisan rebuke of the President.

    And, let’s make sure we are on the same page, there are 198 Republicans, plus 1 independent, 235 Democrats and 1 vacancy in the House to get to 435. 20 Republicans voting with the Majority Democrats is a “bipartisan” vote in my opinion since that represents 10% of the Republican caucus, and I round-up since you cannot split a person.

    For the Senate, 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats and 2 independents adds up to 100. So 9 Democratic senators voting with the Republicans represents “bipartisan” Senate approval, in my opinion.

    Have a nice day.

  9. I will make one exception to my “10%” rule, and even trying to apply this exception/corollary to the House vote this morning, it does not apply. The only time I will accept a less-then-10% number, of either caucus, is bipartisan is when enough members of that less-than-10%-percent impacted the result of the vote.

    Today’s House vote on S J Res 54: 11 non-Democrats voted with the Democrats giving a total of 236 votes. Take away those 11 votes, and the Democrats still have 225 votes, which is 7-more than the 218 needed to pass legislation in the House.

    While I’m sure there are more examples when my exception/corollary applies, the only one I can think of off hand is when Congresswoman Underwood’s words were taken down or stricken from the record of House Homeland Security Committee meeting back on 5/22. That committee has 18 Democrats, and 13 Republicans, and when that procedural vote was taken, there were only 16 committee members present, 8 Democrats and 8 Republicans.

    The vote against Underwood was 9-7, and was only possible when Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin joined the 8 Republicans in the vote. Slotkin lone vote is not 10% of 18, but that 1 Democrat made it possible for the Republicans to win that vote, which they did.

    I know I’ve written it’s wrong when the NRCC and other groups claim DemocratS rebuked Underwood. It was only 1 Democrat, but that was a rare example where 1 vote made a difference that wasn’t 10% of the caucus in this case, within a committee, and that vote was bipartisan since Republicans could not prevail without 1 Democrat’s help.

    In the Senate is where the exception would more likely apply. On Tuesday’s vote, the Democrats prevailed with 54 votes. The Democrats only had to get to 51, so fewer Republican defectors would have made the outcome similar. The fact the 11 Republicans represented 20% of the caucus, made the bipartisan message stronger from the Senate, not to mention the Republicans hold the majority.

  10. All I see is spend, spend, spend more tax $$ on Illegals, who should not be here in the first place.

    Nothing do I see for true AMERICANs or America!

    the tax payers footing all this load of cow pies.

    By God I wonder how long before We the People are going to take back OUR land and Government and give it some common sense and Sanity.

    40million was not enough to blow on Russia lies, by the last regime, now they want to spend more on illegal nothing… where is the help for the U.S. Citizen of the USA?

    oh that’s right standing in unemployment lines, standing in free cheese lines, camping out under the stars. This just gets more and more ridiculous.

    Start doing your jobs your being paid for !

    Get America back on track before you start handing out more FREE Cheese… and pensions!

    or get out!

    you go live in some other other country you think is greater then ours!

  11. If 11 Republican senators vote with the Democrats on an issue, that’s undoubtedly MORE bipartisan than a bill that has the support of 2 Republican House members.

    I wouldn’t really describe the latter as bipartisan.

    For crying out loud, just look at that grid. It’s pretty much all blue on one side and red on the other.

    Maybe we need to view bipartisanship in a different way, like a spectrum.

    It seems we have bad definitions.

    One definition, where if just ONE person from the other party joins you it’s suddenly bipartisan, seems completely inadequate and irrelevant, while the other definition, where a majority from both parties must support it, seems too exclusive.

    Maybe, John, just point out the percent from both parties supporting/opposing and don’t even make a judgement on whether it is “bipartisan” or not. Let the numbers do the talking.

    In regard to the Politico article, people notice more when the Senate votes against the President’s wishes given that the Senate is controlled by the same party (Republican) as the President.

    Mathematically, there just has to be more bipartianship in the Senate to do something that goes against Trump.

    It’s not as impressive to get something Trump doesn’t agree with out of the House, because the House is controlled by Democrats.

    So rebuking Trump’s emergency declaration because 11 Republican Senators out of 53 crossed the aisle, I would consider more “bipartisan” than HR 3525, where 2 Republican House members out of 198 crossed over.

    One is over 20 percent, the other is about 1 percent.

    You should also pay attention to whether something can pass both chambers, although that can get dicey given how many bills simply aren’t voted on.

  12. “Oh on” is on the wrong blog. She needs to be at places like kos where it is mostly liberals and Democrats hang out. Those who supported the thug Hillary and Obama. They are the ones hugely in need of education about democracy, freedom, liberty, self sufficiency, etc.

  13. Oh on needs to be sent to a penal colony with her reject friends.

  14. “…When Truth Says Otherwise”. No better sentinel of the truth than this sunshine sewer blog. Stay tuned…tic, tock, tic, tock, tic, tock, tic, tock, meeeeeeoooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww…

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