Vote Recommendations on Amendments to the Second Minibus for FY 2021, H.R. 7617

On behalf of our activist community, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her to vote in the manner prescribed for each amendment below to the Defense, Commerce, Justice, Science, Energy and Water Development, Financial Services and General Government, Homeland Security, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2021, H.R. 7617, should these amendments be allowed votes.

FreedomWorks may count the votes on these amendments for purposes of our 2020 Congressional Scorecard and, as is always the case, reserves the right to score any other amendments not listed below that are brought to the floor for votes.

NO – Division B – #33: Sponsored by Grace Meng (D-N.Y.), this amendment would prohibit the use of funds for implementing, administrating, or enforcing the Presidential Memorandum on Excluding Illegal Aliens From the Apportionment Base Following the 2020 Census. The Census is used to determine, among other things, congressional apportionment and distribution of funds for federal programs. Excluding undocumented immigrants would give a more accurate assessment of citizens in each congressional district, as well as determining programmatic needs.

YES – Division B – #69: Sponsored by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.), this amendment would prohibit the Department of Justice from seeking and accepting adoptive seizures. Civil asset forfeiture is a pernicious form of government overreach, through which property or money may be permanently seized, without the property owner being arrested or charged, let alone convicted, of a crime. Although roughly half of the states have increased evidentiary standards for subjecting seized property to forfeiture, few have closed the loophole in federal law that prohibits the circumvention of those state laws. This amendment would prohibit the use of funds to implement the use of funds for adoptive seizures, essentially nullifying a misguided directive made by now former Attorney General Jeff Sessions in July 2017.

NO – Division B – #92: Sponsored by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), this amendment would increase funding for the Bureau of Economic Analysis for the purpose of studying the economic effects of universal basic income. As one of the primary policy proposals of the radical left, Rep. Omar shouldn’t be allowed to use bipartisan federal funding to advance the personal agenda of progressive Democrats.

NO – Division C – #30: Introduced by Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.), this amendment would add $25 million to the funding of the EPA’s Vehicle Technologies Office for the purpose of developing electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Such funding is entirely unnecessary, given the incredible pace that the private sector is already deploying such infrastructure. This is an activity that ought to be the reserve of the free market.

NO – Division C – #34: Sponsored by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), this amendment would restrict the use of the Department of Energy’s Section 1703 loan guarantee program to only “clean energy projects that avoid, reduce, or sequester air pollutants or human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases.” Section 1703 loan guarantees are supposed to promote energy innovation, and this amendment would pick winners and losers among developing technologies.

YES – Division C – #60: Sponsored by Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), this amendment would eliminate $43.5 billion in Energy and Water Appropriations funding for new Budget Control Act (BCA) cap-exempt spending on Army Corps of Engineers projects and other federal infrastructure projects. Note that this is only a cut to the desired increase in spending on this section, so hardly a radical decrease.

NO – Division D – #3: Sponsored by Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.), this amendment would increase U.S. Postal Service (USPS) funding by $2,000,000 to carry out pilot programs to expand its current postal banking services to surcharge-free automated teller machines, wire transfers, check cashing, and bill payment. The USPS is having enough difficulty fulfilling its core mission without expanding further into financial services.

NO – Division D – #39: Sponsored by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), this amendment would prohibit the use of funds to change the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) operating procedures or to create a pilot program to increase USPS efficiency. This amendment would actively prevent increased efficiency and would tie the hands of USPS leadership to change operating procedures in the midst of COVID-19.

NO – Division F – #4: Sponsored by Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill.), this amendment would remove the ban that prevents the Department of Health and Human Services from promulgating regulations regarding unique patient identifiers. This would open the door for more needless red tape around our healthcare industry and would likely restrict insurance company flexibility on the issue.

YES – Division F – #24: Sponsored by Rep. Dan Bishop (R-N.C.), this amendment would prohibit the use of federal funds for eliminating the rule that currently allows Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) to be used to purchase health coverage on the individual market. Granting individuals greater freedom with their healthcare savings is an important aspect of reforming our broken healthcare system. It would be a travesty if Congress were to undo the progress the Trump administration has made towards granting consumers freedom with their healthcare savings.

YES – Division F – #53: Sponsored by Rep. Rick Allen (R-Ga.), this amendment would simply reduce the overall FY 2021 appropriation for the Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services by five percent.

YES – Division F – #54: Sponsored by Rep. French Hill (R-Ark.), this amendment would strike the obligation on the Secretary of Health and Human Services to make at least $100 million available to so-called “navigators” for the Obamacare exchanges. The job of these navigators is to steer patients towards the expensive, grossly over-regulated individual market health insurance plans mandated by ObamaCare. Of this $100 million, $60 million is dedicated for advertising the exchanges, which have suffered from low enrollment due to costly health insurance premiums driven by ObamaCare’s mandates.

FreedomWorks may count the votes for these amendments to H.R. 7617 on our 2020 Congressional Scorecard and reserves the right to score any additional amendments, motions, or other related votes. We also reserve the right to weigh any votes. The scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the FreedomFighter Award, which recognizes members of the House and Senate who consistently vote to support economic freedom and individual liberty.


Adam Brandon, President, FreedomWorks