Highlights from the Week
1. From January 28 to February 4, a Chinese-operated balloon was seen in the airspace over the United States and Canada. United States intelligence reports asserted that the balloon, which was first noticed by Americans in Montana, was intended for surveillance purposes, and while the Chinese government argued it was a civilian research airship that went off course, the balloon was shot down over the Atlantic Ocean near South Carolina on February 4. In the aftermath, Secretary of State Antony Blinken canceled an upcoming trip to China, the first such visit since 2018. Additionally, it led to the House of Representatives passing a resolution on a vote of 419–0 to condemn the use of the surveillance balloon over American airspace. Click here to read the text of the resolution and the vote breakdown. Additionally, click here to read a statement from Representative and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Michael McCaul of Texas, here for a statement from Representative Gregory Meeks of New York, here for a statement from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, and here for a statement from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.
2. On February 8, the House of Representatives passed a bill to “terminate the requirement imposed by the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for proof of COVID-19 vaccination for foreign travelers” and other purposes. This bill, which passed by a vote of 227–201, would repeal the CDC order restricting the entry of non-citizens who are not immigrants into the United States by air travel unless they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or otherwise attest that they will take public health measures to prevent the spread of the virus. Click here to read the bill text and see how your representatives voted, here to read a statement from the bill sponsor, Representative Thomas Massie of Kentucky, and here for a statement from Representative Betty McCollum of Minnesota.
3. On February 9, the House of Representatives passed a joint resolution “Disapproving the action of the District of Columbia Council in approving the Local Resident Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2022.” This resolution, passed on a vote of 260–162, would repeal the Local Residency Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2022, a bill passed by the D.C. City Council that would allow non-citizens who meet residency and other requirements to vote in local elections in the district. Click here to read the bill text and see how your representatives voted, here to read a statement from House Majority Leader Steve Scalise of Louisiana, and here to read a statement from Representative Jamie Raskin of Maryland.
By the Elections Research team: Nick, Zachary, Courtney, Seth, and Caleb, and Elections interns: Reid, Hunter, and George
Biographies: Want to learn more about officials who have been sworn in at the federal level? You can see the full list of officials here:
Want to learn more about the leadership in each state legislature? You can see the full leadership rosters here:
Want to learn more about which committees elected officials are a part of? You can see the full list of committees for each state here:
Want to learn more about some special elections happening in 2023? You can see the elections that have been held so far this year here:
By the Officials Research team: Noah, Johanan, Neal, Thomas, Bibi, Craig, and Israel and Officials Interns: Brittany, Caroline, and Morgen
Public Statements: 579 statements were added this week. See highlights from the week for notable statements.
States: 25 new votes were added.
Arkansas’s House passed HB 1156 which seeks to require that public school restrooms be separated by sex. Click here to view the full bill text.
South Carolina’s Senate passed S 39 which seeks to increase student access to education savings accounts. Click here to view the full bill text.
West Virginia’s House passed HB 2890 which seeks to increase various state student discipline policies. Click here to view the full bill text.
Federal Legislation: 4 new votes were added
Special Interest Groups:
This year to date, the SIGS team has entered 2,048 ratings and 439 endorsements for candidates.