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H.R. 1079: Creating Advanced Streamlined Electronic Services for Constituents Act of 2019

Feb 11, 2019 at 7:04 p.m. ET. On Motion to Suspend the Rules and Pass, as Amended in the House.

This was a vote to pass H.R. 1079 (116th) in the House. This vote was taken under a House procedure called “suspension of the rules” which is typically used to pass non-controversial bills. Votes under suspension require a 2/3rds majority. A failed vote under suspension can be taken again.

Currently, you have to mail or fax a physical letter for some actions undertaken by congressional offices. The CASES for Constituents Act would finally allow digital alternatives in addition.


For 44 years and counting, the Privacy Act of 1974 has mandated that members of Congress get written authorization from a constituent before undertaking case work with the federal government on the constituent’s behalf. That can even include for emergency situations such as with FEMA, the VA, Social Security, or Medicare.

A Louisiana congressman gave a recent example.

“After our 2016 flood in South Louisiana, our office was available to field the thousands of calls from flood victims in need of help,” Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA6) said. “How do you tell someone who literally just lost everything — including their printers — that the law requires them to print and fax, scan, or mail in a sheet of paper authorizing us to speak to FEMA or any other agency before we could do anything? It was absurd.”

What the bill does

The Creating Advanced Streamlined Electronic Services (CASES) for Constituents Act would allow a digital or internet option for all Americans to authorize their congressman’s office to conduct casework with any government agency.

It was introduced on February 7 as bill number H.R. 1079, by Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA6).

What supporters say

Supporters argue the bill brings an archaic aspect of the federal government to an end.

“Let’s be honest, we’re not splitting atoms or reinventing the wheel here; everybody knows we’re a long way from government being able to keep up with the private sector when it comes to innovation, customer-focus or speed,” Rep. Graves said in a press release. “But this bill helps to solve the problem.”

“More than 80% of American adults have smartphones and nearly all of them use the internet,” Rep. Graves continued. “There’s just no excuse for the fact that it’s business-as-usual since 1974 for the federal government.”

GovTrack Insider was unable to locate any statements of opposition.

Odds of passage

The bill passed the House on February 11 by a unanimous 379–0 vote.

A previous version also introduced by Rep. Graves passed the House in July 2018 on a voice vote, but never received a vote in the Senate. It’s possible the same fate could befall the bill this time around as well.


All Votes D R
Yea 100%
Nay 0%
Not Voting

Passed. 2/3 Required. Source:

Ideology Vote Chart

Democrat - Yea Republican - Yea
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Cartogram Map

Each hexagon represents one congressional district. Solid hexes are Yea votes.

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Study Guide

How well do you understand this vote? Use this study guide to find out.

You can find answers to most of the questions below here on the vote page. For a guide to understanding the bill this vote was about, see here.

What was the procedure for this vote?

  1. What was this vote on?
  2. Not all votes are meant to pass legislation. In the Senate some votes are not about legislation at all, since the Senate must vote to confirm presidential nominations to certain federal positions.

    This vote is related to a bill. However, that doesn’t necessarily tell you what it is about. Congress makes many decisions in the process of passing legislation, such as on the procedures for debating the bill, whether to change the bill before voting on passage, and even whether to vote on passage at all.

    You can learn more about the various motions used in Congress at If you aren’t sure what the House was voting on, try seeing if it’s on this list.

  3. What is the next step after this vote?
  4. Take a look at where this bill is in the legislative process. What might come next? Keep in mind what this specific vote was on, and the context of the bill. Will there be amendments? Will the other chamber of Congress vote on it, or let it die?

    For this question it may help to briefly examine the bill itself.

What is your analysis of this vote?

  1. What trends do you see in this vote?
  2. Members of Congress side together for many reasons beside being in the same political party, especially so for less prominent legislation or legislation specific to a certain region. What might have determined how the roll call came out in this case? Does it look like Members of Congress voted based on party, geography, or some other reason?

    One tool that will be helpful in answering this question is the cartogram at the top of the page. A cartogram is a stylized map of the United States that shows each district as an identical hexagon. This view allows you to see the how the representatives from each district voted arranged by their geography and colored by their political party. What trends can you see in the cartogram for this vote?

  3. How did your representative vote?
  4. There is one vote here that should be more important to you than all the others. These are the votes cast by your representative, which is meant to represent you and your community. Do you agree with how your representative voted? Why do you think they voted the way they did?

    If you don’t already know who your Members of Congress are you can find them by entering your address here.

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