The U.S. House of Representatives, which is controlled by Republicans, on Thursday passed a Republican budget “that would boost defense spending, slash social welfare programs and target ObamaCare, in what GOP leaders cast as a victory for fiscal sanity.”

That report comes from The Hill, which said that the U.S. Senate is expected to pass the “combined budget” next week.

Tulsi Gabbard and Mark Takai of Hawaii joined all Democrats and 14 Republicans in voting “nay” on the measure.

But, on another piece of legislation that also passed — this one an appropriations bill that funds the Veterans Administration and military construction projects — Hawaii’s reps were among just 19 Democrats voting in favor. Gabbard and Takai are both military veterans.

US Flags on floral arrangement at the Hawaii State Veteran's Cemetery in Kaneohe on October 2, 2014

U.S. flags and flowers at the Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery in Kaneohe in 2014.

PF Bentley/Civil Beat

Though they voted differently on the military construction and VA bill than did Minority Leaders Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer, Gabbard and Takai did side with Democrats on an amendment to that bill that would have allowed doctors at VA hospitals “to discuss the use of medical marijuana with patients.” But the measure failed narrowly.

As The Hill reports, “More than 30 Republicans voted in favor of the amendment. Boos ensued from the Democratic side of the House chamber when Republicans closed the vote despite the razor-thin margin.”

Medical pot is legal in more than 30 states including Hawaii, but VA doctors “are prohibited from completing patient forms seeking recommendations or opinions regarding medical marijuana to treat conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder.”

Here at home, state lawmakers are struggling to compromise on a bill setting up med-pot dispensaries.

About the Author