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How your congressional delegates voted


Contact your legislators at the U.S. Capitol
Zip codes: House 20515, Senate 20510
Capitol operator: (202) 224-3121

U.S. SUPPORT FOR UKRAINE: Voting 399 for and 19 against, the House on March 27 passed a bipartisan bill (HR 4278) authorizing $70 million in U.S. aid to Ukraine, including $50 million to strengthen its civil institutions. In part, the bill expands Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and Voice of America broadcasts into Ukraine, Moldova and the Crimean Peninsula. The bill also expands and gives force of law to economic penalties and visa denials ordered by President Obama against certain Russian officials and civilians who have worked to destabilize Ukraine. To pay for itself, the bill cuts U.S. aid to Pakistan by $70 million. This aid is in addition to $1 billion the House already approved in U.S. loan guarantees for Ukraine.

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate, where quick approval was expected.


REGULATION OF MOUNTAINTOP MINING: Voting 229 for and 192 against, the House on March 25 passed a GOP bill (HR 2824) to retain mountaintop-mining regulations from the George W. Bush administration that a federal judge struck down in February on grounds they violate the Endangered Species Act. Issued in December 2008, what is known as the “Stream Buffer Zone Rule” curbs but does not prohibit the coal industry’s practice of dumping fractured rock and other waste from blasted mountaintops into adjacent streams and valleys. In part, this bill would “deem” the Bush-era rules in compliance with the Endangered Species Act. The Obama administration is drafting replacement regulations.

A yes vote was to advance environmental rules backed by the National Mining Association and opposed by the Sierra Club.


ANTIQUITIES ACT OF 1906: Voting 222 for and 201 against, the House on March 26 passed a bill (HR 1459) to weaken presidential authority under the Antiquities Act of 1906 to preserve certain federal lands in their natural state. The law was enacted to give presidents a quick means of preventing the looting of archeological and historical resources such as Indian relics on federal land. But critics say modern-era presidents have been overly aggressive in giving “national monument” protection to federal acreage in the West. The bill limits presidents to one national-monument designation per state in their four-year term and subjects preservation decisions to lengthy National Environmental Policy Act reviews.

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate, where it appears certain to die.


MINIMUM-WAGE INCREASE: Voting 193 for and 227 against, the House on March 26 defeated a bid by Democrats to delay enactment of HR 1459 (above) until after Congress has gradually raised the federal minimum wage from its present $7.25 per hour to at least $10.10 per hour.

A yes vote was to phase in a nearly 40 percent increase in the federal minimum wage.


U.S. SUPPORT FOR UKRAINE: Voting 98 for and two against, the Senate on March 27 passed a bipartisan bill (HR 4152) to allocate up to $1 billion in U.S. funds to guarantee private-sector loans obtained by Ukraine to stabilize its economy and democracy. The negative votes were cast by GOP Sens. Ron Paul of Kentucky and Dean Heller of Nevada. The bill also authorizes $70 million in direct U.S. aid to Ukraine and expands economic sanctions ordered by President Obama against certain Russian officials and civilians. This vote sent the bill back to the House for routine approval and then to Obama for his signature.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.


EXTENDED UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS: Voting 65 for and 34 against, the Senate on March 27 advanced a bipartisan bill (HR 3979) to restore jobless benefits that expired in late December for millions of the long-term unemployed.

The bill would be retroactive to Dec. 28 and last through May 31. Its projected $10 billion cost would be paid for, in part, by an accounting maneuver known as “pension smoothing” that allows companies to temporarily pay less into their pension funds, which raises their taxable income over the short-term.

A yes vote was to advance the bill toward a final vote in early April.



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