U.S. aid to Ukraine: The House on March 27 approved, 399-19, $70 million in U.S. aid to Ukraine, including $50 million to bolster its governmental institutions and independent media. A yes vote was to send the Senate a bill (HR 4278) that also expands and gives force of law to President Barack Obama’s economic sanctions on Russia.

Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-2nd: YES

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Rep. Jon Runyan, R-3rd: YES

Antiquities Act of 1906: The House on March 26 voted, 222-201, to weaken presidential power under the Antiquities Act of 1906 to preserve federal land in its natural state to protect archeological and historical features from looting and degradation. A yes vote was to pass HR 1459 on grounds modern-era presidents have been overly aggressive in invoking the 1906 law.

Runyan: YES

LoBiondo: NO

Minimum wage rise: The House on March 26 defeated, 193-227, a bid by Democrats to delay enactment of HR 1459 (above) until Congress first votes to raise the federal minimum wage from its present $7.25 per hour to at least $10.10 per hour. A yes vote was to gradually raise the federal minimum wage by nearly 40 percent.

LoBiondo: NO

Runyan: NO

Rules for mountaintop mining: The House on March 25 passed, 229-192, a bill (HR 2824) to advance mountaintop-mining rules from the George W. Bush administration that a federal judge recently found to violate the Endangered Species Act. A yes vote was to reinstate Bush-era coal-mining rules and “deem” them in compliance with the act.

Runyan: YES

LoBiondo: NO


U.S. aid to Ukraine: The Senate on March 27 approved, 98-2, as much as $1 billion in U.S. guarantees of private-sector loans obtained by Ukraine to stabilize its economy. A yes vote was to pass a bill (HR 4152) that also sends $70 million in direct aid to Ukraine. President Obama was expected to sign the bill.

Sen. Robert Menendez, D: YES

Sen. Cory Booker, D: YES

Extended jobless aid: The Senate on March 27 voted, 65-34, to advance a bill providing jobless assistance to millions of the long-term unemployed whose eligibility for extended benefits has expired. A yes vote backed

a bill (HR 3979) to provide jobless checks retroactively from Dec. 28 through May 31.

Menendez: YES

Booker: YES

More than 30 years’ experience reporting and editing for newspapers and magazines in Illinois, Colorado, Texas and New Jersey and 1985 winner of the Texas Daily Newspaper Association’s John Murphy Award for copy editing.

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