Health-law change: The House on April 3 voted, 248-179, to raise from 30 to 40 the hours worked each week to qualify as full time under the Affordable Care Act. Backers said this would protect paychecks by removing an incentive for employers to reduce hours to avoid ACA penalties. A yes vote was to pass the Republican bill (HR 2575) over Congressional Budget Office projections that it would raise the national debt by $73.7 billion over 10 years. The bill is expected to die in the Senate.
Rep. Frank LoBiondo,
Rep. Jon Runyan, R-3rd: YES
Gender bias in health policies: The House on April 3 defeated, 191-232, a Democratic bid to prohibit HR 2575 (above) from repealing popular Affordable Care Act features, such its bans on gender bias and coverage denials based on pre-existing conditions. A yes vote backed the Democratic motion.
U.S. aid to Ukraine: The House on April 1 approved, 378-34, $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees and at least $50 million in direct aid for Ukraine. A yes vote was to send President Obama a bill (HR 4152) that also expands U.S. economic sanctions on Russia in response to its
incursion into Ukraine.
‘Dynamic scoring’ budget doctrine: The House on April 4 passed, 224-182, a bill requiring the Congressional Budget Office to use “dynamic scoring,” a tenet of supply-side economics, as one of its tools for forecasting the impact of proposed legislation on economic growth. A yes vote endorsed the view that tax and spending cuts always pay for themselves by stimulating economic growth, a doctrine that the CBO and mainstream economists say is not empirically valid. The bill (HR 1874) is expected to die
in the Senate.
Runyan: NOT VOTING
Extended jobless aid: The Senate on April 3 voted, 61-35, to advance a bill (HR 3979) providing jobless assistance to millions of the long-term unemployed whose eligibility for extended benefits has expired. A yes vote backed a bill to provide jobless checks retroactively from Dec. 28 through May 31. A final Senate vote on the bill was expected the following week.
Sen. Robert Menendez, D: YES
Sen. Cory Booker, D: YES