Reviving the Equal Rights Amendment: Voting 232-183, the House on Thursday adopted a measure (HJ Res 79) that would advance the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the Constitution by replacing a long-expired deadline for states to vote on ratification with an open-ended deadline. The ERA states: "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex." Congress on March 22, 1972, sent the ERA to the states, allowing seven years for them to muster the three-fourths majority (38) needed for ratification. The legislatures of 35 states voted to ratify, although five — Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska, Tennessee and South Dakota — rescinded their approvals on or before the March 22, 1977, deadline. In 1978, Congress and President Jimmy Carter set a new deadline of June 30, 1982, but no states came aboard during the extension. Nevada, Illinois and Virginia have voted to ratify the ERA since 1982. A yes vote was to send the proposed new deadline to the Senate.

Jeff Van Drew, R-2nd: YES

Andy Kim, D-3rd: YES

Expanding protected wilderness by 1.4 million acres: Voting 231-183, the House on Wednesday passed a bill (HR 2546) that would add nearly 1.4 million unspoiled acres in Colorado, California and Washington state to the 111-million-acre National Wilderness Protection System, which permanently safeguards federally owned land mostly in the West from commercial development including hard-rock mining and oil and natural gas drilling. The newly added acreage is located in areas including Washington's Olympia Peninsula; northwestern California; the Santa Monica Mountains and Central Coast in California; and 36 distinct areas of Colorado mostly on the Western Slope. The bill also would set aside 100,000 acres as national monument areas and expand the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate.

Van Drew: YES

Kim: YES 

Preventing and fighting fires in wilderness areas: The House on Wednesday defeated, 199-215, a Republican motion that sought to ensure that mechanized firefighting and fire-prevention equipment would have unhindered access to wilderness areas newly protected by HR 2546 (above). This would be in addition to assurances already in the bill that federal agencies would be fully empowered to take actions to prevent and fight fires in the designated areas. A yes vote was to adopt the motion.

Van Drew: YES

Kim: NO


Asserting congressional control over war with Iran: The Senate on Thursday voted 55-45 to require the administration to obtain advance congressional approval for military actions against Iran or its proxy forces except when there is an imminent threat to the United States, its armed forces or its territories. The measure invokes the 1973 War Powers Resolution, which asserts the power of Congress to declare war under Article I of the Constitution. Under that Vietnam-era law, presidents must notify Congress within 48 hours when they send the U.S. military into combat, then withdraw the forces within a specified period unless Congress has authorized the action. A yes vote was to send SJ Res 68 to the House and likely on to President Donald Trump, who says he will veto it.

Robert Menendez, D: YES

Cory Booker, D: YES

Source: Richard Thomas, Voterama in Congress

Editorial Clerk

I interned with a small magazine in Wildwood before starting at The Press in 2013. I currently handle our Hometown and At The Shore calendar of events submissions and enjoy interacting with the local community.

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