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By: Bob Hague of WRN

Wisconsin’s U.S. Senators split their votes Thursday, as the U.S. Senate voted 59-41 to approve a resolution to overturn President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border. A total of 12 Republicans joined all Democrats to pass the resolution, which passed the House last month.

Wisconsin Republican Ron Johnson released a statement following his “no” vote.

“Unfortunately, securing America’s border has turned into a political brawl, with Democrats – who supported border barriers in the past – now refusing to supply the funding for necessary barriers because they don’t like this president. We have a growing humanitarian crisis at our border that has seen more families and unaccompanied children enter our country in the last five months than at any other time on record. That certainly qualifies as an emergency. Today’s vote will not fix any problem, but it does demonstrate whether a senator supports or opposes border security. I will always choose to support border and homeland security. We will deal with the issue of reclaiming congressional authority under the National Emergencies Act in my committee in the very near future.”

Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin noted that the House passed the resolution with bipartisan support, 245 to 182, and Republican U.S. Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner and Mike Gallagher joined Wisconsin Democrats Ron Kind, Gwen Moore, Mark Pocan in voting yes.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin ?@SenatorBaldwin
 

I voted today with Republicans and Democrats in the Senate to stand up for our Constitution and our American system of checks and balances. President Trump’s unlawful power grab is an attack on our Constitution’s separation of powers. https://www.baldwin.senate.gov/press-releases/statement-on-senate-vote-to-terminate-national-emergency 

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The Senate vote sends the resolution to the president, and Congress does not have the votes to override Trump’s promised veto.

By: Randel Johnson and Alexander Passantino of Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Paycheck Fairness Act Clears Committee. On February 26, the House Committee on Education and Labor reported out H.R. 7, the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would radically revise the Equal Pay Act. House leadership is promising swift floor action, with the bill possibly being brought up within the next two to three weeks, with passage all but-assured. Importantly, however, there were no defections at the Committee level on the Republican side, a fact that was not a given going into this debate considering the sensitivities of the issues. You may recall that Seyfarth partner Camille Olson was the sole witness invited to testify on problems with the legislation; the other six witnesses were wholly supportive. Her testimony helped lay the groundwork for a number of amendments, including one striking new provisions that would quite literally make it impossible for an employer to demonstrate that a factor other than sex explained the pay differential at issue. Unfortunately, the Committee rejected the amendments, and cleared the way for the plaintiffs' bar to rack up easy wins, with unlimited punitive and compensatory damages and expanded class actions.

Previously, House-passed versions of this overreaching legislation have died in the Senate but, given the heightened focus on these sensitive issues and the fact three Republican women are up for reelection next year, we are taking nothing for granted and will remain engaged as the debate moves to the Senate.

Senate Committee Moves Labor Nominees (Again). In a party line vote, on February 27, the Senate HELP Committee once again approved the nominations of a number of key labor nominees, including the heads of OSHA, ETA, and the Wage & Hour Division, and the chair of the EEOC. Their nominations now proceed to the full Senate, where the if and when of their confirmations remain unclear.

Legislators Introduce Bill Aimed at Ending Mandatory Arbitration. Sen. Blumenthal (D-CT), and Reps. Johnson (D-GA) and Nadler (D-NY) today announced their introduction of the Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal (FAIR) Act. Not to be confused with the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates (FAIR) Act of 2019, also introduced in this Congress, the arbitration-focused bill would reportedly invalidate predispute agreements to arbitrate employment, consumer, antitrust, and civil rights matters. Text of the bill is not yet available.

Bipartisan Bill to Ease Standards for ADEA Claims. Reps. Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Sens. Bob Casey (D-PA) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) introduced H.R. 1230/S. 485, the "Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act." Another oldie which has been introduced in past Congresses, the bill would overrule the Supreme Court's 2009 decision in Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc., which requires plaintiffs in age discrimination cases to prove "but for" causation. According to the sponsors, the bill would ease the standard of proof for ADEA cases and bring it in line with Title VII requirements. Text of the bill is not yet available, however. Notwithstanding its bipartisan introduction, the bill faces an uncertain future. We have been involved in past negotiations over prior versions of this legislation and anticipate will be again.

New Hampshire Senate Passes Non-Compete Ban. The state legislatures remain active on a wide variety of labor and employment issues, but there has been a recent uptick in efforts to ban (in some form or fashion) the use of non-compete agreements. New Hampshire is the latest state to enter the fray, with the state Senate passing--by voice vote and without debate--a bill prohibiting employers from using non-compete agreements for low-wage workers. The bill is expected to move on to the state House this spring. See Seyfarth's Trading Secrets blog for more.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

By: Diane Bartz of kfgo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. lawmakers questioning the chief executives of T-Mobile US Inc and Sprint Corp over their planned merger sparred with each other on Tuesday over T-Mobile's executives staying at President Donald Trump's hotel where they spent $195,000 while in Washington.

T-Mobile Chief Executive John Legere defended the $26 billion deal before a House subcommittee, saying the company would be better and faster at building 5G, the next generation of wireless, to compete with industry leaders AT&T Inc and Verizon Communications Inc and would create jobs while prices would not rise.

But Representative Hank Johnson, a Democrat from Georgia, asked instead about Legere taking a group of executives to stay at the Trump International Hotel the day after the merger was announced last year. The hotel stay had been previously reported.

Legere acknowledged staying at the hotel, telling the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee's antitrust subcommittee: "I'm a longtime Trump hotel stayer."

"You see how that looks?" Johnson pressed on. "You understand the optics of that? What it looks like? It looks like what's happening is that T-Mobile is trying to curry favor with the White House."

Legere said that he was unaware of any contacts between the White House and the Justice Department and Federal Communications Commission who were reviewing the deal.

Representative Pramila Jayapal, a Democrat, agreed with Johnson's concerns. "It appears that you were trying to influence the merger," she told Legere.

Republicans on the committee disagreed.

Representative Jim Sensenbrenner, a Republican, said that where the T-Mobile executives stayed was irrelevant. "I'm kind of embarrassed sitting here listening to the line of questioning of the gentleman from Georgia," he said, referring to Johnson.

Representatives Matt Gaetz and Ken Buck, both Republicans, mocked the hotel issue. "I had dinner at the Trump hotel three weeks ago," Buck said. "I wonder if I have a conflict of interest?"

Legere said on Twitter on Sunday that on this trip to Washington he stayed at a different hotel.

MERGER CONCERNS

Two key House Democrats expressed concern about the agreement to combine the No. 3 and No. 4 U.S. wireless carriers, which was struck in April.

Representative David Cicilline, chair of the antitrust panel, noted that both companies had competed hard against their bigger rivals. "I am deeply skeptical that consolidation is the path forward to lowering prices, increasing opportunity, or unleashing competition," he added.

Representative Jerrold Nadler, chair of the full committee, said he was concerned about the companies' dominance of prepaid plans, usually used by people who are poorer or have bad credit.

"Because the proposed transaction would also consolidate the market for these services, it may have disproportionately negative effects on low-income households," he said.

To win support for the deal, T-Mobile previously said it would not increase prices for three years. Sprint said it hopes to complete the regulatory approval process by the end of June.

Last month at a congressional hearing, House Democrats raised worries about the deal because the U.S. wireless market has just four main carriers.

(Reporting by Diane Bartz; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Phil Berlowitz)

By: KFIZ am 1450

U.S. Representatives Ron Kind and Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin introduced a bipartisan bill Wednesday to manage and prevent the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease. The Chronic Wasting Disease Management Act will support state and tribal efforts to develop and implement management strategies and support research regarding the causes of CWD. The bill will also support methods to control the spread of the disease. As of February, CWD has been confirmed in 26 states, and there are serious concerns the disease will continue to spread across the country. In Wisconsin, 1,049 deer tested positive for CWD in 2018 in 19 counties. Senator Jon Tester of Montana introduced companion legislation in the senate. A number of wildlife and sportsmen organizations also voiced their support for the bill, including the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation. Read more about the bill here

By: Alex Rogers of CNN

(CNN)Since President Donald Trump's first year in office, Democratic members of Congress have introduced articles of impeachment, claiming he obstructed justice when he fired FBI director James Comey during an investigation into Russia's interference with the 2016 presidential election.

That effort was contained to a handful of members before the Democrats flipped the House in 2018. Now high-profile freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib is increasing the pressure to open impeachment proceedings despite resistance from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, other Democratic leaders and many rank-and-file members from competitive districts.
"I think every single colleague of mine agrees there's impeachable offenses," the Michigan Democrat said Wednesday.
"We may disagree on the pace," she added.
    Tlaib will soon file an impeachment resolution that will once again open the debate within the party about how Democrats in Congress should investigate the President and whether to move to remove him from office, pitting those from heavily Democratic districts -- like Tlaib and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, who supports impeachment -- against those from purple districts.
    Rep. Joe Cunningham, a Democrat from South Carolina, told CNN on Wednesday that he would not support the impeachment resolution. He said Congress should allow special counsel Robert Mueller to finish his report on Russian interference in the election and that his constituents had sent him to Washington to lower the cost of health care and restore America's infrastructure.
    "They ain't send me up here for impeachment purposes," Cunningham said.
    Rep. Jeff Van Drew, a New Jersey Democrat, said he also would oppose Tlaib's resolution. "If there isn't anything unbelievably unusual and there's just some distasteful issues -- which there are, no doubt -- I think we move forward," he said. "We have an election, and then we take it from there."
    Pelosi has attempted again and again to redirect talk of impeachment to other issues, noting last week how "divisive" it is in the country.
    "You don't want to go down that path unless it is unavoidable," she recently told Rolling Stone magazine.

    Investigations increase scrutiny on Trump

    But that path has proved difficult for Democrats to avoid.
    Rep. Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, which would take up articles of impeachment, said on ABC over the weekend that it was "very clear" the President had obstructed justice, echoing his committee's charge during the Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton presidencies. Nadler said Trump obstructed justice when he referred to the special counsel investigation as a witch hunt thousands of times, tried to "protect" former national security adviser Michael Flynn from an FBI investigation and fired Comey with the Russia probe on his mind.
    Nadler made sure on Sunday to say that "impeachment is a long way down the road," adding they don't have the evidence. "Before you impeach somebody, you have to persuade the American public that it ought to happen," the New York Democrat said.
    On Monday, Nadler announced a sweeping investigation, sending letters to 81 people and entities -- including the White House, the Justice Department, senior campaign officials, Trump Organization officials and the President's sons -- marking the start of investigations into allegations of obstruction of justice, abuses of power and corruption.
    Democratic members of the Judiciary Committee are keen on seeing what that will uncover.
    Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland said that while media reports and Mueller's indictments form members' impressions and judgments, Congress needs to do its own fact-finding investigation before starting impeachment proceedings, citing former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen's recent public hearing as its first witness testimony.
    "There appears to be overwhelming evidence of obstruction of justice based on everything we know," said Raskin in an interview. "But we haven't done an investigation of our own. And that's what it's about."

    Waiting for Mueller

    Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York said on Wednesday that Democrats should hold off on talking about impeachment as Mueller writes his report.
    "Bob Mueller has work to do," said Jeffries, who as Democratic caucus chair is a member of leadership. "He has to complete his investigation, report to the Department of Justice and allow Congress and the American people to then process those findings before deciding how to proceed. Impeachment is premature at this moment."
    When asked whether he thought the President should be impeached, Rep. Lou Correa, a California Democrat, replied, "That's not the question before us."
    When asked what it was, Correa said, "Oversight."
    A vocal minority of House Democrats have said they think impeachment proceedings should begin.
    Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee introduced articles of impeachment back in 2017.
    "The time has come to make clear to the American people and to this President that his train of injuries to our Constitution must be brought to an end through impeachment," he said in a statement at the time.
    This week, Cohen told CNN that Trump had obstructed justice, adding that "it's only not clear for his 35% hard core (base) and his acolytes in Congress."
    Some Republicans maintain that Trump did not obstruct justice, and the White House has denied any wrongdoing. Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, the top GOP member of the Judiciary Committee, called Nadler's new, wide-ranging probe an effort to find evidence to confirm what the chairman already believed.
      But others are waiting for Mueller's report before answering whether Trump had committed an impeachable offense.
      "The congressman isn't going to participate in any speculation or gossip regarding the matter while the Mueller investigation wraps up," said Chris Krepich, a spokesman for Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin. "He finds it disappointing that Chairman Nadler chose to jump the gun and accuse the President of crimes in order to assuage his liberal base."

      By: News8000

      Since President Donald Trump's first year in office, Democratic members of Congress have introduced articles of impeachment, claiming he obstructed justice when he fired FBI director James Comey during an investigation into Russia's interference with the 2016 presidential election.

      That effort was contained to a handful of members before the Democrats flipped the House in 2018. Now high-profile freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib is increasing the pressure to open impeachment proceedings despite resistance from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, other Democratic leaders and many rank-and-file members from competitive districts.

      "I think every single colleague of mine agrees there's impeachable offenses," the Michigan Democrat said Wednesday.

      "We may disagree on the pace," she added.

      Tlaib will soon file an impeachment resolution that will once again open the debate within the party about how Democrats in Congress should investigate the President and whether to move to remove him from office, pitting those from heavily Democratic districts -- like Tlaib and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, who supports impeachment -- against those from purple districts.

      Rep. Joe Cunningham, a Democrat from South Carolina, told CNN on Wednesday that he would not support the impeachment resolution. He said Congress should allow special counsel Robert Mueller to finish his report on Russian interference in the election and that his constituents had sent him to Washington to lower the cost of health care and restore America's infrastructure.

      "They ain't send me up here for impeachment purposes," Cunningham said.

      Rep. Jeff Van Drew, a New Jersey Democrat, said he also would oppose Tlaib's resolution. "If there isn't anything unbelievably unusual and there's just some distasteful issues -- which there are, no doubt -- I think we move forward," he said. "We have an election, and then we take it from there."

      Pelosi has attempted again and again to redirect talk of impeachment to other issues, noting last week how "divisive" it is in the country.

      "You don't want to go down that path unless it is unavoidable," she recently told Rolling Stone magazine.

      Investigations increase scrutiny on Trump

      But that path has proved difficult for Democrats to avoid.

      Rep. Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, which would take up articles of impeachment, said on ABC over the weekend that it was "very clear" the President had obstructed justice, echoing his committee's charge during the Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton presidencies. Nadler said Trump obstructed justice when he referred to the special counsel investigation as a witch hunt thousands of times, tried to "protect" former national security adviser Michael Flynn from an FBI investigation and fired Comey with the Russia probe on his mind.

      Nadler made sure on Sunday to say that "impeachment is a long way down the road," adding they don't have the evidence. "Before you impeach somebody, you have to persuade the American public that it ought to happen," the New York Democrat said.

      On Monday, Nadler announced a sweeping investigation, sending letters to 81 people and entities -- including the White House, the Justice Department, senior campaign officials, Trump Organization officials and the President's sons -- marking the start of investigations into allegations of obstruction of justice, abuses of power and corruption.

      Democratic members of the Judiciary Committee are keen on seeing what that will uncover.

      Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland said that while media reports and Mueller's indictments form members' impressions and judgments, Congress needs to do its own fact-finding investigation before starting impeachment proceedings, citing former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen's recent public hearing as its first witness testimony.

      "There appears to be overwhelming evidence of obstruction of justice based on everything we know," said Raskin in an interview. "But we haven't done an investigation of our own. And that's what it's about."

      Waiting for Mueller

      Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York said on Wednesday that Democrats should hold off on talking about impeachment as Mueller writes his report.

      "Bob Mueller has work to do," said Jeffries, who as Democratic caucus chair is a member of leadership. "He has to complete his investigation, report to the Department of Justice and allow Congress and the American people to then process those findings before deciding how to proceed. Impeachment is premature at this moment."

      When asked whether he thought the President should be impeached, Rep. Lou Correa, a California Democrat, replied, "That's not the question before us."

      When asked what it was, Correa said, "Oversight."

      A vocal minority of House Democrats have said they think impeachment proceedings should begin.

      Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee introduced articles of impeachment back in 2017.

      "The time has come to make clear to the American people and to this President that his train of injuries to our Constitution must be brought to an end through impeachment," he said in a statement at the time.

      This week, Cohen told CNN that Trump had obstructed justice, adding that "it's only not clear for his 35% hard core (base) and his acolytes in Congress."

      Some Republicans maintain that Trump did not obstruct justice, and the White House has denied any wrongdoing. Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, the top GOP member of the Judiciary Committee, called Nadler's new, wide-ranging probe an effort to find evidence to confirm what the chairman already believed.

      But others are waiting for Mueller's report before answering whether Trump had committed an impeachable offense.

      "The congressman isn't going to participate in any speculation or gossip regarding the matter while the Mueller investigation wraps up," said Chris Krepich, a spokesman for Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin. "He finds it disappointing that Chairman Nadler chose to jump the gun and accuse the President of crimes in order to assuage his liberal base."

      By: John Eggerton of Multichannel.com

      The House Judiciary Committee has re-scheduled a hearing March 12 on the proposed T-Mobile-Sprint merger, where the CEO's of both will face a number of critics. It was initially planned for Feb. 14.

      “A merger between Sprint and T-Mobile would impact the competitive landscape for wireless services," said Committee chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Antitrust Subcommittee chairman David N. Cicilline (D-R.I.). "Americans deserve to know how this transaction will impact their lives, communities, and the future of high-speed wireless internet deployment and adoption."  

      "This hearing opens the door for the American people and Congress to hear directly from the leaders of both companies and learn whether this agreement is in the best interest of the American people," said full committee ranking member Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Antitrust Subcommittee ranking member Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.).

      The witness list comprises of John Legere, CEO, T-Mobile; Marcelo Claure, CEO, Sprint; Chris Shelton, president, Communications Workers of America; Gigi Sohn, former senior adviser to then FCC chairman Tom Wheeler and currently distinguished fellow at Georgetown Law; Carmen Scurato, senior policy counsel, Free Press; Carri Bennet, general counsel, Rural Wireless Association; Scott Wallsten, senior policy scholar, Georgetown University McDonough School of Business; and Christopher Yoo, John H. Chestnut Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania Law School.

      The Judiciary hearing has had a complicated scheduling history.

      It was originally going to be a joint hearing with the Communications Subcommittee, but because of "scheduling issues" was made a separate hearing, originally scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday (Feb. 14), then rescheduled to 2 p.m., then postponed "indefinitely." The Feb. 13 hearing in the House Communications Subcommittee went off without a hitch, though with divergent views of the deal.

      By: the Gazette Xtra

      Thumbs up to new YMCA board members. The board of directors finally appears headed in the right direction with the appointment of three new board members recommended by a group spearheading efforts to make the board more transparent. Until now, the board has done little to demonstrate it is serious about addressing allegations raised by Paul Murphy and other Y members concerning former CEO Tom Den Boer. They say Den Boer unilaterally dismissed board members and suspended or terminated Y memberships without cause. We’re still waiting for answers. Hopefully, the appointment of the new members is a sign the board will soon become more transparent.

      Thumbs down to teachers with three OWI convictions. A Janesville physical education teacher, Dennis H. Brunner, was placed on paid administrative leave after being charged with his fourth OWI on Feb. 23. Our question: How did he manage to keep his job after his third OWI conviction? Is the district OK with employing people with so many convictions and giving them the responsibility to teach children? A single OWI shouldn't necessarily doom a teacher's career--but three OWIs, and now a fourth? We recognize the district sometimes struggles to find qualified applicants, but surely it can find someone better than this. He allegedly threatened a police officer during his arrest, saying, "I know a lot of biker guys. It means there is going to be a bounty put on him." Yikes.

      Thumbs up to U.S. Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner and Mike Gallagher. The two Wisconsin Republicans voted last week in favor of a House resolution opposing President Trump's national emergency declaration for the southern border. Both Republicans showed foresight in considering the precedent set by Trump's action. They worry future presidents will follow Trump's lead and use emergency declarations to circumvent the will of Congress. The difference between Trump's declaration and those ordered by past presidents is in the way Trump is using this declaration. For Trump, it's a tool to get more funding than Congress agreed to provide for a border wall. Sensenbrenner and Gallagher support the border wall but not at the expense of Article I of the Constitution. Partisan agendas come and go, but the Founding Fathers say Congress' power of the purse is forever.

      Thumbs down to inflated property assessments. The city of Janesville continues to assess commercial properties as if there's no merit to numerous lawsuits alleging city assessments are too high. The city claims its assessment process follows state statutes, but if that were true, why have so many businesses successfully sued the city? Many brick-and-mortar retailers are struggling to compete against online retailers, as evidenced by a rash of store closings over the past year. These retailers need the city's support, but instead retailers are having to waste time and money fighting their inflated assessments in court. We hope the Legislature and Gov. Tony Evers resolve this issue soon in the businesses' favor.

      By: Wisconsin State Journal

      Here’s how members of Wisconsin’s congressional delegation voted on major issues last week.

      HOUSE

      EXPANSION OF GUN BACKGROUND CHECKS: Voting 240 for and 190 against, the House on Wednesday passed a bill (HR 8) that would expand federal background checks of prospective gun buyers by extending the requirement to transactions on the internet and between private parties at venues including gun shows and parking lots. Now, only licensed dealers must run buyers’ personal information through the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System. The NICS was established in 1993 by the so-called Brady bill, which outlaws the sale of firearms to convicted felons, drug addicts, abusive partners, fugitives, persons with serious mental illness and undocumented immigrants. This bill would exempt sales between family members and would waive background checks for transfers for hunting and when a purchaser faces imminent threat of great bodily harm. A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate.

      Voting yes: Mark Pocan, D-2nd; Ron Kind, D-3rd, Gwen Moore, D-4th

      Voting no: Bryan Steil, R-1st; Jim Sensenbrenner, R-5th; Glenn Grothman, R-6th; Sean Duffy, R-7th; Mike Gallagher, R-8th

      ATTEMPTED PURCHASES BY UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS: Voting 220 for and 209 against, the House on Wednesday adopted a Republican motion to HR 8 (above) under which undocumented immigrants must be reported to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) when the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) detects they are attempting to buy a firearm. A yes vote was to add the GOP-sponsored provision to the bill.

      Voting yes: Steil, Sensenbrenner, Grothman, Duffy, Gallagher

      Voting no: Pocan, Kind, Moore

      MORE TIME FOR BACKGROUND CHECKS: Voting 228 for and 198 against, the House on Thursday passed a bill (HR 1112) that would increase from three business days to 20 business days the maximum time for deferring firearms sales when FBI background checks on buyers have not yet been completed. The bill would apply to the estimated 10 percent of prospective sales not promptly cleared or denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). If the check remains open after 10 business days, purchasers could file a petition asserting their eligibility to acquire a firearm. If the matter remains unresolved for another 10 business days — bringing the total deferral to 20 business days — the sale would automatically take effect. A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate.

      Voting yes: Pocan, Moore

      Voting no: Steil, Kind, Sensenbrenner, Grothman, Duffy, Gallagher

      EXEMPTION FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS: Voting 194 for and 232 against, the House on Thursday defeated a Republican motion that would exempt victims of domestic violence from the delays that HR 1112 (above) would impose on unfinished background checks. The measure would allow these individuals to acquire a firearm after three business days even when the FBI has not yet approved or denied the prospective sale. A yes vote was to adopt the motion.

      Voting yes: Steil, Sensenbrenner, Grothman, Duffy, Gallagher

      Voting no: Pocan, Kind, Moore

      NULLIFYING EMERGENCY CALL ON BORDER: Voting 245 for and 182 against, the House on Tuesday approved a measure (HJ Res 46) that would nullify a national emergency declared by President Trump in an effort to secure border-wall funding. Trump invoked the emergency after Congress denied his request for at least $5.7 billion in fiscal 2019 for wall construction on the U.S.-Mexico border. He asserted authority under the 1976 National Emergencies Act to reallocate military appropriations to the project, while critics said there is no border emergency. A yes vote was to send the measure to the Senate for a vote to occur within 18 days.

      Voting yes: Pocan, Kind, Moore, Sensenbrenner, Gallagher

      Voting no: Steil, Grothman, Duffy

      SENATE

      INFANTS BORN IN FAILED ABORTIONS: Voting 53 for and 44 against, the Senate on Monday failed to reach 60 votes needed to end a Democratic-led filibuster against a bill (S 311) that would prescribe rules of care for infants who survive failed late-term abortions. Health care providers including doctors could face up to five years in prison if they failed to immediately ensure the hospitalization of an infant showing signs of life after an abortion attempt. The infant would have to receive the same level of care provided to “any other child born alive at the same gestational age.” The bill also would require medical practitioners or employees of hospitals, clinics or physician’s offices to report to law enforcement agencies any violation they witnessed. A yes vote was to advance the bill.

      Voting yes: Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh

      Voting no: Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison

      ANDREW WHEELER, EPA ADMINISTRATOR: Voting 52 for and 47 against, the Senate on Feb. 28 confirmed Andrew R. Wheeler as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Wheeler had served as acting administrator after replacing EPA head Scott Pruitt last July. He joined the EPA three months earlier from a law firm that represents Murray Energy Corp., the country’s largest owner of underground coal mines. He worked previously at the EPA under President George H.W. Bush and was a staff aide to Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla. A yes vote was to confirm the nominee.

      Voting yes: Johnson

      Voting no: Baldwin

      KEY VOTES AHEAD

      The Senate will vote on judicial nominations in the week of March 4, while the House’s legislative schedule was to be announced.

      — Thomas Voting Reports

      By: FOX56

      U.S. officials held a press conference in Wilkes-Barre Friday introducing the public to an act that fights fentanyl imports. 

      U.S. Senators Pat Toomey, Doug Jones, along with U.S. Reps James Sensenbrenner and Gerry Connolly introduced the bipartisan "Blocking Deadly Fentanyl Imports Act".

      Under the act, a nation exporting illicit fentanyl would be ineligible for U.S. taxpayer-subsidized foreign aid or Export-Import Bank loans if it fails to cooperate with U.S. narcotics control efforts.

      "Illicit fentanyl from outside our borders has already prematurely ended far too many American lives," said Senator Toomey, "The bipartisan legislation is a commonsense update to existing law that will hold the nations producing illicit fentanyl accountable, whether it be China or wherever the threat emerges next."

      During the State of the Union address, the president highlighted the devastation caused by the illegal import of fentanyl.