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Notes To The Guide

Candidates are listed in alphabetical order, by district. Party affiliation is noted R (Republican), D (Democrat) or I (Independent). Because of space limitations, only major-party candidates are profiled, and biographical information is necessarily selective. Political-career entries reflect elective offices only and have been edited for space. NR (no response) indicates that a candidate chose not to answer a question. Some photographs of candidates were not available at press time.

The Issues

From among hundreds of votes taken in Congress in 1994 and 1995, Congressional Quarterly selected 11 on which to poll candidates. Incumbents' responses are based on actual votes. Challengers were asked by questionnaire how they would have voted on each. Those questions (and the congressional votes they are based on) are presented below. Unless otherwise noted, all votes took place in 1995. An asterisk following a response indicates that an incumbent changed his or her vote on a similar bill this past summer.

Budget
House and Senate: Would you have voted for the budget-reconciliation bill aimed at balancing the federal budget by fiscal year 2002? The bill had provisions reducing expected federal spending $894 billion over seven years, including major restraints on Medicare, Medicaid and welfare spending, and cutting expected tax revenue $245 billion. [H/S: HR2491. Passed, H vote: 237-189; S vote: 52-47]

Medicare
House: Would you have voted for the bill to reduce expected Medicare spending $270 billion over seven years?
[H: HR2425. Passed, H vote: 231-201] Senate: Would you have voted for the amendment to limit the seven-year reduction in expected Medicare spending to $89 billion rather than the $270 billion cut in the bill? [S: S1357. Defeated, S vote: 46-53]

Defense
House: Would you have voted for the amendment to cut $493 million provided for continued production of the B-2 Stealth bombers. [H: HR2126. Rejected, H vote: 210-213] Senate: Would you have voted for the fiscal 1996 defense-spending bill requesting $6.4 billion more than Clinton asked for? [S: S1087. Passed, S vote: 62-35]

Abortion
House: Would you have voted for the bill to ban so-called partial-birth abortions, in which the doctor removes the fetus' brain tissue after bringing the fetus into the birth canal? Under the bill, doctors who perform the procedure could be subject to criminal and civil penalties. [H: HR1833. Passed, H vote: 288-139] Senate: Would you have voted for the amendment to a bill prescribing criminal and civil penalties for doctors who perform so-called partial-birth abortions? The amendment would have provided legal protections for doctors who used the procedure to protect the life or health of the pregnant woman. [S: Amendment to HR1833. Rejected, S vote: 47-51]

Guns
House and Senate: Would you have voted for the "Brady Bill," which requires each would-be purchaser of a handgun to wait five days while local law-enforcement officials conduct a personal background check on the purchaser? [HR1025, 1993, 103d Congress. Passed, H vote: 238-189; S vote: 63-36]

Gays
House and Senate: Would you have voted for the amendment to allow the Pentagon to implement its "don't ask, don't tell" policy, continuing the existing ban on known homosexuals in the military, but preventing military officials from asking about service members' sexual orientation? [H: HR2401. Passed, H vote: 295-133. S: S1298. Rejected, S vote: 33-63. Both bills 1993, 103d Congress]

Bosnia
House and Senate: Would you have voted for a bill to bar the use of federal money for the deployment of U.S. troops in Bosnia-Herzegovina? [H: HR2770. Rejected, H vote: 210-218. S: HR2606. Rejected, S vote: 22-77]

NAFTA
House and Senate: Would you have voted for legislation to implement the North American Free Trade Agreement, which links the United States, Canada and Mexico in a free-trade zone and requires each country to eliminate numerous tariffs and trade barriers? [H/S: HR3450, 1993, 103d Congress. Passed, H vote: 234-200; S vote: 61-38]

Welfare
House: Would you have voted for the bill overhauling the federal welfare system, ending welfare as an entitlement, turning it into a block-grant program to be run by states and placing certain work and behavioral requirements on welfare recipients? [HR4. Passed, H vote: 234-199] Senate: Would you have voted for a Democratic alternative to the Republican (House) welfare-overhaul bill? It would continue welfare as a federal entitlement rather than converting it into a block-grant program to be run by the states, and provide more money than was in the g.o.p. bill for job assistance and child care. [S: HR4. Rejected, S vote: 41-56]

Medical Leave
House only: Would you have voted for the Family and Medical Leave Act, which requires many businesses to provide workers up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for the birth or adoption of a child or a medical emergency? [HR1, 1993, 103d Congress. Passed, H vote: 265-163]

National Service Corps
Senate only: Would you have voted for a bill creating a National Service Corps to provide federal financial aid to young people in exchange for their participation in designated community-service activities? [HR2010. Passed, S: 58-41]

How To Find Your Representative

Project Vote Smart, a nonprofit and nonpartisan group based in Oregon, provides information about local and national candidates at 1-800-622-SMART (7627). Congressional Quarterly offers similar services at voter96.cqalert.com/cq_rate.htm.



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