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Roll Call

The House : Water Bill

November 24, 1985

The first major water resources bill it has approved since 1976, a measure that would build 230 new projects and upgrade about 150 existing ones, was passed by the House, 358 for and 60 against, and sent to the Senate.

The bill (HR 6) would spend up to $20 billion over as many as 13 years for navigation, flood control, port development, drainage and other water projects affecting the great majority of the 435 congressional districts and all states except Utah, South Dakota and Vermont.

The White House said the bill is veto-bait because it contains too much pork barrel and is too expensive.

But White House cost-cutters and the environmental lobby praised it for making cost-sharing a major new component of federal water policy. Under cost-sharing, localities and states must help pay for projects that bring them economic benefits.

Members voting yes supported the bill.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Beilenson (D) x Rep. Berman (D) x Rep. Dixon (D) x Rep. Levine (D) x Rep. Waxman (D) x

Veto Override

By a vote of 380 for and 32 against, the House overrode President Reagan's veto of a bill that sets broad policy goals and priorities for biomedical research conducted by the National Institutes of Health. The Senate, which originally passed the legislation unanimously, also was set to override the veto and make the bill law. The measure (HR 2409), which is not a money bill, in part requires the National Institutes of Health to give research priority to afflictions such as arthritis and Alzheimer's disease. Reagan said Congress was unduly injecting itself into the agency's affairs.

Henry Waxman (D-Los Angeles) who voted to negate the veto, said lawmakers "feel that if the taxpayers' dollars--$5 billion a year--are being used for biomedical research, we ought to spell out some of our priorities."

Robert Michel (R-Ill.) said he was voting to sustain the veto but that "I certainly do not have my heart in it."

Members voting yes wanted to override the presidential veto.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Beilenson (D) x Rep. Berman (D) x Rep. Dixon (D) x Rep. Levine (D) x Rep. Waxman (D) x

Plant Closures

An amendment crippling a bill in behalf of workers who lose their jobs when management closes plants or orders extended layoffs was adopted by the House on a vote of 215 for and 193 against.

The amendment was supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and opposed by the AFL-CIO. The bill (HR 1616) was called off the floor as a result of this vote.

The bill requires employers with 50 or more workers to give 90 days notice of any plans to close a plant, begin massive layoffs or inflict deep cuts in working hours.

This amendment stripped the bill of its requirement that management consult well in advance with unions to seek alternatives to closings or massive layoffs.

Foes said the requirement would enable unions to obtain court rulings to prevent companies from shutting down or curtailing plant operations, thus putting judges rather than management in charge of a company's destiny.

Steve Bartlett (R-Tex.) who sponsored the amendment, said the consultation requirement amounts to "forcing the continued operation of a failed or failing business."

Silvio Conte (R-Mass.) said the requirement would "give our working people and our communities at least a slingshot against the Goliath of sudden unemployment."

Members voting yes wanted to delete the consultation provision and thus cripple the plant-closing bill.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Beilenson (D) x Rep. Berman (D) x Rep. Dixon (D) x Rep. Levine (D) x Rep. Waxman (D) x

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