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Roll Call

The House : Aid to Nicaraguan Rebels

March 30, 1986

President Reagan's request for $100 million in foreign aid for the contra rebel army that is battling the Marxist Sandinista government of Nicaragua was rejected in the House on a vote of 210 for and 222 against. About $70 million of the total would have been for arms and about $30 million was earmarked for other uses. Despite the vote, foes and supporters of the President predicted that Congress later this year will approve additional money for the contras, but with more restrictions than Reagan wants. After the House rejection, the President shifted his campaign for the aid package to the Republican-held Senate where a vote is expected in upcoming weeks, probably to be followed by another House vote.

Supporter Bill McCollum (R-Fla.) said that if left unchecked the Sandinista government "will spread its revolution and terrorism to its neighbors and ultimately to the United States. Policies of continued negotiation only play into the hands of the communists in Nicaragua and the policy of containment simply cannot work in this case."

Opponent Howard Wolpe (D-Mich.) said the Reagan Administration "is engaged in the buildup of a permanent military presence in Central America right now, and additional aid to the contras is only another step in the escalation of America's military involvement in the region and the steady march toward war."

Members voting yes supported Reagan's request for $100 million in aid to Nicaraguan contras.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Anderson (D) x Rep. Dornan (R) x Rep. Dymally (D) x Rep. Lungren (R) x

Help for Victims of Terrorism

By a vote of 144 for and 252 against, the House rejected an amendment to put a pay-as-you-go fiscal foundation under a new federal program to compensate Americans victimized by terrorism overseas. The amendment sought to subject the program to the annual congressional budget and appropriations process. Its defeat left intact an entitlement program under which payments to beneficiaries are to be automatic and undisciplined by congressional budget ceilings.

The vote occurred during debate on HR 4151, a wide-ranging anti-terrorism bill, later sent to the Senate, that authorizes $4.4 billion for such purposes as toughening security at American embassies and compensating the 52 Americans held hostage in Iran six years ago. The bill also would create a structure of direct payments and medical and educational benefits for government employees and their families who suffer at the hands of foreign terrorists.

Robert S. Walker (R-Pa.), who sponsored the amendment to subject these payments to annual congressional scrutiny, said "this is not the time to foist upon the American taxpayer a new entitlement program. It is time to stick with the regular appropriations process."

Opponent Patricia Schroeder (D-Colo.) said, "This is not a huge entitlement. We do not know that it will ever cost anything. . . . But let us be able to say as the U.S. Congress to people working for this government: 'If something happens to you, we are going to take care of your family.' "

Members voting no favored the new entitlement program without changes.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Anderson (D) x Rep. Dornan (R) x Rep. Dymally (D) x Rep. Lungren (R) x

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