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Roll Call

The House : 1987 Budget

July 11, 1986

By a vote of 333 for and 43 against, the House approved a fiscal 1987 budget containing no major new taxes and projecting spending of $995 billion and a deficit of $142.6 billion for the year that begins Oct. 1, 1986. On a non-record vote, the Senate also approved the budget blueprint (S Con Res 120), which calls for much higher domestic spending and significantly lower defense spending than President Reagan had requested.

Although the congressional budget plan is essentially an advisory document, it will be watched more closely this year than in the past because of the new Gramm-Rudman deficit reduction law.

Virtually across-the-board spending cuts will be triggered as early as Oct. 15 if the 1987 deficit is judged to be on its way to topping the law's $144-billion limit on red ink.

Supporter William H. Gray (D-Pa.) said that, by approving the budget, lawmakers "will be able to tell America" that Congress is keeping faith with the Gramm-Rudman law.

Opponent John Edward Porter (R-Ill.) said Wall Street and the American public eventually will see "that the budget numbers are fudged" and that deficit spending remains untamed by Congress.

Members voting yes endorsed the fiscal 1987 congressional budget.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Beilenson (D) x Rep. Berman (D) x Rep. Fiedler (R) x Rep. Moorhead (R) x Rep. Waxman (D) x

Navy Ports

The House adopted, 240 for and 191 against, an amendment that blocks funding for the Navy's plan to base its growing fleet at 10 or more Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf Coast ports. Critics say the home-porting plan is designed in part to attract broad geographical support in Congress for Navy spending, whereas defenders say it is dangerous to concentrate the planned 600-vessel Navy in too few ports.

This amendment was attached to the fiscal 1987 military construction appropriations bill (HR 5052), which later was sent to the Senate. It deleted $140 million earmarked for Navy port development at Everett, Wash., and Staten Island, N.Y.

Congress will hold more votes in upcoming months on whether to proceed with home-porting.

Amendment sponsor Dennis M. Hertel (D-Mich.) said "it makes no sense" to base Navy vessels at Staten Island because "New York City is the top target in the nuclear age.

Opponent Norman D. Dicks (D-Wash.) said the Navy fleet must be dispersed "so that in case of a Soviet attack . . . all of our ships would not be in one place. That is the lesson that we learned from Pearl Harbor."

Members voting yes wanted to delete the proposed $140-million home-porting outlay.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Beilenson (D) x Rep. Berman (D) x Rep. Fiedler (R) x Rep. Moorhead (R) x Rep. Waxman (D) x

Nutrition Program

By a vote of 305 for and 85 against, the House passed and sent to the Senate a bill (HR 2436) creating a sweeping new federal program to upgrade America's eating habits and food policies. At an estimated cost of $70 million or more over 10 years, the National Nutrition Monitoring and Research Program would tie together a variety of existing federal programs that deal with what and how well Americans eat. And it would add programs, such as categorical grants for state and local nutrition projects.

A key aim of the bill is to coordinate the departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services, two agencies whose food and nutrition programs often have been in conflict.

Supporter Manuel Lujan Jr. (R-N.M.) said the legislation "will not solve the problem of hunger in the United States" but will prove to be worthwhile.

Opponent Joe L. Barton (R-Tex.) said the bill "is not bad legislation" but is unwarranted at a time of federal austerity.

Members voting yes wanted to create the new federal nutrition program.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Beilenson (D) x Rep. Berman (D) x Rep. Fiedler (R) x Rep. Moorhead (R) x Rep. Waxman (D) x

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