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House Accepts Senate Sanctions--Reagan Aide Certain of Veto : Bill Would Ban New Investments, Bar Some Imports

September 12, 1986|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The House voted overwhelmingly today to complete congressional action on a package of economic sanctions with "real bite" against South Africa, but a White House spokesman said he is sure President Reagan will veto the measure.

The House voted 308 to 77 to accept the Senate version of sanctions legislation, a step that avoids the delays of a House-Senate conference and gives Congress the time needed to override a Reagan veto.

The bill would ban new investment in South Africa, bar imports of coal, steel, uranium and textiles from the country and prohibit South African commercial aircraft from landing in the United States.

And it sets up a series of further sanctions that could be imposed in a year if South Africa has not acted before then to dismantle apartheid.

'Feels That Strongly'

An earlier House bill, approved in June, would have required a near-total U.S. disinvestment from South Africa and a trade embargo.

At the White House, presidential spokesman Larry Speakes made clear that a veto is likely, and many House members called on their colleagues to be prepared to vote to override it.

"The President just feels that strongly on it that he will--in my opinion--he will veto it. And then we will work--in the Senate where we, of course, stand our best chance of sustaining a veto," Speakes said.

The Senate voted 84 to 14 for the sanctions bill last month, a margin significantly larger than the margin needed to override a veto.

O'Neill Urges Reagan

In debate, House Speaker Thomas P. (Tip) O'Neill Jr., called on Reagan to abandon his strong opposition and sign the bill.

"President Reagan has a unique opportunity in the next few days to serve as a champion of freedom," O'Neill said. "He has a chance to make it clear that this great country of ours is willing to once again pay the price of freedom."

Rep. Stephen J. Solarz (D-N.Y.) said the passage of sanctions legislation makes clear that the United States is not prepared to accept the status quo in South Africa and that it has "abandoned the policy of constructive engagement for a policy of constructive enragement."

But Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) said the House is engaged in "an orgy of self-righteousness that will hurt the people we want to help."

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