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Roll Call

The House : Covert Aid

September 25, 1986

The House voted 229 to 186 to permit covert U.S. aid to anti-communist rebels fighting to topple the Soviet-backed government of Angola. This killed a proposed requirement that the Administration go through normal congressional channels, including open debate, to obtain money for the insurgent troops led by Jonas Savimbi. The secret aid is said to total $15 million annually.

The vote occurred during consideration of HR 4579, the fiscal 1987 authorization bill for the Central Intelligence Agency and other intelligence agencies that later was sent to the Senate.

As with the similar dispute over aiding contra rebels in Nicaragua, a key issue was how much involvement Congress and the American public should have in shaping major foreign policy decisions.

Supporter Robert Stump (R-Ariz.) said, "It is a tough world and some things must be done in secret to be successful."

Opponent Lee Hamilton (D-Ind.) said, "Under the Constitution, both the Congress and the President should be involved" in setting foreign policy.

Members voting yes wanted aid to the Angolan rebels to be provided secretly.

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

South Africa

By a 308-77 vote, the House gave final congressional approval to tough economic sanctions against South Africa. The bill (HR 4868) was sent to the White House, where a presidential veto was expected despite apparently veto-proof margins of support in the House and Senate.

In part, the sweeping measure bans many forms of new U.S. investment in South Africa, prohibits imports of South African textiles, arms, coal, iron, steel and other goods, denies U.S. landing rights to South African air carriers and bans exports to South Africa of such American products as munitions, crude oil and certain computer goods and services.

Supporters said sanctions are needed to pressure the white-minority government in Pretoria to begin dismantling apartheid, while foes said blacks in South Africa would be hurt most by the economic penalties.

Members voting yes favored the sanctions legislation.

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

Philippines Aid

By a 203-197 vote, the House passed and sent to the Senate a special $200-million appropriation for the Philippines. The measure (HJ Res 732) was rushed to the floor, without hearings, the same day Philippine President Corazon Aquino spoke to a joint session of Congress.

Called by one foe "a $200-million honorarium" for her speech, the money supplements several hundred million dollars in fiscal 1986 economic and military aid already approved by Congress for the Philippines.

Calling Aquino probably "the last, best hope for democracy in the Philippines," supporter Stephen Solarz (D-N.Y.) said "it is in our fundamental national interest to strengthen the hand of this courageous woman who came before us earlier today."

Opponent Gerald Solomon (R-N.Y.) criticized Aquino for refusing to commit herself to renewing leases for the Pentagon's Subic Bay Naval Station and Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines.

Members voting yes favored extra foreign aid for the Philippines.

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

WHERE TO REACH THEM Anthony C. Beilenson, 23rd District

11000 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 14223, Los Angeles 90024(213) 209-7801

Howard Berman, 26th District

14600 Roscoe Blvd., Suite 506, Panorama City 91402(818) 891-0543

Julian C. Dixon, 28th District

111 N. La Brea Ave., Inglewood 90301(213) 678-5424

Mel Levine, 27th District

5250 W. Century Blvd, Suite 447, Los Angeles 90045(213) 215-2035

Henry A. Waxman, 24th District

8425 W. 3rd St., Suite 400, Los Angeles 90048(213) 651-1040

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