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Wilson Briefly Threatens to Delay Clean-Water Bill

January 14, 1987|United Press International

WASHINGTON — Sen. Pete Wilson (R-Calif.) threatened today to tack an amendment onto the $20-billion clean-water bill that would have periled its quick passage, but then reversed himself.

Wilson had said he would offer an amendment that would deny members of Congress a proposed 16% pay increase.

But he agreed not to offer his amendment to the bill after Senate Democratic leader Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia assured him he would have another opportunity to strike down the proposed pay raise.

Byrd said he wanted to send the water measure, approved by the House last week 406 to 8, to President Reagan without amendment.

Wilson's surprise move, which would have provoked extended debate, briefly threatened Byrd's plans to send the water bill to the White House before the end of the week.

Wilson's move could have diluted Republican fears that President Reagan would have to veto the bill, which he opposes, almost at the same time as he delivers the State of the Union address on Jan. 27.

The water bill is identical to one Reagan vetoed last year despite overwhelming congressional approval.

Byrd insisted that calling up the water bill was not an attempt to put Reagan on the spot.

"There might be some feeling we are trying to clock the bill to embarrass the President at the time of the State of the Union," Byrd said. "That is not my intention. . . .

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