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The House : Persian Gulf

Roll Call

June 12, 1987

By a 302-105 vote, the House passed a bill (HR 2533) requiring the Reagan Administration to give Congress a detailed assessment of the military and diplomatic situation in the Persian Gulf, including plans for expanding America's role there.

Because of uncertainty over whether it condoned or challenged Administration policy in the volatile region, the measure drew votes on both sides from members of all ideologies.

The Senate has approved a tougher measure that requires the Administration to report to Congress before proceeding with its plan to put Kuwaiti oil tankers under the American flag and give them U. S. Navy escorts through the gulf.

Supporter Thomas S. Foley (D-Wash.) said the purpose of the bill was "not to give the Administration any advance permission" for the Kuwaiti protection plan.

Opponent Jim Leach (D-Iowa) said there already is a law--the War Powers Act--to block the Administration's "imperial foreign policy" in the Persian Gulf.

Members voting yes supported the bill.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Bates (D) x Rep. Hunter (R) x Rep. Lowery (R) x Rep. Packard (R) x

Fairness Doctrine

The House passed, 302 to 102, and sent to President Reagan a bill writing into law the Federal Communication Commission's "fairness doctrine" that requires broadcasters to air public affairs programming and a diversity of viewpoints on controversial topics.

The Senate has passed the same bill, which is opposed by the Administration and the broadcasting industry.

Supporter Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) said, "Unlike newspapers, broadcasters are granted a license to use a scarce public resource, the electromagnetic spectrum."

Opponent Howard Coble (R-N.C.) said, "It is clear that the fairness doctrine interjects the government into the process of journalism."

Members voting yes wanted to codify the fairness doctrine.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Bates (D) x Rep. Hunter (R) x Rep. Lowery (R) x Rep. Packard (R) x

Acid Rain

By a vote of 124 to 278, the House rejected an amendment to increase spending on acid rain research by $3 million in fiscal 1988 to $55.3 million. This occurred as the House sent to the Senate a bill (HR 2355) authorizing $294.4 million for Environmental Protection Agency research in fiscal 1988.

Rather than the additional $3 million, the principal issue was whether action or still more research is needed to combat acid rain. Most members from northeastern states hurt by acid rain voted against added research funding.

Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), who favored more research, said "Literally thousands of coal miners I represent would be out of work" if environmentalists got their way on this issue.

Opponent Sherwood Boehlert (R-N.Y.) said, "What we need most of all at this juncture is not just more studies but a little backbone" in attacking acid rain.

Members voting yes wanted to spend more on acid rain research.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Bates (D) x Rep. Hunter (R) x Rep. Lowery (R) x Rep. Packard (R) x

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