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Roll Call

The House : Probe of Legislators

October 29, 1987

The House rejected, 169 to 243, an amendment to make members of Congress suspected of criminality answerable to independent counsels as well as to the attorney general and U.S. attorneys.

This occurred as the House debated and passed a bill (HR 2939, below) extending the law under which court-appointed special counsels can prosecute high officials of the executive branch.

Supporter Daniel E. Lungren (R-Long Beach) said, "The question is: Are we going to clean up our own House?"

Opponent William J. Hughes (D-N.J.) said the purpose of the independent counsel law is to remove "the potential and . . . perceived conflict" of an Administration investigating itself.

Members voting yes wanted independent counsels to be able to prosecute members of Congress.

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

Independent Counsels

By a 322-87 vote, the House passed a bill extending for five years the law under which independent counsels can investigate executive branch officials, free of interference from the Justice Department.

This sent the bill (HR 2939) to the Senate.

The 1978 law, a Watergate legacy, enables a U.S. Appellate Court panel to appoint special prosecutors to investigate any suspected criminality on the part of about 200 top Administration officials including the President.

The Reagan Administration wants to overturn the law on grounds that it allows the judiciary to usurp the executive branch's prosecutorial authority.

Supporter Larry Smith (D-Fla.) said the law averts "conflict of interest where a person or an Administration has to investigate itself."

Opponent Pat Swindall (R-Ga.) said the law transfers to the judiciary "the very heart of the President's responsibility" to execute statutes.

Members voting yes wanted to extend the independent counsel law.

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


By a 368-47 vote, the House moved to prohibit the Centers for Disease Control from using fiscal 1988 appropriations to fund certain groups. The vote occurred as the House appointed conferees on legislation (HR 3058) appropriating 1988 funds for the Department of Health and Human Services and other agencies.

At issue was $675,000 that the Centers for Disease Control granted to the Gay Men's Health Crisis of New York City for educational programs to combat AIDS. William E. Dannemeyer (R-Fullerton) said the money is behind publication of a booklet depicting homosexual sex.

Dannemeyer said, "It is not the function of . . . the U.S. government to directly or indirectly encourage the homosexual life style."

Opponent Bill Green (R-N.Y.) defended the organization as "a major actor in reducing the incidence of AIDS in the gay community in New York."

Members voting yes supported the funding ban.

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

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