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Roll Call

The House : Lie Detector Tests

November 12, 1987

By a 254-158 vote, the House passed and sent to the Senate a bill (HR 1212) outlawing lie detector tests on employees and job applicants in most areas of the private sector. The bill exempts firms doing intelligence work for the government as well as companies employing security guards and pharmaceutical workers. It does not restrict the use of polygraphs by federal, state and local governments.

Labor and civil libertarian lobbyists generally supported the bill, while the Administration and most business groups opposed it.

Supporter James M. Jeffords (R-Vt.) said, "We do not need polygraphs in a free society like ours."

Opponent George Darden (D-Ga.) called the polygraph "a legitimate investigative tool for all private industry."

Members voting yes supported the bill.

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

Exemption for Banks

By a vote of 184 to 237, the House rejected an amendment to exempt federally regulated financial institutions such as banks from the legislation (above) prohibiting lie detector tests in most of the private sector.

Amendment supporter Chalmers P. Wylie (R-Ohio) said polygraph testing is needed "to protect the integrity of (financial) institutions that are at the heart of our economy."

Opponent Pat Williams (D-Mont.) said, "This outdated, timeworn, unscientific device called a lie detector" will not further honesty in financial institutions.

Members voting yes wanted financial institutions to be able to use lie detector tests on workers.

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

Arrest of Members

By a vote of 65 to 130, with 238 members absent, the House rejected a motion "that the sergeant at arms be directed to arrest the absent members" during the session of Nov. 2. The motion was sponsored by Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.) as part of a GOP protest against the leadership tactics of Speaker Jim Wright (D-Tex.). Wright the week before had used what critics said were autocratic stalling and arm-twisting tactics to gain passage by one vote of a $14.5-billion deficit-reduction bill.

A yes vote was in support of dispatching federal marshals to arrest absent House members.

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

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