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Roll Call : The House : Hatch Act

November 26, 1987

By a 305-112 vote, the House passed and sent to the Senate a bill (HR 3400) enabling federal civilian employees to run for office and engage in other partisan political activity on their own time and away from the office.

Federal employee unions supported the bill, while the Administration and the civic group Common Cause opposed it.

The legislation repeals many of the Hatch Act's bans on partisan activity by civil servants while off duty. However, it retains safeguards in the law aimed at insulating federal employees from political interference and keeping them from politicizing their work.

"No longer should those who serve their federal government be denied basic rights enjoyed by other Americans," said William D. Ford (D-Mich).

Opponent Bill Frenzel (R-Minn.) said, "We are opening up the door to some real scandals in the future."

Members voting yes supported the bill.

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

Foreign-Aid Cut

The House adopted, 235 to 186, an amendment to lower fiscal 1988 Military Assistance Program spending from $1.03 billion to $950 million. This cut of about 8% freezes spending at the 1987 level.

The vote occurred during debate on the 1988-89 foreign aid authorization bill (HR 3100), which awaited final action.

The program provides grants that about 40 countries use to acquire Pentagon-approved military equipment on American markets. It is one of the fastest growing federal programs, its cost having increased eightfold this decade.

Amendment sponsor Byron L. Dorgan (D-N.D.) cited Haiti and Zaire as examples of recipients that do not need this military aid.

Opponent Lee H. Hamilton (D-Ind.) said now is not the time to cut military aid to Middle Eastern and Central American allies.

Members voting yes wanted to cut the Military Assistance Program by 8%.

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

Defense Bill

By a 264-158 vote, the House approved the conference report on the fiscal 1988 defense authorization bill. The Senate followed suit, and President Reagan was expected to sign the measure.

The bill (HR 1748) authorizes a Pentagon budget of up to $296 billion. Reagan had requested $312 billion.

Disagreement centered on the bill's requirement that the Administration adhere to the unratified SALT II treaty and a narrow interpretation of the ABM treaty with the Soviets. Also disputed were provisions to continue a moratorium on space testing of anti-satellite weaponry, restrain development of the proposed "Star Wars" shield against incoming missiles and link resumed production of chemical weaponry to the pace of chemical arms control talks with the Soviets.

Supporter Robert E. Badham (R-Newport Beach) said the measure "will maintain for at least one year the adequate defense of our country."

Opponent Duncan L. Hunter (R-Coronado) complained that by limiting Administration negotiators, the bill "gives up a number of chips to the Soviet Union in arms control."

Members voting yes favored the bill.

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

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