WASHINGTON — House Republicans today shelved, at least temporarily, an effort to funnel more U.S. aid to the Nicaraguan Contra rebels, and the chamber's leadership said the delicacy of Central American peace talks would make any such effort ill-timed.
"We don't intend to include any Contra aid in this bill," House Majority Leader Thomas S. Foley (D-Wash.) said of a catch-all spending measure due to come before the chamber Thursday. Foley and other Democrats said renewing aid to the rebels now would paint the United States as a spoiler in regional peace efforts.
"We think it would be tragic if we abandon support for the Contras. . . ," said Rep. Henry J. Hyde (R-Ill.) on ABC-TV's "Good Morning America." "But tactically and politically, we're not sure that the House is the place to make this fight tomorrow."
Keeping Up Pressure
The Reagan Administration has been looking for ways to continue aid to the U.S.-backed rebels, saying their existence as a fighting force is keeping pressure on Nicaragua's leftist government to make democratic reforms called for in a regional peace accord.
Backers of Contra aid had planned to seek an additional $30 million.