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Roll Call

The House : Military Malpractice

February 25, 1988

By a vote of 312 to 61, the House passed and sent to the Senate a bill (HR 1054) enabling active-duty military personnel to sue the government for up to $300,000 in damages caused by medical or dental malpractice by service hospitals.

Active-duty personnel now can turn only to the Veterans Administration for compensation in such cases, in keeping with a 1950 Supreme Court decision this bill would negate.

Supporter Tony Hall (D-Ohio) complained that "even federal prisoners can sue for medical malpractice in government-operated facilities."

Opponent William Dickinson (R-Ala.) said "there is no reason to impose this additional burden on the military at a time when the Department of Defense and the defense dollar (are) under attack."

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

Dial-a-Porn

By a vote of 200 to 179, the House endorsed the less-rigid of two pending legislative approaches to "dial-a-porn," the 976 number service providing explicit sexual commentary to children and other callers.

This vote occurred as the House looked ahead to a House-Senate conference on a massive school-aid bill (HR 5).

At issue was whether to accept or reject Senate language to repeal what Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) and others argue is authority in the 1934 Communications Act for dial-a-porn.

This contested vote on a parliamentary issue cleared the way for the House to unanimously instruct its conferees to bypass the Helms approach as possibly unconstitutional, and support in its place a more flexible proposal by Rep. Edward Madigan (R-Ill).

Members voting yes endorsed Madigan's motion giving House conferees on HR 5 flexibility in seeking "a solution to the dial-a-porn problem."

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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