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Roll Call

The House : Handgun Control

September 25, 1988

By a vote of 228 for and 182 against, the House removed a proposed waiting period for handgun purchases from sweeping anti-drug legislation (HR 5210) that was in its second week of floor debate.

The National Rifle Assn. supported removal of the bill's requirement that seven days lapse before a handgun purchaser could possess the weapon, while police organizations lobbied to retain the so-called "Brady amendment."

The substitute amendment approved by this vote directed the Justice Department to put on line a data bank of criminal records to help gun stores quickly identify felons seeking firearms.

Sponsor Bill McCollum (R-Fla.) said: "The waiting period won't work (because) we don't have a national system today to identify a felon who purchases a handgun."

Opponent Don Edwards (D-San Jose) said the FBI "has never, ever made its records available to private citizens" such as the nation's 275,000 gun dealers.

Members voting yes were opposed to a seven-day waiting period for handgun purchasers.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Anderson (D) X Rep. Dornan (R) X Rep. Dymally (D) X Rep. Lungren (R) X

Drug Users Fine

By a vote of 293 for and 115 against, the House amended the pending drug bill (HR 5210) to allow civil fines of up to $10,000 for individuals possessing even small amounts of marijuana, cocaine and other illegal substances.

Supporters said the Justice Department must take strong action to curb drug demand, while opponents argued that civil fines would have the effect of decriminalizing drug possession.

Members voting yes wanted civil fines for persons caught with illegal drugs.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Anderson (D) X Rep. Dornan (R) X Rep. Dymally (D) X Rep. Lungren (R) X

Pledge of Allegiance

The House voted 226 for and 168 against to sustain a parliamentary ruling on the Pledge of Allegiance. This blocked a surprise Republican proposal to change House rules to require members to recite the pledge each legislative day.

Most Democrats voted to shelve the proposal, while all Republicans who voted supported the change. Although procedure rather than patriotism was at issue, Democrats regretted having to vote in a way that appeared unsupportive of the pledge.

Speaker Jim Wright (D-Tex.) termed it "reprehensible" for Republicans to challenge Democrats' patriotism.

John G. Rowland (R-Conn.) said the House should "set a good public example of our love and patriotism for our great nation by reciting the (pledge) each morning in this chamber."

Members voting yes wanted to block immediate consideration of the rules change.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Anderson (D) X Rep. Dornan (R) X Rep. Dymally (D) X Rep. Lungren (R) X

Abortion Issue

By a vote of 216 for and 166 against, the House reaffirmed that Medicaid funding of abortions should be permitted only when the mother's life is at stake. Occurring during debate on an appropriations bill (HR 4783), the vote repudiated Senate language to permit Medicaid to pay for abortions when the pregnancy results from rape or incest. The Senate later brought its position back in line with the House's, ensuring that no change in federal abortion policy will take place this year.

Members voting yes favored the stricter of two abortion funding options before the House.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Anderson (D) X Rep. Dornan (R) X Rep. Dymally (D) X Rep. Lungren (R) X

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