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Roll Call

The House

October 01, 1989

Air Travel Security Bill

By a vote of 392 to 31, the House sent to the Senate a bill (HR 1659) requiring U. S. airlines and high-risk domestic and international airports to upgrade their defenses against terrorism. In a policy shift, the U. S. Treasury rather than the private sector would pay for stiffer airport and flight security.

The bill requires airlines to install state-of-the-art explosives detectors at airports rated as likely terrorist targets. Commuter flights feeding major airlines would have to greatly tighten security, and airports would be required to begin computerized personnel screening to keep saboteurs out of sensitive areas such as baggage facilities.

The bill's cost of nearly $240 million over the next two years would come mostly from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund rather than new appropriations. Built by ticket taxes, the fund has a surplus of $5.8 billion that serves mainly to reduce the deficit. President Bush opposed the bill on grounds that the cost should be met by airlines and airports and, where federal funds are necessary, through the discipline of the appropriations process.

Supporter Glenn M. Anderson (D-Harbor City) said the government should pay the cost because "the barbarous activities of terrorists are directed at . . . the U. S. government, not at the commercial carriers."

Opponent Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) said: "Those who fly on international flights should pay for their own security through a surcharge of just $2 a ticket."

Members voting yes supported the bill.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Anderson (D) x Rep. Dornan (R) x Rep. Dreier (R) x Rep. Dymally (D) x Rep. Hawkins (D) x Rep. Martinez (D) x Rep. Torres (D) x

Arms Control Dispute

The House rejected a bill (HR 1495) to reauthorize the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency through fiscal 1991 at a cost of about $73 million. The vote of 247 to 140 fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to pass the bill under a shortcut parliamentary procedure.

The agency puts into effect arms control policies set by the President and top Administration officials. Congress also has influence over it.

Mainly at issue on this vote was House committee control of the agency's On-Site Inspection Agency, which monitors Soviet compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty's requirement that the superpowers destroy their intermediate-range missiles. The bill gave the Foreign Affairs Committee more jurisdiction over the agency than the Armed Services Committee.

Supporter Henry J. Hyde (R-Ill.) said the bill will promote "greater reassurance that (INF) compliance is, in fact, occurring."

Opponent Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said the bill undermines "our ability to ensure that the INF treaty is implemented."

Members voting yes supported the bill.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Anderson (D) x Rep. Dornan (R) x Rep. Dreier (R) x Rep. Dymally (D) x Rep. Hawkins (D) x Rep. Martinez (D) x Rep. Torres (D) x

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