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Roll Call

The House

November 05, 1989

Earthquake Aid Bill Passed

By a vote of 303 to 107, the House sent to President Bush a catchall spending bill providing disaster aid to California as well as money to run the government in these early weeks of fiscal 1990. The "continuing resolution" (HJR 423) is needed because Congress and the President have failed to enact most of the 13 regular appropriations bills for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1. The bill provides $1.1 billion for housing grants and other direct aid to victims of the Oct. 17 Bay Area earthquake, $1 billion to help California repair highways damaged by the quake and more than $1 billion in Small Business Administration loans to help businesses recover from the disaster. Some of the bill's emergency aid also may go to victims of Hurricane Hugo.

The legislation drew opposition from members who criticized funding the government by continuing resolution, and who objected to raising the disaster aid by additional borrowing rather than program cuts or revenue hikes. Members voting yes wanted to enact the continuing resolution including California disaster aid.

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

Abortion Bill Veto Stands

The House failed to override President Bush's veto of a fiscal 1990 Department of Health and Human Services appropriations bill (HR 2990) that eased restrictions on Medicaid abortions. The 231-191 vote fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to defeat the veto. Bush objected to language permitting Medicaid abortions when the pregnancy results from rape or incest. Added earlier by the House to HR 2990, the language would broaden existing law that permits Medicaid abortions only when the mother's life is at stake.

The House's failure to overcome Bush's opposition made it unnecessary for the Senate to also take up the veto and thus the abortion issue. Nor did the Senate vote on the liberalized abortion language when it gave final approval to HR 2990 on Oct. 19.

Members voting yes supported the pro-choice language and wanted to override the veto.

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

Preferential Funding at HUD

The House voted 250 to 170 in support of 41 specific community projects to be funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development at a cost of at least $28 million. Most of the projects are for areas represented by lawmakers with considerable influence over the HUD budget. This vote during debate on a fiscal 1990 HUD appropriations bill (HR 2916) swept aside an attempt to make the ventures compete for limited community development funds.

Critics denounced the earmarked funding as "pork barrel," while supporters termed it necessary to meet pressing needs in their districts. The projects would be funded by an account that figures in charges of financial scandal at HUD during the Reagan Administration. Those charges are directed at former HUD officials and consultants, not at members of Congress.

Bill Green (R-N.Y.) whose district would benefit from the earmarked funding, said, "I think it is wrong to describe these projects as scandals."

Steve Bartlett (R-Tex.) said the arrangement "would start a whole new set of scandals, this time with the imprimatur of the House of Representatives."

Members voting yes supported the preferential funding arrangement at HUD.

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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