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Roll Call

The House

November 23, 1989

Pay and Ethics Package

By a vote of 252 to 174, the House approved legislation (HR 3660) raising the pay of members of Congress and tightening their ethics rules. The bill, which also hiked the pay of federal judges and high executive branch officials, was sent to the Senate.

House members and senators would receive a 7.9% cost-of-living increase on Jan. 1 plus a cost-of-living hike of up to 5% and a 25% raise in January, 1991. This would raise their present $89,500 salary to about $125,000, up about 40%. Salaries of up to 834 top executive branch officials, including Cabinet members and 1,115 Supreme Court, appellate and district court judges, also would rise under the bill.

Tightening congressional ethics, the bill prohibits lawmakers from keeping honorariums such as speaking fees, caps outside earned income at 15% of congressional pay, prohibits members from accepting gifts worth more than $200 and stiffens certain travel rules. It repeals in 1993 the law under which House members elected before 1980 can convert campaign contributions to personal income when they leave Congress.

Supporter Robert Livingston (R-La.) said, "We cannot allow ourselves to be intimidated by the Ralph Naders of the world, who in their own monastic thinking think that everything that government does is absolutely corrupt and therefore there should be no government." Nader opposes the raise.

Opponent James Traficant (D-Ohio) said: "I understand the game. We come in with ethics reform and sneak in a pay raise." He added that members should not receive a raise until they show they can tame the deficit.

Members voting yes supported the pay raise-ethics reform package.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Gallegly (R) x Rep. Lagomarsino (R) x

Civil Rights Commission

By a vote of 278 to 135, the House sent to the Senate a bill (HR 3532) to renew the U.S. Civil Rights Commission for six months beyond its scheduled expiration on Nov. 30. Democratic sponsors said the time would be used to seek Congress-White House agreement on a major restructuring of the faltering agency. The commission has been a battleground between civil rights activists and congressional Democrats on one side and the Reagan and Bush administrations on the other.

The bill shelved President Bush's plan to extend the agency for six years under new commissioners appointed by him and Congress. It also dealt the White House a defeat by transferring from the President to Capitol Hill the authority to appoint the commission's staff director.

Members voting yes wanted to extend the life of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission for six months as advocated by the civil rights lobby rather than six years as urged by President Bush.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Gallegly (R) x Rep. Lagomarsino (R) x

To Fund Population Control

By a vote of 244 to 178, the House approved $15 million in American support of a United Nations program to slow global population growth. The payment to the U.N. Population ActivitiesFund could not be allocated to China, said by critics to have coercive abortion and sterilization policies, or spent anywhere on abortions.

The vote occurred as the House approved the conference report on a foreign aid bill (HR 2939). It reversed a previous House stand against U.S. support of the fund, and put the House in agreement with the Senate that the $15 million should be sent to the U.N. However, the House reversed itself again, approving an amendment by anti-abortion legislators that gives President Bush power to block release of the money. The Senate refused to accept the new House conditions involving the President.

Supporter John Porter (R-Ill.) said, "Human rights violations in China cannot be used as an excuse to cut off funding for voluntary family planning in . . . 120 other countries."

Opponent Christopher Smith (R-N.J.) denounced "forced sterilization and forced abortion that have become commonplace in China's brutal one-child-per-couple policy."

Members voting yes wanted the United States to contribute $15 million to the U.N. Population Activities Fund.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Gallegly (R) x Rep. Lagomarsino (R) x

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