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The House

June 14, 1990

Free Mail for Members

By a vote of 161 to 208, House members refused to appropriate an additional $25 million to cover postage for their mailings back home this election year. The money was sought because the House is expected to spend nearly twice the $44.5 million already appropriated for its franked mail in fiscal 1990.

The vote occurred as the House sent a $4.4-billion spending bill (HR 4404) to the Senate. It showed members becoming increasingly sensitive to charges that they abuse the franking privilege. But it will have little practical effect because the Postal Service is required by law to deliver congressional mail even when appropriations for postage have run out.

Supporter Vic Fazio (D-Sacramento) said, "We are not seeing an excessive use of the frank" given the increased cost of processing constituent mail.

Opponent Robert H. Michel (R-Ill.) said House members have become "addicted to free mail and maybe become franking junkies."

A yes vote supported more appropriations for House members' postage.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Moorhead (R) x Rep. Roybal (D) x Rep. Waxman (D) x

Aid to El Salvador

By a vote of 175 to 243, the House rejected a Republican plan that was the softer of two proposed cuts in U.S. military aid to the rightist government of El Salvador. The GOP proposal would have cut 25% from the Administration's fiscal 1990 aid request of $85 million if leftist rebels in the Salvadoran civil war took certain steps toward peace and other conditions were met.

The House then approved a Democratic plan to halve the $85 million. But that 50% cut was later voided, clearing the way for El Salvador to receive the full $85 million. The foreign aid bill under debate was HR 4636.

Sponsor William S. Broomfield (R-Mich.) called his amendment "a measured and balanced approach to the situation in El Salvador."

Opponent Mel Levine (D-Santa Monica) said the amendment dealt too lightly with human rights abuses by Salvadoran soldiers.

A yes vote was for the softer of two proposed cuts in military aid to El Salvador.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Moorhead (R) x Rep. Roybal (D) x Rep. Waxman (D) x

Rights of the Disabled

By a vote of 148 to 266, the House refused to exempt communities of less than 200,000 population from a requirement that virtually all newly acquired municipal buses in America be equipped with wheelchair lifts. Affected cities and towns could have gained the exemption by providing special transportation approved in advance by the local disabled community.

The vote occurred as the House sent to conference with the Senate a measure (HR 2273) to protect the rights of the disabled at work and in their use of public accommodations.

Supporter Don J. Pease (D-Ohio) said the wheelchair-lift requirement works a financial hardship on struggling transit systems in smaller communities.

Opponent Norman Y. Mineta (D-San Jose) said, "A civil right to equal transportation does not diminish according to a city's population."

A yes vote supported the exemption for smaller communities.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Moorhead (R) x Rep. Roybal (D) x Rep. Waxman (D) x

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