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HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES : Funding for Space Station

July 01, 1993

By a margin of one vote, the House rejected an amendment to terminate the space station Freedom by eliminating its funding from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration budget (HR 2200). The bill authorizes $12.7 billion over the next seven years for the project, which is designed to yield scientific breakthroughs and energize the U.S. space program. About $9 billion already has been appropriated toward putting Freedom aloft by the end of the century. Amendment sponsor Tim Roemer (D-Ind.) said, "We cannot afford to go on spending money in a callous and cavalier manner" on the space station.

"Without the space station, our nation's long commitment to the manned exploration of space will be at an end," opponent George E. Brown Jr. (D-Colton) said.

The vote was 215 for and 216 against. A yes vote was to kill the space station.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Horn (R) x Rep. Roybal-Allard (D) x Rep. Royce (R) x Rep. Torres (D) x Rep. Tucker (D) x

Support of Former Presidents

The House rejected an amendment to stop taxpayer support of former presidents except for pensions and Secret Service guards. The amendment targeted up to $2 million annually spent on staff and office support for Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George Bush. The House then voted to cut off most support of former presidents after five years.

Sponsor Andrew Jacobs Jr. (D-Ind.) said, "Thomas Jefferson, when he left the White House, said, 'I go forth to accept a promotion from servant to master.' The taxpayers are not the servants of the former presidents."

Opponent Peter T. King (R-N.Y.) asked, "Why is it that we are treating these men, who have given their lives in dedication to the country, with such derision? Is it to appeal to voters back home so we can say we were tough on spending?"

The vote was 160 for and 258 against. A yes vote was to end taxpayer support of ex-presidents' staff and office expenses.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Horn (R) x Rep. Roybal-Allard (D) x Rep. Royce (R) x Rep. Torres (D) x Rep. Tucker (D) x

Increased Spending for Bureau of Reclamation

The House rejected an amendment to slow spending growth at the Bureau of Reclamation, which administers federal water policy in the West. The amendment sought to limit growth to the inflation rate of 3.2% over the 1993 level, allowing a 1994 budget of $843 million. Its defeat preserved an increase of 12% over 1993, to $908 million. The vote occurred during debate on an energy and water appropriations bill (HR 2445).

Sponsor Dan Burton (R-Ind.) said his amendment was appropriate in times of runaway deficits.

Opponent Tom Bevill (D-Ala.) said the cut posed a threat to the long-term quality drinking water in the West.

The vote was 135 for and 287 against. A yes vote supported a 3.2% rather than 12% increase in the Bureau of Reclamation budget.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Horn (R) x Rep. Roybal-Allard (D) x Rep. Royce (R) x Rep. Torres (D) x Rep. Tucker (D) x

Nuclear Energy Research

The House killed ongoing federal research aimed at developing a nuclear reactor technology that uses recycled nuclear waste for fuel. The vote stripped HR 2445 (above) of $32 million for advancing the Energy Department's Advanced Liquid Metal Reactor (ALMR) program.

Supporter Richard H. Lehman (D-North Fork) said "the worldwide glut of uranium for the foreseeable future makes resort to plutonium recycling, with all its downside risks, both unnecessary and uneconomical. . . . If this measure was really going to shut down the nuclear industry, we'd have lobbyists all over this building today. We don't."

Opponent Robert S. Walker (R-Pa.) said, "We need every energy option for our economic growth, and this amendment throws one away completely. (Nuclear energy) happens to represent 22% of the energy in this country today. . . . This is beyond penny-wise and pound-foolish, it's just foolish."

The vote was 267 for and 162 against. A yes vote was to eliminate funding for the ALMR program.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Horn (R) x Rep. Roybal-Allard (D) x Rep. Royce (R) x Rep. Torres (D) x Rep. Tucker (D) x

Source: Roll Call Report Syndicate

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