YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


House Of Representatives

August 05, 1993

Disclosure of Files in Post Office Scandal

The House killed a Republican bid (H Res 222) for immediate release of records from an internal probe of misconduct including embezzlement at the House Post Office. This followed by days a former postmaster's court admission of diverting cash to unnamed House members. The U.S. attorney prosecuting the case opposed the release, while Republicans charged that it was a cover-up.

Majority Leader Richard A. Gephardt (D-Mo.) questioned "why anyone in the face of the clear, unequivocal recommendation of the U.S. attorney, unsolicited by this House, would want . . . to vote to send these materials out which could injure or damage or obstruct or bungle what is an ongoing and obviously successful criminal investigation."

Supporter Scott L. Klug (R-Wis.) urged disclosure of "public files produced by public employees investigating public officials (accused of) ripping off public money." He said the vote would show "who in this chamber wants to fess up and who in this chamber wants to continue to hush up."

The vote was 242 for and 186 against. A yes vote opposed disclosure at this time of House investigatory files on its post office scandal.

How They Voted: Rep. Becerra (D): Yea Rep. Moorhead (R): Nay

Rule of Debate on Disaster Relief Bill

The House refused to allow a Midwest disaster relief bill to be debated under a rule (H Res 220) adding its $3-billion cost to the national debt. This sent the measure back to the Rules Committee, which sets the terms of floor debate. Democrats, who control the House by a wide margin, rarely suffer defeat of one of their rules. Foes of the rule wanted the opportunity to offer an amendment putting the spending on a pay-as-you-go basis. But Democratic leaders noted that the 1990 Budget Enforcement Act permits deficit spending to cope with natural disasters.

Supporter David R. Obey (D-Wis.) said: "I think it is almost the height of political arrogance to expect even acts of God to comply with mere congressional rules of procedure."

Opponent Timothy J. Penny (D-Minn.) said: "This is not simply a question of disaster aid. It is a question of leadership. . . . I am convinced that Americans would applaud our leadership in honestly paying for this disaster relief package."

The vote was 205 for and 216 against. A yes vote supported the Democratic rule for debating disaster aid for the flooded Midwest.

How They Voted: Rep. Becerra (D): Yea Rep. Moorhead (R): Nay

Extra Funds for Travel and Tourism Agency

The House rejected a U.S. Travel and Tourism Administration budget that was controversial because it included $5 million for a new program of grants for state tourism promotions. The vote rejected the $5 million and left $17.1 million as the proposed fiscal 1994 budget for the Commerce Department agency. Nearly all of the money is for federal promotions. The vote occurred during debate on HR 2519.

Supporter Toby Roth (R-Wis.) said "every single state is going to benefit economically by this amendment."

Opponent James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.) called federal tourism spending "a subsidy to the major airlines and hotel chains" that takes money away from higher priority programs.

The vote was 158 for and 263 against. A yes vote was to increase U.S. Travel and Tourism Administration spending to help state programs.

How They Voted: Rep. Becerra (D): Yea Rep. Moorhead (R): Yea

Economic Development Administration Budget

The House refused to strip the Economic Development Administration of its fiscal 1994 budget for staff and operating expenses, about $26 million. The Great Society-era agency provides economic stimulus grants and loans to most congressional districts. Its overall 1994 budget request is for $249 million, up $5 million from 1993. This vote occurred during debate on HR 2519.

Sponsor Joel Hefley (R-Colo.) said the EDA has had "a 28-year history of bad projects and ineffective assistance."

Opponent Doug Applegate (D-Ohio) called the EDA "a forward program to help people and communities. Yes, there is some pork, but we're going to find pork in just about everything we do."

The vote was 122 for and 300 against. A yes vote was to kill the Economic Development Administration.

How They Voted: Rep. Becerra (D): Nay Rep. Moorhead (R): Yea

Favorable Trade Status for China

The House failed to deny China favorable trade status. The lopsided vote on HJ Res 208 upheld President Clinton's one-year extension of preferential terms including the lowest U.S. tariffs on imports from China.

Pete Stark (D-Oakland) said he opposed favorable trade terms for China because of "a dirty little secret . . . that China is helping to build and distribute nuclear weapons around the world, and we know it."

Robert T. Matsui (D-Sacramento) said "we are creating an entrepreneurial class in China at this time. The way to get democracy is by getting a marketplace system in China."

The vote was 105 for and 318 against. A yes vote opposed most-favored-nation trade status for China.

How They Voted:

Rep. Becerra (D): Nay

Rep. Moorhead (R): Nay

Source: Roll Call Report Syndicate

Los Angeles Times Articles