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HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES : Disclosure of Files in Post Office Scandal

August 08, 1993

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. Dixon (D): Yea Rep. Roybal-Allard (D): Yea Rep. Waters (D): Yea

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. Dixon (D): Yea Rep. Roybal-Allard (D): Yea Rep. Waters (D): 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. Dixon (D): Nay Rep. Roybal-Allard (D): Nay Rep. Waters (D): Nay Source: Roll Call Report Syndicate

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