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. Beilenson (D): Yea
Rep. Dixon (D): Yea
Rep. Harman (D): Yea
Rep. Waxman (D):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. Beilenson (D): Nay
Rep. Dixon (D): Nay
Rep. Harman (D): Nay
Rep. Waxman (D):Nay
\o7 Source: Roll Call Report Syndicate \f7