The House : Aid to Egypt

An amendment to delete $500 million in additional economic aid to Egypt from a fiscal 1985 appropriations bill (HR 2577) was rejected by the House on a vote of 110 for and 314 against. The measure was sent to the Senate. With the extra money, Egypt is slated to receive about $2.7 billion in economic and military aid during the fiscal year. The bill contained $1.5 billion in extra aid to Israel, raising its total U.S. aid for the year to about $4.1 billion.

Hank Brown (R-Colo.), who sponsored the amendment, said it "is not a matter of liking or disliking Egypt. It is a matter of bringing some fiscal sanity to this country's economy and this country's budget."

Opponent David Obey (D-Wis.) said that to deny the added aid to Egypt would be to undermine the Camp David accords and chances of reaching peace in the Middle East.

Members voting yes opposed giving Egypt an extra $500 million in 1985 economic aid.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Beilenson (D) x Rep. Berman (D) x Rep. Dixon (D) x Rep. Levine (D) x Rep. Waxman (D) x

Money for Contras

By a vote of 248 for and 184 against, the House appropriated $27 million over the next nine months in non-military aid to the contras forces waging guerrilla war against Nicaragua's Marxist rulers, the Sandinistas. The money was included in a catchall spending bill (HR 2577) for the current fiscal year that was sent to the Senate. This was a big victory for President Reagan because it resumed official U.S. involvement with the Nicaraguan rebels and firmed up congressional support of his hard-line policy toward the Sandinistas. The GOP-led Senate also has voted to restore aid to the contras .

However, to win the House vote the President had to agree that the money cannot be distributed by the CIA or Defense Department or be used for any military or quasi-military purpose.

Also, Reagan vowed that his ultimate objective is not to overthrow the Sandinistas and that he would consider direct peace talks with them, and he promised to object to any atrocities committed by the contras .

Supporter Robert J. Lagomarsino (R-Ojai) referred to the presence of communism in the Western Hemisphere and said, "Those people who ignore this threat or who do not see it are the Neville Chamberlains of our day."

Opponent Gerry Studds (D-Mass.) said that Will Rogers' 1927 statement about Nicaragua--"Where is Nicaragua and what the hell are we doing there?"--is as timely today as it was then.

Members voting yes wanted to resume American financial backing of the contras .

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Beilenson (D) x Rep. Berman (D) x Rep. Dixon (D) x Rep. Levine (D) x Rep. Waxman (D) x

Intelligence Activity

The House rejected, 196 for and 232 against, a continuation of the ban on the CIA or any other U.S. intelligence agency providing direct or indirect aid to the anti-Sandinista contra rebels. The so-called "Boland amendment" containing such a ban is scheduled to expire on Sept. 30. Its purpose is to keep the U.S. military from being secretly drawn into the Nicaraguan conflict. Despite this vote, supporters were hopeful of extending the ban as part of separate legislation to be considered by Congress before Sept. 30.

Members voting yes wanted to continue the ban on the CIA providing covert aid to the contras .

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Beilenson (D) x Rep. Berman (D) x Rep. Dixon (D) x Rep. Levine (D) x Rep. Waxman (D) x

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