House Restricts U.S. Troop Use in Nicaragua

Associated Press

The House today voted 312 to 111 to bar the use of U.S. combat troops to fight against Nicaragua unless there is a “clear and present danger” to Americans or U.S. installations.

The vote came as the chamber worked toward final approval of a huge bill authorizing most of a proposed $292-billion Pentagon budget for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1.

Approval of the troop ban came after four hours of debate. It would block the use of U.S. combat troops in or against Nicaragua, where U.S.-backed contra fighters are trying to overthrow the leftist Sandinista government.

The House voted 377 to 45 to say that the ban would not apply if Nicaragua obtains MIG planes from the Soviet Union. The Reagan Administration has said the adding of MIGs to the Nicaraguan arsenal would be a serious escalation of that nation’s ability to threaten its neighbors.


Versions Must Be Meshed

The version that passed the Democratic-controlled House will have to be reconciled with the version that passed the Republican-led Senate earlier this month.

The Senate’s bill would provide $10 billion more and contains none of the three major provisions approved Wednesday by the House.

The House had voted Wednesday to bar the Pentagon from performing final tests on anti-satellite weapons while allowing it to use lie detectors for catching spies, and ships and planes to hunt down drug smugglers.


It voted 229 to 193 to reinstate the ban on final-stage tests of an Air Force anti-satellite--or ASAT-- weapon as long as the Soviet Union refrains from more tests of its ASAT.

It also approved, 364 to 51, the measure allowing the Navy and Air Force to use ships and planes to hunt down and arrest suspected drug smugglers.