The House : Family Planning

A bill to extend a program that provides family planning advice and services to the poor failed to get the two-thirds vote needed for passage in the House. The vote was 214 in favor and 197 against. The measure, which would have extended the program for three years, was debated under a shortcut parliamentary procedure that limited discussion and prevented amendments. None of the $454 million authorized by the bill (HR 2369) was to have been spent on abortions. The 15-year-old program is administered by state and local governments mainly at hospital outpatient clinics.

Supporter Henry Waxman (D-Los Angeles) said the program helps teen-agers to avert pregnancies and helps pregnant women get adequate prenatal care.

No one spoke against the bill.

Members voting yes wanted to extend the federal government's main family-planning program.

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

Nerve Gas Funding

The House approved, 229 for and 196 against, an amendment to retain $124.5 million in nerve gas funding in the fiscal 1986 Defense Department budget. Because it followed Senate approval of new funding for chemical weaponry, the vote indicated that the U.S. will end its 16-year moratorium on nerve gas production. However, the House stipulated that production cannot be resumed until fiscal 1987, and that certain conditions will have to be met.

The new gas would be binary, consisting of relatively impotent chemicals that become lethal only when combined during warfare. Existing nerve gas stocks already are toxic.

The vote occurred during debate on the 1986 defense authorization bill (HR 1872).

Supporter Richard Ray (R-Ga.) said, "Failure to modernize our offensive chemical warfare capability amounts to unilateral disarmament."

Foe John Porter (R-Ill.) said America's existing nerve gas stockpile already is "a sufficient chemical deterrent" against Soviet use of the weapon.

Members voting yes wanted the U.S. to resume nerve gas production.

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

MX Missiles

By a tally of 233 for and 184 against, the House defied President Reagan and voted to limit to 40 the number of MX missiles that ultimately can be deployed. The vote occurred as the House debated the 1986 Pentagon budget (HR 1872).

Reagan originally wanted 100 MXs for basing in existing, though reinforced, Minuteman silos in western states. He reluctantly agreed earlier this year to a Senate-approved limit of 50, which will have to be reconciled in conference with the House limit of 40.

The 10-warhead MX is America's next-generation land-based missile, replacing the Minuteman. Early next decade, it is to be supplanted by the more mobile, single-warhead Midgetman.

Members voting yes wanted to limit MX production to 40 missiles.

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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