The House : Lie-Detector Testing

An anti-espionage amendment giving the Defense Department the power to administer lie-detector tests to its 4 million military and civilian employes who handle classified information was adopted by the House on a vote of 333 for and 71 against.

While most of the testing of those individuals would be done randomly, the amendment would require polygraph testing of all personnel applying for the department's highest security clearances.

The amendment reflected congressional concern over the unfolding military spy scandal. It was attached to the fiscal 1986 military authorization bill (HR 1872) that was headed for final passage and conference with the Senate.

Members voting yes wanted to give the Pentagon sweeping new authority to administer lie detector tests to employees.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Beilenson (D) x Rep. Berman (D) x Rep. Fiedler (R) x Rep. Moorhead (R) x Rep. Waxman (D) x

Anti-Satellite Weaponry

By a vote of 229 for and 193 against, the House voted to prevent U.S. testing of anti-satellite (ASAT) weaponry against targets in space as long as the Soviet Union refrains from similar testing. General research and less-advanced testing could continue under the amendment, which was attached to the $214-billion military authorization bill for 1986. Anti-satellite weapons are designed to destroy satellites that the enemy has orbited to provide an early warning against incoming missiles and to serve a military command function. America's anti-satellite weapons are to be distinguished from its proposed "Star Wars" defensive shield against enemy missiles.

Supporter Joe Moakley (D-Mass.) said advanced ASAT testing "will raise rather than lower the chances of a devastating nuclear war."

Opponent Ken Kramer (R-Colo.) said it is necessary for the United States to proceed with full-scale ASAT testing in order to "put pressure on the Soviets to come to the bargaining table and make meaningful concessions" with respect to the arms race.

Members voting yes favored the slowdown in ASAT testing.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Beilenson (D) x Rep. Berman (D) x Rep. Fiedler (R) x Rep. Moorhead (R) x Rep. Waxman (D) x

Inspector General

An amendment giving the Defense Department inspector general increased power to combat waste, fraud and abuse in military procurement practices was rejected by the House on a vote of 176 for and 240 against.

The inspector general, who is the chief taxpayers' advocate in the Pentagon, would have been able to bar a defense contractor from current or future projects if he found that the contractor was guilty of extreme malfeasance. At present, he can only refer the case to the Justice Department.

The vote occurred during debate on the 1986 defense bill.

Supporter Sam Gejdenson (D-Conn.) cited the Pentagon's purchase of $640 toilet seat covers and $44 light bulbs and said, "This nation, as rich as it is, cannot afford to overlook the waste and abuse that daily fills the nation's newspapers and airwaves."

Opponent Frank Horton (R-N.Y.) said the amendment would violate due process in that "it creates a terribly unfair system of administrative justice in which the investigator, prosecutor and judge are the same person."

Members voting yes wanted to give sweeping new powers to the Pentagon inspector general.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Beilenson (D) x Rep. Berman (D) x Rep. Fiedler (R) x Rep. Moorhead (R) x Rep. Waxman (D) x

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