The House : ‘Star Wars’

By a vote of 223 for and 195 against, the House cut spending on the Administration’s Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) to $3.5 billion next fiscal year. The figure is $600 million less than the House Armed Services Committee recommendation and $1.5 billion below President Reagan’s request for the proposed “Star Wars” anti-missile shield.

The vote occurred during debate on the nearly $300-billion defense authorization bill for fiscal 1989. The bill (HR 4326) remained in debate.

Supporter Les AuCoin, D-Ore., said the money cut from SDI could be better spent on military drug interdiction efforts.


Opponent James Courter, R-N.J., said the amendment “cuts $600 million from basic research necessary to achieve the idea of America defending itself.”

Members voting yes favored deep cuts in SDI funding.

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

Invasion Ban

The House voted, 276 for and 92 against, to ban U.S. combat troops from Nicaragua except in extreme circumstances. Among exceptions are a declaration of war and provocations such as Nicaragua’s acceptance of Soviet nuclear weaponry. This amendment was attached to the fiscal 1989 defense authorization bill (above).

Sponsor Thomas Foley, D-Wash., said the United States should pose “no active threat of intervention in Nicaragua” that could upset Central American peace talks.

Opponent Henry Hyde, R-Ill., said: “Nicaragua by this statute is the only country in the world to enjoy congressional immunity” against an American invasion.

Members voting yes supported the qualified ban on American troops entering Nicaragua.

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

U.S. Troops

By a vote of 147 for and 238 against, the House rejected a 1989 defense bill amendment to further restrict American troop activity near Nicaragua. This followed a vote (above) to limit chances of the United States invading the Marxist country.

Under present law, U.S. forces cannot go within 20 miles of the Nicaraguan border except during training. The amendment sought to also prevent joint training maneuvers with Honduras or Costa Rica from taking place within 20 miles of Nicaragua.

Sponsor Edward Markey, D-Mass., said the amendment insures “that American boys are not unnecessarily put in danger.”

Opponent Sonny Montgomery, D-Miss., said: “The big problem with this amendment is it is unenforceable.”

Members voting yes supported the amendment.

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

MX vs. Midgetman

The House voted, 233 for and 171 against, to increase spending for the Midgetman missile to the detriment of the MX missile. Approved during debate on the 1989 defense authorization bill (above), the amendment earmarks $600 million next fiscal year for developing the Midgetman and $100 million for upgrading the MX.

This vote by the Democratic-led House reversed the Administration’s missile strategy. The Administration had requested $793 million for moving the multi-warhead MX from fixed silos to mobile rail cars and only $100 million for the Midgetman.

House Democrats prefer the single-warhead, truck-transported Midgetman as the nation’s missile of the future.

Members voting yes wanted to spend more on the Midgetman and less on the MX.

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