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THE HOUSE : Crime Bill

By a vote of 305 to 118, the House sent a sweeping anti-crime bill (HR 3371) to conference with the Senate.

The bill applies the federal death penalty to more than 50 additional crimes, including large-scale drug trafficking, permits federal courts to accept evidence seized in “good faith” but warrantless police searches, limits last-ditch federal appeals by state prisoners on Death Row, requires drug testing of federal inmates and promises $1.2 billion for state and local crime fighting.

Supporter Jack Brooks (D-Tex.) said the bill would both “fight and prevent the kinds of crime that most directly affect our constituents in their daily lives.”

Opponent James F. Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.) called it “a feel-good bill full of empty promises and little if any real reform of the criminal justice system. . . . “

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A yes vote was to pass the bill.

How They Voted

Rep. Anderson (D): Yea

Rep. Dixon (D): Nay

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Rep. Dymally (D): Nay

Rep. Gallegly (R): Yea

Rep. Levine (D): Yea

Rep. Rohrabacher (R): Nay

Race and the Death Penalty

By a vote of 223 to 191, the House stripped the crime bill (above) of language barring the execution of Death Row inmates who demonstrate statistically that their sentence resulted from racially discriminatory sentencing patterns.

Henry J. Hyde (R-Ill.) said the language was “a quota system for the death penalty. If members can explain that back home, good luck.”

Don Edwards (D-San Jose) said there is ample evidence that “comparing similar cases, blacks consistently get the death sentence where whites do not.”

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A yes vote was to remove the language from the bill.

How They Voted

Rep. Anderson (D): Nay

Rep. Dixon (D): Nay

Rep. Dymally (D): Nay

Rep. Gallegly (R): Yea

Rep. Levine (D): Nay

Rep. Rohrabacher (R): Yea

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Set-Asides for Minorities and Women

By a vote of 133 to 295, the House refused to increase the pool of highway and transit funds to be set aside for minority- and women-owned businesses. The vote occurred during debate on a bill (HR 2950) to spend $151 billion on transportation programs over six years.

The bill requires states to continue a single 10% highway and mass transit set-aside for both groups. The amendment sought separate reserves of 10% for minorities and 5% for women, enlarging the pool and eliminating competition for funds between the two interests.

A yes vote was to direct more transportation money to women and minorities.

How They Voted

Rep. Anderson (D): Yea

Rep. Dixon (D): Yea

Rep. Dymally (D): Yea

Rep. Gallegly (R): Nay

Rep. Levine (D): Yea

Rep. Rohrabacher (R): Nay

Source: Roll Call Report Syndicate


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