Post Office Scandal
By a vote of 223 to 196, the House killed a proposal (HR 526) for full public disclosure of transcripts that underpin a task force finding of employee misconduct at the House Post Office. These and other files from the largely secret congressional probe are being referred to the Justice Department and the House Ethics Committee.
Most Republicans called for disclosure, but Democrats, who have received much of the blame for problems at the post office that they control, largely opposed the measure.
"We have nothing to hide," said Charlie Rose (D-N.C.), who voted to kill the resolution. He pointed out that no House member has been accused of corrupt activity in the matter.
Robert Walker (R-Pa.) objected to the Democrats' "behind-closed-doors" treatment of the post office scandal, saying "the American public . . . wants us to open up to them."
A yes vote opposed disclosure of witness transcripts from the post office probe.
How They Voted Rep. Gallegly (R): Nay Rep. Lagomarsino (R): Nay
To Raise Grazing Fees
By a vote of 245 to 164, the House refused to kill a proposed hike in fees the government charges Western ranchers for cattle grazing on federal land. This preserved sharply higher charges as part of the fiscal 1993 Interior Department appropriations bill (HR 5503). Fees would rise over four years from the present taxpayer-subsidized level of nearly $2 monthly per animal unit to $5.36.
Pat Williams (D-Mont.) voted to kill the hike because, he said, "it is going to drive marginal cattle operators off the land."
Chester Atkins (D-Mass.) asked foes of the increase, "How can you . . . be aggressively for a balanced-budget amendment but then want the big subsidies for the big operators in your district?"
A yes vote opposed higher public grazing fees for Western ranchers.
How They Voted Rep. Gallegly (R): Yea Rep. Lagomarsino (R): Yea
By a vote of 340 to 73, the House sent to conference with the Senate a bill (HR 485) to reinstate federal regulation of cable television. It empowers the FCC to control rates charged by the nation's 11,000-plus cable systems, set customer-service standards, open up monopolistic programming practices and prohibit exclusive operating franchises. Local authorities would enforce the FCC standards.
"Millions of cable subscribers have been subjected to rate increases that never seem to end," said supporter John Dingell (D-Mich.). "Customer service is poor or nonexistent."
Opponent Thomas Bliley (R-Va.) said the bill is "over-regulatory in every respect" and "will result in . . . higher rather than lower cable bills."
A yes vote was to pass the bill.
How They Voted Rep. Gallegly (R): Yea Rep. Lagomarsino (R): Nay