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HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Terminating the Super Collider

The House voted resoundingly to terminate the superconducting super collider research project in Waxahachie, Tex. The death sentence was included in the Department of Energy’s fiscal 1994 budget (HR 2445). The Senate later went along, and the massive construction job has been declared dead by supporters as well as foes in Congress. The super collider was envisioned to conduct high-speed proton collisions in an underground loop, yielding information on the origin of matter. About $2 billion toward a projected $11 billion cost to taxpayers has been spent. The project was about one-fifth complete; crews had built 11 miles of the planned 54-mile circular tunnel that would house the collider. The termination bill contains $640 million to begin the shutdown.

Supporter Sherwood Boehlert (R-N.Y.) called the vote “the most important and most significant test of this body’s will to cut unnecessary spending that we will face all year.”

Opponent Richard A. Gephardt (D-Mo.), the majority leader, said the atom-smasher is expensive but “justified in terms of the ideas and the technology that will translate into the kinds of jobs that we have got to have in this society in the days ahead.”

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The House vote was 282 for and 143 against. A yes vote was to kill the super collider.

How They Voted

Rep. Beilenson (D): Yea

Rep. Dixon (D): Nay

Rep. Harman (D): Yea

Rep. Waxman (D): Yea

Extension of Unemployment Benefits

The House passed a bill (HR 3167) providing additional weeks--until Feb. 5, 1994--in which the long-term jobless can qualify for additional unemployment checks after exhausting theirbasic 26-week allotment. Some of the estimated $1.1-billion cost will be offset by limiting Supplemental Security Income welfare payments to recent legal immigrants. But most of the tab is to be paid over five years by a plan to return the jobless to work earlier, through better state retraining mandated by the bill.

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The legislation is expected to give 750,000 workers in all states seven or 13 weeks of additional checks. The emergency program of extended benefits was enacted two years ago as a temporary measure in response to the recession. Its cost has been about $25 billion.

Supporter Barbara B. Kennelly (D-Conn.) said: “This extension will allow families throughout the country to continue to pay their mortgage, take care of their responsibilities and live as normal a life as possible until they find a job.”

Opponent Bill Archer (R-Tex.) said: “The nationwide economic crisis that may have justified this program has passed. We should allow it to expire before its evolution into simply another federal welfare program.”

The vote was 302 for and 95 against. A yes vote was to pass the bill.

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How They Voted

Rep. Beilenson (D): Yea

Rep. Dixon (D): Yea

Rep. Harman (D): Yea

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Rep. Waxman (D): Yea

Amendment to Jobless Benefits Bill

House members rejected an amendment to limit the latest round of extended jobless benefits (HR 3167, above) to states with at least 5% unemployment. The amendment would have excludedfrom the program 10 states with relatively low unemployment--Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wisconsin.

Sponsor Nancy L. Johnson (R-Conn.) said: “Congress cannot make responsible fiscal decisions and use tax dollars prudently, but is the prisoner of a one-size-fits-all mentality that squanders our resources.”

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Opponent Earl Pomeroy (D-N.D.) called the amendment “a blunt instrument that would save a small sum of money only by arbitrarily denying many American families their rightful access to emergency unemployment benefits.”

The vote was 128 for and 277 against. A yes vote supported the amendment.

How They Voted

Rep. Beilenson (D): Nay

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Rep. Dixon (D): Nay

Rep. Harman (D): Yea

Rep. Waxman (D): Nay

Preserving the Selective Service

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The House voted to preserve the Selective Service, which registers 18-year-olds for possible restoration of the military draft. This reversed a House vote four months earlier to kill the agency, and put the House in agreement with the Senate that the Selective Service should be kept alive. The vote approved a $25-million Selective Service budget as part of a multi-agency fiscal 1994 appropriations bill (HR 2491).

Supporter G.V. (Sonny) Montgomery (D-Miss.) asked: “Why destroy the Selective Service when we have no idea what the future holds for the United States in this troubled world?”

Opponent Louis Stokes (D-Ohio) said the Selective Service “is not a military necessity because the volunteer Army has succeeded in dealing with every crisis for 20 years, including Desert Storm.”

The tally was 236 for and 194 against. A yes vote was to preserve the Selective Service.

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How They Voted

Rep. Beilenson (D): Nay

Rep. Dixon (D): Nay

Rep. Harman (D): Yea

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Rep. Waxman (D): Nay

Where to Reach Them

Anthony C. Beilenson, 24th District

21031 Ventura Blvd., Suite 1010, Woodland Hills 91364 (818) 999-1990

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Julian C. Dixon, 32nd District

5100 W. Goldleaf Circle, Suite 208, Los Angeles 90056 (213) 678-5424

Jane Harman, 36th District

5200 W. Century Blvd., Suite 960, Los Angeles 90045 (310) 348-8220

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Henry A. Waxman, 29th District

8425 W. 3rd St., Suite 400, Los Angeles 90048 (213) 651-1040

Source: Roll Call Report Syndicate


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