S. Va len t ine without jeopardizing any others. Well, so it is with us on the lecture circuit. We are being thrown to the wolves.” Nelson argued that, to the public, “appearances were as important as reality.” But Muskie didn’t hear him out, having left in high dudgeon. Muskie’s first amendment, to apply the earnings limitation to unearned as well as earned income, was rejected 67-29, with Bentsen voting no and Tower yes. The second Muskie amendment, to delete the limit on outside income al together, fared little better; it was rejected 62-35, again with Bentsen voting no and Tower yes. When the resolution came up for a final vote on April Fools’ Day, most senators had either said their piece or shoved an amendment onto the floor. Bentsen asked that the limitation section go into effect simultaneously with the House’s 15 percent ceiling; the amendment was approved by voice vote. Tower sponsored two amendments that would have prohibited senators from accepting income from the government or from a government-regulated or subsidized agency; they were tabled. In the end, the Senate faced the same dilemma as the House: vote for an imperfect resolution or against “ethics.” Again, “ethics” prevailed. Only nine senators bit the bullet, thumbed their noses at appearances, and voted no. Bentsen voted yes. Tower was in New Braunfels giving a speech. Patrick Yack is a reporter for The Corpus Christi Caller. Membership selection for the prestigious . trgrous and powerful new House energy committee involved more twists and turns than a buliride, and a lot of representatives were surprised to find themselves bucked off at the buzzer. Virtually every member of Congress was trying to get a seat on the committee. Five Texans made it: Bob Eckhardt D-selection, since he does not serve on a standing committee related to energy and had not figured in the early speculation. Word is that he made a personal plea to House Speaker Tip O’Neill, who is his friend. Eckhardt and Wilson actively sought assignment to the committee. Their respective backers in the House reportedly were Morris Udall But the big surprise was Bob Krueger everyone to be a sure bet for a seat. Krueger, a leading voice for deregulation of oil and gas, has powerful industry backing. But at the last moment, he was off. Debate on the motion to create the committee was concluded at noon on April 21, when its members were to be named. The day before, Krueger was on the speaker’s tentative list of committee members. But the antideregulation forces in the House were pressing hard against his appointment, fearing that too many proindustry Democrats, added to the Republicans, would give oil corpora 8 The Texas Observer tions control of the committee. It was not until 4:30 that the committee line-up was announced, and Krueger was among the missing. He was still making appeals for selection as late as 3 p.m., but to no avail. House and home Dallas Rep. Clay Smothers’ curi ous assault on Texas’ ratification of instructing Secy. of State Mark White to “recall” the ratification materials submitted to Washington by the Texas legislature in 1972 was read April 12 by the constitutional amendments committee, chaired by Rep. Tim Von Dohlen of Goliad. Witnesses included Liz Carpenter, co-chair of ERAmerica, Austin Rep. Sarah Weddington, and Smothers himself. The freshman legislator warned the Rep. Tim Von Dohlen House that if ERA were ratified “the state might be forced to recognize homosexuals, and in spite of what anybody says, that’s not nice.” Weddington countered that Texas voters approved a state ERA the same year the Legislature ratified the national measure, and that the social chaos predicted by anti-ERA forces has yet to materialize. Few observers believe that either HCR 35 or a companion bill in the Senate sponsored by Walter Mengden of Houston will ever make it to their respective floors for a vote. Apparently in search of a loophole in federal abortion law. Rep. Von Dohlen is pressing a bill which would make abortion a felony offense except in cases of “danger to the mother’s health.” HB 1875 in effect, a substitute for two earlier bills filed by Rep. Tom Uher of Bay City was considered April 13 by John Wilson’s committee on health and welfare. The bill would make “an abortional act . . . a felony of the first degree if the woman or her child are [sic] seriously injured, or a felony of the second degree if no injury results.” HB 1875 would also outlaw “saline amniocentesis” abortions, and in cases where an aborted fetus could be kept alive by any available means, make the surviving infant “a ward of the State Department of Public Welfare.” Tied to this provision is a requirement that the ‘abortion of any fetus older than twenty weeks must be attended by a second physician whose duty is “to provide care to the aborted child and to take steps to preserve the life of the child.” FolloWing testimony, Wilson’s committee voted seven to three to recommend the bill to the full House. Spare cash Transamerica, the San Francisco conglomerate that owns Occidental Life Insurance, various United Artists entertainment businesses, Budget Rent-a-Car and other enterprises, is lobbying the Texas Legislature for higher interest rates on small consumer loans. Transamerica does consumer lending through its subsidiaries, Pacific Finance
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