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KEY HOUSE VOTES 1 Auto pollution The most serious attack on the Clean Air Act came in the House in the form of the Dingell-Broyhill amendment, which sought to weaken the act’s provisions controlling automobile pollution. Dingell-Broyhill delays emission standards for hydrocarbons until 1980 relaxes standards for carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide emissions, weakens warranty provisions on automobile pollution control devices, reduces equipment testing requirements for manufacturers, and eases inspection and maintenance requirements. It passed 255-139. Some of the damage done was repaired later in conference committee; the final version of the 1977 amendments leaned toward the more stringent standards and compliance schedule written into the Senate bill. Only Bob Eckhardt and Jim Mattox get stars for voting against DingellBroyhill. 2 Clean air delay If you can’t kill it, delay it. An amendment introduced by Houston’s Bob Gammage to the Clean Air Act sought to postpone its application to industrial and metropolitan areas where ambient air quality is still sub-standard. the amendment would have deferred the act’s implementation until the Environmental Protection Agency had completed a one-year study. In debate, fellow Houstonian Bob Eckhardt pointed out that Gammage’s amendment merely would postpone the inevitable and delay solutions. On an initial standing vote, the amendment passed, but when a roll-call was demanded and taken, the delaying tactic went down to defeat, 242-162. The four Texans voting “no” get stars. 3 Strip mine regulation Environmentalists, farmers, unions and others have long pushed for a strong bill to regulate strip mining. Jimmy Carter’s energy plan relies heavily on stripmined coalmuch of it will come from surface mines west of the Mississippi so the President agreed to back demands for regulation of strippers. The Strip Mine Act, which had a relatively easy time of it winning House passage \(241restrictions on strippers and sets standards for the reclamation of stripped 4 DECEMBER 16, 1977 land. Similar bills passed the Congress in 1974 and again in 1975, but both were vetoed by Gerald Ford. With utilities and coal companies laying siege to Texas’ wealth of lignite coal \(all of the state’s deposits will require tance to Texans, but it drew only seven votes from our delegation. A star for each. 0 House voting maching 4 Oil spill liability HR 6803 increases the financial liability of corporations responsible for oil spills, and establishes a system for awarding damages. It also creates an emergency fund of $200 million to finance cleanup operations. In House debate, the legislation was widely praised and easily passed, 332-59. Among the 59 naysayers, however, were 20 Texans. \(Kazen, Wilson, White and Collins originally voted for the bill, but later asked that their votes be changed to stars for voting “yes.” 5 Nuclear breeders President Carter and a host of others wanted to put the Clinch River Breeder Reactor on hold, but the House voted for development, full speed ahead. Shortly before the vote, the President called for a halt to plutonium breeder research to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons, which can be fashioned easily from plutonium. The key House vote was on an amendment to cut the Energy Research and Development Administration’s appropriation for the Clinch River reactor from $150 million to $33 million. The lower figure was sought by the administration for completion of design work already underway and for the liquidation of present contracts. None of the money would have gone to production. The amendment was rejected 162-246 and the House went on to approve full funding. Stars go to the three Texans voting for the amendment. 6 Neutron bomb New York Democrat Ted Weiss’ amendment to strike authorization of funds for development of a neutron. bomb \(which destroys people but not some of the Pentagon’s plans weren’t unthinkable. For two days the House wrestled with the insanity of the N-bomb and delved into the Strangelovian world of war games. The moral comparability of the bomb’s use to chemical and biological warfare was stressed, and Barbara details of the death agonies that would be brought on by this “clean” bomb. straight: “If we look at the issue of credibility and balance of power, we already have it. The bombs are so dirty they are useless. If we want to preserve life, we ought to keep the bombs dirty and useless, and work toward moving back from the brink of destruction.” Nonetheless, Weiss’ amendment was rejected and the bomb approved, 297109. The lone Texas star goes to Bob Eckhardt for his “yes” vote on the amendment. 7 B-1 bomber It was close, but the President’s decision to halt production of the B-1 bomber was acceded to in the House by three votes. When the Senate-House conference committee returned its version of the 1978 defense appropriations bill to the House, Texas’ George Mahon, the chairman of the Appropriations Committee, moved to restore funds which had been in the original House bill. Joseph Mahon motion by deleting $1.4 billion for the production of five bombers. Five Texans get stars for helping Addabbo pass his amendment, 202-199. Postscript: The B-1 rose phoenix-like on Oct. 20 and again on Dec. 6. In October, an addition to the supplemental appropriations bill of $1.4 billion for production of five planes was defeated, 215-190. The only Texan to change his vote was Mahon. The Democrat from Lubbock did more than change his mindhe rose to speak against the B-1, arguing that “the only purpose of a bomber is to do the cleanup job . . . after