Congress and the Nation, 1985-1988, Vol. VII: The 99th and 100th Congresses


Edited by: CQ Press

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    1985 Key Votes

    1. Emergency Farm Credit

    In an early show of bipartisan opposition to Reagan administration farm policy, the Senate Feb. 27 voted in favor of advancing crop-loan payments to financially strapped farmers. The vote came on a measure providing emergency, non-food assistance to drought- and famine-stricken areas in Africa (HR 1096).

    Years of low farm profits and collapsing land values, particularly in the Midwest, had created a credit crisis for many farm communities.

    The administration had been pressing for scaled back federal aid to farmers, and argued that it had done enough to help out farmers with serious debts. Notwithstanding the administration's veto threat, and attempts by Majority Leader Robert Dole, R-Kan., to hold the Senate to a goal of serious deficit reduction, eight Republicans voted with all but one Democrat to add the farm credit provisions to the Africa aid bill.

    The Senate then passed HR 1096, with the farm-credit provisions, 62-35: R 16-34; D 46-1 (ND 32-1, SD 14-0).

    The House accepted the Senate version March 5, and, true to his promise, President Reagan vetoed the bill March 6, calling it a “massive new bailout that would add billions to the deficit.” Only a small minority of farmers were in need, Reagan said, despite unpublished Agriculture Department studies that showed 17 to 18 percent of U.S. farms with severe financial problems.

    Neither chamber attempted to override the veto, but the Senate coalition of Democrats and farm-state Republicans continued to dominate as Congress worked to rewrite basic farm policy until the end of the 1985 session. And ultimately, Dole had to offer a contradictory amalgam of “sweeteners” to win away enough votes to get a farm bill passed in the Senate. (Senate key vote 14)

    2. MX Missile Production

    The Senate struck a major blow against a coalition of opponents of the MX intercontinental missile March 19 when it approved continued production of the controversial weapon by an unexpectedly large margin.

    In 1984, the Senate had cast a tie vote on an amendment that would have blocked MX production, and the missile survived only because of Vice President George Bush's tie-breaking vote in favor. But in the key vote less than a year later — on a joint resolution (S J Res 71) approving procurement of 21 missiles in the fiscal 1985 budget — production was approved March 19, 55-45: R 45-8; D 10-37 (ND 3-30, SD 7-7).

    Since MX became the central symbolic battle over Reagan administration nuclear arms policy in early 1983, liberal arms controllers had concentrated their anti-MX lobbying effort in the Democratically controlled House. So when they nearly won in the Senate in 1984 — partly because the particular amendment offered by moderate Democrat Lawton Chiles, Fla., was unexpected — it came as a great morale booster to opponents.

    By the same token, their decisive Senate defeat in 1985 hit opponents hard and set the stage for Reagan's companion MX win in the House a week later. (House key vote 1)

    After the House also approved the fiscal 1985 MX production, an influential group of moderate Democrats led by Sam Nunn, Ga. — all of whom had voted for production on March 19 — called for a legislative cap of 40 on the total number of MXs deployed in existing missile silos, compared with the 100 Reagan had proposed. This formula — with the cap raised to 50 — helped resolve the MX issue in 1985.

    3. Fiscal 1986 Budget Resolution

    The Senate's new majority leader, Robert Dole, R-Kan., made deficit reduction a top priority during his first months in office. In the early morning hours of May 10, Dole engineered a cliffhanger vote to pass a sweeping fiscal 1986 budget plan (S Con Res 32) that called for the largest reductions in the spending growth in the nation's history. The vote was 50-49: R 48-4; D 1-45 (ND 1-31, SD 0-14).

    The 15-minute deadline for a vote, often bent in the Senate, was stretched well beyond custom as the Senate waited for Pete Wilson, R-Calif., en route by ambulance from a suburban hospital where he had undergone an appendectomy the day before.

    An ashen Wilson, garbed in pajamas and robe and still receiving intravenous fluids, finally appeared in a wheelchair and cast his “aye” while senators of both parties cheered. His vote made for a 49-49 tie, which was then broken by Vice President George Bush. (Illness prevented two other senators, Republican John P. East, N.C., and Democrat J. James Exon, Neb., from voting.)

    The vote was an important victory for Dole. He had had to persuade GOP senators, particularly 22 skittish colleagues up for re-election in 1986, that constituents were so concerned about the deficit that an “aye” would be a political asset, even though the legislation made substantial reductions in a number of popular programs and froze politically sensitive Social Security spending for a year.

    Dole also had to convince the White House not to torpedo the legislation, even though it cut into the president's top-priority buildup in defense spending.

    The narrow 53-47 Republican majority in the Senate had forced Dole and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Pete V. Domenici, R-N.M., to struggle hard for every vote. The two spent months in exhaustive, private negotiations with Senate Republicans and the White House. Dole did not turn to Democrats for help, except at the last minute when concessions on farm spending won an “aye” from Edward Zorinsky, D-Neb.

    4. Strategic Defense Initiative

    The Senate approved a reduction in President Reagan's request for anti-missile research that was recommended by its Armed Services Committee for budgetary reasons. It did so after rejecting several amendments that would have sliced more money from the project.

    The deeper reductions in the so-called strategic defense initiative (SDI) or “star wars” anti-missile defense program were proposed by arms control advocates who warned that the project would end any hope of an agreement to sharply reduce the number of U.S. and Soviet long-range nuclear missiles.

    The critics' best effort came on an amendment to the fiscal 1986 defense authorization bill (S 1160) that would have trimmed the SDI ceiling from the $2.96 billion recommended by the Armed Services Committee to $1.9 billion. The amendment was rejected June 4, 38-57: R 6-45; D 32-12 (ND 25-7, SD 7-5).

    Reagan had requested $3.96 billion.

    Other amendments proposing larger and smaller reductions from the committee-recommended level were rejected by larger margins.

    5. Contra Aid

    President Reagan's policy of aiding Nicaragua's anti-government guerrillas, called contras, long had enjoyed wide bipartisan support in the Senate. But that support weakened in 1984 following revelations of the CIA's bungled attempt to mine harbors in Nicaragua, and Congress suspended arms shipments and all other aid to the contras.

    Members of both parties in 1985 complained that the administration appeared to have no long-term policy for ending the civil war in Nicaragua. Reagan's request for renewed aid to the contras was rejected by the House in April — but a few days later Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega angered many in Congress by flying to Moscow for meetings with top Soviet leaders.

    Reagan once again sought congressional approval for renewed aid to the contras. The Senate complied on June 6, approving an amendment to a State Department authorizations bill (S 1003) authorizing $24 million for new “humanitarian” aid to the guerrillas and releasing conditions on another $14 million. The vote was 55-42: R 41-10; D 14-32 (ND 4-28, SD 10-4).

    Although the aid was supported by members of both parties, the vote demonstrated for the first time that the overwhelming majority of Senate Democrats had joined their House counterparts in opposing U.S. involvement in Nicaragua's wars. (House key vote 5)

    Nearly two months later, Congress gave final approval to $27 million in non-military aid to the contras in fiscal 1985.

    6. United Nations Budget

    With its frequently anti-American slant and seemingly out-of-control budget, the United Nations had been the target of growing congressional criticism over the years. That criticism came to a head in 1985, with Congress approving a provision threatening a major pullback in U.S. support for the world forum.

    “The United Nations can no longer be a sacred cow,” said Kansas Republican Nancy Landon Kassebaum, who followed up on her views with a key Senate amendment to restrict U.S. support for the U.N. budget. Kassebaum's proposal was added to the 1985 State Department authorizations bill (S 1003) June 7 by a vote of 71-13: R 41-4; D 30-9 (ND 18-8, SD 12-1). A modified version of the amendment cleared Congress in the final version of the bill.

    Kassebaum and many of her allies said that they were not opposed to a strong U.S. role in the world body. But, they argued, the United States could no longer continue to provide a substantial share of the funding for a U.N. budget that had tripled in the preceding decade without gaining a greater voice in how the money was spent. So Kassebaum's amendment called for a reduction in U.S. contributions to the U.N. operating budget unless the institution moved to a system of proportional voting, which would give the United States voting clout on budget matters equal to its financial contribution.

    7. Gun Control

    Almost since the day the 1968 Gun Control Act was enacted, Westerners in Congress, urged on by the National Rifle Association (NRA), had been trying to undo major elements of the law. On July 9 in the Senate, they took a large step toward that goal.

    The Senate handily approved a bill (S 49) relaxing many of the provisions in the 1968 law, including allowing interstate sales of rifles, shotguns and handguns. The vote was 79-15: R 49-2; D 30-13 (ND 18-13, SD 12-0).

    The wide margin demonstrated the political clout of the NRA, which was able to overcome strong opposition from major police organizations that claimed the bill would undercut law enforcement efforts. James A. McClure, R-Idaho, chief sponsor of S 49, said the overwhelming vote for his bill was in part a reaction to “abusive enforcement” of the law since 1968 by the federal government.

    Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., the Senate's leading gun-control advocate, tried to strengthen the bill by banning interstate sales of small handguns and by requiring a 14-day waiting period for gun purchases. But his efforts were rejected by substantial margins.

    8. Line-Item Veto

    President Reagan suffered a defeat in the Senate when the Republican leadership was prevented from bringing to the floor a measure (S 43) granting Reagan authority to veto individual items in appropriations bills. The attempt was blocked by a bipartisan filibuster, led by Appropriations Committee Chairman Mark O. Hatfield, R-Ore.

    Hatfield and others argued that the so-called “line-item veto” would result in an unnecessary and dangerous transfer of power from the legislative branch to the executive branch of government. Under existing law, the president could only veto an entire appropriations bill if he did not like one or two individual items within it.

    Sponsor Mack Mattingly, R-Ga., argued that ongoing attempts to trim the federal deficit had been unsuccessful, and that Congress should give the new veto authority a chance. Reagan, who had asked repeatedly for the line-item veto to control government spending, lobbied hard to get the measure to the floor. From his hospital bed at the Bethesda Naval Medical Center in Maryland where he was recuperating from cancer surgery, Reagan made a number of personal calls and wrote a letter to all senators asking for their support.

    But three attempts by Republican leaders to cut off debate on the motion to proceed to S 43 failed to get the required 60 votes. After the final cloture motion was rejected July 24, 58-40: R 46-7; D 12-33 (ND 8-24, SD 4-9), Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole, R-Kan., withdrew the pending motion to proceed to the bill.

    9. School Prayer

    Advocates of organized, recited public school prayer suffered their worst defeat in seven years when the Senate Sept. 10 decisively rejected a bill designed to allow prayer in the schools. The vote on the motion to table, and thus kill, the measure (S 47) was 62-36: R 24-28; D 38-8 (ND 31-1, SD 7-7).

    The legislation, sponsored by Jesse Helms, R-N.C., would have barred the federal courts, including the Supreme Court, from hearing any case involving school prayer. Thus, if a state or local government chose to adopt a policy allowing public school prayer, opponents would have no means of challenging it in federal court.

    The Senate had voted on similar legislation 10 times in the past seven years. But the Sept. 10 vote marked the lowest level of support for the measure since 1979, when the Senate passed it.

    Helms said the vote demonstrated that, although Republicans controlled the chamber, “this is really a liberal Senate.” But Lowell P. Weicker Jr., R-Conn., the leading opponent of the bill, contended that there had been “a change in sentiment” about the prayer issue. He said the vote demonstrated that the public was “becoming more sensitive” to the issues involved and that citizens were encouraging their representatives to vote against measures that were “bringing government into religion.”

    10. Seasonal Workers

    Heavy lobbying by Western agricultural growers convinced the Senate Sept. 17 to add a new foreign “guest-worker” program to an overhaul of the nation's immigration laws (S 1200).

    The vote to adopt the program, sponsored by Pete Wilson, R-Calif., was 51-44: R 36-15; D 15-29 (ND 6-25, SD 9-4). It reversed the Senate's action Sept. 12 when a similar Wilson amendment was killed, 50-48.

    Immigration reform, which the Senate has passed three times since 1982, would create a new system of penalties against employers who knowingly hired illegal aliens. Western growers, who relied heavily on an illegal work force, said they would support the sanctions provisions, but they had insisted on new guarantees of sufficient labor to harvest crops.

    The Sept. 17 vote was a blow to Alan K. Simpson, R-Wyo., the chief sponsor of S 1200. He had been unalterably opposed to any guest-worker program, and accused the growers of being greedy in their quest for foreign labor.

    The guest-worker program also had repercussions in the House Judiciary Committee, where members were deeply divided about the issue. Although the House Sub-committee on Immigration, Refugees and International Law approved an immigration bill (HR 3080), it bypassed the farm worker issue to give a group of Democrats, led by committee member Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., more time to develop a compromise that could be presented to the full committee early in 1986.

    11. Toxic Waste Victims' Aid

    A decision to limit the federal role in aiding victims of toxic waste dumps was settled in a close vote Sept. 24 during debate on Senate passage of the “superfund” hazardous waste cleanup bill (S 51).

    The vote came on a motion by William V. Roth Jr., R-Del., to strike from the bill a provision establishing a demonstration program for medical aid to victims of toxic spills and leaks. The vote in favor of the Roth amendment was 49-45: R 40-11; D 9-34 (ND 3-28, SD 6-6).

    Although titled the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, the superfund program never included liability or compensation provisions for victims. Sponsors dropped those provisions in the closing days of the 96th Congress to get superfund enacted, but vowed to try again in 1985 when the law came up for renewal.

    The “Victim Assistance Demonstration Program,” proposed by George J. Mitchell, D-Maine, was added to the bill during markup by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Mitchell had drastically pared down earlier victim aid schemes in hopes of picking up enough support.

    The program would have been funded at $30 million annually for 1986–90 and have been conducted in five to 10 geographic areas around the country, which could qualify only if scientific studies showed that toxic exposure caused health threats. The U.S. government would have paid only medical expenses not covered by other insurance.

    But Roth and other opponents charged that individual victims would not have had to prove that their ailments were specifically caused by a certain toxic release. They said it would be politically difficult to keep the program from expanding.

    12. Gramm-Rudman-Hollings

    Anger at the prospect of continued high federal deficits, exacerbated by the upcoming 1986 congressional elections, drove Congress to approve a radical overhaul of budgetary procedures with remarkable speed.

    First introduced in September, the legislation received emphatic approval on Oct. 9 when the Senate voted to add it to a measure raising the ceiling on the federal debt (H J Res 372). The vote was 75-24: R 48-4; D 27-20 (ND 15-18, SD 12-2).

    The following day, Oct. 10, the debt bill bearing the budget amendment passed the Senate by a 51-37 vote, with Republicans voting 38-8 in favor of the measure, and Democrats registering a negative 13-29 vote.

    Advocates said that the plan, by requiring forced deficit reductions for a period of five years, would eliminate the federal budget deficit by the beginning of fiscal 1991. Opponents warned that it would have perverse and damaging effects on the nation's economy, on key priorities including defense, and that it entailed an unconstitutional shift of power away from Congress.

    Those voting for the plan ranged from conservatives, such as sponsors Phil Gramm, R-Texas, Ernest F. Hollings, D-S.C., and Warren B. Rudman, R-N.H., to liberals such as Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass.

    Each bloc of supporters believed that the plan would foster its own preferred solution to the deficit. Gramm's agenda was to shrink the federal government; others argued that the plan would force defense spending reductions and protect social programs. A strong theme was that the measure would confront President Reagan with a choice of defense spending cuts or higher taxes, and that would make Reagan finally agree to a tax hike. (House key vote 12)

    13. Textile Imports

    Legislation (HR 1562) limiting textile imports was the most prominent of the many trade bills that drew increasing congressional interest in 1985. Despite strong lobbying support from domestic textile manufacturers and unions, however, sponsors of the measure had to fight tooth-and-nail for nearly two months to get their proposal through the Senate.

    The complex interplay of regional and economic factors influencing congressional action on trade legislation was clearly illustrated by the intense maneuvering over the textile bill. Not content with winning just a majority of the Senate, bill backers worked to expand their base of support by bringing in other trade interests in order to secure the two-thirds majority needed to override President Reagan's expected veto of the bill.

    The first move of bill sponsors was to add import protections for shoes to the House-passed textile bill. That helped shore up support from members from shoe-producing states. Another change scaled back the House bill's import limits, in an effort to allay concerns that the application of deep cutbacks on Chinese products would damage trade relations with that country. Those shifts brought the proposal to a comfortable majority, but still well short of two-thirds; sponsors won key procedural votes by margins of 53-42 and 54-42. (House key vote 10)

    Two other moves lifted the bill somewhat closer to its goal. Sponsors finally secured a promise from the GOP leadership for an up-or-down vote on the House-passed bill, thus avoiding a threatened filibuster as well as quieting objections from the backers of the unrelated bills to which textile forces earlier had sought to attach their proposal as amendments. Finally, an amendment aiding hard-pressed copper producers added strength among Western senators, bringing the bill to its high-water mark. The vote on final passage Nov. 13 was 60-39: R 25-28; D 35-11 (ND 23-10, SD 12-1).

    14. Farm Bill

    Stymied by an alliance of Democrats and farm-state Republicans, Majority Leader Robert Dole, R-Kan., took personal reins of a farm programs reauthorization measure (S 1714) on the Senate floor and fashioned a catchall compromise that managed to placate the various interests whose disagreement had blocked the bill, and kept the door open for an administration proposal to reduce price- and income-supports for farmers.

    Dole put together a package that he acknowledged to be contradictory and over budget, but with its passage managed to avoid both an embarrassing defeat for the administration and a prolonged filibuster by Democrats.

    The Agriculture Committee, dominated by an alliance of Democrats and farm-state Republicans, had reported out a bill with a four-year freeze on the “target” prices that determine government income subsidies for farmers. The administration had insisted on no more than a one-year freeze on target prices, although neither a one-year freeze nor a four-year freeze could garner a majority of votes in the full Senate.

    To break the logjam, Dole substituted a dual system of income supports, putting both a one-year provision and a four-year provision in the bill, adding other “sweeteners” for nearly every special farm interest in the Senate, and prohibiting the Democrats from attempts to amend it to their advantage.

    Dole won over 11 Democrats, mainly from sugar- and rice-producing states, and lost only six farm-state Republicans. The Nov. 20 vote on Dole's package was 56-41: R 45-6; D 11-35 (ND 4-28, SD 7-7).

    Dole's maneuver, coupled with some tactical missteps by the Democrats, effectively blunted the organized opposition to his bill and put the GOP firmly back in control of the Senate. He later had to strike a last-minute compromise with three maverick Democrats who continued to hold out the threat of a filibuster. But the product of that deal, a one-year freeze with in-kind payments making up the slack in the second year, gave Dole all the leverage he needed to negotiate a compromise with the House, which had passed a bill containing a five-year freeze on target prices.

    The final version of the bill contained a two-year freeze on target prices, with only a 2 percent cut in the third year and a total reduction of 10 percent over the five-year life of the bill.

    House Key Votes
    1. MX Missile Production

    In what may have been the last significant vote of a battle that dominated the congressional defense debate for nearly three years, the House March 26 cleared the way for production of the MX missile.

    The vote came on a joint resolution (S J Res 71) that approved spending $1.5 billion in fiscal 1985 to build 21 MXs. This roundabout way of settling the question of MX production had been agreed to in October 1984 by the White House and the House Democratic leadership — which opposed the missile — after conferees on the fiscal 1985 defense authorization bill deadlocked on the issue.

    The House approved the resolution by the same kind of narrow margin by which it had resolved MX battles since late 1983. Production was approved 219-213: R 158-24; D 61-189 (ND 15-154, SD 46-35).

    Designed to carry 10 nuclear warheads, each with enough accuracy and explosive power to destroy a Soviet missile silo, MX had become by 1983 the central political symbol of President Reagan's nuclear weapons policy. Arms control advocates warned that it would escalate the arms race with Moscow, while Reagan and his allies contended that it was needed to counterbalance Soviet missiles powerful enough to destroy U.S. missiles in a first strike.

    Reagan gave his opponents a major political advantage late in 1981 when he stripped the missile of one of its central technical justifications: He rejected the mobile basing method that the Air Force and Presidents Gerald R. Ford and Jimmy Carter had proposed to protect the new missiles against Soviet attack.

    Beginning in early 1983, arms controllers organized a powerful grass-roots lobbying campaign that brought them within striking distance of a House vote against the missile. What finally swung the balance was the increasing involvement of the Democratic leaders, who saw MX as a way to crystallize public frustration with Reagan's expensive defense buildup, and widespread concern over his confrontational approach toward the Soviet Union.

    Reagan was supported by a small but influential group of Democratic defense specialists who backed limited MX production in return for changes in the administration's arms control policy.

    After more than a year of legislative battles, MX opponents eked out a narrow House victory in late May 1984, thus setting the stage for the final compromise that led to the March 26, 1985, House vote. Reagan won that final test by insisting that a vote against MX would undermine U.S. bargaining leverage in arms control talks with the Russians — a message carried to House members by Max M. Kampelman, Reagan's chief arms control negotiator.

    In the fiscal 1986 defense bills, Congress seemed to end the MX fight — at least for the next several years — by capping the total MX deployment at 50 missiles, though more would be purchased to allow for testing. (Senate key vote 2)

    2. McIntyre-McCloskey Contested Election

    The winner of the 1984 election in Indiana's 8th Congressional District was not settled until May 1, when the House voted to seat Democrat Frank McCloskey instead of Republican Richard D. McIntyre, who had been certified the winner by Indiana.

    The decision to declare McCloskey the winner followed four months of acrimony between Democrats and Republicans over what appeared to be the closest House contest in this century. Republicans, outnumbered 182-252 in the House, charged that Democrats stole the election. Democrats claimed there were inconsistencies in the Indiana ballot-counting and said a recount was necessary.

    After the Nov. 6, 1984, election, incumbent McCloskey appeared to win by 72 votes. But in two precincts in one of the district's 15 counties, ballots had been counted twice. Correction of that arithmetical error gave McIntyre an apparent 34-vote victory. On that basis, the Indiana secretary of state certified McIntyre as the winner on Dec. 14.

    When the House convened Jan. 3, members voted along party lines to hold vacant the Indiana 8th seat, pending a House Administration Committee investigation of alleged election irregularities. Three times after that, Republicans pushed the seating of McIntyre to a vote, but they lost to the Democratic majority.

    After conducting its own recount, a House Administration Committee task force concluded April 18, on a 2-to-1 partisan split, that McCloskey had won by four votes.

    On April 30, Republicans tried to get a new election by declaring the seat vacant. This was the key vote in the controversy — the best chance Republicans had and the one in which the most Democrats sided with the GOP. The vote on the Republican attempt (H Res 148) was 200-229: R 181-0; D 19-229 (ND 6-161, SD 13-68).

    The recommendation of House Administration to seat McCloskey (H Res 146 — H Rept 99-58) came to a vote May 1. The House passed the resolution 236-190, with 10 Democrats voting against it. As Democrats prepared to swear in McCloskey immediately after the vote, Republicans stormed out of the House chamber in protest.

    3. South Africa Sanctions

    During his first term, one of President Reagan's most controversial foreign policies was his “constructive engagement” approach to South Africa — friendly persuasion of the white minority government to ease its repressive racial system and to participate in regional peace-making efforts.

    Constructive engagement came under increased scrutiny in 1985 as civil rights groups staged well-publicized protests at Pretoria's embassy in Washington and as racial violence mounted in South Africa.

    To force a change in U.S. policy, congressional activists drew up legislation imposing economic sanctions against South Africa. The idea of sanctions drew broad bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress, with the main debate centering over how tough they should be.

    On June 5, the Foreign Affairs Committee took to the House floor HR 1460, which would have imposed immediate sanctions on South Africa, including a ban on bank loans to the government and prohibitions against the sale of computers and nuclear power supplies. Subject to review by the president and Congress, the bill also would have barred new U.S. investment in South Africa and prohibited imports of South African coins called Krugerrands. Over the administration's opposition, the House passed the bill 295-127: R 56-121; D 239-6 (ND 166-0, SD 73-6).

    The Senate later passed its own, somewhat weaker sanctions legislation, and on July 31 a House-Senate conference committee produced a surprisingly strong sanctions bill. Rather than face outright congressional repudiation of his policy, Reagan on Sept. 9 imposed his own limited set of sanctions, including a ban on Krugerrand imports, derailing the legislation.

    4. Water Projects

    On a cliffhanger vote June 6, the House signaled its unwillingness to fund politically popular water projects without program reform that would cut federal costs.

    The key vote came on an amendment to the fiscal 1985 supplemental appropriations bill (HR 2577 — PL 99-88) having to do with funds to start construction on new water projects. The amendment, offered by Bob Edgar, D-Pa., cut from $150 million to $51 million the amount in the bill for new Army Corps of Engineers projects. It passed by one vote, 203-202: R 108-69; D 95-133 (ND 80-75, SD 15-58).

    Authorization, funding and construction of new water projects had been stalled for almost a decade over how to divide costs between the federal government and local beneficiaries. The federal government had traditionally paid most of the cost, but reformers said fewer wasteful projects would be built if users had to put up a bigger share.

    Although authorizing legislation had not been enacted, the House Appropriations Committee put funds for new construction starts into HR 2577. It contained 62 new projects, 31 of which had not yet been authorized. The unauthorized projects had been removed from the bill on the House floor by a point of order, and Edgar's amendment, in effect, blocked the funding that went with them.

    The vote was an expression of fiscal austerity. But it also upheld the jurisdiction of the authorizing committee, Public Works and Transportation, whose leaders had jealously opposed what they saw as an effort to short-circuit the authorizing process. Because the omnibus water projects authorizing bill contained many projects not in the supplemental, committee leaders could call on the loyalty of a considerable number of members.

    The demonstration of strength by reformers made its mark on the legislation as cleared. The final bill contained $48.8 million for 41 new Army Corps of Engineers projects (21 of them unauthorized), but under the condition that funds could not be spent on the unauthorized projects until Congress passed authorizing legislation (which did not happen in 1985) or the administration reached a cost-sharing agreement with local sponsors of individual projects.

    5. Contra Aid

    Since President Reagan took office, no foreign policy question had caused such deep divisions within Congress, and between Congress and the administration, as U.S. involvement in the war in Nicaragua. Reagan in 1981 ordered the CIA to organize a paramilitary force that would harass the leftist Sandinista government in Managua. By 1983, that force had grown to several thousand guerrillas who were receiving about $40 million a year worth of weapons and other supplies from the CIA.

    Responding to a bungled CIA attempt to mine Nicaraguan harbors, Congress in 1984 ordered a halt to all U.S. backing for the guerrillas, widely known as contras. Reagan early in 1985 asked Congress to renew U.S. aid to the guerrillas. The House, long the center of opposition to intervention in Nicaragua, rebuffed that request April 23–24. A few days later, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega flew to Moscow for a meeting with top Soviet officials. That trip angered many House Democrats who had voted against aiding the contras; they said Ortega had forfeited a chance for political reconciliation between his government and the anti-communist guerrillas.

    In a new political atmosphere caused by the Ortega trip, Reagan once again sought aid for the contras, promising that it would be used only for “humanitarian” or nonmilitary purposes. The House approved that request in a stunning turnaround on June 12, during consideration of a fiscal 1985 supplemental appropriations bill (HR 2577).

    The key House vote came on an amendment by Edward P. Boland, D-Mass., who sought to continue indefinitely his 1984 Boland amendment barring aid to the contras by any U.S. intelligence agencies. Democratic opponents of the contra aid saw that amendment as their best shot at defeating Reagan's request. The House rejected Boland's new amendment 196-232: R 7-174; D 189-58 (ND 156-11, SD 33-47). The House then approved $27 million in non-military assistance to the contras. That aid, with some strings attached, was included in the final version of the supplemental spending bill (PL 99-88). (Senate key vote 5)

    6. Chemical Weapons

    After blocking the move for three years, the House June 19 finally gave conditional approval to President Reagan's request to resume production of lethal chemical weapons for the first time since 1969.

    The key vote came on an amendment to the fiscal 1986 defense authorization bill (HR 1872) that authorized $124 million for production of the so-called binary chemical weapons, provided they were formally requested by the NATO alliance. The amendment — which, in effect, substituted for a proposed amendment that would have continued the ban on binary production — was agreed to 229-196: R 143-34; D 86-162 (ND 30-138, SD 56-24).

    According to the administration, new weapons were needed to replace the existing chemical weapons which, it warned, were militarily ineffective and were in danger of leaking because of age. Moreover, it argued, a U.S. chemical weapons modernization plan would induce the Russians to agree to a mutual ban on chemical weapons.

    Opponents warned the weapons were unnecessary since existing chemical weapons were safe and militarily adequate. Moreover, they argued, chemical weapons are particularly repugnant and production would erode U.S. influence with its allies. The amendment skirted that diplomatic argument by making production contingent on NATO approval.

    7. Strategic Defense Initiative

    The effort of liberal arms control advocates to rein in development of anti-missile defenses reached its high-water mark on June 20. The House rejected an effort to trim the project — called the strategic defense initiative (SDI) or “star wars” — to $2.1 billion for fiscal 1986.

    President Reagan had requested $3.96 billion for SDI in the fiscal 1986 defense budget and the House Armed Services Committee recommended a funding ceiling of $2.5 billion in its version of the fiscal 1986 defense authorization bill (HR 1872). The key vote came on an amendment to cut the figure to $2.1 billion, which was rejected 195-221: R 12-167; D 183-54 (ND 147-11, SD 36-43).

    Reagan touted SDI as a way to make nuclear weapons “impotent and obsolete,” implying that the program was intended to produce a leakproof shield over the country. But most administration officials set a more modest goal: a defense that could disrupt any Soviet attack on the U.S. nuclear force, and that would thus dissuade Moscow from making such an attack.

    Arms controllers argued that Reagan's impenetrable shield would prove physically unattainable and anything less effective would spur a Soviet offensive buildup to swamp U.S. defenses.

    8. Repeal of the Clark Amendment

    In late 1975 and early 1976, reacting to the war in Vietnam and revelations of CIA misdeeds in the guise of “covert operations,” Congress halted a Ford administration program of aiding one of the three guerrilla groups then battling for the control of Angola. Sponsored by Sen. Dick Clark, D-Iowa (1973–79), the Clark amendment stopped what was supposed to be secret CIA aid to rebels, called the Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA).

    In subsequent years, the Clark amendment became a symbol of congressional intervention in foreign policy; except for a short-lived 1984–85 ban on CIA action in Nicaragua, the Clark amendment was the only law specifically excluding U.S. intervention in a foreign country. To liberals it was a statement that the United States would step into foreign civil wars only when its vital interests were at stake and when the goals were clearly defined to the American public. Conservatives, including President Reagan, said the amendment showed that the United States no longer had the stomach to confront communist expansionism.

    Congress weakened the Clark amendment in 1980, while retaining its essential thrust. Reagan persistently demanded its outright repeal, but Democrats in the House fought to retain it.

    The time for change came in July 1985, shortly after the House had reversed itself and approved renewed aid for the contras in Nicaragua. When the House was considering the fiscal 1986–87 foreign aid authorizations bill (HR 1555), a coalition of Democrats and Republicans banded together to offer a floor amendment to repeal the entire Clark measure. Their leading spokesman was Claude Pepper, D-Fla., chairman of the House Rules Committee.

    The House July 10 adopted the Clark amendment repealer by a surprisingly wide margin of 236-185: R 176-6; D 60-179 (ND 14-150, SD 46-29). The vote was one of several actions the House took on the foreign aid bill demonstrating a new willingness to aid anti-communist insurgents. The Senate a month before had voted a similar measure, and the repealer was included with little controversy in the final version of the foreign aid authorization bill (PL 99-83) cleared in August.

    9. Farm Bill

    The administration, generally rebuffed in its efforts in the House to reform federal farm price-support programs, successfully lobbied against a measure to let farmers vote on what direction federal farm programs should take.

    The House stripped a provision from the farm programs reauthorization bill (HR 2100 — PL 99-198) calling for a referendum among wheat and feed grain farmers on the question of instituting strict marketing controls in place of the government's regular price supports.

    The proposal to give farmers direct control over the structure of federal agriculture policy developed slowly over the summer. The referendum was put into the Agriculture Committee bill at the last minute to keep mutinous Democrats from voting against a bill that would lower price-support protection for major crops, while freezing the “target” prices that determine income subsidies.

    The referendum was a compromise version of a plan that would let farmers impose mandatory acreage cutbacks themselves as a way to reduce supply and drive up prices. The compromise, “voluntary” plan would place controls on production for domestic consumption and allow farmers to grow as much as they wanted for export.

    On the floor, Democratic leaders hoped to keep the referendum in the bill as a “populist” proposal to embarrass President Reagan's administration in key farm states where House members planned to challenge Republican senators in the 1986 elections. The president vowed to veto the bill if it contained a referendum, and several Democratic members saw political advantage in that prospect.

    But on Oct. 3, after intense lobbying against the referendum by agriculture organizations and the administration, the House voted in favor of a motion by Edward R. Madigan, Ill., ranking Republican on Agriculture, to strike the referendum. The vote was 251-174: R 169-10; D 82-164 (ND 53-112, SD 29-52).

    The Senate-passed bill also contained a referendum measure after Republican leaders included it to buy Democratic votes for their package of price- and income-support cuts. It was quickly dropped in conference, however. And the five-year farm bill shaped up as a compromise between the administration's hard-line stance against price supports and Democrats' equally fervent desire to maintain an income “safety net.”

    10. Textile Imports

    Worried about the prospect of a record international trade deficit of nearly $150 billion in 1985, members of Congress shifted sharply in favor of a tougher stance in dealing with America's trading partners. The cutting edge of that surge of “protectionist” sentiment was legislation (HR 1562) to force substantial reductions in the quantities of clothing and other textiles imported from Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong and other Third World nations.

    The textile bill had strong support from textile manufacturers and unions, who warned that their industry faced a bleak future if something was not done to stem the tide of low-cost imports. But an equally important factor in rounding up overwhelming initial support for the legislation — some 290 House members signed on as cosponsors — was the widespread irritation over President Reagan's “free-trade” policies. Reagan enraged many members by refusing to provide import relief for the shoe industry and other hard-pressed domestic producers.

    Unfortunately for backers of the bill, however, Reagan shifted to a more activist trade stance before they could get their bill through Congress. Reagan's new policy, announced in late September, had two key elements — attacks on unfair trading practices of other countries and joint efforts with other leading industrialized countries to bring down the high value of the U.S. dollar.

    Reagan's moves were enough to take some of the wind out of the textile bill's sails. The measure passed the House Oct. 10 by a comfortable margin, 262-159: R 75-97; D 187-62 (ND 118-49, SD 69-13). But it lacked the two-thirds majority needed to override an anticipated veto.

    Congress later cleared a version of the bill that was considerably less restrictive than the original measure, but support remained inadequate to surmount Reagan's Dec. 17 veto. House sponsors decided to put off an override vote until August 1986, in hopes of pressuring the administration to pursue a tough line in international textile negotiations.

    11. Latta Amendment on Reconciliation

    When the House considered an omnibus deficit reduction package (HR 3500) Oct. 24, the rule for debate permitted only three amendments, one of which was a controversial proposal to strike all provisions authorizing new or increased spending. The amendment failed by a close vote, 209-219: R 166-15; D 43-204 (ND 15-151, SD 28-53).

    Republicans made the amendment a referendum on who was serious about cutting $200 billion deficits. All but 15 Republicans voted for the amendment, agreeing with sponsor Delbert L. Latta of Ohio, senior Republican on the House Budget Committee, that a deficit reduction bill was no place to attach spending items, no matter how desirable.

    Latta's main target was a package of housing program authorizations that had been added to the bill with bipartisan support in the House Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs Committee.

    Another provision called for many states to receive $150 million in 1988 from a new block-grant program for coastal resources. Another authorized 5 percent pay raises in fiscal 1987 and 1988 for federal civilian employees — including members of Congress; some members said they supported the Latta amendment out of fear that otherwise they would be accused of sneaking in a pay raise, even though it required later approval through appropriations.

    Latta estimated his amendment would save an additional $3.5 billion over three years beyond the $60.9 billion that the bill would cut. Technically, however, the authorizations would not have added to the deficit since the programs would have required appropriations.

    The budget-cutting package, known as a reconciliation bill, combined proposals for spending cuts from most committees to achieve the deficit goals set in the annual budget resolution. The Banking Committee had included the text of a pending housing bill (HR 1) with its proposed spending cuts, after whittling costs elsewhere so it could meet its required savings target.

    Committee members argued that without allowing the housing bill to piggyback on the important reconciliation bill, the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee would never consider housing programs.

    After defeating Latta's amendment, the House went on to approve HR 3500 by a 228-199 vote. A second, revenue-raising reconciliation bill (HR 3128) passed a week later, on Oct. 31. The two bills ultimately were combined and the Senate passed its version of HR 3128 Nov. 14, by a 93-6 vote.

    In the last days of the 1985 session, a conference agreement on HR 3128 became snared in a House-Senate dispute over a Senate tax provision and Congress adjourned without clearing what would have been the second-largest deficit reduction package ever.

    12. Gramm-Rudman-Hollings

    House Democrats cheered themselves when, in a rare moment of unity, all but two voted Nov. 1 for an amended version of the Senate-passed Gramm-Rudman-Hollings plan to balance the federal budget by fiscal 1991 (H J Res 372 — PL 99-177). The vote to substitute the Democratic alternative was 249-180: R 1-178; D 248-2 (ND 167-2, SD 81-0).

    The party-line vote and the cheering did not denote any great fondness among House Democrats for the budget plan itself. Nor did the Republican vote signify that members of that party opposed the concept of the legislation. House leaders of both parties had made the vote a matter of partisan loyalty. The procedural vote clearing the way for floor consideration of the Senate measure — which passed 288-134 with 131 Democrats voting against — was a better gauge of outright support or opposition.

    But House Democratic leaders had faced a stampede by their own members toward the Senate's budget measure. Conservative Democrats were philosophically in tune with the legislation, and there was very strong pressure from members representing marginal House districts. This group believed that, given the concern in the nation about federal deficits, they could not vote against the very conspicuous budget plan and survive the 1986 elections. (Senate key vote 12)

    The Democratic leadership rallied its troops at the last moment, arguing among other things that the Senate version was deeply flawed and should not become law without some improvements reflecting Democratic priorities. The House alternative called for forced deficit reductions immediately, in fiscal 1986, so as to expose sponsors to any political fallout from spending cuts. It also exempted several anti-poverty programs from automatic spending cuts mandated by the legislation.

    13. Plant Closings

    By a five-vote margin Nov. 21, the House rejected a compromise version of a bill (HR 1616) designed to cushion the effect of plant closings and mass layoffs. Organized labor, which had tried for 11 years to get plant-closing legislation to the House floor, suffered a disappointing defeat in the close vote of 203-208: R 20-154; D 183-54 (ND 153-5, SD 30-49).

    The bill would have required employers to give employees advance notice of intent to close plants or lay off large numbers of workers. A strong business lobby led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and deep philosophical differences among members about this labor-management issue led to the bill's defeat.

    The final version of HR 1616 was substantially weaker than the original version. Gone from the bill was a requirement that employers consult with employees before closing plants and the right of employees to get court orders halting shutdowns. But some members said even the notice provision could be burdensome for financially troubled companies trying to find lenders to stay in business.

    14. ‘Superfund’ Petrochemical Tax

    A vote that set business against business and House against Senate came Dec. 10 when the House chose a method of paying for the “superfund” hazardous waste cleanup program. The House voted to increase the existing tax on petroleum and chemical raw materials instead of imposing a new excise tax on a broader base of general manufacturers and producers of raw goods.

    A bitterly divided Ways and Means Committee had sent to the floor a tax package that relied largely on the broad-based tax to finance superfund (HR 2817, later renumbered as HR 2005), similar to a Senate-passed tax. Opponents called it a “value-added tax” — a tax on the increase in value of a product at each stage of production.

    The vote came on a proposal by Thomas J. Downey, D-N.Y., to increase the tax on oil and chemicals. The vote was structured so that if Downey's amendment were defeated, the broad-based tax automatically would have been adopted. The vote for the Downey amendment was 220-206: R 73-105; D 147-101 (ND 127-42, SD 20-59).

    Oil and chemical companies lobbied hard for the broader tax and against Downey's amendment, claiming that it would harm their ability to compete with overseas producers and cost American jobs. On the other side were Republican fiscal conservatives who feared that once a value-added tax got started, Congress would turn to it again and again as a way of raising revenue. Administration officials warned of a veto of any new tax.

    Senate backers of the broad-based tax attached their superfund taxing package to the fiscal 1986 budget reconciliation bill (HR 3128). Conferees on HR 3128 agreed to accept the proposal, but the House refused to pass HR 3128 with the tax and the bill failed to clear.

    15, 16. Tax Overhaul

    In what could have been a devastating blow to President Reagan and his tax-overhaul initiative, almost every House Republican joined a minority of Democrats Dec. 11 to defeat a rule allowing a Ways and Means Committee tax bill (HR 3838) to come to the floor. The rule was rejected 202-223: R 14-164; D 188-59 (ND 135-33, SD 53-26).

    The size of the Republican defection on the president's top domestic priority came as a shock to just about everyone, including Republicans. Reagan had said he was not completely happy with the Ways and Means rewrite of the tax code, but had urged members to support it to keep the “process” moving so that improvements could be made in the Senate.

    But White House lobbyists had failed to detect widespread unhappiness about the tax bill among the GOP ranks. Republicans complained that they had been virtually ignored by the administration during markup of the bill in the Democrat-controlled Ways and Means Committee. They also felt slighted because Reagan appeared to ignore their earlier warnings that few GOP members were excited about overhauling the tax code.

    In addition, many Republicans were unhappy with what they saw as HR 3838's anti-business cast. And they had little confidence that their Republican colleagues in the Senate would be able to reshape the bill to their liking.

    The startling vote finally got House Republicans the attention they sought. With Democrats refusing to bring the bill back to the floor without at least 50 Republican votes confirmed, the administration got to work. Reagan finally won his way after he made an unusual visit to Capitol Hill to assure wavering Republicans he would veto any bill that did not include several significant changes to HR 3838.

    By a vote of 258-168: R 70-110; D 188-58 (ND 138-28, SD 50-30), the House Dec. 17 approved a slightly modified rule. Later that day, it passed HR 3838 by voice vote and sent the bill to the Senate.

    1. African Relief/Farm Credit

    HR 1096 Passage of the bill to authorize $175 million in non-food aid for emergency relief to Africa, to authorize $100 million to offset interest on restructured private farm loans guaranteed by the Farmers Home Administration (FmHA), to increase the FmHA loan guarantee program by $1.85 billion and revise certain eligibility rules and to authorize advances to eligible farmers of Commodity Credit Corporation commodity price-support loans. Passed 62-35: R 16-34; D 46-1 (ND 32-1, SD 14-0), Feb. 27, 1985. A “nay” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    2. MX Missile Authorization

    S J Res 71 Passage of the joint resolution to reaffirm the authorization of $1.5 billion in the fiscal 1985 defense budget to purchase 21 MX missiles. Passed 55-45: R 45-8; D 10-37 (ND 3-30, SD 7-7), March 19, 1985. A “yea” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    3. First Budget Resolution, Fiscal 1986

    S Con Res 32 Dole, R-Kan., perfecting amendment to the Dole-Domenici, R-N.M., amendment to the instructions of the Dole motion to recommit the concurrent resolution to the Budget Committee, to set budget targets for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 1986, as follows: budget authority, $1,069.5 billion; outlays, $965 billion; revenues, $793.6 billion; deficit, $171.4 billion. The amendment also established dual, annual caps on defense appropriations and on non-defense, discretionary (non-entitlement) appropriations as follows: fiscal 1986, defense, $303.2 billion, non-defense, $140.8 billion; 1987, defense, $324.1 billion, non-defense, $143.8 billion; 1988, defense, $347.6 billion, non-defense, $149.3 billion. It revised budget levels for fiscal 1985, and included reconciliation instructions requiring the Budget committees to recommend legislative savings to meet the budget targets by June 30, 1985. Adopted 50-49: R 48-4; D 1-45 (ND 1-31, SD 0-14), with Vice President George Bush casting a “yea” vote to break the 49-49 tie, in the session that began May 9, 1985. (The effect of this Dole amendment was to substitute, for the Senate GOP-White House budget package approved April 30, a revised version of that package providing, among other things, for $17.7 billion less in defense spending in fiscal 1986–88, and $15.7 billion more in domestic program spending for those three fiscal years.) (S Con Res 32, as amended by the Dole plan, subsequently was adopted by voice vote.)

    4. Department of Defense Authorization, Fiscal 1986

    S 1160 Proxmire, D-Wis., amendment to reduce from $2.96 billion to $1.9 billion the authorization for research on anti-missile defenses. Rejected 38-57: R 6-45; D 32-12 (ND 25-7, SD 7-5), June 4, 1985.

    5. State Department Authorizations, Fiscal 1986–87

    S 1003 Nunn, D-Ga., amendment to authorize $24 million for fiscal year 1986 for humanitarian assistance to the Nicaraguan rebels and to direct the National Security Council to monitor the use of the funds. The amendment also releases the $14 million approved for fiscal 1985 for the rebels but restricts the use of those funds to humanitarian assistance, and it urges the president to lift the economic sanctions on Nicaragua if that country agrees to a cease-fire and talks with the rebels, to call upon the rebels to remove from their ranks any individuals who have engaged in human rights abuses, and to resume bilateral negotiations with the government of Nicaragua. Adopted 55-42: R 41-10; D 14-32 (ND 4-28, SD 10-4), June 6, 1985. A “yea” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    6. State Department Authorizations, Fiscal 1986–87

    S 1003 Kassebaum, R-Kan., amendment to limit U.S. contributions to the United Nations and related organizations to 20 percent of those organizations' annual budgets, unless the secretary of state certified to Congress that such organizations had adopted procedures for proportionate voting on budgetary matters and had adopted plans to reduce employee salaries and pensions to levels comparable to those of the U.S. Civil Service. Adopted 71-13: R 41-4; D 30-9 (ND 18-8, SD 12-1), June 7, 1985.

    7. Firearm Owners' Protection

    S 49 Passage of the bill to revise the Gun Control Act of 1968 to exempt many gun collectors from licensing requirements, remove the ban on interstate sales of rifles, shotguns and handguns, require advance notice for routine compliance inspections, and impose a mandatory five-year sentence on anyone convicted of using a firearm in a violent federal crime. Passed 79-15: R 49-2; D 30-13 (ND 18-13, SD 12-0), July 9, 1985. A “yea” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    8. Line-Item Veto

    S 43 Dole, R-Kan., motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the Dole motion to proceed to consideration of the bill to give the president power to veto individual spending items by requiring that appropriations bills be split by paragraph or section into separate bills before being sent to the White House. Motion rejected 58-40: R 46-7; D 12-33 (ND 8-24, SD 4-9), July 24, 1985. A three-fifths majority vote (60) of the total Senate is required to invoke cloture. A “yea” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    9. School Prayer

    S 47 Weicker, R-Conn., motion to table (kill) the bill to bar the federal courts, including the Supreme Court, from considering cases involving prayer in public schools. Motion agreed to 62-36: R 24-28; D 38-8 (ND 31-1, 7-7), Sept. 10, 1985. (The effect of the bill would have been to restore the right of states or local communities to permit prayer in public schools without being subject to challenges in the federal courts.)

    10. Immigration Reform and Control Act

    S 1200 Wilson, R-Calif., amendment to create a “seasonal worker” program to allow foreign workers into the country for up to nine months each year for agricultural work, with a cap allowing no more than 350,000 of these workers in the United States at any one time. Adopted 51-44: R 36-15; D 15-29 (ND 6-25, SD 9-4), Sept. 17, 1985.

    11. Superfund Reauthorization, Fiscal 1986–90

    S 51 Roth, R-Del., amendment to strike from the bill a section establishing a new demonstration program to pay for medical expenses of victims of hazardous-substance releases, and to authorize appropriations of $30 million annually during fiscal 1986–90 for that purpose. Adopted 49-45: R 40-11; D 9-34 (ND 3-28, SD 6-6), Sept. 24, 1985. A “yea” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    12. Public Debt Limit

    H J Res 372 Dole, R-Kan. (for Gramm, R-Texas, Rudman, R-N.H., Hollings, D-S.C.), amendment to set maximum allowable federal deficits for fiscal years 1986–91, declining annually to zero in 1991, and to require the president, if projected deficits exceed those allowed, to issue an emergency order reducing all federal spending except for Social Security, interest on the federal debt and existing contractual obligations, by enough to reduce deficits to the maximum established by the bill. The amendment also revises congressional budgeting procedures and removes Social Security from the unified federal budget in fiscal 1986 and thereafter. Adopted 75-24: R 48-4; D 27-20 (ND 15-18, SD 12-2), Oct. 9, 1985. A “yea” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    13. Textile Import Quotas

    HR 1562 Passage of the bill to establish a worldwide system of quotas for imports of textiles and apparel, limit shoe imports to 60 percent of the domestic shoe market and require negotiations leading to an international agreement limiting copper production. Passed 60-39: R 25-28; D 35-11 (ND 23-10, SD 12-1), Nov. 13, 1985. A “nay” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    14. Farm Programs Reauthorization, Fiscal 1986–89

    S 1714 Dole, R-Kan., perfecting amendment to the Dole amendment to the Dole motion to recommit the bill to the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee with instructions, to freeze current target prices for wheat, feed grains, cotton and rice titles for the life of the bill; to freeze target prices for corn, cotton and rice in fiscal 1986 and allow maximum 5 percent annual reductions thereafter; to provide a sliding scale of target prices for wheat based on levels of production; to authorize the agriculture secretary to increase the maximum acreage limitation for wheat, feed grains, cotton and rice by 5 percent; to reduce the conservation reserve in 1986 and require some of the reserve to be devoted to trees; to change provisions dealing with loans for rice; to provide for payments to soybean and sunflower farmers; to expand disaster payments to farmers of soybeans, sugar cane and sugar beets; and to require the president to operate the sugar program at no cost to the government. Adopted 56-41: R 45-6; D 11-35 (ND 4-28, SD 7-7), Nov. 20, 1985.

    1. MX Missile Authorization

    S J Res 71 Passage of the joint resolution to approve authorization of $1.5 billion to procure 21 MX missiles in fiscal 1985. Passed 219-213: R 158-24; D 61-189 (ND 15-154, SD 46-35), March 26, 1985. A “yea” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    2. Indiana 8th District Seat

    H Res 148 Adoption of the resolution to declare a vacancy in the 99th Congress from the 8th District of Indiana. Rejected 200-229: R 181-0; D 19-229 (ND 6-161, SD 13-68), April 30, 1985.

    3. Anti-Apartheid Act

    HR 1460 Passage of the bill to impose sanctions immediately against South Africa, including a ban on bank loans to the South African government, and prohibitions against the sale of computer goods and nuclear power equipment and supplies to that country. Subject to review by the president and Congress, the bill also would bar new U.S. business investment in South Africa and prohibit the importation into the United States of South African gold coins, called Krugerrands. Passed 295-127: R 56-121; D 239-6 (ND 166-0, SD 73-6), June 5, 1985. A “nay” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    4. Supplemental Appropriations, Fiscal 1985

    HR 2577 Edgar, D-Pa., amendment to the Whitten, D-Miss., amendment, to reduce from $150 million to $51 million the funds added for water projects of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Adopted 203-202: R 108-69; D 95-133 (ND 80-75, SD 15-58), June 6, 1985. (The Whitten amendment was subsequently adopted.

    5. Supplemental Appropriations, Fiscal 1985

    HR 2577 Boland, D-Mass., amendment to the McDade, R-Pa., amendment to continue indefinitely the prohibition of any funding by U.S. intelligence agencies that would support, directly or indirectly, military or paramilitary operations in Nicaragua. Rejected 196-232: R 7-174; D 189-58 (ND 156-11, SD 33-47), June 12, 1985. A “nay” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    6. Department of Defense Authorization, Fiscal 1986

    HR 1872 Skelton, D-Mo., amendment to the Porter, R-Ill., amendment, to authorize the appropriation of $124 million to produce binary chemical weapons subject to certain conditions. Adopted 229-196: R 143-34; D 86-162 (ND 30-138, SD 56-24), June 19, 1985. A “yea” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    7. Department of Defense Authorization, Fiscal 1986

    HR 1872 Dicks, D-Wash., amendment to the Price, D-Ill., amendment, to reduce from $2.5 billion to $2.1 billion the authorization for the strategic defense initiative. Rejected 195-221: R 12-167; D 183-54 (ND 147-11, SD 36-43), June 20, 1985. A “nay” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    8. Foreign Assistance Authorization, Fiscal 1986

    HR 1555 Stratton, D-N.Y., amendment to repeal the so-called Clark amendment to the International Security and Development Cooperation Act of 1980, prohibiting assistance for military or paramilitary operations in Angola. Adopted 236-185: R 176-6; D 60-179 (ND 14-150, SD 46-29), July 10, 1985. A “yea” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    9. Farm Programs Reauthorization, Fiscal 1986–90

    HR 2100 Madigan, R-Ill., amendment to strike the wheat and feed grain farmer referendum section from the bill. The farmer referendum would have been on the question of establishing a marketing certificate and export subsidy program for domestic wheat and feed grain production. Adopted 251-174: R 169-10; D 82-164 (ND 53-112, SD 29-52), Oct. 3, 1985. A “yea” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    10. Textile Import Quotas

    HR 1562 Passage of the bill to impose new quota restrictions on textile imports. Passed 262-159: R 75-97; D 187-62 (ND 118-49, SD 69-13), Oct. 10, 1985. A “nay” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    11. Omnibus Budget Reconciliation, Fiscal 1986

    HR 3500 Latta, R-Ohio, amendment to eliminate new programs and increased spending authorized in the bill, to remove transportation trust funds from the budget in fiscal year 1989, and to reduce proposed salary increases for federal civilian employees. Rejected 209-219: R 166-15; D 43-204 (ND 15-151, SD 28-53), Oct. 24, 1985.

    12. Public Debt Limit

    H J Res 372 Rostenkowski, D-Ill., motion to recede from the House position and concur with the Senate amendment to the bill to increase the public debt limit, with a substitute amendment to provide for declining annual statutory limits on the federal debt, automatic deficit reduction and, under certain circumstances, procedural revisions in the congressional budget process. Motion agreed to 249-180: R 1-178; D 248-2 (ND 167-2, SD 81-0), Nov. 1, 1985.

    13. Plant Closing Notification

    HR 1616 Passage of the bill to require employers of at least 50 full-time employees to give workers 90 days' notice of any plant shutdown or layoff involving at least 100 employees or 30 percent of the work force. Rejected 203-208: R 20-154; D 183-54 (ND 153-5, SD 30-49), Nov. 21, 1985.

    14. Superfund Reauthorization, Fiscal 1986–90

    HR 2817 Downey, D-N.Y., amendment to strike provisions for a broad-based or “value-added” tax and to provide $10 billion over five years for the “superfund” hazardous waste cleanup program through increased taxes on chemical feedstocks, petroleum and hazardous waste disposal and through general revenues. Adopted 220-206: R 73-105; D 147-101 (ND 127-42, SD 20-59), Dec. 10, 1985.

    15. Tax Overhaul

    HR 3838 Adoption of the rule (H Res 336) to provide for House floor consideration of the bill to restructure the income tax laws; reduce tax rates for individuals and corporations; increase the personal exemption and standard deduction; eliminate the investment tax credit; eliminate or curtail a variety of other deductions and credits; create a new alternative minimum tax for individuals and corporations; and make other changes. Rejected 202-223: R 14-164; D 188-59 (ND 135-33, SD 53-26), Dec. 11, 1985. A “yea” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    16. Tax Overhaul

    HR 3838 Adoption of the rule (H Res 343) to provide for House floor consideration of the bill to revise the federal income tax system by: lowering individual and corporate tax rates; increasing the personal exemption and standard deduction; eliminating the investment tax credit; eliminating or curtailing a variety of other deductions and credits; creating a new alternative minimum tax for individuals and corporations; and making other changes. Adopted 258-168: R 70-110; D 188-58 (ND 138-28, SD 50-30), Dec. 17, 1985. A “yea” was a vote supporting the president's position.


    1986 Key Votes

    1. Senate TV Coverage

    The Senate finally joined the House in permitting television and radio broadcasts of its floor proceedings. A resolution (S Res 28) allowing TV cameras and audio microphones was approved Feb. 27, 67-21: R 35-14; D 32-7 (ND 24-2, SD 8-5).

    The action came nearly 40 years after Sen. Claude Pepper, D-Fla., now a House member, first proposed that the infant invention of television be welcomed into the Senate. The House, meanwhile, began in 1979 to provide gavel-to-gavel coverage of its floor action to commercial and public broadcasting networks.

    The Senate had remained camera-shy for several reasons. A brief experience, the televised swearing-in of Nelson A. Rockefeller as vice president in 1974, left some members complaining about the heat and brightness of camera lights. After 1979, members chose to wait and watch the House experience; they were not encouraged when the House initially seemed to suffer an upsurge in partisanship, with junior Republicans using the floor as a national stage to confront the majority Democrats.

    After 1984, the Senate TV effort lost its chief proponent when Majority Leader Howard H. Baker Jr., R-Tenn., retired. But the biggest impediment to Senate broadcasts was a fear among an influential minority that TV would doom what they saw as the Senate's valuable and traditional role as the more deliberative of the two chambers. The leading opponents were Louisiana's Democratic senators, Russell B. Long and J. Bennett Johnston.

    In 1986, neither man made an all-out effort to kill the broadcasting resolution. Also, Majority Leader Robert Dole, R-Kan., dropped his earlier opposition and joined Minority Leader Robert c. Byrd, D-W.Va., in lobbying for the change. Finally, the resolution picked up some support when it became a vehicle for unrelated proposals to change Senate rules to restrict obstructionist tactics.

    The final version of the TV-radio resolution included several rules changes, the most significant of which reduced from 100 hours to 30 hours the time allowed for additional debate after the Senate votes to invoke cloture.

    2. Farm Program Supplemental

    Less than three months after President Reagan signed the landmark 1985 farm bill (PL 99-198) on Dec. 23, 1985, Congress and the White House renewed their political battle over agriculture. Mixed into the fray this time around, however, was a new element — the anti-deficit requirements of the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings law (PL 99-177) enacted at the end of 1985.

    When it came to farm programs, the Gramm-Rudman strictures seemed particularly distasteful to Republicans holding a slim 53-47 majority in the Senate. Conservative demands for fiscal restraint did not take into account the election-year pressures on nearly a dozen GOP incumbents from mainly rural states.

    A pivotal showdown materialized quickly over an emergency fiscal 1986 supplemental appropriations bill (H J Res 534 — PL 99-263) for agriculture programs. House Democrats opened the assault by insisting that spending for farm operating and real estate loans should be kept at a level previously appropriated for fiscal 1986, even though the 1985 farm bill had subsequently cut 1986 farm loans by nearly $1 billion. By putting $1 billion back into the farm loan program, the supplemental would push federal spending over the new Gramm-Rudman spending limits.

    In a Senate showdown late March 13, election-year pressures were clearly evident. “I think we'er down to the first real vote on Gramm-Rudman-Hollings,” said that law's co-author, Phil Gramm, R-Texas. “I wish we had a test case that did not involve such a popular program.”

    As expected, 10 farm-state Republicans voted in favor of the $1 billion in added farm spending. But 21 urban Democrats broke ranks with their party leadership and joined conservative Republicans to vote against it. In a surprisingly lopsided vote, the Senate killed the new spending plan, 61-33: R 40-10; D 21-23 (ND 17-14, SD 4-9).

    In rather convincing fashion, the Senate thus demonstrated that even in an election year, the strictures of Gramm-Rudman-Hollings could be used against politically popular funding proposals. The showdown established the political as well as fiscal ground rules for spending proposals for the rest of the year.

    3. Balanced Budget Amendment

    Despite pressures to reduce the federal deficit and balance the budget, the Senate March 25 rejected a constitutional amendment to require a balanced budget.

    The vote was 66-34, one short of the required two-thirds majority of those present and voting (67 in this case). The major reason for the defeat was the defection of key Republicans, including John H. Chafee, R.I., chairman of the Republican Conference, which is the caucus of all Senate Republicans; and John Heinz, Pa., chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, which raises money to help elect Republican senators. They were among 10 Republicans who voted against the proposal, despite President Reagan's strong support for it: R 43-10; D 23-24 (ND 10-23, SD 13-1).

    The vote came only about three months after Congress enacted the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings anti-deficit law (PL 99-177) and suggested that members' fervor for extraordinary methods of fiscal restraint was waning.

    The amendment would have allowed deficit spending only with approval of a three-fifths majority of the total of both chambers, or during time of war.

    While supporters said the constitutional proposal was necessary to force Congress to balance the budget, opponents said it would not work. Appropriations Committee Chairman Mark O. Hatfield, R-Ore, called it “subterfuge.”

    The vote was a turnaround from 1982, when the Senate passed a similar amendment 69-31, only to see it killed in the House.

    4. Contra Aid

    The Senate long had supported, by narrow margins, President Reagan's policy of giving military aid to the contra guerrillas in Nicaragua, who were battling to oust the leftist government in Managua. So there was little surprise on March 27, when the Senate voted 53-47: R 42-11; D 11-36 (ND 2-31, SD 9-5), to approve Reagan's latest request for $70 million in military aid and $30 million in non-military aid to the contras. The vote nearly matched the 53-46 margin by which the Senate had approved $14 million in aid to the contras in April 1985.

    Reversing its position, the House approved the aid in June. The Senate took another series of votes on the issue in August and approved the aid by the same margin as on March 27.

    Two senators switched their votes: James Abdnor, R-S.D., voted for the contra aid on March 27 and against it on Aug. 13; Daniel J. Evans, R-Wash., shifted the opposite way.

    The $100 million was included in the military construction section of the fiscal 1987 omnibus appropriations bill (H J Res 738 — PL 99-500). (House key vote 3)

    5. Fiscal 1987 Budget Resolution

    A strong, bipartisan majority in the Senate May 2 approved a fiscal 1987 budget resolution (S Con Res 120) that defied President Reagan in calling for $10.7 billion in new taxes, slicing $19 billion from his defense request, and ignoring many of the sharp reductions in domestic programs he had wanted. The resolution was adopted 70-25: R 32-19; D 38-6 (ND 26-4, SD 12-2).

    The Senate vote was the high-water mark in a drive led by Republican Pete V. Domenici of New Mexico, chairman of the Budget Committee, and the panel's ranking Democrat, Lawton Chiles of Florida.

    The two hoped that both parties, in both chambers, would join to force Reagan to accept a tax increase as part of a budget compromise. But this plan was frustrated by a skittish House. The final budget resolution did cut Reagan's defense request markedly and bolstered domestic programs he wanted to cut, but it included only the $5.9 billion in new revenues that Reagan himself had sought.

    House leaders refused to join with the Senate in supporting the $10.7 billion tax increase unless Reagan reversed his oft-stated objections to such a hike. The House version of the resolution did include a $10.7 billion tax increase for fiscal 1987. But of that, $4.7 billion — the amount Democrats said exceeded Reagan's own revenue request in his budget — was put in a special account earmarked for deficit reduction. When Congress finally adopted S Con Res 120 in late June, this account was gone, supplanted by a “contingency reserve,” authorizing spending on defense or other high-priority programs if requested by the president, and if the president's request included offsetting tax increases or spending cuts. Reagan did not request the fund's use before Congress adjourned.

    The Senate vote came only after Majority Leader Robert Dole, R-Kan., and GOP conservatives had pressed for changes in the Budget Committee version of S Con Res 120. Dole's overriding interest was in a budget that would garner a majority of Republican votes. The GOP votes were, in turn, considered necessary to winning Democratic votes for the measure. Conservative Republicans had kept up a barrage of complaints about the committee's higher tax figure and lower defense spending. And Dole's refusal to endorse the committee version was considered a major obstacle to getting the Republican majority he wanted.

    In lengthy private negotiations, Domenici and Chiles finally agreed to trim by nearly $6 billion the amount in new taxes recommended by the committee, and to raise the committee's defense figure by about the same amount. To keep Democratic votes, an equivalent amount of extra funding was provided for selected science, education, job training, trade and child health programs. This compromise, adopted 66-29 before the Senate vote on passage, showed the pervasive influence of the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings anti-deficit law (PL 99-177), under which automatic spending cuts were to be divided equally among defense and non-defense programs.

    6. Daylight-Saving Time

    Over the protests of rural- and Midwestern-state senators, the Senate May 20 voted to begin daylight-saving time three weeks earlier in the spring. The move culminated a 10-year campaign to approve a permanent expansion of daylight-saving time.

    Opponents, led by Wendell H. Ford, D-Ky., and J. James Exon, D-Neb., had bottled up similar House legislation in the Senate Commerce Committee for nearly a year, contending that any extension would hurt farmers and endanger schoolchildren in rural areas at the western edge of time zones. Bypassing the committee, Slade Gorton, R-Wash., attached the daylight-saving extension to a routine bill (S 2180) to authorize fire prevention programs.

    The vote came on a motion by Majority Leader Robert Dole, R-Kan., to table, or kill, Gorton's daylight-saving time amendment. That motion was rejected by a vote of 36-58: R 16-33; D 20-25 (ND 10-21, SD 10-4). Following that vote, the Senate by voice vote adopted the amendment and then passed the bill.

    The bill moved the start of daylight-saving time from the last Sunday in April to the first Sunday in April. The House-passed version had included an additional week in the fall, to include Halloween.

    But Gorton agreed to drop that extra week in an attempt to appease his foes.

    7. Saudi Arms Sale

    Major arms sales to Arab countries regularly provoke fierce battles in Congress, largely because of behind-the-scenes opposition to them by Israel and active opposition by the influential pro-Israel lobby. President Reagan's decision early in 1986 to approve a long-delayed sale of missiles and other equipment to Saudi Arabia generated the expected battle in Congress, but with a twist: Both Israel and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee took public stands of neutrality.

    Nevertheless, opposition to the $354 million sale mounted in both houses, and Congress on May 7 sent Reagan a bill (S J Res 316) blocking it. As expected, Reagan vetoed the measure, saying it would damage U.S. relations with a key moderate Arab country.

    But to bolster the chances of sustaining his veto, Reagan deleted from the arms package the single most controversial item: $89 million worth of Stinger missiles, a handheld, anti-aircraft weapon that some members feared could fall into the hands of Middle East terrorists.

    The Senate on June 5 sustained Reagan's veto by the barest of margins, 66-34: R 24-29; D 42-5 (ND 31-2, SD 113). Thirty-four votes (one-third plus one) were needed to uphold the veto. Reagan claimed that he had other “standbys” willing to vote his way, and there never was much doubt that he would prevail on the final vote in the Senate. Even so, the vote demonstrated the continuing difficulty that presidents face in forging military ties to Arab countries that technically remain at war with Israel.

    8. Tax Overhaul

    Among the hundreds of provisions of the big tax-overhaul bill (HR 3838) of 1986 there was only one that produced a grass-roots reaction from every corner of the nation. That was the proposal, which originated in the Senate Finance Committee, to eliminate the $2,000 annual deduction for contributions to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) for anyone who is covered by another pension plan.

    Despite thousands of letters of protest, the Senate, by a three-vote margin June 11, defeated the effort to preserve at least part of the tax break. The vote came on a motion by Finance Committee Chairman Bob Packwood, R-Ore., to table, and thus kill, a pro-IRA amendment sponsored by Alfonse M. D'Amato, R-N.Y.

    D'Amato would have converted the $2,000 IRA deduction to a credit of 15 percent of the amount contributed to an IRA, to a maximum of $300.

    The IRA vote provided a crucial test of the Senate's willingness to approve the Finance Committee's version of the bill without major change. That version, which laid the groundwork for the law eventually enacted, greatly reduced tax rates for both individuals and corporations, but made up the lost revenue by eliminating or curtailing scores of special tax breaks.

    Packwood and the other key backers of the Finance Committee bill warned the Senate repeatedly that a vote to restore even one major tax break could open the floodgates to countless other changes and ultimately cause the whole bill to go down. The widespread public support for keeping IRAs the way they were thus made the IRA vote the best possible issue for those who advocated other amendments, or even sought to defeat the entire bill.

    The strength of the public pressure on senators was demonstrated by the votes in favor of continuing the IRA tax break, unchanged, that were cast by all nine Democrats and half of the 18 Republicans who were running for reelection.

    Those who wanted to keep the massive tax overhaul intact prevailed. The Senate vote to table the D'Amato amendment was 51-48: R 35-17; D 16-31 (ND 10-23, SD 6-8).

    The Senate passed its version of the tax bill 97-3 on June 24, with only three Democrats opposing it. And the final conference committee version of the bill passed the Senate 74-23. It retained the full $2,000 IRA deduction for single persons with incomes up to $25,000 and married couples up to $40,000, with a phase-out of the deduction for those above these income levels. (House key vote 13)

    9. Manion Nomination

    In one of the most dramatic judicial nomination fights in years, Senate Democrats forced a vote June 26 on the controversial appointment of Daniel A. Manion to be a federal appeals court judge.

    They thought they had the votes to defeat Manion, who critics said was not qualified for the bench. But their plan went awry when Republican Slade Gorton, Wash., voted for Manion — a move that shocked Democrats who thought Gorton opposed the nomination.

    On the tally, Manion was confirmed 48-46: R 45-4; D 3-42 (ND 1-30, SD 2-12). That vote did not represent a true test of Manion's strength, however. Minority Leader Robert c. Byrd, D-W.Va., who had voted against Manion, abruptly switched his vote to “aye” and then moved to reconsider the vote. This blocked the tally from becoming final. (Only senators voting on the prevailing side can move for reconsideration.)

    Gorton said later he decided to vote for Manion after White House officials told him they would move on a district court nomination he had pressed for. (William Dwyer eventually was nominated by President Reagan, but the Senate Judiciary Committee failed to act on his nomination before Congress adjourned.)

    The Gorton vote was not the only unusual one. Because two Republicans were absent June 26 — Paula Hawkins, Fla., and Bob Packwood, Ore. — Majority Leader Robert Dole, R-Kan., was reluctant to proceed with a vote. He said these were two votes for Manion. But Joseph R. Biden Jr., Del., the ranking Judiciary Democrat, told Dole he wanted a vote right away. Although he said he doubted Packwood supported Manion, Biden agreed to give up, or “pair,” his vote with Hawkins, and Democrat Daniel K. Inouye, Hawaii, paired his vote with Packwood.

    A third glitch developed over the absent Barry Goldwater, R-Ariz. Dan Quayle, R-Ind., Manion's chief supporter, persuaded Nancy Landon Kassebaum, R-Kan., to withdraw her “nay” vote and pair it with Goldwater, who Quayle said was a Manion supporter. Later, Kassebaum said she had been misled by Quayle because Goldwater had not made up his mind.

    Almost a month after this confusion, Manion's confirmation became official when the Senate refused 49-50 to reconsider the June 26 vote. Goldwater voted against reconsideration — essentially a vote for Manion, while Packwood voted for reconsideration.

    10. Gramm-Rudman-Hollings ‘Fix’

    The Senate moved swiftly to repair the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings anti-deficit law (PL 99-177) after the Supreme Court July 7 found the measure's automatic spending-cut process to be unconstitutional. On July 30 the Senate approved a different version of the automatic procedure, giving the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) final authority to determine the magnitude of cuts required to meet the deficit targets set by the statute. The revision was adopted as an amendment to legislation (H J Res 668) raising the ceiling on the federal debt. The vote for the so-called Gramm-Rudman “fix” amendment was 63-36: R 42-10; D 21-26 (ND 10-23, SD 11-3).

    The Senate, which had produced Gramm-Rudman the previous year, was determined to show its devotion to deficit reduction by resuscitating the enforcement mechanism of the statute. But the large winning margin masked considerable unease with the enhanced powers assigned OMB by the amendment. In part, this reflected institutional resistance to encroachments by the executive branch agency. A second factor was distrust generated by OMB's controversial former director, David A. Stockman.

    In the House, suspicion of OMB and animosity to the fix was so great that the legislation was ignored and died at the end of the session. Nor would the House accept a one-year version of the Gramm-Rudman language, rejecting that by a 175-133 vote when it arrived from the Senate as part of a short-term debt ceiling increase (HR 5395).

    In its July 7 decision the high court had faulted the role of the General Accounting Office (GAO) in Gramm-Rudman's automatic process. The justices found that GAO was a legislative agency and as such, improperly involved in a procedure that compelled the executive branch to promulgate spending cuts. After the court acted, Senate sponsors of the anti-deficit law devised a new version of the automatic procedure giving OMB the final say on the cuts. But the amendment faced defeat in the Senate until sponsors agreed to restrictions specifying, among other things, what economic assumptions and spending rates would be used in determining the deficit and any required cuts.

    The Senate, facing pressure to clear HR 5395, the short-term debt limit increase, before the Labor Day recess, did not insist on its one-year Gramm-Rudman fix. But, just prior to adjournment in October, Senate and House leaders agreed to a debt limit increase lasting only until May 15, 1987, at which time the Gramm-Rudman amendment could be revived. (House key vote 10)

    11. Strategic Defense Initiative

    The Senate Aug. 5 came within one vote of slashing by 40 percent, to $3.24 billion, President Reagan's $5.3 billion request to continue the strategic defense initiative (SDI), or “star wars” program, intended to develop a nationwide shield against nuclear missiles. Instead, it approved an already substantial cut, to $3.9 billion, approved by the Armed Services Committee.

    Reagan announced the SDI program early in 1983 with the goal of rendering nuclear missiles “impotent and obsolete.” Arms control activists strongly opposed the effort from the outset, arguing that it could not produce an effective missile defense, but would trigger a new round of the arms race in outer space.

    In 1985, SDI critics unsuccessfully made several efforts in both the Senate and House to block specific parts of the SDI program they deemed inconsistent with the 1972 U.S.-Soviet treaty limiting anti-missile weapons. For 1986, leading SDI opponents decided to try instead to curb SDI funding increases so that it would be politically easier to kill off the program after Reagan left office.

    The arms control activists focused their attention on efforts to “freeze” SDI funding in the House, where the preponderance of liberal Democrats gave them an advantage. But in the Senate, two centrist Democrats, J. Bennett Johnston, La., and Lawton Chiles, Fla., and liberal William Proxmire, D-Wis., decided early in the year to try to allow only a small increase in SDI funding above the cost of inflation. In a lengthy report to the three senators, aides had argued that there was widespread skepticism in the scientific community that SDI was technically sound.

    Beginning in mid-May, the three plus Republican Daniel J. Evans, Wash., quickly rounded up the signatures of 48 senators on a letter to Reagan calling on him to allow SDI funding for fiscal 1987 to increase by only 3 percent above the cost of inflation. The letter cited many arguments in support of that view, including the contention that SDI funding should not be boosted by 77 percent above the fiscal 1986 appropriation, as Reagan urged, when Congress was trying to hold down the defense budget overall.

    On Aug. 5, during the Senate debate on the fiscal 1987 defense authorization bill (S 2638), a Johnston amendment that would have trimmed SDI funding to $3.24 billion was tabled (thus killed) 50-49: R 41-11; D 9-38 (ND 5-28, SD 4-10). (House key vote 8)

    12. Chemical Weapons

    As it had done several times since 1982, the Senate narrowly approved President Reagan's request to resume production of lethal chemical weapons for the first time since 1969. At issue was a request to begin manufacturing so-called binary munitions — artillery shells and “Bigeye” air-dropped bombs that would dispense nerve gas.

    The Pentagon argued that existing chemical weapons stocks needed replacement because they were deteriorating, and that the proposed new weapons would be safer for U.S. military personnel to store and transport. But opponents contended that existing nerve gas weapons were adequate to deter the Soviet Union from using their own chemical weapons stockpile. And resistance to the new weapons was swelled by a revulsion against chemical weapons among some centrist and conservative members of Congress.

    Staunch opposition in the House to the new weapons had staved off procurement. But in 1985, members gave the go-ahead for procurement to begin in fiscal 1987, subject to numerous conditions.

    In 1986, Senate opponents of chemical weapons concentrated on blocking production of the Bigeye, citing a long string of technical problems revealed by testing. An amendment to block Bigeye production was rejected 50-51: R 14-39; D 36-11 (ND 29-4, SD 7-7).

    Vice President George Bush, in his constitutional role as the Senate's presiding officer, voted against the amendment. However, the amendment would have failed on a 50-50 tie, even if Bush had not voted.

    In 1983, Bush twice saved binary weapons from defeat with tie-breaking votes. (House key vote 9)

    13. Rehnquist Nomination

    The Senate Sept. 17 confirmed William H. Rehnquist to be the 16th chief justice of the United States, but only after a six-week confirmation fight centering on Rehnquist's conservative ideology and his candor in testifying before the Judiciary Committee.

    The vote was 65-33: R 49-2; D 16-31 (ND 4-29, SD 12-2). The 33 “nay” votes against Rehnquist were the largest number ever cast against a Supreme Court nominee who won confirmation. Rehnquist also tied the record for the second-highest number of “nay” votes received by a 20th century Supreme Court nominee — the 26 cast against him when he was first named to the court in 1971.

    Critics, led by Democrats Edward M. Kennedy, Mass., Howard M. Metzenbaum, Ohio, and Joseph R. Biden Jr., Del., said Rehnquist had shown an insensitivity to minority and individual rights and had failed to testify fully before the committee about alleged voter harassment in Phoenix, Ariz., in the 1960s and about his failure to step down during court consideration of a 1972 case challenging the Army's domestic surveillance program. Rehnquist had participated in discussions about the program while he was an assistant attorney general.

    14. South Africa Sanctions

    Congress in 1986 dismantled one of President Reagan's most controversial foreign policies: the use of “constructive engagement” to encourage internal reforms in South Africa and peace between Pretoria and its neighbors.

    In spite of administration claims of success, the policy was widely seen both in the United States and in South Africa as tacit U.S. blessing for the white-minority government in Pretoria. Both houses of Congress passed legislation in 1985 imposing economic sanctions against South Africa. Reagan headed off final action by signing an executive order imposing mild sanctions on his own, including a ban on imports of South African gold coins.

    Spurred on in part by election-year pressures, the prosanctions drive picked up steam in 1986. Surprising everyone, the House in June passed a sanctions bill (HR 4868) cutting off virtually all economic ties between the United States and South Africa.

    The Senate in mid-August passed by 84-14 its own version that, while milder than the House bill, included stronger sanctions than Senate leaders had expected. The bill barred imports of South African steel, textiles and agricultural goods; suspended air service between the United States and South Africa; and barred new U.S. business investment there.

    When Congress returned from its August recess, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Richard G. Lugar, R-Ind., pressured the House into accepting the Senate version and sending it to Reagan. Unless the House did so, he said, the bill would fall victim to an end-of-session filibuster in the Senate.

    Ignoring pleas by Lugar and other congressional leaders, Reagan on Sept. 26 vetoed the bill, saying it would hurt South African blacks. The House quickly voted to override the veto, on Sept. 29, by a 313-83 vote.

    Reagan made a feeble effort to sustain his veto in the Republican-controlled Senate — promising, for example, to sign another executive order containing limited sanctions — but was rebuffed overwhelmingly. The 78-21 vote on Oct. 2 was well above the two-thirds margin needed to override the veto and enact the bill into law: R 31-21; D 47-0 (ND 33-0, SD 14-0).

    Democrats voted unanimously to override the veto. Only six of the Republicans who originally had voted for the bill switched to support Reagan: Thad Cochran, Miss.; Robert Dole, Kan., the majority leader; Orrin G. Hatch, Utah; Don Nickles, Okla.; Alan K. Simpson, Wyo., the assistant majority leader; and Ted Stevens, Alaska. Barry Goldwater, R-Ariz., absent on the first vote, also backed the president. (House key vote 15)

    15. Pesticide Regulation

    The Senate Oct. 6 reversed a key House vote and affirmed the right of states to set stricter standards than the federal government for how much pesticide residue should be allowed in food.

    The controversy was one that ultimately helped doom a bill designed to break years of legislative deadlock over pesticide law. The bill (HR 2482) would have speeded up testing of pesticides for health hazards, a process that had not been completed for most of the 600 active ingredients then in use. Both chambers passed the bill, but they failed to reconcile the two versions and it died with adjournment.

    The amendment in question, offered by Dave Durenberger, R-Minn., deleted language to let the federal government set national standards for allowable pesticide residues (called “tolerances”) and prohibit states from setting stricter tolerances, except in certain cases.

    The Durenberger amendment was approved by voice vote Oct. 6, soon after the Senate rejected a motion to table it, 34-45: R 23-16; D 11-29 (ND 4-24, SD 7-5). The tabling motion was offered by Richard G. Lugar, R-Ind.

    Farm and food industry groups supported the uniform tolerance, saying individual state tolerances would make marketing food products too difficult. The National Governors' Association and some environmental groups supported Durenberger, arguing that states have a right to protect their own citizens' health.

    The Senate vote broke partly along lines of party and ideology (with Republicans and conservatives tending to support uniform tolerance), as did the vote in the House. Farm-state members also tended to favor the uniform tolerance, but with less cohesion than in the House vote. (House key vote 12)

    1. Gun Control

    After a seven-year fight, the National Rifle Association (NRA) succeeded in winning passage of legislation that significantly relaxed federal gun control laws.

    On April 10, the House passed a bill that made important changes in the 1968 Gun Control Act (PL 90-351), including lifting the ban on interstate sales of rifles and shotguns. The vote was 292-130: D 161-15; R 131-115 (ND 62-103, SD 69-12).

    The Senate subsequently approved the House bill, which President Reagan signed (PL 99-308).

    An earlier Senate-passed bill also would have lifted the ban on interstate sales of handguns. But that drew the ire of law enforcement groups, and with quiet backing from Handgun Control Inc., a Washington-based gun control group, the police organizations persuaded Congress that the final bill should not lift the ban on handguns.

    The police groups were still unhappy with other sections of the bill, and they won enactment of separate legislation (S 2414 — PL 99-360) that narrowed the circumstances under which weapons could be carried interstate.

    While enactment of the new gun law once more demonstrated the NRA's clout, it also mobilized police organizations, which are likely to become more visible players on Capitol Hill in the future.

    2. Public Housing

    The House endorsed a major change in federal housing policy June 5, voting to shift from the traditional emphasis on the construction of low-income public housing units toward repair and rehabilitation of existing dwellings.

    The Reagan administration had supported such a change, arguing that new construction was too costly and that the current supply of housing was adequate. Although the House provision did not become law — because other disputes blocked enactment of a fiscal 1987 housing authorization bill (HR 1) — the vote marked the first time the House had endorsed the proposal.

    The key vote came on an amendment offered by Steve Bartlett, R-Texas, to redirect $860 million in unobligated fiscal 1986 appropriations from construction of public housing projects to repair and modernization of existing units, completion of construction already under way and a few new starts in specific cases.

    Critics of the amendment contended that in some parts of the country, housing was scarce, rents were high and new construction was the only source of housing for the poor. They also said it would be cheaper to demolish and replace dilapidated public housing in many cases than to rehabilitate.

    But Bartlett maintained that his proposal “creates a new priority that recognizes the reality of modern times,” when the government does not have the money for major new projects. Repair and rehabilitation of public housing would be a far more efficient use of federal funds, he said, returning more abandoned and unsafe units to productive use than otherwise would be built.

    Bartlett's amendment was adopted June 5 by a vote of 223-180: R 148-19; D 75-161 (ND 35-125, SD 40-36).

    3. Contra Aid

    The House June 25 abandoned three years of opposition to President Reagan's support for anti-government contra guerrillas in Nicaragua. By a 221-209 vote: R 170-11; D 51-198 (ND 8-159, SD 43-39), the House agreed to Reagan's request for $70 million in military aid and $30 million in non-military aid for the contras, who were battling to overthrow the leftist government in Managua.

    The House had opposed military aid for the contras since 1983 and had rejected Reagan's latest request only three months before, on March 20.

    Strong lobbying by the president, as well as disorganization among critics of the contra aid program, helped make the reversal possible.

    The aid later was included in the military construction portion of the fiscal 1987 omnibus appropriations bill (H J Res 738 — PL 99-500). (Senate key vote 4)

    4. Textile Imports

    President Reagan narrowly won the major vote of the year on his trade policies, but not because of strong congressional support for those policies. Frustration on Capitol Hill about rising trade deficits was nearly matched by uncertainty about what to do. While legislation retaliating against “unfair” foreign trading practices generated broad support in Congress, many members were concerned about setting off trade wars with unforeseen consequences.

    The test case for a tougher trade policy involved textiles, one of the U.S. industries hardest hit by foreign competition. Both chambers in late 1985 passed legislation (HR 1562) restricting textile and apparel imports, forcing a reduction of about 30 percent. The bill also provided import relief to the domestic shoe and copper industries.

    Reagan vetoed the bill in December 1985, but House Democratic leaders postponed a veto override attempt until the following August, hoping that the approaching elections and a few more months of bad trade news would bolster support for the bill. In the weeks before the Aug. 6 vote, however, the administration signed new textile agreements with Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan, the three primary targets of the bill. The administration also took steps to promote grain sales to the Soviet Union and semiconductor sales to Japan — strengthening its free-trade case among representatives from farm and high-technology states.

    The House voted 276-149 to override the veto, eight votes shy of the necessary two-thirds majority: R 71-106; D 205-43 (ND 132-36, SD 73-7).

    5. 55 mph Speed Limit

    Claiming widespread public support, a group of law-makers pressed hard in 1986 for relaxation of the 55 mph speed limit. Those urging a change argued the limit was unreasonably low and difficult to enforce; supporters of the limit contended it saved thousands of lives each year.

    Sentiment for higher limits was particularly strong among Westerners, who said highways in their region typically were far less congested than those in the East, and that each state should be able to set its own speed limit.

    Under a 1974 law (PL 93-643) enacted during the height of the energy crisis, states that do not comply with the 55 mph speed limit lose 10 percent of their federal highway aid. Critics said the measure's original rationale — to save fuel — had largely disappeared.

    Matters came to a head during House floor debate Aug. 6 over omnibus highway legislation (HR 3129). Dave McCurdy, D-Okla., offered an amendment to permit states to raise the speed limit to 65 mph on rural sections of Interstate highways.

    The amendment was fiercely opposed by James J. Howard, D-N.J., chairman of the Public Works and Transportation Committee, who said highway deaths would mount if it were adopted.

    The McCurdy amendment was narrowly rejected, 198-218: R 117-57; D 81-161 (ND 45-120, SD 36-41).

    Just over a week later, President Reagan for the first time expressed support for relaxing the speed limit. The Senate Sept. 23 adopted, 56-36, an amendment to highway legislation (S 2405) offered by Steven D. Symms, R-Idaho, to permit states to raise the limit to 65 mph on rural Interstates.

    The issue contributed to the ultimate failure of House and Senate conferees to agree on a highway bill.

    6. Fiscal 1987 Defense Budget

    The Democratic-controlled House underscored its insistence that the Pentagon bear a hefty share of deficit reduction efforts with a vote Aug. 8 that reduced the fiscal 1987 defense budget authorization to $285 billion in new budget authority, nearly $8 billion less than Congress had appropriated for fiscal 1986.

    From 1983 on, it had become evident early each year that Congress would allow the defense budget to increase by no more than 3 percent in addition to the cost of inflation, regardless of Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger's requests for larger increases.

    In 1986, the administration seemed to bow to the inevitable, requesting for fiscal 1987 $320.3 billion — an inflation-adjusted increase of 3 percent above the fiscal 1986 appropriation of $292.6 billion.

    But President Reagan and Congress had raised the political stakes in the budget game late in 1985 by enacting the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings deficit reduction act (PL 99-177), mandating across-the-board cuts in all federal programs if the deficit exceeded certain limits. A modest foretaste of the automatic cuts came March 1, when the fiscal 1986 defense budget was sliced from the $292.6 billion appropriated to $283.6 billion.

    The only way to avoid much larger, Draconian cuts in the fiscal 1987 budget was to restrain all spending. By late February 1986, both houses were moving rapidly toward a defense “freeze” as part of an overall austerity package.

    Conferees on the congressional budget resolution (S Con Res 120) settled on a defense budget ceiling of $292.2 billion in new budget authority — $30 billion less than Reagan's request. The House Armed Services Committee reported a fiscal 1987 defense authorization bill (HR 4428) that would have brought the defense budget to that level.

    But in addition to setting limits on budget authority (or appropriations) for defense and other government programs, the congressional budget resolution sets a limit on outlays (the amount actually spent in the same year) for each of those functions. Outlay limits had been ignored routinely in the past, but Gramm-Rudman made them binding. By most estimates, a further cut in defense budget authority to $285 billion was needed to remain under the budget resolution's limit of $279 billion on defense outlays.

    Senior members of the Armed Services Committee argued that outlays could be restrained without additional cuts in budget authority. But the House adopted an amendment to the defense authorization bill Aug. 8 making the additional reduction by a vote of 245-156: R 37-130; D 208-26 (ND 152-7, SD 56-19).

    7. Nuclear Test Ban

    Congressional unease over President Reagan's approach to nuclear arms issues was signified by the large margin by which the House voted Aug. 8 to bar for one year all but the very smallest nuclear test explosions, provided the Soviet Union conducted no test explosions during that period. The ban would have taken effect if the United States and the Soviet Union each agreed to let the other place monitoring equipment on its territory.

    In recent years, arms control activists oriented to grass-roots lobbying have embraced a nuclear test ban as a first step toward a freeze on the testing, production and deployment of new nuclear weapons. But many of their colleagues who concentrate on legislative lobbying were reluctant to seek a congressional ban on weapons testing, fearing it was too radical a step.

    On Feb. 26, however, the House adopted a non-binding test ban resolution (H J Res 3) over strong administration objections, and did so by a larger margin than many of the measure's backers had anticipated.

    In part, support for a test ban reflected widespread public frustration with Reagan's approach to U.S.-Soviet arms control negotiations, which had run five years without producing a single agreement. Moreover, the administration took a particularly tough line on the notion of a comprehensive test ban, refusing even to begin negotiations on the subject.

    House backers of a test ban decided that their basic goal enjoyed enough support that it was worth trying to come up with a binding proposal that could win a House majority. To that end, they agreed to exempt tests with an explosive power of less than one kiloton, which some analysts believed could not be reliably detected.

    The proposal was embraced by some leading Democratic centrists looking for common ground with the liberal activists who dominated the House Democratic Caucus. Prominent among them were Majority Leader Jim Wright, Texas, who wanted to be elected Speaker in 1987, and Armed Services Committee Chairman Les Aspin, Wis., who wanted to keep his job despite some liberals' objections to his support for some key Reagan policies.

    The White House made no concerted effort to head off the coalition favoring a ban, and on Aug. 8 the House adopted the test ban as an amendment to the fiscal 1987 defense authorization bill (HR 4428) by a vote of 234-155: R 34-124; D 200-31 (ND 152-8, SD 48-23).

    8. Strategic Defense Initiative

    The House Aug. 12 sliced by more than 40 percent, from $5.3 billion to $3.125 billion, President Reagan's fiscal 1987 request for the so-called strategic defense initiative (SDI), or “star wars” program, intended to develop a nationwide shield against nuclear missiles.

    Arms control activists had strongly opposed SDI since Reagan announced the program in 1983, arguing that it could not work but would trigger a new round of the arms race in outer space. Until 1986, however, they had failed to curb the program significantly.

    In 1986, leading opponents first decided to attempt to freeze SDI spending at the fiscal 1986 level. By the time the annual defense authorization bill (HR 4428) came to the House floor in August, they had settled on $3.125 billion: an increase to cover the cost of inflation plus 3 percent. Many SDI critics insisted that they were not necessarily trying to kill off the program but were merely adapting it to fiscal realities. Since the Pentagon budget as a whole clearly was going to be held down, they said it was unthinkable to boost SDI funding by some 77 percent.

    On Aug. 12, the House adopted an amendment limiting SDI funds for fiscal 1987 to $3.125 billion by a vote of 239-176: R 33-142; D 206-34 (ND 154-8, SD 52-26). (Senate key vote 11)

    9. Chemical Weapons

    By a margin of one vote, the House voted to block production of lethal chemical weapons until Oct. 1, 1987.

    At issue was Reagan's five-year-long effort to begin manufacturing so-called binary munitions — artillery shells and “Bigeye” air-dropped bombs that would dispense nerve gas. The Pentagon argued that existing chemical weapons stocks were deteriorating, and that the proposed new weapons would be safer to store and transport.

    But opponents said existing stockpiles were adequate to deter the Soviet Union from using its own chemical weapons. Opposition to new munitions was swelled by a revulsion against chemical weapons among some centrist and conservative members of Congress.

    Until 1985, the House had blocked production of binary weapons. Then it approved procurement beginning in fiscal 1987 — subject to numerous conditions.

    After taking soundings in the House in the summer of 1986, binary weapons opponents decided it was too risky to try to rescind the fiscal 1986 authorization and to block the funds requested in fiscal 1987. So they offered an amendment to the fiscal 1987 defense authorization bill (HR 4428) that would block production of the new weapons until Oct. 1, 1987. The amendment was agreed to 210-209: R 38-137; D 172-72 (ND 142-23, SD 30-49). (Senate key vote 12)

    10. Gramm-Rudman-Hollings ‘Fix’

    The House in mid-August refused to revive the automatic budget-cutting procedure of the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings anti-deficit law (PL 99-177), which the Supreme Court on July 7 had declared unconstitutional.

    The three Senate sponsors of the anti-deficit law devised another version of the automatic procedure, making the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) the final arbiter on the cuts. During consideration of a House-passed measure (H J Res 668) raising the ceiling on the federal debt for the duration of fiscal 1987, the Senate July 30 adopted this Gramm-Rudman “fix.” The debt bill, with the Gramm-Rudman change and numerous unrelated amendments, was passed Aug. 9 and returned to the House.

    House leaders from both parties objected to the stronger role granted OMB, and interest in the anti-deficit law itself was waning. Moreover, members badly wanted to go home to campaign during the August recess.

    The House ignored the amended version of H J Res 668 and instead passed a temporary debt ceiling increase (HR 5395) Aug. 14 to last until the end of September. To this, the Senate Aug. 15 attached a revised, one-year version of the Gramm-Rudman fix. But senators, also anxious to leave town and weary of the issue, passed HR 5395 by only 36-35, following an initial rejection. The House agreed to a Senate reduction in the debt limit increase. But with virtually no debate, members voted in the early hours of Aug. 16 to delete the Gramm-Rudman amendment and send the bill back to the Senate, which cleared it.

    The House vote was 175-133: R 21-119; D 154-14 (ND 108-6, SD 46-8).

    The Gramm-Rudman fix got little attention thereafter, and Congress eventually postponed action until 1987. (Senate key vote 10)

    11. Covert Aid to Angola

    Accepting President Reagan's policy of using proxy guerrilla forces to oust selected leftist regimes in the Third World, the House on Sept. 17 effectively approved U.S. aid to the National Union for Total Independence of Angola (UNITA, in the Portuguese acronym) rebels in Angola.

    The House deleted from the 1987 intelligence authorization bill (HR 4759 — PL 99-569) a provision that would have barred U.S. aid to anti-government guerrillas in Angola unless it was publicly debated and approved by Congress.

    The provision had been drafted by the House Intelligence Committee, which had opposed Reagan's February decision to give UNITA up to $15 million in CIA “covert” military aid. Covert aid does not require formal approval by Congress, although the House and Senate Intelligence panels must be notified in advance.

    The House vote completed a transformation of congressional sentiment on the issue. In 1976, Congress cut off a CIA aid program to UNITA; it weakened the ban in 1980 and repealed it in 1985.

    The latest vote was 229-186: R 166-7; D 63-179 (ND 16-148, SD 47-31).

    12. Pesticide Regulation

    The House, after a passionately fought battle, voted to impose uniform federal limits (called “tolerances”) on the amount of pesticide residues allowed in food.

    Disagreement with the Senate over whether states should be permitted to set stricter tolerances than the federal government helped doom a bill (HR 2482) to renew the nation's pesticide law and force health testing of common pesticide ingredients.

    The House showdown came on an amendment offered by Leon E. Panetta, D-Calif., aimed at forestalling a stiffer uniform tolerance amendment proposed by Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Charles W. Stenholm, D-Texas.

    Panetta's amendment specified rulemaking procedures to give states a hearing before the federal government set a uniform national tolerance. It also shifted the burden of proof from the state, as in the Roberts amendment, to the federal government — requiring it to show that uniform standards were needed to protect interstate commerce. Panetta's amendment was rejected on Sept. 19 by 157-183: R 22-118; D 135-65 (ND 111-25, SD 24-40).

    The Roberts amendment was then adopted, 214-121.

    Absenteeism was a factor in the vote, which came on a Friday afternoon six weeks before the Nov. 4 elections, when many members were impatient to go home. The 91 members who failed to vote constituted more than three times the margin by which the issue was decided. (Senate key vote 15)

    13. Tax Overhaul

    The “remarkable bipartisan achievement” represented by the Tax Reform Act of 1986 — the words were those of Secretary of the Treasury James A. Baker III — faced its last major test Sept. 25, when the House approved the conference committee version of the bill (HR 3838 — PL 99-514). The vote was 292-136: R 116-62; D 176-74 (ND 132-36, SD 44-38).

    Two main threads ran through the unusually long debate that preceded the vote. One was the uncertainty of it all. The big tax bill had so many provisions on so many different subjects that no one could guess what its ultimate consequences would be. Many of the unknowns centered on the impact on the economy, both short term and long term. Furthermore, many representatives wondered if it made sense to go to all this trouble to rewrite the tax laws when the legislation did nothing to reduce the huge budget deficits.

    On the other side there were two powerful motives for a “yes” vote. One was the sizable tax rate cuts, from the current top rate of 50 percent to 28 percent for individuals and from 46 percent to 34 percent for large corporations. The other was fairness. The working poor would be taken off the tax rolls entirely. And there would be much less opportunity for wealthy individuals and profitable corporations to avoid all, or nearly all, federal tax.

    Despite the uncertainties, a majority of House members of both parties voted for the bill.

    Still, there were doubters at the end. The vote that preceded the final vote, on a motion by Bill Archer, R-Texas, to send the bill back to committee, and thus kill it, was closer, 160-268. But even on that one, majorities of Republicans and Democrats voted to keep the bill alive. There were switchers in both directions on the two votes, but most who changed were Republicans who, after going on record with their concerns, voted for final passage. (Senate key vote 8)

    14. Fiscal 1987 Continuing Appropriations

    Few members of Congress liked the huge, comprehensive appropriations bills, known as continuing resolutions, that had become routine at the end of a legislative session. The fiscal 1987 version (H J Res 738) was particularly unpopular, as shown by the narrow 201-200 vote by which it passed the House Sept. 25: R 15-157; D 186-43 (ND 127-25, SD 59-18).

    The $562 billion measure was the largest money bill in the nation's history. Many “nay” votes came from members, particularly fiscal conservatives, who habitually voted against continuing resolutions to protest government spending. Some “nays” were protests against the practice of folding unfinished regular appropriations bills — all 13 in this case — into a last-minute omnibus measure. Critics said that only members of Appropriations committees could shoehorn their favored amendments into the mammoth bill, and that nobody else really knew what was in it or could change it.

    Still other “nay” votes came from Democrats objecting to $100 million in aid to contra rebels fighting the leftist Nicaraguan government, included in the mammoth bill as part of the military construction appropriations bill. And some reflected disapproval of arms control provisions that the Reagan administration strongly opposed.

    A final factor was timing. The vote on passage occurred in the early evening, about an hour before members expected, and the margin would probably not have been so close if some or all of the missing 32 representatives had voted.

    15. South Africa Sanctions

    Spurred on by election-year pressures, Congress overrode President Reagan's veto and ordered economic sanctions against the white racist government of South Africa.

    Surprising everyone, the House in June by voice vote passed a sanctions bill (HR 4868) cutting off virtually all economic ties between the United States and South Africa.

    The Senate in mid-August passed its own version that, while much milder than the House bill, included stronger sanctions than Senate leaders had expected. The bill barred imports of South African steel, textiles and agricultural goods; suspended air service between the United States and South Africa; and barred new U.S. business investment there.

    When Congress returned from its August recess, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Richard G. Lugar, R-Ind., pressured the House into accepting the Senate version and sending it to Reagan. Unless the House did so, he said, the bill would fall victim to an end-of-session filibuster in the Senate.

    Ignoring advice from Lugar and other congressional leaders, Reagan on Sept. 26 vetoed the bill, saying it would hurt South African blacks.

    The House quickly voted to override the veto, on Sept. 29. The 313-83 vote was well above the two-thirds margin needed: R 81-79; D 232-4 (ND 163-0, SD 69-4).

    The Senate followed suit three days later, enacting the bill into law over Reagan's opposition. (Senate key vote 14)

    16. Immigration Reform

    For the second Congress in a row, both chambers passed controversial legislation transforming the nation's immigration laws. This time, however, the bill (HR 3810) went to President Reagan, who signed it (PL 99-603).

    HR 3810 nearly died when the House Sept. 26 rejected a rule limiting floor amendments, particularly on a disputed farm worker provision. However, sponsors huddled for a week, and on Oct. 9 they brought the bill back to the House with a modified farm labor section.

    After spirited debate, the House passed the measure 230-166: R 62-105; D 168-61 (ND 126-29, SD 42-32).

    The margin was considerably greater than in 1984, when a similar bill barely passed, 216-211.

    Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., the architect of the farm worker provisions, said it was this section that helped boost the margin of passage, particularly among Democrats who had been concerned that the 1984 bill would lead to exploitation of migrant laborers. In 1984, 125 Democrats voted for the bill while 138 voted against it, a sharp contrast to this year's 168-61 Democratic split.

    The California delegation also reflected changed perceptions about the bill. In 1984 the delegation voted 12-33 against the bill; this year the split was 32-12 in favor.

    The Senate had passed an immigration bill in 1985, and after House passage, the two sides went to conference. The House adopted the conference report Oct. 15 and the Senate adopted it Oct. 17.

    1. Broadcast Coverage of Senate Proceedings

    S Res 28 Adoption of the resolution to allow a test period from at least May 1 through July 15, 1986, during which Senate floor proceedings would be broadcast on radio and television, and to change certain procedural rules of the Senate. Adopted 67-21: R 35-14; D 32-7 (ND 24-2, SD 8-5), Feb. 27, 1986.

    2. Commodity Credit Corporation Supplemental Appropriation, Fiscal 1986

    H J Res 534 Domenici, R-N.M., motion to table (kill) the Cochran, R-Miss., appeal of the chair's ruling that the House amendment to the Senate amendment violated the spending-limitation requirement contained in the 1985 Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act (the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings balanced-budget law, PL 99-177) and thus was not in order. Motion agreed to 61-33: R 40-10; D 21-23 (ND 17-14, SD 4-9), March 13, 1986. A “yea” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    3. Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment

    S J Res 225 Passage of the joint resolution to propose a constitutional amendment to require a balanced federal budget every year unless a three-fifths majority of the total membership of both houses of Congress votes for a specific amount of deficit spending; to require that the public debt of the United States may be increased only by a law enacted by a three-fifths majority of the total membership of both houses of Congress; to require that a bill to increase revenue shall become law only if passed by a majority of the total membership of both houses of Congress; to require the president to submit annually a proposed balanced budget to Congress; and to allow Congress to waive the requirement for a balanced budget during a declared war. Rejected 66-34: R 43-10; D 23-24 (ND 10-23, SD 13-1), March 25, 1986. A two-thirds majority of those present and voting (67 in this case) is required for passage of a constitutional amendment. A “yea” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    4. Aid to Nicaraguan Rebels

    S J Res 283 Lugar, R-Ind., substitute to approve use of $100 million in Defense Department funds to provide aid to the Nicaraguan contras. Of that amount, $25 million for non-military aid, training and “defensive” weapons would be released immediately upon enactment of the resolution; the remainder would be released at 90-day intervals after July 1, 1986. Adopted 53-47: R 42-11; D 11-36 (ND 2-31, SD 9-5), March 27, 1986. (The joint resolution subsequently was passed by voice vote.) A “yea” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    5. Budget Resolution, Fiscal 1987

    S Con Res 120 Adoption of the concurrent resolution to set budget targets for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 1987, as follows: budget authority, $1,101.3 billion; outlays, $1,001.2 billion; revenues, $857 billion; deficit, $144 billion. Adopted 70-25: R 32-19; D 38-6 (ND 26-4, SD 12-2), in the session that began May 1, 1986.

    6. Federal Fire Protection/Daylight-Saving Time

    S 2180 Dole, R-Kan., motion to table (kill) the Gorton, R-Wash., amendment to change the start of daylight-saving time from the last Sunday in April to the first Sunday in April. Motion rejected 36-58: R 16-33; D 20-25 (ND 10-21, SD 10-4), May 20, 1986. (The Gorton amendment subsequently was adopted by voice vote, and the bill was passed by voice vote.)

    7. Saudi Arms Sale

    S J Res 316 Passage, over President Reagan's May 21 veto, of the joint resolution to block the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia. Rejected (thus sustaining the president's veto) 66-34: R 24-29; D 42-5 (ND 31-2, SD 11-3), June 5, 1986. A two-thirds majority of those present and voting (67 in this case) of both houses is required to override a veto. A “nay” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    8. Tax Overhaul

    HR 3838 Packwood, R-Ore., motion to table (kill) the D'Amato, R-N.Y., amendment to the Dodd, D-Conn.-D'Amato amendment, to create a 15 percent tax credit on Individual Retirement Account contributions (to a maximum of $300) and to offset the resulting revenue loss with an increase in the corporate and individual minimum tax rate from 20 percent to 22.6 percent. Motion agreed to 51-48: R 35-17; D 16-31 (ND 10-23, SD 6-8), June 11, 1986. (The Dodd-D'Amato amendment subsequently was rejected by voice vote.) A “yea” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    9. Manion Nomination

    Confirmation of President Reagan's nomination of Daniel A. Manion of Indiana to be U.S. circuit judge for the 7th Circuit. Confirmed 48-46: R 45-4; D 3-42 (ND 1-30, SD 2-12), June 26, 1986. A “yea” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    10. Public Debt Limit/Anti-Deficit Act

    H J Res 668 Rudman, R-N.H., amendment to the Finance Committee amendment, to make changes in the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings anti-deficit law (PL 99-177) to reinstate the law's automatic spending cuts procedure (previously voided as a violation of the Constitution's separation-of-powers doctrine) by granting final authority for determining the automatic cuts to the director of the Office of Management and Budget, with certain limitations. The amendment also would change to the first Tuesday in February of each year the date by which the president is required to submit his budget request to Congress. Adopted 63-36: R 42-10; D 21-26 (ND 10-23, SD 11-3), July 30, 1986.

    11. Department of Defense Authorization, Fiscal 1987

    S 2638 Warner, R-Va., motion to table (kill) the Johnston, D-La., amendment to set a limit of $3.24 billion for research and development on the strategic defense initiative (SDI), or “star wars” program. President Reagan had requested $5.3 billion. Motion agreed to 50-49: R 41-11; D 9-38 (ND 5-28, SD 4-10), Aug. 5, 1986. A “yea” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    12. Department of Defense Authorization, Fiscal 1987

    S 2638 Pryor, D-Ark., amendment to delete funds for production of the “Bigeye” chemical bomb. Rejected 50-51: R 14-39; D 36-11 (ND 29-4, SD 7-7), with Vice President George Bush casting a “nay” vote, Aug. 7, 1986. A “nay” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    13. Rehnquist Nomination

    Confirmation of President Reagan's nomination of Associate Justice William H. Rehnquist of Virginia to be chief justice of the United States. Confirmed 65-33: R 49-2; D 16-31 (ND 4-29, SD 12-2), Sept. 17, 1986. A “yea” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    14. South Africa Sanctions

    HR 4868 Passage, over President Reagan's Sept. 26 veto, of the bill to impose sanctions against South Africa. Among the sanctions imposed were bans on imports of South African iron, steel, sugar and other agricultural products. The bill also prohibited exports to South Africa of petroleum products, banned new U.S. investments there and banned imports of South African uranium, coal and textiles. Passed (thus enacted into law) 78-21: R 31-21; D 47-0 (ND 33-0, SD 14-0), Oct. 2, 1986. A two-thirds majority of those present and voting (66 in this case) of both houses is required to override a veto. A “nay” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    15. Pesticide Control Reauthorization

    S 2792 Lugar, R-Ind., motion to table (kill) the Durenberger, R-Minn., amendment to strike provisions allowing federal regulations to pre-empt stricter, state-set standards (or “tolerances”) for the amount of pesticide residues allowable on food products. Motion rejected 34-45: R 23-16; D 11-29 (ND 4-24, SD 7-5), Oct. 6, 1986. (The Durenberger amendment subsequently was adopted by voice vote. Later, the Senate moved to remove the text of HR 2482, the House-passed version of the bill, and insert the provisions of S 2792. Then, the Senate passed HR 2482 by voice vote.)

    1. Firearms Law Reform

    HR 4332 Passage of the bill to revise the 1968 Gun Control Act to allow the interstate sale of rifles and shotguns and the interstate transportation of all types of firearms, to ease record-keeping requirements for firearms transactions and to limit federal agents to one unannounced inspection per year of a gun dealer's premises. Passed 292-130: R 161-15; D 131-115 (ND 62-103, SD 69-12), April 10, 1986. (The House subsequently moved to strike the language of S 49, the Senate-passed version of the bill, and insert instead the language of HR 4332.) A “yea” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    2. Housing Act

    HR 1 Bartlett, R-Texas, amendment to limit the obligation of funds for new construction of public housing units to repair and renovation of existing units, except in limited circumstances. Adopted 223-180: R 148-19; D 75-161 (ND 35-125, SD 40-36), June 5, 1986.

    3. Military Construction Appropriations, Fiscal 1987/Aid to Nicaraguan Rebels

    HR 5052 Edwards, R-Okla., substitute for title II of the bill, to provide $70 million in military aid and $30 million in non-military aid to the contra guerrillas in Nicaragua and $300 million in economic aid to Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Adopted 221-209: R 170-11; D 51-198 (ND 8-159, SD 43-39), June 25, 1986. A “yea” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    4. Textile Import Quotas

    HR 1562 Passage, over President Reagan's Dec. 17, 1985, veto, of the bill to place import restrictions on textile and apparel goods. Rejected 276-149: R 71-106; D 205-43 (ND 132-36, SD 73-7), Aug. 6, 1986. A two-thirds majority of those present and voting (284 in this case) of both houses is required to override a veto. A “nay” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    5. Omnibus Highway Bill

    HR 3129 McCurdy, D-Okla., amendment to establish a five-year test program permitting states to raise the speed limit from 55 mph to 65 mph on rural sections of the Interstate system. Rejected 198-218: R 117-57; D 81-161 (ND 45-120, SD 36-41), Aug. 6, 1986.

    6. Defense Authorization, Fiscal 1987

    HR 4428 Spratt, D-S.C., amendment to reduce the total national defense budget for fiscal 1987 to $285 billion in budget authority and $279 billion in outlays. Adopted 245-156: R 37-130; D 208-26 (ND 152-7, SD 56-19), Aug. 8, 1986.

    7. Defense Authorization, Fiscal 1987

    HR 4428 Aspin, D-Wis., amendment to bar tests between Jan. 1, 1987, and Sept. 30, 1987, of nuclear weapons with an explosive power greater than 1 kiloton provided the Soviet Union conducts no nuclear tests in the meantime and provided the United States and Soviet Union agree to permit equipment to be placed in their territory to monitor compliance with the ban. Adopted 234-155: R 34-124; D 200-31 (ND 152-8, SD 48-23), Aug. 8, 1986. A “nay” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    8. Defense Authorization, Fiscal 1987

    HR 4428 Bennett, D-Fla., amendment to decrease from $3.4 billion to $2.85 billion the amount authorized for research on the strategic defense initiative (SDI), or “star wars.” Adopted 239-176: R 33-142; D 206-34 (ND 154-8, SD 52-26), Aug. 12, 1986. A “nay” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    9. Defense Authorization, Fiscal 1987

    HR 4428 Porter, R-Ill., amendment to prohibit the production of binary chemical weapons before Oct. 1, 1987. Adopted 210-209: R 38-137; D 172-72 (ND 142-23, SD 30-49), Aug. 13, 1986. A “nay” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    10. Temporary Debt Limit Increase

    HR 5395 Foley, D-Wash., motion to concur in the Senate amendment raising from $2.079 trillion to $2.111 trillion the ceiling on the federal debt and to disagree to the Senate amendment to make changes in the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings anti-deficit law (PL 99-177) to reinstate, for 1987 only, the law's automatic spending cuts procedure (previously voided as a violation of the Constitution's separation-of-powers doctrine) by granting final authority for determining the automatic cuts to the director of the Office of Management and Budget, with certain limitations. The amendment also would change to the first Tuesday in February of each year the date in the Gramm-Rudman law by which the president is required to submit his budget request to Congress. Motion agreed to 175-133: R 21-119; D 154-14 (ND 108-6, SD 46-8), in the session that began Aug. 15, 1986.

    11. Intelligence Authorization, Fiscal 1987

    HR 4759 Stump, R-Ariz., amendment to strike a section of the bill restricting covert military aid to UNITA rebels in Angola. Adopted 229-186: R 166-7; D 63-179 (ND 16-148, SD 47-31), Sept. 17, 1986. (The bill, to authorize fiscal 1987 funds for the CIA and other federal intelligence agencies, subsequently was passed by voice vote. Most of the authorization levels contained in the bill were classified.) A “yea” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    12. Pesticide Control Reauthorization

    HR 2482 Panetta, D-Calif., amendment to the Roberts, R-Kan., amendment. The Panetta amendment would have given the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) more discretion than did the Roberts amendment in setting uniform national standards for pesticide residues on foods, and would have shifted the burden onto EPA to prove the standards necessary to prevent disruption of commerce. It also would have required EPA to respond to comments submitted during rulemaking procedures to set the standards. Rejected 157-183: R 22-118; D 135-65 (ND 111-25, SD 24-40), Sept. 19, 1986. (The Roberts amendment subsequently was adopted, by a vote of 214-121.)

    13. Tax Overhaul

    HR 3838 Adoption of the conference report on the bill to revise the federal income tax system by reducing individual and corporate tax rates, eliminating or curtailing many deductions, credits and exclusions, repealing the investment tax credit, taxing capital gains as regular income and making other changes. Adopted 292-136: R 116-62; D 176-74 (ND 132-36, SD 44-38), Sept. 25, 1986. A “yea” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    14. Continuing Appropriations, Fiscal 1987

    H J Res 738 Passage of the joint resolution to appropriate $561.9 billion in budget authority for all government programs funded by regular fiscal 1987 appropriations bills, with the funds to be available through Sept. 30, 1987. The measure included several policy changes, including bans on nuclear testing and nerve gas production, a requirement that President Reagan observe portions of the SALT II arms control agreement he has repudiated, and a new $250,000 limit on farm program payments. Passed 201-200: R 15-157; D 186-43 (ND 127-25, SD 59-18), Sept. 25, 1986. A “nay” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    15. South African Sanctions

    HR 4868 Passage, over President Reagan's Sept. 26 veto, of the bill to impose economic sanctions against South Africa. Passed 313-83: R 81-79; D 232-4 (ND 163-0, SD 69-4), Sept. 29, 1986. A two-thirds majority of those present and voting (264 in this case) of both houses is required to override a veto. A “nay” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    16. Immigration Reform

    HR 3810 Passage of the bill to overhaul the nation's immigration laws by creating a new system of penalties against employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens, providing legal status to millions of illegal aliens already in the United States, and creating a special program for foreigners to gain legal status if they have a history of working in U.S. agriculture. Passed 230-166: R 62-105; D 168-61 (ND 126-29, SD 42-32), Oct. 9, 1986. (The House subsequently moved to strike the provisions of S 1200, the Senate-passed version of the bill, and insert the provisions of HR 3810. The House then passed S 1200 by voice vote.)


    1987 Key Votes

    1. Clean Water Funding

    As one of its first actions, the newly Democratic Senate confronted President Reagan over sewage-treatment funding and overrode his veto, setting a tone for relations with the White House over the entire year.

    The bill (HR 1 — PL 100-4) was popular with both parties because sewage plant construction funds went to every state and almost every district in the nation. The bill authorized a 10-year program of federal aid to state and local governments for construction of sewage plants. Reagan had wanted to end sewer spending despite a 1981 promise to maintain it. Fiscal conservatives at the Office of Management and Budget and the White House objected, not just to spending the money, but to the idea that sewage treatment should be a federal responsibility rather than a state and local one. Committee leaders in the House and Senate wanted to phase the program out gradually over 10 years.

    The measure was a renewal of the Clean Water Act of 1972 (PL 92-500), and support from both environmental and industry groups gave it an added “motherhood” aura. Members had the attractive chance to vote for the environment and at the same time bring home federal dollars.

    Because the override was a certainty from the start, Reagan's veto and Congress' vote to enact the bill anyway were more expressions of attitude than tests of strength.

    When the House and Senate had passed the bill the first time, as S 1128, in October 1986, the votes had been 408-0 and 96-0, respectively.

    Reagan pocket-vetoed that bill at the end of the 99th Congress. The House voted a second time to pass the bill, 406-8, on Jan. 8. The Senate followed suit with a 93-6 vote on Jan. 21.

    When Reagan vetoed the bill this time, he called it a budget buster, “loaded with waste and larded with pork.”

    The Senate vote to override was the final test, not so much on the merits of the bill, but of whether Senate Republicans would be loyal to the president of their own party on an issue he had declared important to him.

    The Senate voted to override on Feb. 4, 86-14: R 32-13; D 54-1 (ND 36-1, SD 18-0). (House key vote 1)

    2. Highway and Mass Transit Funds

    With not one vote to spare, the Senate April 2 agreed to override President Reagan's veto of a bill (HR 2 — PL 100-17) reauthorizing $88 billion for highway and mass transit programs. The vote was 67-33: R 13-33; D 54-0 (ND 36-0, SD 18-0).

    Hoping to alter perceptions that his influence on Capitol Hill was waning in the wake of revelations from the Iran-contra scandal and Democrats' recapture of the Senate in the November elections, Reagan fought hard to avert defeat. On the day of the vote he made a dramatic trip to Capitol Hill to plead with Republican senators for their support. The president viewed the measure as a “budget-buster” laden with “pork-barrel” projects targeted at particular states and districts.

    Reagan's trip was aimed especially at 13 Republicans who the day before had defied the White House in a 65-35 vote to sustain the veto. That tally notwithstanding, Majority Leader Robert c. Byrd, D-W.Va., successfully pushed for a new vote to try to garner the two-thirds needed to override.

    But none of the Republican defectors was willing to change his mind. Some cited road projects important to their states; some pointed to a provision relaxing the speed limit on certain federal highways; six of the thirteen were up for re-election in 1988 and were concerned about the prospect of lost construction jobs if no highway bill were cleared. Authorizations had expired the previous fall, leaving states with limited funds.

    The episode also marked a rather painful initiation into the Senate for freshman Terry Sanford, D-N.C. On the first override vote, Sanford infuriated his Democratic colleagues by supporting the White House.

    Sanford said he was convinced the bill was bad for North Carolina. But after talking to Byrd and others, he changed his mind, saying he had come to believe the package was the best that could be obtained under the circumstances. Some thought he had simply capitulated to party pressure. In any event, Sanford sided with fellow Democrats on the second and override vote.

    3. Farm Aid

    Efforts to rewrite the government's basic farm policy, which seemed inevitable earlier in the year, were effectively killed on the Senate floor April 23 when Agriculture Committee leaders convincingly defeated the first major assault on the 1985 farm bill (PL 99-198), the five-year authorization law for federal farm programs.

    The occasion was a routine piece of farm legislation (HR 1157) authorizing one-time disaster payments to farmers, but everyone dissatisfied with the 1985 farm bill had viewed it at one time or another as a vehicle for making big changes in farm policy. The Reagan administration was pushing for big cuts in farmers' income-supports, while populist Midwesterners wanted to put a stop to the downward course of commodity price-supports and return the country to a highly protective agriculture policy. But Senate Agriculture Chairman Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., and ranking member Richard G. Lugar, R-Ind., argued instead to “stay the course” of the five-year farm bill.

    When HR 1157 came to the floor, the would-be reformers laid back, waiting for the first such amendment to be offered. Finally, in the only open floor confrontation, Rudy Boschwitz, R-Minn., offered an amendment to waive Senate budget restrictions and approve a new kind of price-support mechanism for soybeans. The Senate rejected it 33-63: R 18-25; D 15-38 (ND 5-30, SD 10-8).

    The defeat signaled that the Senate was not likely to go along with any changes in farm law, particularly those involving new spending. No other amendments came to the floor, and the move to overhaul the farm bill quickly dissipated. The early victory for Leahy and Lugar established a yearlong ability to fight off major assaults on federal farm programs in 1987.

    4. Fiscal 1988 Budget Resolution

    With near-total opposition from Republicans, the Senate May 6 passed a Democratic fiscal 1988 budget resolution (H Con Res 93). In a first for the party, all Senate Democrats voted for the $1 trillion budget, with the exception of an absent Albert Gore Jr. of Tennessee, who had supported the budget in a preliminary vote earlier in the day. The final vote was 56-42: R 3-42; D 53-0 (ND 36-0, SD 17-0).

    Only three Northeastern Republicans voted with the Democrats: John H. Chafee of Rhode Island, Robert T. Stafford of Vermont and Lowell P. Weicker Jr. of Connecticut.

    The vote was a major achievement for Lawton Chiles, D-Fla., in his first year as Budget Committee chairman. Chiles was credited with reconciling sharply conflicting demands from conservative Democrats, who were seeking more for defense spending, and party liberals who pressed for fewer cuts in domestic programs. The clash over priorities typically produced a split Democratic vote on the budget.

    Chiles said it was possible to put together a compromise in 1987 because as Democrats talked privately, “We began to sort of grow together, to realize that we were a majority party now, and we couldn't afford the luxury of voting no.”

    The Democrats were also aware that they had to muster solid party support if they were to pass the budget. Republicans, who had been sitting out negotiations on the fiscal 1988 budget, had made it clear they would not help. J. James Exon, D-Neb., said: “When we realized that Republicans were determined not to help us one iota, that, more than anything else, helped bring the Democrats together.”

    The partisan split was in sharp contrast to the vote in 1986, when Chiles and Pete V. Domenici, R-N.M., then chairman of the Republican-controlled Budget Committee, assembled a strong bipartisan majority in favor of the fiscal 1987 budget resolution.

    H Con Res 93 set $1.160 trillion in new budget authority and called for $18.3 billion in unspecified new taxes. (House key vote 3)

    5. Omnibus Trade Bill

    The mounting U.S. trade deficit — $156.2 billion in 1986 — was much more of a bipartisan concern in the Senate than in the House. Perhaps as a result, the Senate's version of an omnibus trade bill (HR 3) was somewhat more restrained in its effort to get tough with U.S. trading partners.

    Nevertheless, after a month of floor action in June and July, the Senate bill was still ripe for attack from the administration, which mounted a strong, last-minute drive to have Republicans, at least, cast “no, but” votes on the bill — votes that would send a message to House-Senate conferees that the bill would have to be radically changed before it would be acceptable to President Reagan.

    Among the administration's objections were trade provisions that would mandate retaliation against foreign unfair trade practices and mandate relief for firms and workers harmed by rising imports. But at the top of the administration hit list was a provision requiring firms to give advance notice before closing a plant or laying off large numbers of workers.

    Despite the pressure, more than two-thirds of the Senate voted in favor of the bill July 21. It passed 71-27: R 19-27; D 52-0 (ND 35-0, SD 17-0). Casting some doubt on the strength of GOP support, however, was a “yes, but” letter signed by 16 of the Republicans who voted for the bill. It was not the vote the administration had asked for, but it carried the same message to conferees that the 16 senators wanted some changes.

    6. Gramm-Rudman-Hollings ‘Fix’

    The Senate July 31 defeated an attempt by J. Bennett Johnston, D-La., to stiffen proposed targets for reducing the budget deficit. Defeat of the Johnston amendment opened the way for passage of a revised version of the 1985 Gramm-Rudman-Hollings deficit reduction law.

    Revisions to Gramm-Rudman were attached to a bill (H J Res 324) extending the federal debt ceiling. The Gramm-Rudman rewrite included changes in the enforcement mechanism, which had been invalidated in 1986 by the Supreme Court. It also relaxed the targets for deficit reduction.

    Republicans initially ridiculed Democrats' suggestions that the targets be eased, but they came around, pleading pragmatism. By summer, Republicans were determined to spare President Reagan and themselves the pre-election embarrassment of missing the original Gramm-Rudman targets. At the same time, Democrats in both chambers were looking for some relief from a requirement to raise $18 billion in taxes that had been set in the fiscal 1988 budget resolution.

    This frail link between GOP interests and those of some Democrats was challenged when the Gramm-Rudman amendments came to the Senate floor July 31. Johnston and his allies tried to stiffen the targets to require at least $36 billion in cuts in fiscal 1988. (The target eventually set in the final bill was $23 billion.) They said that neither Reagan nor nervous Democrats should put off politically difficult budget decisions until after the 1988 elections.

    A victory for Johnston could have destabilized the Gramm-Rudman coalition. Sponsors of the rewrite feared desertions by senators who did not want to be recorded against tougher deficit targets. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, Budget Committee Chairman Lawton Chiles, D-Fla., and Pete V. Domenici, R-N.M., insisted that their reconstitution of Gramm-Rudman would be effective in forcing Reagan and Congress into early compromise on deficit reduction.

    Johnston finally lost 41-52: R 0-45; D 41-7 (ND 29-2, SD 12-5). He received no Republican votes.

    7. Campaign Finance

    Despite repeated efforts to cut off debate, the Senate failed to break a three-month Republican filibuster against a measure (S 2) to overhaul federal campaign finance law. The seven cloture votes taken to cut off debate were the most ever attempted on a single question, reflecting the dogged determination of Majority Leader Robert c. Byrd, D-W.Va., in backing the measure.

    Responding in part to criticism of the high costs of the 1986 Senate campaigns, the Democratic leadership had made campaign finance legislation a top priority. The measure would have imposed voluntary limits on congressional-campaign spending with public funds for candidates who accepted the limits. It also would have limited the role of political action committees. In backing the bill, Democrats portrayed themselves as advocates of “good government.” But many GOP senators had reservations about public funding of congressional campaigns at a time of high budget deficits. Republicans also were concerned that attempts to limit campaign spending would threaten their electoral chances and their party's ability to recapture a Senate majority.

    The measure prompted bitterly divisive debate, with cloture votes splitting consistently along party lines. By the time the seventh was taken, only three Republicans had joined the Democratic majority in voting to break the filibuster; only two Democrats supported the filibuster. Falling nine votes short of the 60 needed, the Sept. 15 vote on the final motion to invoke cloture was 51-44: R 3-42; D 48-2 (ND 34-0, SD 14-2).

    After the seventh cloture vote failed, Byrd shelved the bill but vowed to come back to the issue in 1988, when he hoped election year pressure would generate more support.

    The stalemate over the campaign finance bill was a symbol of the limits of Democrats' “control” of the Senate after the 1986 elections. Although the Democrats regained a majority of seats, a cohesive Republican minority repeatedly stymied the Democratic majority by putting up the 41 votes needed to sustain filibusters or to block other procedural moves that required a 60-vote majority.

    8. Strategic Defense Initiative

    In 1987's key political battle over the strategic defense initiative (SDI) — President Reagan's program to develop a nationwide anti-ballistic missile (ABM) defense — the Senate crushed an administration effort to finesse the conflict between the program and the 1972 U.S.-Soviet treaty limiting ABM systems.

    Ever since Reagan inaugurated the program in March 1983, he set as its goal the very kind of ABM system the treaty was designed to bar: one designed to protect the entire population against missile attack, not merely a few hundred heavily armored missile launchers and military headquarters. But by 1983, the Reagan team already had taken a heavy political pounding for appearing hostile to arms control efforts. To buffer SDI against the pro-arms control backlash, Reagan and his aides said repeatedly that for years to come, the program would be conducted in accord with the limits of the treaty.

    Late in 1985, the administration declared that the treaty could be interpreted to permit certain tests in space of ABM weapons. That was contrary to the view held by most observers since the ABM treaty was signed.

    The administration's new interpretation drew sharp protests from Capitol Hill and allied governments. Reagan defused the protests by announcing that SDI tests would continue to be governed by the more restrictive “traditional” reading of the treaty.

    The issue came to a boil again late in 1986, when Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger and some other officials began pressing Reagan to accelerate the timetable for SDI deployment and thus require tests that would violate the traditional interpretation.

    In March 1987, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sam Nunn, D-Ga., a highly influential voice in defense debates, concluded, after a review of the ABM negotiations and of the 1972 Senate debate on approval of the treaty, that the administration's new interpretation was unfounded.

    When the Armed Services panel marked up the fiscal 1988 defense authorization bill in April, Nunn and Carl Levin, D-Mich., added to it a provision that would bar ABM tests in space unless Congress gave prior approval.

    Republicans vehemently opposed the move and blocked Senate action on the bill for nearly four months, demanding that the Levin-Nunn provision be stricken. But Nunn and Majority Leader Robert c. Byrd, D-W.Va., held firm, and the issue was joined on the Senate floor in mid-September. When John W. Warner, Va., the Armed Services Committee's senior Republican, moved to delete the Levin-Nunn provision from the bill, eight centrist Republicans joined an overwhelming majority of Democrats to table (kill) the motion by a vote of 58-38: R 8-37; D 50-1 (ND 34-0, SD 16-1), Sept. 17, 1987.

    9. Nuclear Test Ban

    In its first vote on the issue, the Senate rejected by a hefty margin an amendment to the fiscal 1988 defense authorization bill that would have barred all but the smallest nuclear test explosions.

    A nuclear test ban long had been the priority goal of grass-roots arms control activists, who saw it as a first step toward a freeze on the testing, production and deployment of nuclear weapons.

    The test ban gained political momentum rapidly in the House during 1986, and the chamber attached it to the annual defense authorization bill in August of that year by a ratio of almost 5-3. Senate conferees adamantly opposed the provision, and it was dropped on the eve of President Reagan's October 1986 meeting in Iceland with Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev.

    In 1987, the House again attached a test ban to the annual defense authorization measure, and arms control advocates hoped to round up the 41 Senate votes needed to cut off an expected filibuster. But the vote came a week after the Senate had clobbered Reagan on the issue of interpreting the SDI treaty and only a few days after Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard A. Shevardnadze visited him to pin down details of the upcoming Reagan-Gorbachev meeting in Washington. Under those circumstances, several centrists voted “nay,” and the amendment by Mark O. Hatfield, R-Ore., to ban during 1988–89 nuclear test explosions with an explosive power of more than 1 kiloton, was tabled (killed) 61-36: R 40-6; D 21-30 (ND 7-27, SD 14-3), Sept. 24, 1987. (House key vote 7)

    10. SALT II Limits

    Three weeks after it dealt President Reagan a major blow over the issue of interpreting the 1972 anti-missile treaty, the Senate repudiated another of his key arms control positions: It added to the annual defense authorization bill a provision requiring continued compliance with certain provisions of the unratified 1979 U.S.-Soviet strategic arms limitation treaty (SALT II).

    At issue were so-called “sublimits” in the accord that would have allowed each country no more than:

    • 820 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) equipped with multiple warheads (MIRVs);
    • 1,200 ICBMs and sea-launched ballistic missiles with MIRVs;
    • 1,320 MIRVed missiles of either type and bombers equipped to carry long-range cruise missiles.

    After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan prompted President Carter to drop his effort to secure Senate approval of SALT II early in 1980, the U.S. and Soviet governments announced they would informally observe the treaty's limits on a reciprocal basis.

    Though Reagan had long condemned SALT II as too favorable to the Soviet Union, he continued the policy of informal compliance until 1986. Then, charging Soviet violations of the SALT II limits and of other arms control agreements, he ended the compliance policy.

    Beginning in November 1986, the deployment of cruise-missile-armed B-52 bombers at the rate of about two per month put U.S. forces over the limit of 1,320 MIRVed missiles and bombers.

    Dale Bumpers, D-Ark., and a bipartisan team of arms control advocates charged that dropping the sublimits played into Moscow's hands, since for years to come the Soviet Union could far outstrip the United States in producing MIRVed missiles. They drafted an amendment to the defense bill mandating a return to the limits.

    The administration and its allies countered that Bumpers' position would undermine the president's flexibility to repudiate the treaty or even to threaten to do so as a bargaining tactic in negotiations with the Russians. In the two days before the Senate voted on Bumpers' amendment, the Soviet Union test-fired two ICBMs within several hundred miles of Hawaii — the first time a Soviet missile test had come so close to U.S. territory. Administration allies hoped this would strengthen their hand.

    But when the Senate voted, it approved the Bumpers amendment 57-41: R 8-36; D 49-5 (ND 35-1, SD 14-4), Oct. 2, 1987.

    11. Persian Gulf Reflagging

    After several inconclusive votes between July and October on President Reagan's policy of providing U.S. naval escorts for Kuwaiti tankers in the Persian Gulf, the Senate Oct. 21 adopted a compromise resolution that mirrored its ambivalence over Persian Gulf policy and over the broader issue of whether — and how — Congress could control the use of U.S. forces in conflicts that were not declared wars.

    In July, both houses cast essentially symbolic votes in favor of delaying the plan to escort the Kuwaiti ships, which were to be “reflagged” as the property of a dummy U.S. corporation. But the majority in the Senate was too small to cut off a GOP filibuster of the legislation, much less to override the Reagan veto that surely would have followed passage of such a measure.

    Similarly, threatened filibusters blocked efforts in the Senate to initiate procedures established by the 1973 War Powers Resolution, under which Reagan would have to end the escorting operation unless Congress approved its extension within 90 days.

    Ultimately, proponents of a resolution triggering the War Powers timetable agreed to drop their efforts to attach such a provision to the annual defense authorization bill in return for assurances that the Senate would debate free-standing legislation that would trigger the War Powers Resolution.

    When the issue came to the floor in mid-August, Majority Leader Robert c. Byrd, D-W.Va., and John W. Warner, R-Va., offered a substitute that expressed congressional “reservations” about the escorting policy, but also deferred any Senate action on the policy for several months.

    Key supporters and critics of the Byrd-Warner measure predicted that its adoption would drain the political steam from further efforts to invoke the War Powers Resolution.

    The substitute faced strong bipartisan opposition from liberals, who wanted to invoke the War Powers Resolution, and from conservative Republicans, who opposed any congressional action on Persian Gulf policy.

    But it was supported by a coalition of centrists, who were unhappy with the War Powers Resolution, and pro-War Powers liberals, who concluded that efforts to invoke that measure were doomed.

    The Byrd-Warner substitute initially was rejected 47-51. But enough Democrats were persuaded to change their votes that it subsequently was adopted by a vote of 54-44: R 13-33; D 41-11 (ND 26-9, SD 15-2), Oct. 21, 1987. (House key vote 8)

    12. Bork Nomination

    The Senate Oct. 23 handed President Reagan one of the worst defeats in his presidency when it decisively rejected Robert H. Bork's nomination to the Supreme Court. The vote was 42-58, the largest margin of defeat for any high court nominee. Reagan had made Bork's confirmation one of his highest priorities and had put his personal prestige into an intensive but unsuccessful lobbying effort.

    The final Senate action was in many ways anti-climactic. The result was a foregone conclusion — three days before the vote 54 senators had already declared they would vote against Bork.

    The final tally included six Republicans against Bork and a solid block of five newly elected Democrats from the South: R 40-6; D 2-52 (ND 0-36, SD 2-16).

    Bork's defeat was a blow not only to the president, but also to his conservative supporters, who had hoped the conservative 61-year-old federal judge would help overturn past Supreme Court decisions on abortion and other issues and would extend the Reagan legacy into the 21st century. Reagan already had appointed two other justices and had elevated William H. Rehnquist to chief justice.

    Bork's selection touched off opposition of huge proportions that took the White House and Bork's Senate supporters by surprise. Led by the national civil rights community, opponents argued that Bork's 30-year record of writings, speeches and court opinions on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia showed he was a conservative ideologue who would seek to turn back 20 years of critically important civil rights decisions.

    Opposition tactics included heavy grass-roots lobbying, particularly in Southern states, and radio and television ads contending that Bork threatened citizens' right to privacy and women's rights generally.

    Bork supporters — and Bork himself — were angered by the opposition, maintaining it distorted his record. Bork's allies said he was superbly qualified for the high court, and they encouraged him not to withdraw despite certain defeat on the Senate floor.

    In a dramatic Oct. 9 speech from the White House briefing room, Bork agreed that he should fight to the end. He said he wanted a debate in the Senate about the process and warned that the fight over his nomination had become a political one that endangered the judiciary.

    13. Nuclear Waste

    Often considered the last bastion of states' rights, the U.S. Senate forced the nation's nuclear waste on a bitterly protesting Nevada — explicitly substituting a political decision for one supposed to be based on science and safety.

    In one of the votes by which it did so, the question before the Senate was basic: Should the Department of Energy (DOE) be required to make public health and safety the foremost consideration in its choice of a site to be explored as the likely nuclear dump?

    The Senate's answer on Nov. 12 was “no.” The vote on an amendment by Harry Reid, D-Nev., was 37-56: R 8-35; D 29-21 (ND 21-12, SD 8-9).

    Reid, joined by Brock Adams, D-Wash., mounted a two-week filibuster against a nuclear waste plan being pushed by J. Bennett Johnston, D-La., contained in the fiscal 1988 energy and water appropriations bill (HR 2700). The plan of Johnston, chairman of the Energy Committee as well as the Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, was likely to lead DOE to choose Nevada as the site.

    The vote was a high-water mark in the voting strength Reid rallied in his effort to resist Johnston's blitz. On that and several other test votes, he failed to muster the 41 votes needed to block a cloture motion.

    Johnston eventually prevailed, after House conferees on the reconciliation bill (HR 3545 — PL 100-203) agreed to put the waste in Nevada.

    14. Housing and Community Development

    The Senate refused to consider an otherwise popular housing and community development bill (S 825) on Nov. 17 because it contained a budgetary flaw that required a waiver of the budget act.

    The key vote came on a motion by Alan Cranston, D-Calif., to waive the 1974 Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act. The motion's 57-43 vote was three shy of the 60 required: R 8-38; D 49-5 (ND 31-5, SD 18-0).

    The House-Senate conference agreement on the bill would have authorized about $30.6 billion over two years. But it was vulnerable to a point of order because it contained $47 million in direct spending not subject to further review in the appropriations process.

    William L. Armstrong, R-Colo., raised that point and argued the bill as a whole would also spend far more than it purported to spend — at least $4 billion more per year.

    When Armstrong's point was sustained by the failure to waive the budget act, the conference agreement was dead. The setback stunned the bill's sponsors, who had been confident after the House approved the conference agreement on Nov. 9 by a vote of 391-1.

    In the following weeks, Senate sponsors negotiated changes in the conference agreement and tried to recruit support among GOP senators. They hoped that an amended version of S 825 could garner enough Senate backing to forestall or override a threatened presidential veto. In the final week of the session, a $30.3 billion amended version proved acceptable to key senators, the White House and to key members of the House, and it was cleared by Congress Dec. 22.

    The bill was the first freestanding authorization for housing and community development programs since 1980. In the intervening years, while the GOP controlled the Senate, the two chambers had been unable to agree on a bill.

    1. Clean Water Funding

    The House early in the new session overrode President Reagan's veto of a sewage plant funding bill, setting a tone of confrontation with the White House for the entire year.

    The bill (HR 1 — PL 100-4) was politically popular with all members because sewage plant construction funds went to every district in the nation. It authorized a 10-year program of federal aid to state and local governments for construction of sewage plants. Reagan had wanted to end sewer spending to help reduce the deficit and because he felt sewage treatment should be a state and local responsibility rather than a federal one. Committee leaders in the House and Senate were willing to end the program, but wanted to phase it out over 10 years.

    When the House and Senate had passed the bill the first time, as S 1128, in October 1986, the votes had been 408-0 and 96-0, respectively. The unanimity had been engineered in hopes of averting a presidential veto.

    Reagan pocket-vetoed that bill at the end of the 99th Congress. House Public Works leaders promptly reintroduced it, winning the coveted bill number HR 1 as an expression of the priority it had with the Democratic leadership.

    The House voted a second time to pass the bill, 406-8, on Jan. 8. The Senate followed suit with a 93-6 vote on Jan. 21. Reagan promptly vetoed it again.

    The final House vote to override the veto on Feb. 3 was 401-26: R 147-26; D 254-0 (ND 170-0, SD 84-0). The Senate voted to override the next day, enacting the bill into law. (Senate key vote 1)

    2. 65 mph Speed Limit

    The House March 18 voted to allow states to raise the speed limit to 65 mph on rural Interstate highways after an emotional debate between those who said higher limits would raise traffic fatalities and those contending that few motorists obeyed the existing 55 mph limit.

    The vote came on adoption of a concurrent resolution (H Con Res 77) to amend an $88 billion highway and mass transit reauthorization bill (HR 2) with the speed-limit plan. The highway bill went on to become law (PL 100-17) despite a veto by President Reagan. The speed-limit tally was 217-206: R 125-50; D 92-156 (ND 45-121, SD 47-35).

    Support for the resolution was led by members from Western districts who said higher limits posed no safety threat on the rural Interstates that dominated the region. Dave McCurdy, D-Okla., said the widely flouted 55 mph law amounted to the “1980s equivalent of Prohibition.”

    Although the 55 mph limit was enacted by Congress in 1974 primarily as a fuel-saving measure, it was defended in 1986 on safety grounds. A coalition of groups representing insurance companies, physicians and chiefs of police said the lower speed limit had saved thousands of lives. Under the 1974 law (PL 93-643), states had either to adopt the limit or to face the loss of up to 10 percent of their federal highway funds.

    Leading the fight against higher limits was the chairman of the House Public Works and Transportation Committee, James J. Howard, D-N.J. A principal sponsor of the 1974 measure, Howard made retention of the limit a personal cause. And some lawmakers were clearly nervous about voting against the chairman of a panel responsible for doling out public works projects to their districts.

    3. Fiscal 1988 Budget Resolution

    House Democrats nervously committed themselves to higher taxes on April 9 when, with no GOP votes, they approved a fiscal 1988 budget resolution (H Con Res 93) calling for $18 billion in new taxes. On the vote for passage, Democratic leaders lost just 19 Democratic votes as the House voted to pass the resolution 230-192: R 0-173; D 230-19 (ND 159-10, SD 71-9).

    The vote on the $1 trillion budget signaled the activist style of the new House Speaker, Jim Wright, D-Texas. Even before he took office, Wright had been calling for a tax increase to help fight the deficit. That was a sharp departure from the tactics of former Speaker Thomas P. O'Neill Jr., D-Mass. O'Neill had refused to put Democrats on record for a tax increase as long as President Reagan was on the other side.

    In debate that suggested themes for the 1988 campaign, Republican Whip Trent Lott of Mississippi counseled GOP members to avoid the tax-laden budget resolution. “You do not ever get in trouble for those budgets which you vote against,” Lott said. Democratic Leader Thomas S. Foley of Washington responded: “ ‘Don't vote, and you won't get into trouble.’ What a motto for statesmanship.”

    For much of the rest of the year, Republicans maintained that Democrats had handed them the tax issue on a platter. The GOP anti-tax stance was broken only at the end of the year when Republicans delivered votes in substantial numbers for two deficit reduction bills mandated by congressional and White House negotiators in a budget summit.

    As passed by the House, the budget resolution called for total budget authority of $1.142 trillion and outlays of $1:039 trillion in fiscal 1988. It called for revenues of $930.9 billion, leaving a deficit of $107.6 billion. (Senate key vote 4)

    4. MacKay Amendment

    In a vote that signaled the growing influence of a group of younger, budget-minded Democrats, the House April 23 voted to reduce a multipurpose spending bill by $2.2 billion. The vote was on an amendment by Rep. Buddy MacKay, D-Fla., cutting 21 percent from most of the accounts in the fiscal 1987 supplemental appropriations bill. MacKay said the cuts were needed to keep the measure from breaking spending limits set by the fiscal 1987 budget resolution passed the previous summer. The Florida Democrat said he and his allies could not stomach a budget-busting appropriations bill just two weeks after voting for a Democratic-sponsored tax increase in the fiscal 1988 budget resolution. The MacKay amendment was adopted 263-123: R 121-39; D 142-84 (ND 82-69, SD 60-15).

    The previous autumn the group of younger Democrats had thwarted plans by Appropriations Committee Chairman Jamie L. Whitten, D-Miss., to revive expiring revenue sharing programs.

    MacKay's amendment received strong support from moderates and liberals in both parties; opposition was equally dispersed. House Majority Leader Thomas S. Foley, D-Wash., and Democratic Whip Tony Coelho, D-Calif., voted for the amendment, which had the tacit support of Speaker Jim Wright, D-Texas. Republicans took no official position.

    5. U.S.-Japan Trade Imbalance

    Efforts to correct the failure of U.S. trade policy to staunch a hemorrhaging deficit of imports over exports was at the top of the Democrats' domestic agenda in 1987. Particular ire was directed at the trade practices of Japan — which had a $58.9 billion trade surplus with the United States in 1986 — and a few other trading partners.

    While omnibus trade bills (HR 3) passed both chambers, however, it was only in the House that a specific legislative effort was made to trim Japan's surplus. And that effort, known as the Gephardt amendment, passed by such a narrow margin that it seemed clear it would not survive intact in a final bill.

    Rep. Richard A. Gephardt, D-Mo., a candidate for president, had been trying since 1985 to turn Congress' attention to the rising bilateral trade surpluses of a few U.S. trading partners. In 1986 he had persuaded the House to include a tough provision to ratchet down such surpluses in an omnibus trade bill that eventually died in the Senate Finance Committee.

    When the House Ways and Means Committee began considering HR 3 in early 1987, Gephardt held back from offering his anti-surplus language, which had been branded “protectionist” and was sure to draw a presidential veto. Organized labor and House Speaker Jim Wright, D-Texas, favored Gephardt's amendment, but it was widely assumed it would be defeated in committee. Gephardt decided to offer it on the House floor instead.

    Gephardt put the amendment through several drafts that removed some of its more controversial elements. But in the end it barely survived its floor test April 29, passing 218-214: R 17-159; D 201-55 (ND 137-34, SD 64-21).

    The slim margin in the House, and strong sentiments against the provision in the Senate — even from those who wanted to get tough with the alleged unfair trade practices of Japan and other countries — made it clear that the Gephardt amendment would be radically revised in a House-Senate conference committee. That action was not expected until early 1988.

    Perhaps because most members believed that the Gephardt language would not survive conference, two-thirds of the House supported the bill on final passage the following day, voting 290-137.

    Following the October stock market crash, Republicans tried Nov. 10 to get the House to back off the Gephardt language. But the motion failed 175-239, apparently because Democrats did not want to embarrass Gephardt or Wright. Every Republican who voted for Gephardt the first time did so again. (Senate key vote 5)

    6. Savings and Loan Insurance

    The House defied the wishes of President Reagan and both parties' leaders May 5 by defeating a five-year, $15 billion bill (HR 27) to refinance the fund that insured deposits in savings and loans.

    Instead, the House approved a refinancing plan worth one-third as much — $5 billion over two years. The thrift industry had preferred the smaller-scale plan and had lobbied heavily for it. The refinancing cost was to be repaid by the industry.

    The White House had said it would veto the smaller plan for bailing out the fund, the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corp. (FSLIC), which auditors said was at least $6 billion in the red. Critics in both parties warned that the smaller fund would prove inadequate and eventually force the federal government to pay off insured depositors with taxpayers' money.

    But the industry and its supporters in the House said that FSLIC could not merge or close failing thrifts fast enough to need the bigger amount of money in the near future — so raising the bigger amount would be inefficient.

    The key vote came on an amendment offered by Banking Committee Chairman Fernand J. St Germain, D-R.I., that would have raised the amount to $15 billion. The amendment was defeated 153-258: R 72-98; D 81-160 (ND 62-99, SD 19-61). The scaled-down version was then approved overwhelmingly.

    The Senate had passed a $7.5 billion plan, and the refinancing was increased twice by a House-Senate conference. As signed by President Reagan on Aug. 10, the FSLIC refinancing was set at $10.8 billion (HR 27 — PL 100-86).

    7. Nuclear Test Ban

    For the second year in a row, the House adopted by a respectable margin an amendment to the fiscal 1988 defense authorization bill that would ban all but the smallest nuclear weapons tests, provided that the Soviet Union observed a similar restriction and that the Soviet Union and United States each agreed to let the other place monitoring equipment on its territory.

    In 1985, grass-roots arms control activists began agitating for a nuclear test ban as a first step toward a freeze on the development, production and deployment of all nuclear weapons. Other arms control advocates who concentrated on legislative lobbying were initially reluctant to seek congressional support for a test ban, fearing it was too radical a step.

    But early in 1986, the proposal showed unanticipated political strength, including the support of some influential centrist Democrats in the House, such as then-Majority Leader Jim Wright, Texas, and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Les Aspin, Wis.

    The administration weakened its position politically by refusing even to negotiate with the Soviets about a comprehensive nuclear test ban, a goal to which every preceding president since Dwight Eisenhower had at least paid lip service.

    Moreover, the test-ban advocates led by Democrats Patricia Schroeder, Colo., Edward J. Markey, Mass., and Thomas J. Downey, N.Y., incorporated into their proposal several minor compromises intended to woo centrist support.

    As the House approached its first vote on the test ban — as an amendment to the fiscal 1987 defense authorization bill (PL 99-661) in August 1986 — the White House made no concerted effort to oppose it, and it was adopted 234-155.

    When the House took up the fiscal 1988 defense bill in May 1987, the political dynamics surrounding the test-ban issue were substantially unchanged, though the administration had begun negotiating on the subject with the Soviets. Again, the White House made no major effort to fight the test-ban amendment, sponsored in 1987 by Schroeder and Markey.

    On May 19, the House rejected 201-220 a Republican alternative that would have allowed the president to waive the ban if it would interfere in the development of improvements in the safety devices built into nuclear weapons. It then approved the Schroeder amendment 234-187: R 26-147; D 208-40 (ND 160-9, SD 48-31). (Senate key vote 9)

    8. Persian Gulf Reflagging

    In a sharp departure from Congress' traditional reluctance to challenge a military commitment by a president, the House voted July 8 to delay for three months President Reagan's plan to provide naval escorts for Kuwaiti oil tankers in the Persian Gulf.

    The administration had agreed in December 1986 to provide escorts for 11 Kuwaiti ships that would be “reflagged” as the property of a dummy U.S. corporation. Kuwait had backed neighboring Iraq in its seven-year-old war with Iran, and said Iranian attacks on tankers in the gulf were focusing on Kuwaiti ships.

    Though administration officials began briefing congressional committees on the plan in March, it drew little attention on Capitol Hill until mid-May, when the U.S. frigate Stark, stationed in the Persian Gulf, was attacked by an Iraqi jet, apparently by accident, resulting in the loss of 37 U.S. sailors.

    As it drew attention, the escorting plan aroused widespread, bipartisan opposition. But for nearly six weeks after the Stark incident, even some of Reagan's strongest liberal critics shied from a direct effort to block the policy, partly out of fear that if Congress opposed the action, Reagan could blame it for any disasters that might have befallen U.S. forces in the gulf.

    But in the last half of June, Mike Lowry, D-Wash., and aides to the Democratic Study Group began pushing for a vote to delay for 90 days the planned reflagging of the Kuwaiti ships. Lowry cast his proposal as a moderate alternative to outright efforts to block the policy.

    The administration played into Lowry's hands by refusing to consider any compromise that would give uneasy members alternatives to supporting Lowry or accepting whole the original escorting plan. That galvanized Democratic leaders into a vigorous effort to pass the Lowry resolution.

    On July 8, the House rejected 126-283 a substitute that would have barred outright the reflagging of the Kuwaiti ships. It then adopted the Lowry amendment 222-184: R 22-146; D 200-38 (ND 149-12, SD 51-26), July 8, 1987. (Senate key vote 11)

    9. Smoking in Airplanes

    At the beginning of the 100th Congress, few thought anti-smoking forces had much chance to win passage of a ban on smoking on airplane flights.

    But the tobacco lobby proved less formidable than expected, and proponents capitalized on growing public concern over the health risks of smoking. In debate July 13 on a transportation spending bill (HR 2890), the House narrowly adopted an amendment by Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., to ban smoking on domestic flights scheduled to last no more than two hours. The vote was 198-193: R 74-91; D 124-102 (ND 102-48, SD 22-54). The Senate later approved a similar plan, and in December President Reagan signed into law a two-year ban on flights of two hours or less as part of the massive fiscal 1988 continuing resolution (H J Res 395 — PL 100-202).

    Support for the Durbin amendment ranged from liberals, such as Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., to conservatives, such as Bob Dornan, R-Calif. One proponent, Donald E. “Buz” Lukens, R-Ohio, told colleagues that he had had to undergo six operations for cancer, including one that left a 16-inch scar. A non-smoker, Lukens said, “I know, and all my surgeons agree, that I caught cancer through other people's smoke.”

    The ban's supporters also pointed to a National Academy of Sciences study citing the risks of exposure to smoke in air cabins and calling for a ban on smoking on all flights. Proponents said the risks were especially severe for pregnant women, the elderly and children.

    Opposition was led by members from tobacco-growing districts. Carroll Hubbard Jr., D-Ky., branded the Durbin plan “another direct attack upon the tobacco farmers and the tobacco industry.” Others argued the plan had nothing to do with transportation spending and fell under the jurisdiction of authorizing committees.

    10. Catastrophic Health Insurance

    It was President Reagan, in his 1986 State of the Union message, who officially put on the national agenda the effort to provide protection from “catastrophic” health expenses for the nation's elderly.

    But a year and a half later, after House Democrats were finished adding and embellishing, the legislative package offered on the floor July 22 bore little resemblance to the one Reagan approved in February.

    Although both the Reagan plan and HR 2470, the bill before the House, embodied the same central goal — capping the amount Medicare beneficiaries would have to pay for services covered by the federal health program for the elderly and disabled — the similarities ended just about there.

    As approved by two committees and blessed by the leadership, the Democratic package also included provisions aimed at expanding protection for low-income program participants and included several significant new expansions to coverage, most notably for prescription drugs.

    Irritated at the package's growing size and price tag, and skeptical of Democrats' claims that beneficiaries would foot the entire bill for the new benefits, House Republicans decided to craft their own version. But aware of the growing grass-roots support for a program more expansive than the one proposed by Reagan, Republicans included in their alternative a limited prescription-drug plan and tax incentives for private insurance for long-term care.

    But the Republican alternative garnered essentially only Republican support. On July 22 it failed 190-242: R 175-1; D 15-241 (ND 5-167, SD 10-74). Then, bucking the president's veto threat, 61 Republicans joined in voting for final passage of HR 2470.

    11. Nuclear Insurance

    The House voted to pay lawyers before victims in the event of a catastrophic nuclear accident as it passed a renewal of the nation's basic nuclear-insurance law.

    The July 30 vote was part of a clean sweep by which the nuclear and insurance industries won House rejection of all amendments they opposed.

    The lawyers-or-victims amendment, offered by Gerry Sikorski, D-Minn., prohibited courts from paying legal costs in liability cases following an accident at a nuclear power plant if such payments would jeopardize compensation of victims. It was rejected 183-230: R 24-145; D 159-85 (ND 138-28, SD 21-57).

    The Price-Anderson Act of 1957, as reauthorized in the bill, set up a $7.4 billion pool of funds — which would include private insurance and assessments on the nation's nuclear utilities — to cover damages in case of an accident. If damages exceeded that amount, as they were estimated to do in a major accident, victims would receive no further compensation.

    The purpose of Sikorski's amendment was to make sure that the money in the fund went to compensate victims rather than to pay electric-utility legal costs.

    But opponents in the nuclear and insurance industries, as well as the House, said the effect of the amendment would be to deny payment to victims' lawyers as well as to utility lawyers. Sikorski denied that. But the bill defined “legal costs” as including both, as well as the costs of investigative and administrative activities that insurance companies said would be needed in order to settle any claims at all.

    After rejecting the Sikorski amendment, the House passed the bill, 396-17, but it did not reach the Senate floor in 1987.

    12. Independent Counsel

    Brushing aside opposition from the Justice Department and veto threats from President Reagan, Congress cleared legislation to extend for five years the law that permitted the appointment of independent counsels to investigate alleged wrongdoing by high government officials. Without the extension, the law would have expired on Jan. 2.

    The new law (HR 2939 — PL 100-191) also placed limits on the discretion of the attorney general in determining when to seek an independent counsel. Independent counsels were appointed by a special three-judge court at the attorney general's request. The court also set the boundaries of any counsel's investigation.

    Critics of the law said it violated the separation-of-powers doctrine because it allowed the judiciary to be involved in prosecutions — an executive branch function. Several court challenges to the law were currently pending.

    A critical point in the progress of the legislation occurred during House debate on the measure Oct. 21. Republicans opposed to the proposed legislation argued that Congress should wait for the courts to decide whether the law was constitutional before extending it for five years. They offered a substitute that would have extended the law for only one year, without making any changes in it.

    The amendment, offered by E. Clay Shaw Jr., R-Fla., was rejected on a largely party-line vote of 171-245: R 165-10; D 6-235 (ND 3-163, SD 3-72).

    Despite his threat to veto the legislation, Reagan signed it Dec. 15. In doing so, he again said he thought it was unconstitutional. But he said it was necessary to ensure public confidence in the integrity of government, while waiting for the courts to decide the issue.

    13. Deficit Reduction Strategy

    House Democratic budget strategy nearly exploded in the face of its principal architect, Speaker Jim Wright of Texas, when he won a one-vote victory for a tax-raising deficit reduction bill on Oct. 29. The House passed the measure (HR 3545) after Wright held a losing vote open until Texas Democrat Jim Chapman switched from “nay” to “yea.” James M. Jeffords of Vermont, was the sole Republican to vote for the bill. The final vote was 206-205: R 1-164; D 205-41 (ND 143-21, SD 62-20).

    The reconciliation bill combined an $11.9 billion tax increase with new curbs on the growth of Medicare and several other programs.

    Wright's critics, including fiscal moderates in his own party, warned that action on the bill could disrupt delicate budget “summit” talks then under way among congressional leaders from both parties and White House negotiators. Moderate Republicans who might have been inclined to compromise were angry that Wright's action forced them to take a position against taxes just when their leadership was negotiating a tax increase. But Democratic leaders said that their show of strength, however imperfect, kept pressure on the summit to produce results.

    Angry GOP House members booed Wright after the vote and bitterly accused him of stealing their victory by delaying the final count. Later, they cited the vote as the culminating event in a year of Democratic insults that drove moderate GOP members into the arms of confrontational Republican conservatives.

    14. Clean Air Deadlines

    The House voted to delay — until Aug. 31, 1988 — economic penalties on cities not meeting clean air standards. The August date was right at the start of the fall presidential election campaign, and that could generate enormous political pressure on Congress in 1988 to settle the long-deadlocked reauthorization of the 1970 Clean Air Act (PL 91-604).

    The critical Dec. 3 vote was a choice between competing proposals by Silvio O. Conte, R-Mass., who wanted the Aug. 31 date, and John P. Murtha, D-Pa., who sought extension of the deadlines until July 31, 1989. Conte first offered his proposal as an amendment, and Murtha then offered his plan as a substitute. The House rejected the Murtha substitute 162-257: R 72-99; D 90-158 (ND 45-124, SD 45-34). It then adopted the Conte amendment by voice vote.

    Environmental groups and groups representing state and local governments backed the Conte amendment, as did Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif., chairman of the Energy Subcommittee on Health and the Environment. Energy Committee Chairman John D. Dingell, D-Mich., and groups representing various industries (e.g., petrochemical, automotive, manufacturing) whose air emissions were regulated under the law, backed Murtha's plan.

    Surprisingly, party affiliation was not as big an influence as geographic origin on how members voted. The two parties split fairly evenly. But members from areas with polluting industries tended to vote with Murtha, while those suffering from dirty air tended to vote with Conte.

    The Conte amendment seemed to pick up more support because it promised to stop sanctions the Environmental Protection Agency had imposed on some cities even before the existing Dec. 31, 1987, clean air deadline, while Murtha's kept those cities on the hook.

    By forcing Congress to deal with the issue during an election year, the amendment was likely to give environmentalists the leverage of strong public support for tighter pollution controls. At the same time, it could make more difficult the compromises that would probably be needed to break the long deadlock on the Clean Air Act, which Congress had been unable to act on since 1981.

    15. Welfare Overhaul

    A proposal to overhaul the basic federal welfare program, a high-priority item at the beginning of 1987, had become an unwanted guest at the legislative table by year's end. Members struggling to reduce the bloated federal budget deficit were not eager to vote on legislation that called for significant new spending on the least powerful segment of American society.

    House Democrats spent nearly seven weeks wrangling over a rule for debate that barred most amendments before the House finally passed the Family Welfare Reform Act of 1987 (HR 1720). The turning point came Dec. 15, when the rule was approved 213-206: R 0-170; D 213-36 (ND 155-12, SD 58-24). After that, passage of the bill, which occurred the next day, was almost a foregone conclusion.

    The Dec. 15 vote reversed an Oct. 29 roll call on which the House refused, 203-217, to consider the welfare measure as part of reconciliation legislation. Forty-eight Democrats, 32 of them Southerners, had voted against that rule. But after heavy lobbying by supporters of HR 1720 and by the leadership, 21 Democrats, 15 of them Southerners who voted “nay” the first time, voted for the rule on Dec. 15.

    The rule was a sticking point because it severely limited the amendments that could be offered to the welfare bill. Republicans were already furious at the number of restrictive rules put forward during the year by the Rules Committee, an arm of the Democratic leadership. But this time, a substantial number of Democrats agreed that a more open rule should be adopted. Most of these dissident Democrats were conservatives unhappy about the five-year price tag of HR 1720, which the Congressional Budget Office estimated at $6.2 billion.

    When the Rules Committee Nov. 17 approved a rule allowing only one amendment, a $1.1 billion Republican substitute, many Democrats objected, and the House leadership pulled the bill before debate was to begin Nov. 19.

    Adding leverage to the Democratic dissent were Thomas R. Carper, D-Del., and Charles W. Stenholm, D-Texas, who wanted to offer a $2.5 billion welfare plan. Their revolt forced the leadership to return to the Rules Committee for a new rule that allowed one additional amendment — a proposal by Michael A. Andrews, D-Texas, that shaved $500 million from the bill's cost. That concession, coupled with an intensive leadership lobbying effort, drew enough support to get the rule — and ultimately the bill itself — approved.

    1. Clean Water Act Reauthorization

    HR 1 Passage, over President Reagan's Jan. 30 veto, of the bill to amend and reauthorize the Clean Water Act of 1972 authorizing $18 billion through fiscal 1994 in federal aid to state and local governments for construction of sewage treatment plants and more than $2.14 billion for other water pollution control programs. Passed (thus enacted into law) 86-14: R 32-13; D 54-1 (ND 36-1, SD 18-0), Feb. 4, 1987. A two-thirds majority of those present and voting (67 in this case) of both houses is required to override a veto. A “nay” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    2. Omnibus Highway Reauthorization

    HR 2 Passage, over President Reagan's March 27 veto, of the bill to authorize $88 billion for highway and mass transit programs through fiscal 1991. Passed (thus enacted into law) 67-33: R 13-33; D 54-0 (ND 36-0, SD 18-0), April 2, 1987. A two-thirds majority of those present and voting (67 in this case) of both houses is required to override a veto. A “nay” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    3. Farm Disaster Assistance.

    HR 1157 Boschwitz, R-Minn., motion to waive the Chiles, D-Fla., point of order that the Boschwitz amendment is in violation of section 303(a) of the 1974 Budget and Impoundment Control Act (PL 93-344), which prohibits consideration of an amendment that provides new budget authority for the fiscal year until the concurrent resolution on the budget for such fiscal year has been adopted. Motion rejected 33-63: R 18-25; D 15-38 (ND 5-30, SD 10-8), April 23, 1987.

    4. Fiscal 1988 Budget Resolution

    H Con Res 93 (S Con Res 49) Adoption of the concurrent resolution to set fiscal 1988 budget totals as follows: new budget authority, $1.160 trillion; outlays, $1.054 trillion; revenues, $921 billion; deficit, $133.6 billion. Adopted 56-42: R 3-42; D 53-0 (ND 36-0, SD 17-0), May 6, 1987.

    5. Omnibus Trade Bill

    HR 3 Passage of the bill to authorize presidential negotiations to reduce international tariffs and non-tariff barriers to trade; mandate retaliation against countries that maintain unfair trade practices against the United States, unless negotiated agreements lead to the elimination of such practices; enhance worker and company benefits for industries injured by imports; and improve math, science and foreign language education. Passed 71-27: R 19-27; D 52-0 (ND 35-0, SD 17-0), July 21, 1987. A “nay” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    6. Temporary Debt-Limit Increase/Deficit Targets

    H J Res 324 Johnston, D-La., amendment to the Gramm, R-Texas, amendment, to set the maximum allowable federal budget deficit for fiscal 1988 at $140 billion, or $36 billion below the deficit as estimated by a House-Senate conference on the legislation; set the maximum deficit for fiscal 1989 at $120 billion; and provide that in both years, an automatic spending-cut procedure would come into effect if the estimated deficit exceeds the target by more than $5 billion. Rejected 41-52: R 0-45; D 41-7 (ND 29-2, SD 12-5), July 31, 1987.

    7. Senate Campaign Finance

    S 2 Byrd, D-W.Va., motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the bill to create voluntary spending limits in Senate races, provide partial public funding to general-election candidates and cap the amount House and Senate candidates may accept from political action committees. Motion rejected 51-44: R 3-42; D 48-2 (ND 34-0, SD 14-2), Sept. 15, 1987. A three-fifths majority vote (60) of the total Senate is required to invoke cloture.

    8. Fiscal 1988–89 Defense Authorization/Missile Tests

    S 1174 Nunn, D-Ga., motion to table (kill) the Warner, R-Va., amendment to strike a provision limiting the development or testing of space-based and other mobile anti-ballistic missile systems. Motion agreed to 58-38: R 8-37; D 50-1 (ND 34-0, SD 16-1), Sept. 17, 1987. A “nay” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    9. Fiscal 1988–89 Defense Authorization/Nuclear Testing

    S 1174 Reid, D-Nev., motion to table (kill) the Hatfield, R-Ore., amendment to prohibit in fiscal 1988–89 nuclear test explosions with an explosive power of more than 1 kiloton, subject to certain conditions. Motion agreed to 61-36: R 40-6; D 21-30 (ND 7-27, SD 14-3), Sept. 24, 1987. A “yea” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    10. Fiscal 1988–89 Defense Authorization/SALT II Limits

    S 1174 Bumpers, D-Ark., amendment to bar the deployment of more than 820 multiple-warhead intercontinental ballistic missiles, more than 1,200 multiple-warhead strategic missiles of any sort, or more than 1,320 multiple-warhead strategic missiles and missile-armed bombers. Adopted 57-41: R 8-36; D 49-5 (ND 35-1, SD 14-4), Oct. 2, 1987. A “nay” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    11. War Powers Compliance

    S J Res 194 Byrd, D-W.Va., and Warner, R-Va., substitute to require the president to send Congress a report on U.S. military operations in the Persian Gulf that would not trigger the time limits set by the War Powers Resolution, but which would set in motion another time limit for action on an unspecified joint resolution dealing with the subject of the report. Adopted 54-44: R 13-33; D 41-11 (ND 26-9, SD 15-2), Oct. 21, 1987. A “nay” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    12. Bork Nomination

    Confirmation of President Reagan's nomination of Robert H. Bork of the District of Columbia to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court. Rejected 42-58: R 40-6; D 2-52 (ND 0-36, SD 2-16), Oct. 23, 1987. A “yea” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    13. Energy and Water Appropriations/Nuclear-Waste Repository

    HR 2700 Reid, D-Nev., amendment to direct the secretary of energy to give primary consideration to public health and safety in selecting a site for study as a possible permanent repository for nuclear wastes. Rejected 37-56: R 8-35; D 29-21 (ND 21-12, SD 8-9), Nov. 12, 1987.

    14. Housing and Community Development/Budget Waiver

    S 825 Cranston, D-Calif., motion to waive the spending-limitation requirement contained in the 1974 Budget and Impoundment Control Act (PL 93-334) with respect to the conference report on the bill to authorize $15 billion in fiscal 1988 and the same amount plus inflation in fiscal 1989 for housing, rural housing and community development assistance, and to make permanent the loan-insuring authority of the Federal Housing Administration. Motion rejected 57-43: R 8-38; D 49-5 (ND 31-5, SD 18-0), Nov. 17, 1987. A three-fifths majority (60) of the total Senate is required to waive certain Gramm-Rudman requirements.

    1. Clean Water Act Reauthorization

    HR 1 Passage, over President Reagan's Jan. 30 veto, of the bill to amend and reauthorize the Clean Water Act of 1972 authorizing $18 billion through fiscal 1994 in federal aid to state and local governments for construction of sewage treatment plants and more than $2.14 billion for other water pollution control programs. Passed 401-26: R 147-26; D 254-0 (ND 170-0, SD 84-0), Feb. 3, 1987. A two-thirds majority of those present and voting (285 in this case) of both houses is required to override a veto. A “nay” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    2. Speed Limit/Omnibus Highway Reauthorization

    H Con Res 77/HR Adoption of the concurrent resolution to make a correction in the enrollment of the bill, HR 2, to allow states to raise the speed limit to 65 mph on Interstate highways located outside urbanized areas of 50,000 population or more. Adopted 217-206: R 125-50; D 92-156 (ND 45-121, SD 47-35), March 18, 1987.

    3. Fiscal 1988 Budget Resolution

    H Con Res 93 Gray, D-Pa., substitute to set fiscal 1988 budget totals as follows: new budget authority, $1.142 trillion; outlays, $1.039 trillion; revenues, $930.9 billion; deficit, $107.6 billion. Adopted 230-192: R 0-173; D 230-19 (ND 159-10, SD 71-9), April 9, 1987. A “nay” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    4. Fiscal 1987 Supplemental Appropriations/Across-the-Board Cut

    HR 1827 MacKay, D-Fla., amendment to reduce discretionary budget authority by an across-the-board cut of 21 percent in order to keep total appropriations within the ceiling set by the 1987 budget resolution. Adopted 263-123: R 121-39; D 142-84 (ND 82-69, SD 60-15), April 23, 1987.

    5. Omnibus Trade Bill/Gephardt Amendment

    HR 3 Gephardt, D-Mo., amendment to require identification of countries with excess trade surpluses with the United States and quantify the extent to which unfair trade practices contribute to that surplus, to mandate negotiations to eliminate those unfair trade practices, and, if negotiations fail or an agreement is not fully implemented, to mandate imposition of tariffs or quotas to yield annual 10 percent reductions in that country's trade surplus. Adopted 218-214: R 17-159; D 201-55 (ND 137-34, SD 64-21), April 29, 1987. A “nay” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    6. FSLIC Rescue

    HR 27 St Germain, D-R.I., amendment to increase the bill's $5 billion, two-year recapitalization borrowing authority to $15 billion over five years. Rejected 153-258: R 72-98; D 81-160 (ND 62-99, SD 19-61), May 5, 1987. A “yea” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    7. Fiscal 1988–89 Defense Authorization/Nuclear Testing

    HR 1748 Schroeder, D-Colo., amendment to bar nuclear test explosions larger than one kiloton provided the Soviet Union observes the same limitation. Adopted 234-187: R 26-147; D 208-40 (ND 160-9, SD 48-31), May 19, 1987. A “nay” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    8. Coast Guard Authorization/Reflagging Kuwaiti Ships

    HR 2342 Lowry, D-Wash., amendment to delay until 90 days after enactment the registration under U.S. ownership of any ships owned by Kuwait. Adopted 222-184: R 22-146; D 200-38 (ND 149-12, SD 51-26), July 8, 1987. A “nay” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    9. Fiscal 1988 Transportation Appropriations/In-Flight Smoking

    HR 2890 Durbin, D-Ill., amendment to deny federal grants to any airport that permits any airline to provide service between its facilities and any other airport with an aircraft scheduled to be in the air for two hours or less on which smoking is permitted. Adopted 198-193: R 74-91; D 124-102 (ND 102-48, SD 22-54), July 13,1987.

    10. Catastrophic Health Insurance Bill

    HR 2470 Michel, R-Ill., amendment to substitute the text of HR 2970, which would expand the Medicare program to protect beneficiaries from catastrophic medical expenses in a more limited way than would HR 2470. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that over five years the Michel bill would cost about $18.2 billion, while HR 2470 would cost $33,9 billion. Rejected 190-242: R 175-1; D 15-241 (ND 5-167, SD 10-74), July 22, 1987.

    11. Price-Anderson Amendments

    HR 1414 Sikorski, D-Minn., amendment to prohibit courts from awarding legal costs for any party from the Price-Anderson funds if it would jeopardize compensation of victims of a nuclear accident. Rejected 183-230: R 24-145; D 159-85 (ND 138-28, SD 21-57), July 30, 1987. A “nay” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    12. Independent Counsel Law

    HR 2939 Shaw, R-Fla., substitute to reauthorize through the end of 1988 the current independent counsel law providing for court-appointed special prosecutors to investigate allegations of misconduct by high-level executive-branch officials. Rejected 171-245: R 165-10; D 6-235 (ND 3-163, SD 3-72), Oct. 21, 1987.

    13. Fiscal 1988 Budget Reconciliation

    HR 3545 Passage of the bill to raise $11.9 billion in revenues and make spending cuts in accordance with the fiscal 1988 budget resolution (H Con Res 93). Passed 206-205: R 1-164; D 205-41 (ND 143-21, SD 62-20), Oct. 29, 1987. A “nay” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    14. Fiscal 1988 Continuing Appropriations/Clean Air

    H J Res 395 Murtha, D-Pa., substitute to the Conte, R-Mass., amendment, to postpone economic sanctions against areas that fail to meet pollution standards of the Clean Air Act from Dec. 31, 1987, until July 31, 1989. Rejected 162-257: R 72-99; D 90-158 (ND 45-124, SD 45-34), Dec. 3, 1987.

    15. Welfare Reform

    HR 1720 Adoption of the rule (H Res 331) to provide for House floor consideration of the bill to convert Aid to Families with Dependent Children into a national program of education, training and work to help welfare recipients gain permanent private-sector jobs. Adopted 213-206: R 0-170; D 213-36 (ND 155-12, SD 58-24), Dec. 15, 1987.


    1988 Key Votes

    1. Campaign Finance

    Senate Democrats failed to break a Republican-led filibuster against legislation (S 2) overhauling campaign finance laws, despite a record-setting eight attempts to invoke cloture. But the measure, which had become practically an idée fixe for Majority Leader Robert c. Byrd of West Virginia, was pushed harder and farther than any other campaign finance bill in years.

    It was pulled from the floor only after Byrd resorted to a game of parliamentary hardball that provoked one of the most bitter displays of partisanship in the 100th Congress. The battle set a tone of confrontation between the parties that persisted through much of 1988.

    Having failed seven times to cut off the GOP filibuster in 1987, Byrd resurrected the campaign finance measure, which would have limited campaign spending and the role of political action committees, as one of the first major bills to be debated in 1988. Determined to wear down the opposition and heighten public awareness of the problems of the current system, Byrd kept the Senate in session round-the-clock for three days in February. When Republicans boycotted a midnight quorum call, Byrd dusted off a rarely used disciplinary tool and had the Senate vote to order the arrest of absent senators. Bob Packwood, R-Ore., was arrested by the sergeant-at-arms and carried onto the Senate floor feet-first.

    The uproar surrounding such tactics largely overshadowed substantive debate on the bill. In the end, S 2 proponents fell seven votes shy of the 60 needed to cut off a filibuster. The Feb. 26 vote on the final motion to invoke cloture was 53-41: R 3-39; D 50-2 (ND 35-0, SD 15-2).

    The debate dramatized the growing frustration members of both parties felt with the unending fund-raising demands they faced under the existing system. But the vote laid bare a schism between Republicans and Democrats over what was needed to be done. Democrats insisted that the key lay in limits on campaign spending. S 2 would have provided financial incentives to senatorial candidates who agreed to abide by such limits, which would be set on a state-by-state basis. But such limits were anathema to Republicans, who maintained that a spending cap would hurt challengers and cement Democrats' current grip on both chambers. The GOP proposed an alternative that included new limits on the sort of in-kind contributions (e.g., union telephone banks) that Democrats relied on more than Republicans.

    Despite the partisan divisions, there was some movement toward consensus on other issues, including limits on the role of political action committees and reductions in the cost of television campaign advertising.

    2. Covert Operations

    A law in effect since 1980 said the president must notify Congress about covert actions overseas. But in 1985–86, when President Reagan authorized secret arms sales to Iran, he used legal loopholes to keep Congress in the dark.

    One of the major recommendations of the special Iran-contra committees in 1987 was that Congress eliminate any possibility that the president could conduct covert operations without telling at least a few congressional leaders. Consequently, key members of the House and Senate Intelligence committees drafted legislation (HR 3822, S 1721) requiring the president to tell Congress in advance about all covert operations. The bills would have allowed the president to delay notice in emergencies — but in no event for more than 48 hours.

    The Senate Intelligence Committee approved S 1721 on Jan. 27, after making modifications to satisfy most Republicans, and the full Senate passed the measure on March 15 by an overwhelming 71-19 vote: R 26-17; D 45-2 (ND 31-2, SD 14-0).

    However, the bill later died in the House, despite winning approval from the Foreign Affairs and Intelligence committees. House Republicans refused to join their Senate colleagues in supporting the bill, and the Democratic leadership dropped it in September following a partisan controversy over allegations that House Speaker Jim Wright, D-Texas, had disclosed classified information about CIA operations in Nicaragua.

    3. Nuclear Accidents

    The nuclear industry won a major test of its influence on Capitol Hill when the Senate March 18 rejected an effort to make Energy Department contractors liable for accidents caused by their own gross negligence.

    The Senate at the time was considering a bill (HR 1414) to renew the 1957 Price-Anderson Act, which limited the liability of commercial nuclear power companies for damages caused in a nuclear accident and provided for partial compensation of victims.

    The act also authorized the Department of Energy (DOE) to indemnify (shield from liability) the contractors in its far-flung, multibillion-dollar enterprise devoted primarily to production of nuclear materials and weapons. If the contractor's actions caused a release of radioactivity that injured someone, the federal government assumed responsibility for compensating the victims. Damages above a certain limit, which the bill raised from $500 million to $7.4 billion, would not be compensated.

    Howard M. Metzenbaum, D-Ohio, voiced concerns that the arrangement took away any incentive contractors could have to operate safely. He offered a Senate floor amendment aimed at increasing contractor accountability. After the government had paid victims of a DOE-contractor accident, Metzenbaum wanted to require the government to sue the contractor to recover its costs, if the accident resulted from the contractor's gross negligence or willful misconduct. Environmental and consumer groups supported his amendment.

    But Metzenbaum's amendment was opposed by the nuclear industry and by Energy Committee Chairman J. Bennett Johnston, D-La. Johnston argued that because the government owned, regulated and managed the weapons-production plants, the government should be held accountable rather than the contractors.

    When Johnston on March 16 moved to table (kill) Metzenbaum's amendment, the Senate agreed 53-41: R 35-10; D 18-31 (ND 7-26, SD 11-5). President Reagan ultimately signed the measure into law Aug. 20 as PL 100-408.

    4. Civil Rights Restoration

    After the Senate forced an abortion compromise into a major civil rights bill, Congress in March first cleared the measure and then overrode President Reagan's veto of it. The new law (S 557 — PL 100-259) overturned a controversial 1984 Supreme Court decision and restored broad coverage of four civil rights laws.

    The final outcome was not unexpected. The bill had passed both chambers by overwhelming margins, and relatively few members switched sides in the veto showdown. The Senate went first, voting on March 22 to override the veto by 73-24: R 21-24; D 52-0 (ND 35-0, SD 17-0). The margin was eight more than the two-thirds vote needed.

    Eight Republicans who had voted for the bill when the Senate passed it Jan. 28 voted to sustain Reagan's March 16 veto. But supporters of the bill overcame that loss by picking up the votes of seven senators who had been absent when the Senate first passed S 557.

    The law that resulted from the veto override overturned the high court's ruling in Grove City College v. Bell. In that case, the court ruled that Title IX of the 1972 Education Act Amendments applied only to the specific “program or activity” of an institution receiving federal aid and not to the entire institution.

    Title IX barred discrimination on the basis of sex. But the court's ruling also limited enforcement of three other civil rights laws that barred discrimination on the basis of race, handicap or age in any federally funded “program or activity”: Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the 1975 Age Discrimination Act.

    S 557 made clear that if any part of an entity received federal aid, the entire entity must not discriminate. The law also picked up a provision from Title IX exempting from coverage any “operation of an entity controlled by a religious organization.”

    Civil rights advocates portrayed S 557 as a simple restoration of the four laws as they had been interpreted prior to the Grove City decision. But in his veto message, Reagan contended that the measure was an extraordinary and unwarranted expansion of federal power.

    The most hotly contested section of the bill — and the one that eventually cleared the way for its passage — was a provision specifying that nothing in the measure either prohibited or required any person or entity to provide or pay for services related to abortion. That superseded administrative regulations requiring health benefits for abortions when health benefits were provided for pregnancies. (House key vote 2)

    5. AIDS Policy

    Six years after the disease was first identified in 1981, Congress began to develop policies to deal with the AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) epidemic. Appropriators for several years had provided increasing amounts for research into the disease, whose death toll in the United States was nearly 42,000 as of September 1988. Total funding for fiscal 1989 reached some $1.3 billion.

    But those attempting to set policy on sensitive issues such as testing for the virus that caused AIDS and providing education to those at risk of acquiring the disease — primarily homosexual males and intravenous drug users — found themselves mired in morality debates.

    Public health officials, led by Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, argued that AIDS was a disease that made no moral distinctions. To stem its spread, they were prepared to take such steps as providing explicit “safe sex” information to homosexuals and concealing the identity of those carrying the HIV virus that causes AIDS. But a small cadre of conservatives, led by Jesse Helms, R-N.C., argued that AIDS was as much a moral as a public health problem, and that the rights of the uninfected should take precedence over those of persons who were sick or carrying the virus.

    Helms won several votes during 1988 by crafting the wording of his amendments in such a way that those voting against him would appear to be condoning homosexuality. During the April 28 debate of an AIDS research and education authorization (S 1220) that had been approved unanimously by the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee, Helms offered an amendment virtually identical to one he successfully appended to a fiscal 1988 appropriations bill. It barred use of federal funds for educational materials that “promote or encourage, directly, homosexual sexual activity.”

    Labor Committee Chairman Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., and Lowell P. Weicker Jr., R-Conn., were concerned that the language, already in force via the appropriations bill, was preventing federal funding of needed health information. They had hoped to dilute Helms' amendment to S 1220, but the North Carolinian outmaneuvered them. Helms offered his language as a second-degree amendment to an unrelated amendment offered by Don Nickles, R-Okla., thus preventing further changes. When Kennedy moved to table (kill) the Helms amendment, his motion failed and Helms prevailed 22-73: R 7-36; D 15-37 (ND 13-22, SD 2-15).

    In October, as Congress was pushing to clear an omnibus health bill (S 2889 — PL 100-607) that contained major AIDS policy provisions, the mere threat of a Helms filibuster was enough to force House-Senate negotiators to drop provisions that would have ensured confidentiality of blood-test results. Public health advocates considered such protections vital to encourage at-risk individuals to submit to testing. But Helms contended that those who live or work with people infected with the HIV virus have a right to know if someone close to them tests positive. Once more, he prevailed.

    6. Strategic Defense Initiative

    The key Senate battle in 1988 over the strategic defense initiative (SDI), Reagan's program to develop a nationwide anti-missile shield, occurred over whether to cut the president's $4.9 billion budget request to $4.5 billion or $3.8 billion.

    During debate in May over the fiscal 1989 defense authorization bill (HR 4264, S 2355), the Armed Services Committee, chaired by Sam Nunn, D-Ga., had recommended the higher amount to counterbalance a $3.5 billion SDI authorization approved by the House. In the Senate-House conference, Nunn argued that the time-honored practice of “splitting the difference” on disputed programs would result in an SDI authorization of about $4.1 billion, a slight increase above the fiscal 1988 SDI budget after an allowance for inflation was counted.

    Nunn and his allies favored such a slight “real” increase in SDI funding, partly on grounds that it would provide bargaining leverage in arms control negotiations with the Soviet Union.

    But J. Bennett Johnston, D-La., who had emerged as the Senate's most influential SDI skeptic, proposed an amendment that would have had the effect of slicing $700 million from the $4.5 billion Nunn and his panel recommended. Johnston's amendment would have transferred $700 million from SDI to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), to reimburse the space agency for a share of the cost of building a new space shuttle orbiter to replace the Challenger, destroyed by an explosion Jan. 28, 1986.

    On May 11, a motion to table (kill) Johnston's amendment was adopted 50-46. But immediately, Johnston blocked a normally routine procedural motion that would have killed his amendment once and for all, defeating the maneuver 47-50.

    On a key third vote, which Johnston had to win to resuscitate his amendment, the Senate confirmed its initial vote against his amendment, defeating Johnston by the closest margin of the day. The vote was 48-50: R 6-39; D 42-11 (ND 30-5, SD 12-6).

    7. SALT II Limits

    The Senate in May rejected an amendment aimed at keeping the U.S. strategic arsenal roughly in compliance with provisions of the unratified 1979 U.S.-Soviet strategic arms limitation treaty (SALT II).

    At issue were provisions of the treaty allowing each country to have no more than:

    • 820 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) equipped with multiple warheads known as MIRVs.
    • 1,200 MIRVed ballistic missiles, including ICBMs and submarine-launched missiles.
    • 1,320 MIRVed ballistic missiles, plus strategic bombers equipped with long-range cruise missiles.

    The United States had informally observed those limits until late 1986, when Reagan dropped that policy, saying that the Soviets were violating SALT II and other arms control accords.

    In 1987, Congress had added to the annual defense authorization bill a provision that made no explicit reference to SALT II, but mandated the retirement of an aging missile submarine. This had the effect of offsetting most planned deployments of new weapons, thus minimizing the extent to which the U.S. arsenal outran the SALT II limits.

    In 1988, Dale Bumpers, D-Ark., who had pushed the successful 1987 amendment, offered an amendment to the annual defense bill (HR 4264, S 2355) that would have barred the United States from deploying more weapons in any of the three SALT II categories than it had deployed on Jan. 25, 1988. That was the date Reagan transmitted to the Senate the U.S.-Soviet treaty banning intermediate-range nuclear-force (INF) missiles.

    Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sam Nunn, D-Ga., who had supported Bumpers' 1987 amendment, opposed the 1988 version, arguing that it would freeze in place the Soviet Union's current advantage in the number of MIRVed ICBMs. Bumpers pointed out that the Pentagon planned no additional ICBM deployments for at least three years, but Nunn objected to the symbolic impact of establishing a lower ICBM ceiling for the United States than for the Soviet Union.

    Bumpers' amendment was tabled (killed) by a vote of 51-45: R 39-5; D 12-40 (ND 3-32, SD 9-8), May 11, 1988.

    8. INF Treaty Limits

    Senate approval of the U.S.-Soviet treaty banning intermediate-range nuclear-force (INF) missiles was a foregone conclusion even before the pact was signed by President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev in December 1987.

    The treaty (Treaty Doc 100-11) was extremely popular with the U.S. public, a broad, bipartisan spectrum of Congress and major U.S. allies. It was energetically supported by the most hawkish president of modern times. And it incorporated dramatic new departures in U.S.-Soviet arms control dealings, such as elaborate provisions for each country's officials to inspect the other's missile facilities.

    In that political context, most defense specialists from the political right and center, though dubious about the treaty's merits, concluded that derailing it would cause more damage to the NATO alliance than it would be worth.

    But some of those conservatives, led by Sens. Dan Quayle, R-Ind., and Ernest F. Hollings, D-S.C., tried to narrow the scope of the INF ban to allow for future kinds of weapons they insisted would be needed to offset the numerical advantages of the conventional forces fielded against NATO by the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact.

    The closest test of Senate sentiment on this issue came on a Hollings amendment that would have exempted from the treaty ban INF-range ground-launched cruise missiles armed with non-nuclear warheads. The Reagan negotiating team had banned all ground-launched missiles of INF range for fear that senators would believe it too difficult to verify a ban that exempted non-nuclear armed versions.

    Hollings' amendment was rejected on May 25 by a vote of 28-69: R 18-28; D 10-41 (ND 3-32, SD 7-9).

    9. INF Treaty Interpretation

    The most heated fight in the Senate debate on the intermediate-range nuclear-force (INF) missile treaty (Treaty Doc 100-11) actually related to a battle between Senate Democrats and the Reagan administration over another treaty altogether.

    The principle at issue was whether the Senate could bind future administrations to the interpretation of the treaty presented by the Reagan administration to the Senate. That constitutional question had surfaced with a vengeance in the course of a lengthy battle over the Reagan administration's contention in 1985 that the 1972 U.S.-Soviet treaty limiting anti-ballistic missile (ABM) weapons was substantially less restrictive than had been thought for the preceding 13 years.

    The more permissive interpretation proposed by the administration would have permitted tests in space of ABM weapons developed under the strategic defense initiative (SDI) — tests that would have been illegal under the traditional interpretation of the 1972 pact.

    Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sam Nunn, D-Ga., and other Democrats insisted that executive branch officials had expressed the traditional interpretation during Senate hearings on the treaty in 1972, a point disputed by President Reagan and his allies.

    On May 26, the Senate adopted 72-27 an amendment to the resolution approving the INF treaty stipulating that neither the current president nor any future president could depart from any interpretation of the treaty that had been officially presented to the Senate.

    The key vote in this fight came the following day on an amendment by Arlen Specter, R-Pa., that was intended to nullify the earlier amendment. Specter's proposal was tabled (killed) 64-33: R 13-33; D 51-0 (ND 33-0, SD 18-0), May 27, 1988.

    10. Omnibus Trade Bill

    By highlighting little-noticed provisions of omnibus trade legislation (HR 3) designed to stiffen the U.S. response to unfair trading practices of other nations, administration lobbying corralled enough GOP votes in the Senate June 8 to sustain the president's veto of the bill.

    The tactic somewhat diffused attention to a controversial plant-closing notice requirement, which was seen as the primary reason that President Reagan vetoed the bill. Democrats had discovered that the provision, which required employers to give workers 60 days' notice of plant closings or mass layoffs, was playing very well with voters. They seized upon the issue to amplify their argument that GOP economic policies benefited the well-to-do at the expense of working Americans. For the record, GOP leaders said they were not worried about opposing the notice requirement, or seeming to sacrifice the huge trade bill to it. But a number of Republicans were clearly anxious to go on record for the notice requirement, and to save the trade measure.

    When the vetoed bill returned to the Senate floor after a successful House override vote, some Republicans began saying they planned to oppose it because of a reaffirmation of existing restraints on exports of Alaskan oil, and because of another section permitting a temporary exemption for duty-free imports of Caribbean ethanol that hadn't been fully processed in the islands. Both provisions had been mentioned in Reagan's veto message, but neither had excited much visible opposition before the bill was vetoed.

    The June 8 override vote of 61-37 fell five short of the two-thirds majority needed: R 10-35; D 51-2 (ND 33-2, SD 18-0).

    Two Democrats voted to sustain the veto. One, William Proxmire, Wis., objected to the bill's revisions of rules against business-related bribery abroad by U.S. firms. The second, Majority Leader Robert c. Byrd, D-W.Va., voted “no” as a parliamentary maneuver, which reserved to him the right to move for another Senate vote on the vetoed bill later in the year.

    The threat of reviving the vetoed trade bill was meant to spur action on a second version, which was ultimately enacted (HR 4848 — PL 100-418) without the controversial plant-closing notice requirement that also became law separately (S 2527 — PL 100-379). (House key vote 7)

    11. Catastrophic Health Insurance

    The Senate June 8 cleared for the president historic legislation to expand Medicare to shield its 33 million beneficiaries from catastrophic costs due to acute illness or injury. The final vote of 86-11 was overshadowed, however, by a House vote the same day to spurn an opportunity to address a far more pervasive source of medical-cost catastrophe: long-term care for chronic conditions.

    Ironically, many of the 11 senators — all Republicans — who voted against approval of the conference report on the catastrophic insurance bill (HR 2470 — PL 100-360) said they did so because the measure was too expensive and failed to address the long-term care problem. Sponsors agreed that the long-term care problem was a serious one, but they said budget constraints and a lack of consensus on how to address the issue made the catastrophic insurance bill more practical in the short term.

    HR 2470 did plug some major gaps opened in the Medicare program since its creation in 1965. Health-care inflation by 1987 had left most Medicare beneficiaries spending a larger percentage of their income on medical costs than they did before Medicare was enacted. The catastrophic costs bill put a cap on the amount any beneficiary would have to pay for hospital care, doctor bills, lab fees and other expenses covered by Medicare.

    The bill also instituted the program's first broad coverage for outpatient prescription drugs and sought to ameliorate the situation in which one member of a couple would become impoverished in order for the federal-state Medicaid program to pay the costs of nursing home care for the other spouse.

    Final action came by an 86-11 vote on June 8: R 34-11; D 52-0 (ND 35-0, SD 17-0). (House key vote 8)

    12. Death Penalty

    To show that Congress was eager to get tough on crime, the Senate by more than a 2-1 margin June 10 passed legislation authorizing the death penalty for drug traffickers who killed during the course of a drug transaction.

    The vote on the bill (S 2455), sponsored by Alfonse M. D'Amato, R-N.Y., was 65-29: R 37-6; D 28-23 (ND 15-19, SD 13-4).

    The Senate had passed a more sweeping death penalty bill in 1984, but the measure went nowhere in the House. In 1988, however, a provision similar to the D'Amato bill was enacted into law in October as part of an omnibus anti-drug bill (HR 5210 — PL 100-690). Passage of the separate death penalty bill in June was an important step. When a Senate task force drafted its version of HR 5210, its members decided to include the death penalty provision, citing the overwhelming June vote. No one wanted to force proponents of the provision to offer it as a floor amendment, using up precious late-session time, when it was certain to be put into the drug bill in the end.

    In 1986, Senate opponents of capital punishment were able to keep a death penalty out of that year's big anti-drug bill. But Vice President George Bush's continued attacks on Democratic presidential nominee Michael S. Dukakis, a death penalty opponent, for being soft on crime left few in Congress eager to invite the same criticism. (House key vote 15)

    13. Welfare Overhaul

    Senate approval of an amendment by Minority Leader Robert Dole, R-Kan., to create the first-ever federal work requirement for some welfare recipients was arguably the turning point in the 100th Congress' two-year effort to overhaul the welfare system. The amendment turned out to be the single provision that President Reagan demanded before he would sign the bill (HR 1720) into law (PL 100-485).

    It was Reagan who put welfare reform on the congressional agenda in the first place in 1986, calling for such legislation in his State of the Union address that year. But the $7 billion bill approved by the House in December 1987 was vehemently opposed by the administration as too expensive and too generous to welfare recipients. Administration officials were somewhat more sympathetic to the $2.8 billion bipartisan measure that emerged from the Senate Finance Committee in April 1988, but even that bill had a veto threat hanging over it as it came to the Senate floor.

    Democratic sponsors, including Finance Chairman Lloyd Bentsen, Texas, and Daniel Patrick Moynihan, N.Y., negotiated furiously with administration officials the week of June 12, but to no avail. They then set about negotiating with Republican holdouts on the Finance Committee, with the result being Dole's amendment to require one parent in two-parent welfare families to “work off” their welfare grant for at least 16 hours each week the family received benefits.

    The amendment was opposed by liberals, who said it was punitive, as well as by many of the nation's governors, who argued that two-parent families were the wrong group on which to target the scarce resources the new bill would make available. Because two-parent families must have extensive prior work experience in order to qualify for aid, the governors said, they would benefit little from unpaid community work programs that are designed to give experience to those who have worked little or not at all.

    But Dole and others argued that there was virtually no chance that Reagan would sign a welfare bill without the amendment, and even less prospect of overriding a veto on such a politically distasteful issue as welfare.

    Moynihan's motion to table (kill) Dole's amendment was rejected June 16 by 41-54: R 3-40; D 38-14 (ND 27-7, SD 11-7). (House key vote 12)

    14. UDAG vs. NASA

    For seven years, President Reagan railed against urban development action grants (UDAGs) as the epitome of wasteful government largess.

    But the program thrived, steadfastly protected by a Congress loath to kill anything that produced bacon for the folks back home. Under orders from Capitol Hill, Reagan's administration had handed out roughly $3.5 billion in UDAGs since he took office.

    On July 12, the death knell finally sounded. “We stand looking over the grave,” lamented John Heinz, R-Pa. Backed against a wall, the Senate overwhelmingly rejected a Heinz amendment to shift $30 million, a relative pittance, from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to give UDAGs at least the appearance of life. The decision had little to do with Reagan's persuasiveness and much to do with budget realities and politics.

    The budget summit agreement of 1987 had capped domestic spending and prohibited raids on defense funds. That made it difficult for appropriators to pay for everything they wanted in the HUD-independent agencies spending bill (HR 4800 — PL 100-404), which also included NASA, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Veterans Administration. The chief problem: The space program's ambitious goals required a hefty funding increase.

    Something had to go, so UDAG was offered as the sacrificial lamb to the lame-duck president.

    By 1988, the oft-criticized program was a weakened target. Created in 1978 under President Carter, it was designed to encourage private investment in distressed urban areas. Federal money would spur projects that otherwise would not be built. To date, the government's $4.6 billion investment has been matched by some $30 billion in private money to build nearly 3,000 developments, which in turn provided nearly 600,000 jobs.

    But the program was vulnerable on several fronts. It was meant to help the poor, but it produced many upscale projects that were easy targets for critics: fancy hotels, marinas, ritzy malls, ski resorts and corporate headquarters. Further, fewer than 60 percent of the jobs went to moderate- and low-income people. And there was significant debate over whether those jobs were “new” or just shifted from somewhere else.

    UDAG's biggest political weakness was the formula under which the grants were awarded. The program, intended to aid blighted areas, favored areas with older housing. The result: The industrialized Northeast got most of the money.

    Ironically, changes intended to spread the money out and widen the program's support base eventually quickened its demise. Under prodding from UDAG-poor states, Congress in 1987 decided to set aside 35 percent of the money for projects judged without regard to economic considerations, giving Southern and Western states a better shot.

    That done, however, traditional UDAG supporters on the House Appropriations Committee — including subcommittee Chairman Edward P. Boland, D-Mass., and ranking Republican Bill Green, N.Y. — had a good excuse to abandon it. Although most hard-core supporters in the Senate refused to jump ship, the populous Northeast had no numerical advantage in that chamber, so Heinz' amendment didn't have a chance — despite scattered support from the South and West. The vote was 34-63: R 9-36; D 25-27 (ND 21-14, SD 4-13).

    Supporters argued that UDAG would be impossible to revive with no new money, even though there might have been leftover HUD funds, from previous appropriations, to hand out — estimated at $50 million worth. “Table scraps,” Heinz sniffed. (House key vote 9)

    15. Contra Aid

    Ever since 1983, contra aid had been one of the most divisive issues on Capitol Hill. But it had rarely been a strictly party-line issue. In both chambers, significant minorities of Democrats had supported President Reagan's requests for aid to the Nicaraguan guerrillas, and smaller minorities of Republicans had opposed the president.

    After the collapse in July of peace talks between the contras and the leftist Nicaraguan government, Senate leaders sought to craft a broadly supported, bipartisan measure on the contra-aid issue. They almost succeeded during two weeks of closed-door negotiations.

    With the active participation of White House officials, leading Democrats and Republicans developed a compromise plan approving a renewed dose of non-military aid for the contras and establishing a procedure for the president to ask Congress for permission to give the contras some $16.5 million in military supplies that had been warehoused in Honduras.

    But at the last minute, as the Senate was about to debate the issue on Aug. 10, the White House and staunch contra-aid backers in the Senate refused to support the aid plan. They complained that it did nothing to give the contras immediate military aid, and they insisted that Democrats were merely trying to sweep aside contra aid as an embarrassing political issue.

    In a burst of partisan acrimony, the Senate approved the aid plan as an amendment to the fiscal 1989 defense appropriations bill (HR 4781). The vote was 49-47: R 0-43; D 49-4 (ND 31-4, SD 18-0). The four Democrats who opposed the plan said they could never support contra aid in any form.

    The House later accepted the Senate provision, and it was included in the fiscal 1989 defense appropriations bill (PL 100-463) sent to Reagan on Sept. 30. (House key vote 1)

    16. Minimum Wage

    After a year of bitter partisan wrangling over labor-backed issues, Senate Democrats Sept. 23 failed to overcome Republican delaying tactics on a bill (S 837) raising the minimum wage from its current $3.35 an hour to $4.55 over three years.

    When the party-line vote fell four votes short of the 60 needed to limit debate, Majority Leader Robert c. Byrd, D-W.Va., abruptly pulled the measure from the floor and castigated Republicans for “delaying economic justice for millions of Americans.” For the second time in as many days, the Senate had failed to invoke cloture — this time, by a vote of 56-35: R 8-32; D 48-3 (ND 34-1, SD 14-2).

    Only eight moderate Republicans, including four up for re-election in 1988, voted to cut off the GOP filibuster: John H. Chafee, R.I.; Mark O. Hatfield, Ore.; John Heinz, Pa.; Bob Packwood, Ore.; William V. Roth Jr., Del.; Arlen Specter, Pa.; Robert T. Stafford, Vt.; and Lowell P. Weicker Jr., Conn.

    Three conservative Democrats defected from their party's ranks, voting against cloture: David L. Boren, Okla.; J. James Exon, Neb.; and Richard C. Shelby, Ala.

    The wage measure, earlier stalled in both chambers for a lack of votes, was brought to the floor in the last weeks of the congressional session to capitalize on GOP presidential candidate George Bush's indication that he would support a modest increase in the minimum wage. But Bush's “election-year conversion” did little to soften Republican opposition to the wage bill.

    In fact, some GOP votes against cloture were more a protest against Democratic political strategy than a reflection of opposition to the measure itself. The Democrats had waited until the end of the session to bring up a parade of last-minute social legislation, including the minimum-wage bill, child-care and parental leave measures, which they wanted to highlight before the Nov. 8 elections.

    And the time pressure to complete action on the bill, combined with Byrd's habit of immediately filing cloture on controversial measures to prevent or limit members from offering their alternatives, only exacerbated the gulf between Democrats and Republicans on the wage issue.

    The cloture vote also could have been a litmus test for many of the “labor agenda” issues debated in 1988.

    In March, a bill (S 79) requiring employers to notify their workers of on-the-job health hazards was derailed by a GOP filibuster after four attempts to cut off debate fell short. At the time, Dan Quayle, R-Ind., confidently predicted that S 79's fate would “make it more difficult to get the so-called labor agenda through Congress.”

    And right after the minimum-wage fiasco, Senate Democrats pressed a bill (S 2488) combining child-care provisions with a requirement that all but the smallest businesses provide unpaid, job-protected leave for parents of newborn or ill children. But that, too, was foiled by GOP delaying tactics. Unable to cut off debate, Byrd pulled the parental leave bill from the Senate floor.

    On all three bills, the party-line cloture votes underscored the ideological chasm on key labor issues. While Democrats sought to require employers to provide better benefits for their workers, Republicans fought to preserve an employer's right to run his business without government interference.

    1. Contra Aid

    Contra aid was a major political issue all through 1988, and President Reagan repeatedly attacked Congress for its unwillingness to provide military backing for the Nicaraguan guerrillas. But Reagan himself sent Congress only one request for aid to the contras during all of 1987: In January, he sought $36.25 million, for military aid.

    The House on Feb. 3 rejected that request on a narrow vote of 211-219: R 164-12; D 47-207 (ND 6-166, SD 41-41). The margin was typical for contra aid votes in the House, demonstrating the deep divisions on the issue both on Capitol Hill and in the country at large.

    Reagan submitted no more requests during the remainder of 1988 and instead allowed Congress to take the lead on the issue. Congress approved a stopgap dose of nonmilitary aid to the contras in late March, following the signing of a cease-fire agreement by the contras and the Nicaraguan government.

    And in July and August, the Senate agreed to allow additional non-military aid through March 1989. That amendment, providing $27.1 million in food and other supplies, was enacted into law as part of the fiscal 1989 defense appropriations bill (HR 4781 — PL 100-463). (Senate key vote 15)

    2. Civil Rights Restoration

    Congress handed President Reagan a sharp, but not unexpected, blow when the Senate and House overrode his veto of legislation that restored broad coverage of four civil rights laws (S 557).

    The measure had passed both chambers by veto-proof margins, the result of four years of negotiations to overturn a 1984 Supreme Court decision that had restricted the reach of the anti-bias laws.

    The final chapter in the long saga came March 22, when the House voted 292-133 to override the veto: R 52-123; D 240-10 (ND 167-1, SD 73-9). The tally was eight more than the required two-thirds majority of those present and voting. A few hours earlier, the Senate had voted 73-24 to override the president — eight votes more than required. (Senate key vote 4)

    The law enacted over Reagan's veto (PL 100-259) overturned the high court's ruling in Grove City College v. Bell. In that case, the justices held that Title IX of the 1972 Education Act Amendments applied only to the specific “program or activity” of an institution receiving federal aid and not to the entire institution.

    Title IX barred discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs. Because three other laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, age or handicap carried the same “program or activity” language, their enforcement was also restricted.

    The new law made clear that if one part of an entity received federal aid, the entire entity must not discriminate. The law also picked up a provision from Title IX exempting from coverage any “operation of an entity controlled by a religious organization.”

    The most hotly contested section of the law — and the one that eventually cleared the way for its passage — was a provision specifying that nothing in the measure either prohibited or required any person or entity to provide or pay for services related to abortion. That superseded administrative regulations requiring health benefits for abortions when health benefits were provided for pregnancies.

    Civil rights advocates portrayed the new law as a simple restoration of legal interpretations in force prior to the Grove City decision. But in his veto message, Reagan 'contended that the measure was an extraordinary and unwarranted expansion of federal power.

    3. Fiscal 1989 Budget Resolution

    An unprecedented show of support from both Democrats and Republicans swept a $1.1 trillion budget through the House March 23, offering the first clear signal that congressional fiscal policy would not be contentious in the election year.

    Presented with a delicately crafted document designed to appeal to many interests, the House responded with an overwhelming vote of 319-102: R 92-78; D 227-24 (ND 152-17, SD 75-7).

    The unusually quiet floor action followed two weeks of even more unusual working harmony within the House Budget Committee, which in previous years had been known for its partisan divisions and rancor.

    The fiscal 1989 budget resolution (H Con Res 268) called for no new taxes and, other than a prearranged deal with President Reagan on defense slowdowns, asked no important constituencies to take big cuts in spending. At the same time, the budget appeared to conform with the $136 billion deficit target set by the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings law.

    The budget was largely a reconfirmation of a two-year bargain sealed during a November 1987 “summit” between the Reagan White House and bipartisan leaders of Congress. The summit accord set hard numbers for three categories of federal spending — defense, international affairs and domestic programs. That left the Budget Committee with the relatively inconsequential task of setting priorities among the various discretionary domestic spending programs.

    Nevertheless, the process of crafting a budget resolution had important political consequences for the House Democratic leadership, which wanted to show it could produce a bipartisan agreement early in 1988. Early adoption of the budget cleared the way for the Appropriations Committee to begin marking up the 13 regular spending bills for fiscal 1989. And even though House and Senate Budget panels later bogged down over their differing versions of the budget, the appropriators were able to move their bills quickly through both chambers.

    As a result, Congress managed to clear all 13 bills before the Oct. 1 start of the new fiscal year, a feat not achieved since 1976. It thus avoided the need for a catchall spending bill, or “continuing resolution,” which had been used to keep the government operating for fiscal years 1986, 1987 and 1988.

    4. Plant Closings

    The notion that businesses should be required to warn their employees in advance of plant closings or mass layoffs became politically hot in 1988, after languishing in Congress for more than a decade. A first signal that the requirement could become law over the strong objections of President Reagan came April 21, when House Republicans forced a procedural vote on whether to strip the controversial requirement from omnibus trade legislation (HR 3).

    With Reagan threatening to veto the big trade bill unless the plant-closing language was removed, GOP leaders hoped to show that they had enough allies among conservative Democrats to sustain the veto. But the plan backfired when Southern Democrats, generally cool to such labor-backed initiatives, split on the issue. The showdown vote came on a motion by Republican leader Robert H. Michel of Illinois to send the final version of the trade bill back to conference, with instructions to drop the notice requirement. The motion was rejected 167-253: R 144-29; D 23-224 (ND 0-168, SD 23-56).

    House Democratic leaders had seized on the easily understood notice requirement, and the president's objections, to symbolize all they thought wrong with GOP economic policies. And the Democrats worked effectively with textile and oil interests to corral votes. The petroleum industry wanted the trade bill passed because another section would repeal the “windfall” tax on certain oil revenues. Their hunger for the tax repeal blunted anti-labor sentiment among Southwestern Democrats, as did textile lobbying among Southeastern Democrats.

    Democratic strategists said later that by creating an extra vote, the GOP had given wavering members a chance to straddle the fence by voting against plant closing on the procedural motion, but for the trade bill — including the notice requirement — on final passage.

    Another version of the trade bill (HR 4848 — PL 100-418) was later enacted without the plant-closing notice requirement, which also became law separately (S 2527 — PL 100-379). (Senate key vote 10)

    5. Nuclear Test Ban

    For the third year in a row, the House added to the annual defense authorization bill (HR 4264, S 2355) an amendment banning all nuclear test explosions with an explosive power greater than 1,000 tons of TNT.

    A test ban long had been a priority goal of grass-roots arms control activists, who saw it as a first step toward a freeze on the testing, production and deployment of all nuclear weapons.

    The test ban had gained powerful momentum in the House in 1986 because the Reagan administration appeared hostile to the very idea of trying to negotiate a comprehensive ban — a goal to which previous administrations had at least paid lip service.

    But after passing the House in 1986 and 1987, despite strong White House opposition, the ban was rejected by the Senate and in the Senate-House conference on the annual defense bill — as happened again in 1988.

    In 1988, the administration won back some of the members who had supported the test ban in 1987, because it was negotiating with the Soviets over modifications in two treaties signed in the mid-1970s but never ratified that would have limited underground nuclear explosions to the explosive power of 150,000 tons of TNT.

    Nevertheless, the House again added the test ban to the defense authorization bill by a vote of 214-186: R 18-148; D 196-38 (ND 151-9, SD 45-29), April 28, 1988.

    6. Strategic Defense Initiative

    The hottest House battle in 1988 over the strategic defense initiative (SDI) — President Reagan's program to develop a nationwide anti-missile shield — focused on administration proposals for an interim anti-missile system designed to intercept only a fraction of the Soviet warheads that could be fired at the United States in an all-out attack.

    Promoted by the administration as the first step toward a comprehensive anti-missile defense, this “phase one” deployment was derided by congressional critics as a militarily insignificant ploy to generate political momentum for SDI.

    The proposed phase-one system would consist of a network of satellites, each carrying dozens of “space-based interceptors” or SBIs — small and relatively inexpensive heat-seeking missiles intended to home in on Soviet missiles in the first few minutes after their launch.

    John M. Spratt Jr., D-S.C., led a small but influential group of centrist Democrats who were intrigued by the possibility of a “thin” anti-missile defense to guard against unauthorized missile launches by a rogue Soviet commander. But Spratt and his allies regarded SBIs as too expensive for their limited effectiveness and too easily nullified by Soviet countermeasures. Moreover, SBIs would violate the 1972 U.S.-Soviet treaty limiting anti-ballistic missile (ABM) weapons, whereas up to 100 ground-based anti-missile rockets could be deployed under the treaty.

    Spratt offered an amendment slicing by nearly three-fourths the $350 million Reagan requested for SBIs. House adoption of Spratt's amendment was one factor cited by Reagan to justify his veto of the first fiscal 1989 defense authorization bill (HR 4264, S 2355), and the amendment was dropped from the second version (HR 4481 — PL 100-456). But initially, the House agreed to the SBI limitation by a vote of 244-174: R 27-146; D 217-28 (ND 163-2, SD 54-26), May 4, 1988.

    7. Omnibus Trade Bill

    The House demonstrated the broad political appeal of requiring employers to warn workers of plant closings and layoffs when it voted May 24 to override President Reagan's veto of a trade bill (HR 3) that included the notice requirement. Other strong factors in the vote were members' determination to salvage the massive trade bill, and the hunger of oil-state members for repeal of the so-called “windfall profits” tax on oil. Repeal was included in the omnibus trade measure.

    The vote to override was 308-113: R 60-112; D 248-1 (ND 167-1, SD 81-0), substantially exceeding the two-thirds majority of members present and voting (281 in this case) required. The lone Democratic “nay” was not from a conservative Southerner, as might have been expected. It was instead cast by Robert J. Mrazek, N.Y., who represented a trade-sensitive district.

    The override attempt ended unsuccessfully when the Senate subsequently failed to muster the necessary two-thirds majority of members present and voting. But congressional leaders subsequently separated the notice requirement from the trade measure and passed both bills a second time. With members of his own party pleading with him not to veto the plant-closing bill (S 2527), lest they suffer the political consequences, Reagan permitted it to become law (PL 100-379) on Aug. 4 without his signature. Reagan signed the modified trade bill (HR 4848 — PL 100-418) on Aug. 23. (Senate key vote 10)

    8. Catastrophic Health Insurance

    Congress successfully completed its top legislative priority in the health realm in June, approving the largest expansion of the federal Medicare program since its inception in 1965. But in the House, the vote on the catastrophic-insurance bill (HR 2470 — PL 100-360) was overshadowed by an impending decision the following week over what was likely to be the 101st Congress' biggest health headache — figuring out how to help the elderly pay the staggering costs of long-term care at home or in nursing homes.

    President Reagan's endorsement of catastrophic health insurance in his 1986 State of the Union message put the issue firmly on the 100th Congress' agenda. But if the measure endorsed by Reagan in February 1987 was a light bulb, then the package approved by Congress was a full-fledged chandelier. The Reagan plan, the brainchild of Otis R. Bowen, secretary of health and human services, was a relatively modest proposal to cap the hospital and doctor's bills that the nation's 33 million Medicare beneficiaries would have to pay annually. HR 2470 did that — and a whole lot more. Among other things, it offered the first broad Medicare coverage for outpatient prescription drugs and for mammography examinations to detect breast cancer in women.

    Tempering the enthusiasm for the bill somewhat was its financing mechanism, a combination of increased premiums for all beneficiaries and a “supplemental premium” — a surtax by another name — that would be charged the estimated 40 percent of beneficiaries with incomes high enough to owe federal income tax. But with Bowen's blessing, and with senior citizens' groups — led by the influential American Association of Retired Persons — firmly behind the bill, the conference report breezed through June 2 on a vote of 328-72: R 98-63; D 230-9 (ND 159-5, SD 71-4).

    Among those who voted “nay,” the most oft-expressed complaint was that the measure did little to help Medicare beneficiaries pay for long-term care. Just six days later, though, the House refused a chance to take up a long-term care measure (HR 3436) championed by Claude Pepper, D-Fla., chairman of the Rules Committee and superhero of the senior citizens' lobby. Members rejected by 169-243 a rule on the bill, which would have raised the Medicare tax to pay for long-term care at home. Although many supported the concept, members were skittish about the measure's estimated cost of some $28 billion over five years. Pepper also faced opposition from the powerful chairmen of the Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce committees, whose panels he had circumvented in seeking to bring HR 3436 to the floor. (Senate key vote 11)

    9. NASA and Housing Aid

    Congress in 1988 resembled a child chafing at the constraints of a strict allowance. Barred from defense-spending cuts by the two-year budget “summit” agreement reached in November 1987, Congress was forced to make tough choices among treasured domestic programs.

    Never was its quandary better defined, nor its discomfort more apparent, than when the House June 22 had to choose between the space program and aid for the homeless and other domestic programs. After a heated debate in which both sides decried the process that led to such a fight, the space agency won by a wide margin. Its victory was due in part to a healthy dose of parochial interests.

    The appropriations bill in question (HR 4800 — PL 100-404) seemed almost designed to prompt emotional disputes over priorities. Lumped in the same money pot with the government's most futuristic endeavors were some of its most noble social goals. The National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) vied against the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Veterans Administration (VA).

    After agreeing in the budget summit to limit domestic spending increases to roughly 2 percent, President Reagan proposed putting nearly all $3.3 billion of the available money into science programs. Many appropriators at first balked, but it quickly became apparent that NASA's ambitious goals — a manned space station and a revitalized shuttle program — required a hefty increase.

    Faced with intense pressure from the administration and Capitol Hill space advocates, the House Appropriations Committee gave NASA a large increase by limiting funding for the 1987 Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act, the EPA and HUD.

    Members of the Banking Committee's Housing Subcommittee led the charge to shift the bill's priorities. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., offered an amendment to shift $400 million from NASA to a variety of programs and causes with wide support: the homeless, veterans, the elderly, EPA grants for construction of sewage-treatment plants and long-treasured Urban Development Action Grants. Although Schumer structured his amendment to protect the bill's nearly $1 billion for the space station, few believed the cut would leave it unscathed.

    The debate featured emotional speeches on the plight of the poor and the promise of space. But in the end, Schumer's amendment was defeated 166-256: R 40-133; D 126-123 (ND 111-58, SD 15-65).

    Its opponents built on a solid block of well over 100 members with state-based or committee-based interests. The Science Committee was nearly unanimously opposed, as were states that got substantial sums from NASA: Texas, Florida, Alabama and Louisiana.

    The vote provided momentum to keep the space station alive through a subsequent conference with the Senate, where the project had been shortchanged. It also gave Democratic space advocates badly needed fodder for a meeting two months later with a top presidential campaign aide to nominee Michael S. Dukakis, who had questioned the need for a manned space station. On Aug. 15 — long after presidential candidate George Bush announced that he was for it — Dukakis followed suit.

    With White House support for a space station thus assured for at least four more years, and actual construction to begin in 1989, it appeared certain that the House's June 22 decision would be hard to reverse. (Senate key vote 14)

    10. Fair Housing and Families

    Congress cleared legislation in August that for the first time protected families with young children and individuals with handicaps from discrimination in housing.

    A critical vote on the issue occurred June 23, when the House refused to delete a provision from the measure (HR 1158 — PL 100-430) that prohibited those who sell or rent homes from discriminating against families.

    The vote was 116-289: R 95-73; D 21-216 (ND 11-150, SD 10-66). A “yea” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    The provision exempted housing for older individuals, defining with some specificity what types of housing complexes could refuse to admit families with minor children. The provision was drafted with the help of senior citizens' organizations, but opponents, led by Rep. E. Clay Shaw Jr., R-Fla., said the section was unworkable and would put an end to senior citizens' housing.

    In addition to its expanded anti-bias protections, HR 1158 created a new mechanism for enforcement of the 1968 Fair Housing Act, as amended. The bill in effect gave both complainants and housing owners a choice of resolving disputes through a new administrative-law-judge procedure within the Department of Housing and Urban Development or going to trial in federal court.

    11. D.C. Funding and Abortions

    On June 28, House members declared that the District of Columbia should not be allowed to use its own money to pay for abortions. That language, part of an amendment restricting the use of federal funds for abortion as well, was added to a fiscal 1989 D.C. appropriations bill (HR 4776 — PL 100-462) by a vote of 222-186: R 138-31; D 84-155 (ND 51-112, SD 33-43).

    The vote opened the floodgates to what became the greatest intrusion on home rule since Congress first granted autonomy to the District in 1973. By the time the funding bill cleared Congress it was laden with congressional directives. For example, the District was given until Sept. 30, 1989, to scrap its requirement that D.C. employees must live in the city. Another provision exempted religious institutions, such as Jesuit-run Georgetown University, from a D.C. law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual preference.

    The vote also sparked a showdown over abortion between Congress and the administration.

    Since 1980, Congress had prohibited the District from using federal funds for abortions except in cases where the mother's life was in danger or the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest. But lawmakers had managed to rebuff the administration's attempts to extend that ban to city funds, defusing veto threats by rolling the D.C. appropriations into massive spending bills, known as continuing resolutions, which included funding for programs desired by the administration.

    In 1988, however, with lawmakers vowing to pass each appropriations bill separately and on time, the D.C. bill had to stand alone. After days of conference negotiations during which lawmakers deadlocked several times over the abortion issue (the House had agreed to restrict city funds; the Senate had not), the House position prevailed.

    President Reagan, aided by an election-year frenzy to be on the “right” side of issues, had defied his lame-duck status and prodded lawmakers to make already strict abortion funding rules even more stringent.

    12. Welfare Overhaul

    An initial display of bipartisanship in the 100th Congress' attempt to overhaul the nation's welfare system broke down by late 1987, when the House passed a $7 billion bill (HR 1720) by a relatively narrow 230-194 margin. Republicans and conservative Democrats considered the measure far too costly and disliked provisions in it that they felt made welfare too attractive.

    The Senate on June 16 passed a far more modest, $2.8 billion measure (S 1511) by a 93-3 margin. That version included work and participation requirements stringent enough ultimately to gain a presidential endorsement.

    The Senate's action gave House Republicans their opening, and on July 7, Hank Brown, R-Colo., ranking Republican on the Ways and Means subcommittee that wrote HR 1720, successfully pushed through a non-binding motion that ordered House conferees to move closer to the Senate bill.

    By 227-168: R 162-4; D 65-164 (ND 24-130, SD 41-34), members instructed conferees to keep the final bill's five-year cost to no more than the Senate's $2.8 billion, and “to permit no impediments to work beyond those in the Senate” bill.

    Despite that vote, and an even larger 249-130 margin Brown won on a Sept. 16 rerun of the same motion, the final bill (PL 100-485) carried a five-year price tag of $3.34 billion and a slightly watered-down work requirement. (Senate key vote 13)

    13. Military Base Closings

    The key to a bill intended to clear the way for the first large-scale disposal of obsolete or superfluous military bases in more than a decade was insulating the base-closing decisions from congressional interference.

    Proponents of a change in the law argued that members whose constituents would be displaced by the closure of a base would always feel compelled to try to stop it. Moreover, they said, such members would be well positioned to call in their chits with other members to block the move, since no single closure would promise dramatic immediate savings.

    To break that cycle of political protection, base-closing proponents, led by Dick Armey, R-Texas, proposed the establishment of an independent commission that would choose the bases to be closed — with no congressional interference permitted.

    When the House took up the base-closing measure (HR 4481) in July, it added to the bill provisions that diluted the impact of Armey's proposal. These provisions also would have advanced the interests of certain congressional committees, or of members who wanted to protect specific bases.

    But the magnitude of political support for the Armey concept was dramatically demonstrated by the unexpectedly large majority that approved an amendment intended to tilt the bill's procedures back toward the original concept. The amendment, by John R. Kasich, R-Ohio, provided that the bases nominated by the independent panel would be closed unless Congress adopted (and the president signed) a joint resolution to block all of the closures en bloc. Since the burden of initiating action would be on those opposed to the closures, Kasich argued, the odds would be against Congress blocking the list.

    The amendment was adopted by a 250-138 vote: R 139-23; D 111-115 (ND 77-75, SD 34-40) on July 7, 1988.

    Congress subsequently passed a new base-closing measure (S 2749), which was signed into law (PL 100-526) Oct. 24.

    14. Reparations for Japanese-Americans

    Forty-six years after the United States government removed Japanese-Americans from their homes and forced them into internment camps, Congress formally apologized to the 60,000 surviving internees and set up a $1.25 billion trust fund to provide them with tax-free payments of $20,000 apiece. Under the measure, the oldest former internees were to be paid first.

    The House cleared the bill (HR 442) for the president on Aug. 4, adopting the conference report by a vote of 257-156: R 72-100; D 185-56 (ND 151-14, SD 34-42).

    The Senate had approved the conference report by voice vote July 27.

    The new law was an emotional milestone for Japanese-Americans, who had worked hard with their allies in Congress to get the legislation passed. Many Japanese-Americans lost homes and businesses that were left behind when they were ordered to internment camps and lived for decades with what a spokesman called the “stigma” of their internment.

    The Japanese-Americans, many of them U.S. citizens, were ordered to camps in February 1942, after Japan had bombed Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941. Opponents of the legislation said it was inappropriate to second-guess government decisions made during wartime. But proponents said the bill represented a long overdue acknowledgment of one of the most shameful episodes of U.S. history. A special government commission in 1982 concluded that the internment of Japanese-Americans was “not justified by military necessity,” but was “shaped by race prejudice, war hysteria and a failure of political leadership.” It was the commission's report that led to the legislation enacted in 1988.

    Although President Reagan initially opposed HR 442, he signed the final version into law (PL 100-383) on Aug. 10.

    15. Death Penalty

    Reflecting election-year concerns about the spread of crime and drug abuse, the House Sept. 8 handily approved a death penalty for drug traffickers as part of an omnibus drug bill (HR 5210 — PL 100-690). The vote was 299-111: R 161-9; D 138-102 (ND 70-93, SD 68-9).

    Approval of the death penalty, which could be imposed on someone convicted of a killing in the course of a major drug transaction, set the stage for Senate approval of a similar measure in that chamber's version of the drug bill.

    The House had included a death penalty in its drug bill in 1986, but the Senate refused to go along then. It was a different story in 1988, however, largely because Vice President George Bush had hammered on criminal justice issues in his race against Democratic presidential nominee Michael S. Dukakis. The death penalty, which Bush favored and Dukakis opposed, became something of a litmus test for toughness on crime.

    While agreeing to the death penalty, the House also accepted a number of procedural amendments, later included in the final drug bill, to make sure that defendants in capital cases had adequate legal counsel and that juries were given proper instructions for considering whether to impose capital punishment. (Senate key vote 12)

    16. Handgun Purchases

    The National Rifle Association (NRA) proved that it still was a power on Capitol Hill when it launched a relentless and successful lobbying campaign against a national seven-day waiting period for the purchase of handguns.

    The waiting period had been strongly supported by a coalition of the nation's law enforcement groups, the Law Enforcement Steering Committee. But the police groups were outspent and outmanned by the NRA.

    On the critical vote Sept. 15 to strip the waiting-period provision from an omnibus anti-drug bill (HR 5210 — PL 100-690), the NRA forces prevailed 228-182: R 127-45; D 101-137 (ND 45-117, SD 56-20).

    The vote came on an amendment to replace the waiting period with language proposed by Rep. Bill McCollum, R-Fla., to require the Justice Department to come up with a system enabling gun dealers to tell whether would-be gun buyers were convicted felons and thus ineligible, under existing law, to purchase handguns. Critics said technology was insufficient for such a system.

    A revised version of the McCollum amendment was eventually included in the final drug bill. It gave the attorney general a year to prepare a system for identifying convicted felons and then gave Congress 30 days to approve it or block it.

    The attorney general had 18 months to come up with another system for identifying other individuals, such as fugitives from justice and mental patients, who were barred from handgun ownership.

    1. Campaign Finance/Cloture

    S 2 Byrd, D-W.Va., motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the bill to overhaul federal campaign finance law. S 2 would limit campaign spending and the role of political action committees in Senate elections. Motion rejected 53-41: R 3-39; D 50-2 (ND 35-0, SD 15-2), Feb. 26, 1988. A three-fifths majority vote (60) of the total Senate is required to invoke cloture.

    2. Intelligence Oversight/Passage

    S 1721 Passage of the bill to require the president to notify Congress of all covert activities. Under “ordinary circumstances,” the president would be required to tell Intelligence committees in advance of a covert operation. But in “rare occasions when time is of the essence,” the president could wait up to 48 hours after a covert activity begins. Passed 71-19: R 26-17; D 45-2 (ND 31-2, SD 14-0), March 15, 1988.

    3. Price-Anderson Amendments

    HR 1414 Johnston, D-La., motion to table (kill) the Metzenbaum, D-Ohio, amendment to require recovery of funds paid by the United States to a federal contractor for compensation of claims by accident victims, if the contractor is guilty of gross negligence or willful misconduct. Motion agreed to 53-41: R 35-10; D 18-31 (ND 7-26, SD 11-5), March 16, 1988. A “yea” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    4. Civil Rights Restoration Act/Veto Override

    S 557 Passage, over President Reagan's March 16 veto, of the bill to provide broad coverage of four civil rights laws by making clear that, if one entity of an institution receives federal funds, the entire institution must abide by the anti-discrimination laws. Passed 73-24: R 21-24; D 52-0 (ND 35-0, SD 17-0), March 22, 1988. A two-thirds majority of those present and voting (65 in this case) of both houses is required to override a veto. A “nay” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    5. AIDS Research and Education/Restrictions on Information Activities

    S 1220 Kennedy, D-Mass., motion to table (kill) the Helms, R-N.C., amendment to the Nickles, R-Okla., amendment. The Helms amendment would prohibit the use of funds authorized under the bill on activities that “promote or encourage, directly, homosexual sexual activity.” Motion rejected 22-73: R 7-36; D 15-37 (ND 13-22, SD 2-15), April 28, 1988. (The underlying Nickles amendment, subsequently adopted by voice vote, would require that federally funded AIDS information and education programs warn that “homosexual and bisexual activities, multiple sex partners and intravenous drug use” place individuals at high risk of acquiring AIDS.)

    6. Fiscal 1989 Defense Authorization/SDI Funding and NASA

    S 2355 Exon, D-Neb., motion to reconsider the vote by which the Senate tabled (killed) the Johnston, D-La., amendment to provide that $700 million of the amount authorized for the strategic defense initiative (SDI) be used to reimburse NASA for some of the cost of restoring operation of the space shuttle. Motion rejected 48-50: R 6-39; D 42-11 (ND 30-5, SD 12-6), May 11, 1988. A nay was a vote supporting the president's position.

    7. Fiscal 1989 Defense Authorization/SALT II Limits

    S 2355 Nunn, D-Ga., motion to table (kill) the Bumpers, D-Ark., amendment to bar the deployment of multiple-warhead (MIRVed) intercontinental ballistic missiles, MIRVed ballistic missiles of any type, and MIRVed ballistic missiles plus bombers armed with long-range cruise missiles in excess of the number of each of those weapons categories that were deployed on Jan. 25, 1988. Motion agreed to 51-45: R 39-5; D 12-40 (ND 3-32, SD 9-8), May 11, 1988. A “yea” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    8. INF Treaty/Ground-Launched Cruise Missile Definition

    Treaty Doc 100-11 Hollings, D-S.C., amendment to provide that references in the intermediate-range nuclear-force (INF) treaty to ground-launched cruise missiles apply only to those with nuclear warheads. The treaty would ban missiles that carry either conventional or nuclear warheads. Rejected 28-69: R 18-28; D 10-41 (ND 3-32, SD 7-9), May 25, 1988.

    9. INF Treaty/Treaty Interpretation

    Treaty Doc 100-11 Byrd, D-W.Va., motion to table (kill) the Specter, R-Pa., amendment to reverse the thrust of a previously passed amendment, which barred reinterpretation of a treaty without Senate approval, by stating that the Senate did not intend to alter existing international or constitutional law. Motion agreed to 64-33: R 13-33; D 51-0 (ND 33-0, SD 18-0), May 27, 1988.

    10. Omnibus Trade Bill/Veto Override

    HR 3 Passage, over President Reagan's May 24 veto, of the bill to revise statutory procedures for dealing with unfair foreign trade practices and import damage to U.S. industries, to clarify the law against business-related bribes abroad by U.S. businesses, to streamline controls on militarily sensitive exports, to revise agriculture and education programs, to repeal the windfall-profits tax on oil and to require certain employers to provide workers with 60 days' notice of plant closings or layoffs. Rejected 61-37: R 10-35; D 51-2 (ND 33-2, SD 18-0), June 8, 1988. A two-thirds majority of those present and voting (66 in this case) of both houses is required to override a veto. (The House overrode the veto May 24.) A “nay” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    11. Catastrophic Health Insurance/Conference Report

    HR 2470 Adoption of the conference report on the bill (thus clearing the measure for the president) to cap the amounts for which Medicare beneficiaries will be financially liable for Medicare-covered services and to make other changes in the program. Adopted 86-11: R 34-11; D 52-0 (ND 35-0, SD 17-0), June 8, 1988.

    12. Death Penalty for Drug-Related Killings/Passage

    S 2455 Passage of the bill to allow the death penalty for “drug kingpins” who intentionally kill or who order a killing. The bill would provide a separate hearing before a judge or jury on the issue of punishment, where the judge or jury would have to weigh aggravating and mitigating circumstances before determining whether the death penalty was appropriate. The jury would have to be unanimous in imposing the death penalty. Passed 65-29: R 37-6; D 28-23 (ND 15-19, SD 13-4), June 10, 1988. A “yea” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    13. Welfare Reform/‘Workfare’ Amendment

    S 1511 Moynihan, D-N.Y., motion to table (kill) the Dole, R-Kan., amendment to require that by 1994, states require at least one parent in two-parent families receiving welfare to work a minimum of 16 hours per week in either unpaid community work experience or subsidized jobs. Motion rejected 41-54: R 3-40; D 38-14 (ND 27-7, SD 11-7), June 16, 1988. A “nay” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    14. Fiscal 1989 HUD Appropriations/NASA and UDAG Program

    HR 4800 Heinz, R-Pa., amendment to shift $30 million from NASA to the Urban Development Action Grant (UDAG) program. Rejected 34-63: R 9-36; D 25-27 (ND 21-14, SD 4-13), July 12, 1988.

    15. Fiscal 1989 Defense Appropriations/Contra Aid

    HR 4781 Byrd, D-W.Va., perfecting amendment to make technical changes to his own amendment to authorize $27.14 million in humanitarian aid to the Nicaraguan contras and to establish procedures for congressional consideration of a request by the president for authority to release up to $16.5 million worth of stockpiled military aid to the contras as well. Adopted 49-47: R 0-43; D 49-4 (ND 31-4, SD 18-0), Aug. 10, 1988.

    16. Minimum-Wage Restoration/Cloture

    S 837 Kennedy, D-Mass., motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the bill to raise the minimum wage to $4.55 an hour over three years, from $3.35. Motion rejected 56-35: R 8-32; D 48-3 (ND 34-1, SD 14-2), Sept. 23, 1988. A three-fifths majority vote (60) of the total Senate is required to invoke cloture.

    1. Contra Aid/Passage

    H J Res 444 Passage of the joint resolution to approve President Reagan's request of $36.25 million for continued military and non-military aid to the Nicaraguan contras. Rejected 211-219: R 164-12; D 47-207 (ND 6-166, SD 41-41), Feb. 3, 1988. A “yea” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    2. Civil Rights Restoration Act/Veto Override

    S 557 Passage, over President Reagan's March 16 veto, of the bill to provide broad coverage of four civil rights laws by making clear that, if one entity of an institution receives federal funds, the entire institution must abide by the anti-discrimination laws. Passed (thus enacted into law) 292-133: R 52-123; D 240-10 (ND 167-1, SD 73-9), March 22, 1988. A two-thirds majority of those present and voting (284 in this case) of both houses is required to override a veto. A “nay” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    3. Fiscal 1989 Budget Resolution/Adoption

    H Con Res 268 Adoption of the concurrent resolution to set forth the congressional budget for the U.S. government for fiscal 1989, 1990 and 1991. The resolution sets fiscal 1989 ceilings of $1.2321 trillion in total new budget authority and $1.0982 trillion in total outlays; establishes a revenue floor of $964.1 billion, with an expected deficit of $134.1 billion; assumes savings of $6.8 billion, a 3 percent pay increase for military and civilian federal employees; and recommends general spending levels for the various functions of government. Adopted 319-102: R 92-78; D 227-24 (ND 152-17, SD 75-7), March 23, 1988.

    4. Omnibus Trade Bill/Plant Closings

    HR 3 Michel, R-Ill., motion to recommit to the conference committee the conference report on the bill, with instructions to eliminate the requirement to provide workers with 60 days' notice of plant closings or layoffs. (Recommittal of a conference report would permit conferees to reconsider any provision in the legislation.) Motion rejected 167-253: R 144-29; D 23-224 (ND 0-168, SD 23-56), April 21, 1988.

    5. Fiscal 1989 Defense Authorization/Nuclear Testing Ban

    HR 4264 Gephardt, D-Mo., amendment to ban nuclear tests with an explosive power greater than one kiloton and tests conducted outside of designated test areas, if the Soviet Union observes the same ban. Adopted 214-186: R 18-148; D 196-38 (ND 151-9, SD 45-29), April 28, 1988. A “nay” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    6. Fiscal 1989 Defense Authorization/SDI Funding

    HR 4264 Spratt, D-S.C., amendment to provide that no more than 40 percent of the funds authorized for the strategic defense initiative (SDI) can be used for the “phase one” version using current technology. Adopted 244-174: R 27-148; D 217-28 (ND 163-2, SD 54-26), May 4, 1988. A “nay” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    7. Omnibus Trade Bill/Veto Override

    HR 3 Passage, over President Reagan's May 24 veto, of the bill to revise statutory procedures for dealing with unfair foreign trade practices and import damage to U.S. industries, to clarify the law against business-related bribes abroad by U.S. businesses, to streamline controls on militarily sensitive exports, to revise agriculture and education programs, to repeal the windfall-profits tax on oil and to require certain employers to provide workers with 60 days' notice of plant closings or layoffs. Passed 308-113: R 60-112; D 248-1 (ND 167-1, SD 81-0), May 24, 1988. A two-thirds majority of those present and voting (281 in this case) of both houses is required to override a veto. A “nay” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    8. Catastrophic Health Insurance/Conference Report

    HR 2470 Adoption of the conference report on the bill to cap the amounts for which Medicare beneficiaries will be financially liable for Medicare-covered services and to make other changes in the program. Adopted 328-72: R 98-63; D 230-9 (ND 159-5, SD 71-4), June 2, 1988.

    9. Fiscal 1989 HUD Appropriations/NASA Funding and Housing Assistance

    HR 4800 Schumer, D-N.Y., amendments to shift $400 million from funding for NASA research and development to various programs for the homeless, Urban Development Action Grants, other housing programs and the Environmental Protection Agency. Rejected en bloc 166-256: R 40-133; D 126-123 (ND 111-58, SD 15-65), June 22, 1988.

    10. Fair Housing/Discrimination Against Families

    HR 1158 Shaw, R-Fla., amendments to delete the provision barring discrimination in housing because a family has young children. Rejected en bloc 116-289: R 95-73; D 21-216 (ND 11-150, SD 10-66), June 23, 1988. A “yea” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    11. Fiscal 1989 District of Columbia Appropriations/Abortions

    HR 4776 Dornan, R-Calif., amendment to prohibit the use of federal funds appropriated under the bill, and of any city funds, to perform abortions. Adopted 222-186: R 138-31; D 84-155 (ND 51-112, SD 33-43), June 28, 1988.

    12. Welfare Reform/Instruction of Conferees

    HR 1720 Brown, R-Colo., motion to instruct the House conferees on the bill to keep the cost of the final bill at or under $2.8 billion and to “permit no impediments to work [for welfare recipients] beyond those contained in the Senate” bill. Motion agreed to 227-168: R 162-4; D 65-164 (ND 24-130, SD 41-34), July 7, 1988.

    13. Military Base Closings/Congress Approval

    HR 4481 Kasich, R-Ohio, amendment to strike bill provisions requiring Congress to approve, by a joint resolution, the recommendations of the commission on base realignment and closure. Instead, the amendment would provide that Congress may disapprove such recommendations by joint resolution within 45 days of submission. Adopted 250-138: R 139-23; D 111-115 (ND 77-75, SD 34-40), July 7, 1988. A “yea” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    14. Wartime Relocation of Civilians/Conference Report

    HR 442 Adoption of the conference report on the bill (thus clearing the measure for the president) to apologize and to authorize $1.25 billion to pay $20,000 in reparations to each surviving Japanese-American who was interned during World War II. Adopted 257-156: R 72-100; D 185-56 (ND 151-14, SD 34-42), Aug. 4, 1988. A “yea” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    15. Omnibus Drug Bill/Death Penalty

    HR 5210 Gekas, R-Pa., amendment to provide the death penalty for individuals convicted of drug-related murders. Adopted 299-111: R 161-9; D 138-102 (ND 70-93, SD 68-9), Sept. 8, 1988. A “yea” was a vote supporting the president's position.

    16. Omnibus Drug Bill/Waiting Period for Handgun Purchases

    HR 5210 McCollum, R-Fla., amendment to strike provisions that sought to establish a seven-day waiting period for handgun purchases and to require the Justice Department to develop and send to Congress a proposal for a system gun dealers could use to identify felons, who are ineligible to own handguns. Adopted 228-182: R 127-45; D 101-137 (ND 45-117; SD 56-20), Sept. 15, 1988.


    The Presidency

    Reagan Appointments to Major Posts

    The first year of President Reagan's second term saw a major upheaval in administration ranks, as new appointees took over seven Cabinet departments and other key executive branch positions. By the end of Reagan's tenure in office, there were seven more turnovers in the Cabinet. Only one Cabinet officer stayed in his post through both Reagan terms: Samuel R. Pierce, secretary of housing and urban development. (Reagan Cabinet, box, p. 1045)

    Most second-term Reagan Cabinet nominees were confirmed quickly by the Senate. A holdover nominee from Reagan's first term, presidential adviser Edwin Meese III, was finally confirmed as attorney general in 1985 after a 13-month wait and a bitter confirmation battle.

    However, Reagan did not have as much luck with winning approval for nominees for other high-level executive branch positions. Twice in 1985 — when the Senate was controlled by Republicans — Senate committees barred a major nomination from reaching the floor. After Democrats regained control of the Senate in 1986, GOP senators often accused the Democrats of partisan politics during confirmation hearings. Reagan's judicial nominees probably fared the worst: one Supreme Court nominee was rejected; one withdrew his name from consideration; and Reagan's choice for chief justice had the largest number of votes ever cast by the Senate against a Supreme Court nominee who won confirmation. (Reagan judicial appointments, pp. 770, 785)

    In addition, Republican Sen. Jesse Helms of North Carolina continued his battle against many of Reagan's nominations for diplomatic posts. As in previous years, Helms opposed nominees whose positions did not square with his own conservative views — and held hostage dozens of other nominations until those he opposed were dispensed with in a way that satisfied him.

    Below are profiles of Cabinet members and others who served in key executive branch positions during the second Reagan administration, followed by brief accounts of major controversial nominations made from 1985 to 1988. (1981-84 appointments, nominations, Congress and the Nation Vol. VI, pp. 1017, 1027)

    Cabinet, 1985-88


    Richard E. Lyng won Senate confirmation as secretary of agriculture March 6, 1986, by a vote of 95-2. He replaced John R. Block, who resigned Feb. 14. Lyng was Block's deputy secretary for four years before leaving in January 1985 to become an agricultural consultant and lobbyist.

    A former California seed company executive with wide experience in government, Lyng was known to be President Reagan's original choice for the Cabinet post following the 1980 election. But congressional pressure then convinced Reagan to pick Block because he was a

    working farmer
    from the Midwestern state of Illinois. Lyng then took the number two job in the department and remained in that position through Reagan's first term, where he oversaw day-to-day operations and often assumed the role of point man on Capitol Hill for the administration's more controversial farm policies.

    Congressional leaders interpreted Lyng's nomination as a partial acknowledgment by the White House of criticism that the agriculture secretary must have an upper hand in fashioning the administration's policies and public postures on farm issues. Lyng was credited for his ability to work with Congress and his willingness to deal in specifics.

    Lyng graduated cum laude from the University of Notre Dame in 1940, and after serving in World War II, he was president of a family seed company in California for 22 years. Lyng began his government career under then-Gov. Reagan in 1967 as deputy director of the California State Department of Agriculture, later as director. He was an assistant secretary of marketing and consumer services for the Department of Agriculture under President Richard Nixon. From 1973 to 1979 Lyng was president of the American Meat Institute and also served on the board of directors of Tri-Valley Growers of California, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Refrigeration Research Foundation. In 1980 he led Reagan's agriculture transition team.

    Attorney General

    Edwin Meese III, a close friend of President Reagan, was confirmed as attorney general Feb. 23, 1985, after a 13-month wait. His Jan. 23, 1984, nomination was put on hold after Senate Judiciary Committee hearings raised questions about his ethical conduct and fitness for office. Senators probed some of his financial transactions and whether Meese, while counselor to Reagan, had acted improperly in helping get federal jobs for people who had helped him out of financial difficulties.

    At Meese's request, an independent counsel was appointed to investigate the allegations. In September 1984, the counsel, Washington, D.C., lawyer Jacob A. Stein, issued his report, finding

    no basis
    for criminal prosecution. However, because his mandate was very specific, Stein said the report made
    no comment on Mr. Meese's ethics and the propriety of his conduct for office.
    Meese and his supporters contended that Stein's report cleared him of any wrongdoing and that he should be quickly confirmed as attorney general.

    Opponents continued to argue that Meese was unfit for the post and said that Stein's report was only the starting point for asking questions about Meese's ethical conduct.

    Meese was renominated Jan. 3, 1985, and approved by the Judiciary Committee Feb. 5, on a largely party-line vote of 12-6. Two Democrats who were considered swing votes — Howell Heflin, Ala., and Dennis DeConcini, Ariz. — went along with all 10 committee Republicans and voted to report Meese's nomination to the Senate. Meese was then confirmed by the full Senate on a 63-31 vote; all of the negative votes were cast by Democrats.

    Meese succeeded William French Smith, who announced his resignation as attorney general Jan. 23, 1984, and his intention to return to his law practice. Because of the delay in Meese's confirmation, Smith remained in office for an extra year.

    Meese's ties to the president went back to Reagan's governorship. Starting in 1959, Meese spent eight years as deputy district attorney in Alameda County, Calif. He was named Reagan's legal affairs secretary in 1967, when Reagan became governor of California, and then served as Reagan's chief of staff until 1974. Meese practiced corporate law from 1974 to 1977, then became a law professor at the University of San Diego, where he also served as director of the law school's Center for Criminal Justice Policy and Management. In 1980, he became Reagan's presidential campaign adviser and was then named counselor to the president. Meese was one of three to four men in the president's inner circle, where he helped shaped administration policy on justice-related issues.

    Dick Thornburgh, the former governor of Pennsylvania, was unanimously confirmed by the Senate Aug. 11, 1988, to be attorney general. He was sworn in Aug. 12, replacing Meese, whose controversial tenure at the Justice Department ended the same day.

    The vote on Thornburgh was 85-0 and came just a month after he was nominated. The speed with which the nomination was processed reflected senators' deep concern about the Justice Department under Meese's stewardship. For more than a year, Meese had been under a cloud because of an independent counsel's investigation into several instances of alleged wrongdoing by the attorney general.

    During the confirmation hearing for Thornburgh, the committee praised the nominee for his record and qualifications and told him his greatest challenge was to restore public confidence in the position of attorney general. In brief floor debate Aug. 11 before the Thornburgh vote, Strom Thurmond, S.C., senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Thornburgh possessed the characteristics required of an attorney general:

    character, integrity, good judgment, competence and independence.

    Thornburgh was a U.S. attorney for western Pennsylvania and then a top official in the Justice Department under President Gerald R. Ford. He founded the department's public-integrity section, which investigated federal, state and local officials accused of corruption; and he headed the criminal division for two years. After his second term as governor ended in 1986, Thornburgh became director of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.


    President Reagan's nomination of C. William Verity Jr. as secretary of commerce was approved by the Senate after a monthlong delay. The nomination sailed through the Senate Commerce Committee but was then held up by a handful of Republican critics concerned about Verity's past statements favoring expanded trade with the Soviet Union.

    But the full Senate Oct. 13, 1987, voted 85-8 to cut off debate on the matter and went on to vote 84-11 in favor of Verity. All those opposing cloture were Republicans. Verity succeeded Malcolm Baldridge, who died July 25 from internal injuries suffered when his horse fell on him during rodeo practice.

    Verity was chairman of Armco Steel Corp., one of the nation's largest steel manufacturers, from 1971 to 1982. He was co-chairman from 1979 to 1984 of the U.S.-U.S.S.R. Trade and Economic Council, a panel of American businessmen and Soviet officials set up to improve business relations between the two countries. At his confirmation hearings, Verity attempted to quiet concerns about his trade views, but he said that improving business relations with the Soviet Union was of great importance to him. Opponents to the nomination questioned Verity's commitment to federal laws that link more trade with Soviet progress on human rights matters, including permitting Jews and members of other ethnic groups to leave the country.

    Early in the Reagan administration, Verity headed the President's Task Force on Private Sector Initiatives, set up to encourage private involvement in social service programs. His performance won high praise from Reagan.


    Frank C. Carlucci, renowned as an operator of the machinery of government, was confirmed Nov. 20, 1987, to succeed Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger. Weinberger, equally famous for his willingness to stop the machinery cold rather than compromise his vision of U.S. military requirements, announced his retirement Nov. 5, citing his wife's health as a factor. He had been a Reagan ally and a personal friend since Reagan was governor of California, and he had served as secretary of defense since 1981. Observers across the political spectrum welcomed Carlucci's nomination; they expected Carlucci would be more willing than Weinberger to compromise with Congress over defense spending and arms control.

    Carlucci's confirmation was never in doubt; the Senate Armed Services Committee approved the nomination by a unanimous vote. The full Senate followed suit with a vote of 91-1. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., cast the lone dissenting vote.

    Carlucci had replaced Adm. John M. Poindexter as the president's national security adviser in January 1987. Reeling from the Iran-contra revelation, the White House brought in Carlucci to reorganize the National Security Council staff. Carlucci was rich in experience at top federal jobs.

    The grandson of an immigrant Italian stonecutter, Carlucci was born in Scranton, Pa., and graduated from Princeton University, where one of his friends was Donald Rumsfeld, who would bring Carlucci into the Nixon administration. After brief periods as a naval officer, a student at the Harvard Business School and a management trainee in the Jantzen Co., Carlucci joined the Foreign Service in 1956. He held posts in South Africa, the Congo (now Zaire), Zanzibar and Brazil.

    Rumsfeld recruited Carlucci in 1969 as an associate director in the Office of Economic Opportunity in the Nixon administration. In 1971, Carlucci became an associate director of Nixon's Office and Management and Budget (OMB), where he worked with deputy OMB director Caspar Weinberger. When Weinberger succeeded George Shultz as OMB director in 1972, he made Carlucci his deputy. Late in 1972, Nixon tapped Weinberger to become secretary of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW), and Weinberger took Carlucci with him to become under secretary — the department's No. 2 position.

    At the end of 1974, Carlucci returned to the diplomatic field, becoming ambassador to Portugal. He returned to HEW in 1977. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter turned to Carlucci to help untangle bureaucratic snarls at the CIA. Carlucci was confirmed as deputy director of the CIA, where he assumed much of the responsibility for day-to-day operations. In 1980, Carlucci was again selected as Weinberger's deputy, this time in Reagan's defense department. He left the Pentagon in 1983 to head the international marketing division of Sears, Roebuck and Co. until he was called back into government service in 1987.


    The Senate Feb. 6, 1985, unanimously confirmed William J. Bennett as secretary of education on a 93-0 vote. Despite his easy confirmation, Bennett was the Education Department's most outspoken and controversial secretary since its creation in 1979.

    Bennett, who had served as chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) since 1982, replaced T. H. Bell, who left the Education Department Dec. 31, 1984. Prior to becoming chairman of NEH, Bennett was president of the National Humanities Center in North Carolina. He earlier had taught philosophy and law at a number of universities. A graduate of Williams College in Massachusetts, Bennett received a law degree from Harvard Law School and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin.

    In November 1984, Bennett issued a report on the liberal arts that aired his deep disenchantment with college humanities teaching, which he said left too many students

    lacking even the most rudimentary knowledge about the history, literature, art and philosophical foundations of their nation and civilization.

    Despite his qualifications, Bennett's tenure at the Education Department was controversial to the end. In May 1988, Bennett announced he would resign in September. Soon after making his intentions to depart known, Bennett attacked his own agency, saying there was no need for a Cabinet-level Department of Education. He later amended his statement, saying the status of the department had served to focus national attention on education issues. Ironically, before approving Bennett's nomination in 1985, the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee insisted on an explicit White House commitment to the Education Department's existence — especially in light of President Reagan's 1980 campaign pledge to abolish it.

    Opponents of Bennett also questioned his commitment to education in terms of federal funding. Critics contended that the only time the Reagan administration asked for a funding increase in educational programs was during election years.

    Bennett attacked the

    of colleges that raised tuition twice as fast as inflation and claimed that trade schools were recruiting ill-prepared students just to get those students' federal aid money. He called for a return to the basics of education but repeatedly accused teachers' unions, such as the National Education Association, of blocking needed school reforms.

    In addition, Bennett spoke out on topics not strictly related to education, such as AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) testing and anti-drug efforts.

    Lauro F. Cavazos, president of Texas Tech University, was confirmed 94-0 on Sept. 20, 1988, to succeed Bennett as education secretary. Cavazos was the first Hispanic to be named to a Cabinet post.

    The selection of Cavazos won warm praise from educators and Hispanic groups, as well as members of the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee. Labor Chairman Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., a vocal opponent of the Reagan administration's past efforts to cut education funding and abolish the Department of Education, praised Cavazos as

    a man who shares our views about the importance of education.

    The son of a cattle foreman, Cavazos served in the U.S. Army at the end of World War II. He received two degrees from Texas Tech: a bachelor's degree in zoology in 1949 and, in 1951, a master's in cytology, the study of cells. He earned a Ph.D. in physiology from Iowa State University in 1954. Cavazos taught anatomy at the Medical College of Virginia and Tufts University. He became dean at Tufts and, in 1980, president of Texas Tech.


    John S. Herrington was confirmed as secretary of energy Feb. 6, 1985, by a vote of 93-1. The lone dissenter was William Proxmire, D-Wis., whose objection to Herrington centered on the nominee's lack of knowledge and experience in the complex and technical energy field.

    With no background, he will have to make billion-dollar decisions,
    Proxmire said.

    James A. McClure, R-Idaho, chairman of the Energy Committee, countered that the 1977 legislation (PL 95-91) creating the Department of Energy set strict rules to prevent conflict of interest, and that those rules made it very difficult to find somebody with past experience.

    Herrington was a veteran of Reagan election campaigns. In 1981 he worked as White House personnel director before becoming assistant secretary of the Navy for manpower and Reserve affairs in October of that year. He returned to the White House in 1983 as assistant to the president for personnel.

    A graduate of Stanford University, Herrington received a law degree from the University of California's Hastings College of Law.

    Health and Human Services

    Otis R. Bowen was confirmed by the Senate 93-2 on Dec. 12, 1985, to head the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). He succeeded Margaret M. Heckler, who Oct. 1, 1985, agreed to step down as HHS secretary to become ambassador to Ireland. The move of Heckler from HHS secretary to ambassador was widely reported to be at the urging of senior White House officials who were critical of her job performance and commitment to conservative social causes. President Reagan denied the reports as

    malicious gossip.

    The Senate Finance Committee Dec. 11, 1985, unanimously recommended approval of Bowen's nomination. In testimony a day earlier, Bowen told the committee he would give top priority to finding ways to help the elderly pay for long-term health care and for the cost of lengthy hospital stays for


    Bowen was a professor of family medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine and a former two-term governor of Indiana (1973-81). Senators said Bowen was particularly well suited for the HHS job because of his work in 1982-84 as chairman of a federal advisory council studying Medicare, the federal health insurance program for the elderly and disabled. The panel proposed a broad agenda for overhauling Medicare, including recommendations geared to rescuing the hospital insurance trust fund from impending insolvency.


    The Senate by voice vote April 26, 1985, confirmed William E. Brock III to be secretary of labor. Brock succeeded Raymond J. Donovan, who resigned March 15 to stand trial on charges of larceny and fraud in New York. Donovan's resignation came five months after a Bronx County, N.Y., grand jury indicted him on charges concerning financial dealings of his construction company before he joined the Cabinet. Donovan had taken leave from his Labor post after he and some of his former business associates were indicted in October 1984.

    Reagan's choice of Brock to succeed Donovan drew praise from organized labor.

    While we have not always agreed [with Brock], he has earned our respect,
    said AFLCIO President Lane Kirkland. Throughout Donovan's tenure, the Labor Department's budget cuts and allegedly lax enforcement of labor laws had come under steady criticism from union officials, most of whom opposed Reagan's re-election in 1984.

    Brock graduated from Washington and Lee University in 1953. After a three-year stint in the Navy, he returned to work in his family's candy manufacturing business. He served in Congress as a representative from Tennessee from 1963 to 1971. He was elected to the Senate in 1971, defeating Democratic incumbent Albert Gore. Brock lost his Senate seat in 1976 to Democrat Jim Sasser. From 1977 to 1981 Brock was chairman of the Republican National Committee, where he earned respect for his organizing skills and for his efforts to broaden the party's base. Since 1981 he had been U.S. trade representative, a position taken over by Clayton K. Yeutter, head of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

    Ann Dore McLaughlin, the second woman ever to serve as secretary of labor, was confirmed, 94-0, by the Senate Dec. 11, 1987. McLaughlin, who won unanimous approval from the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee, succeeded Brock, who resigned Nov. 1 to head the presidential campaign of Sen. Robert Dole, R-Kan.

    McLaughlin's confirmation hearing before the Labor Committee was short on specifics and long on good wishes. However, the hearing also had its serious moments. Chairman Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., noted that although McLaughlin had held ranking posts in the Treasury and Interior departments, she had no experience on labor issues. McLaughlin responded that she would seek counsel from labor experts.

    McLaughlin started her professional career in 1963 as supervisor of network commercial scheduling for ABC television in New York City. In 1966 she became director of alumnae relations at Marymount College, from which she had earned a bachelor of arts degree. She later worked as a literary agent for Perla Meyers International Kitchen and as an account executive for Myers-Infoplan International.

    In 1971 McLaughlin joined President Richard Nixon's re-election campaign as director of communications and later served as assistant to the chairman and press secretary for the presidential inaugural committee. She was director of public affairs for the Environmental Protection Agency in 1973-74, and government relations and communications executive for Union Carbide Corp. in 1974-77.

    From 1977 to 1981 she worked in public affairs and issues management for McLaughlin & Co., a television news-discussion program headed by her husband, former Nixon aide John McLaughlin.

    In 1981 McLaughlin joined President Reagan's administration as assistant secretary for public affairs at the Treasury Department. In 1984 she transferred to $$Word$$ $$Word$$ of Interior as under secretary. After $$Word$$ $$Word$$ post, she was a consultant for the Center for $$Word$$ $$Word$$ International Studies and a lecturer in the public $$Word$$ department at the Wharton School of Business.


    The Senate Nov. 30, 1987, voted 74-0 to approve the nomination of James H. Burnley IV to be secretary of transportation. Burnley replaced Elizabeth Hanford Dole, who resigned Oct. 1 to work full time on the presidential campaign of her husband, Sen. Robert Dole, R-Kan. Burnley, who was the Department of Transportation's (DOT) deputy secretary for four years, was acting secretary when he was confirmed.

    Despite the overwhelming vote, senators expressed some reservations about Burnley's nomination. Some warned that they would keep a watchful eye on his performance, especially in the area of air safety. Critics complained that a 1978 law (PL 95-504) deregulating the airline industry — a law Burnley strongly supported — had led to a frenzied chase for profits at the expense of passenger safety and service. Halfhearted support for Burnley also stemmed from his reputation for being uncooperative and argumentative in his dealings with Congress. But in the weeks preceding his confirmation hearings, Burnley worked hard to mend fences, meeting one-on-one with a number of senators.

    At 39, Burnley was one of the youngest transportation secretaries ever. Before becoming DOT's deputy secretary, Burnley served in 1983 as the department's general counsel. From 1982 to 1983 he was associate deputy attorney general at the Department of Justice. He directed the Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) program from 1981 to 1982. A North Carolina native, Burnley graduated from Harvard Law School.


    The Senate Jan. 29, 1985, unanimously confirmed White House Chief of Staff James A. Baker III to be secretary of the Treasury. The vote was 95-0. Baker, who was the first of the second-term Cabinet nominees to win confirmation, replaced Donald T. Regan, who left Treasury to take over Baker's White House job.

    Baker had spent most of his professional life as a corporate attorney in Houston. He had served as under secretary of commerce in the Ford administration and as campaign chairman for fellow Texan George Bush's unsuccessful race for the Republican presidential nomination in 1980.

    Baker became Reagan's chief of staff in 1981. During his four years in that post, he was a crucial player in back room negotiations with Congress on politically sensitive tax and budget legislation. He provided a bridge between an ideological president and House and Senate Republicans trying to win a majority of votes in a diverse, two-party Congress.

    The Baker-Regan job swap was generally well received on Capitol Hill. Senators on both sides of the aisle praised Baker before the confirmation vote for the legislative expertise he displayed during his four years as White House chief of staff. Before entering the Reagan Cabinet in 1981, Regan, whose chief of staff post did not require Senate confirmation, had headed Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc., one of the world's largest financial services firms.

    The Senate wasted no time Sept. 14, 1988, in confirming Nicholas F. Brady as Treasury secretary to replace Baker, who had resigned Aug. 17 to run Vice President George Bush's presidential campaign. Brady was a long-time Bush associate, a friend of Baker and a one-time senator. In both committee and floor deliberations, Brady was accorded all the deference that members of the Senate usually give their former colleagues who are named to high government posts — and then some. The vote to confirm him was 92-2.

    After studying at Yale, Brady stayed in the vicinity of his native New York and became an investment banker, spending an entire career since 1954 at Dillon, Read & Co. He had been chairman of the firm's board of directors since December 1982. Brady had been politically active, as well: He was appointed to serve out the Senate term of New Jersey Democrat Harrison A. Williams Jr., who resigned in March 1982 in the wake of his conviction in the

    influence-peddling scandal.

    After Brady's eight-month Senate stint, he was a frequent trouble-shooter for the Reagan administration, serving in 1983 on three different

    commissions — on the MX missile, Central America and foreign aid.

    Most observers, Republicans and Democrats alike, believed Brady could step into the politically charged, technically difficult and highly visible job at Treasury and handle it with immediate competence.

    Other Key Positions

    Environmental Protection Agency

    Lee M. Thomas was confirmed Feb. 7, 1985, by voice vote to be administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). He succeeded William D. Ruckelshaus, who took over the top EPA post in 1983 following the resignation under fire of President Reagan's first appointee, Anne M. Burford.

    Thomas had served as assistant administrator of EPA under Ruckelshaus and had been acting director of the agency since Ruckelshaus left Jan. 5. Thomas had headed the agency's hazardous waste programs since early 1983 when his predecessor, Rita M. Lavelle, was fired in a controversy over management of the


    Thomas had served from 1981 to 1983 as associate director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. In that post, he headed a task force to deal with dioxin contamination at Times Beach, Mo.

    Council of Economic Advisers

    Allaying fears that he would abolish the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), President Reagan named Treasury Under Secretary Beryl W. Sprinkel as chairman. His nomination was confirmed April 17, 1985.

    Sprinkel, a former Chicago bank executive and economics professor, was said to be close to former Treasury Secretary Donald T. Regan, who became Reagan's chief of staff in 1985. Sprinkel succeeded Martin S. Feldstein, who left the CEA chairmanship in July 1984 after repeatedly incurring administration wrath with his negative assessments of budget deficits.

    United Nations

    Vernon A. Walters was confirmed May 16, $$Word$$ voice vote, to be the U.S. ambassador to the United $$Word$$. He succeeded Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, who announced in January her resignation and her plans to return to teaching.

    Walters, a retired Army lieutenant general and former deputy director of the CIA, had served the Reagan administration as a trouble-shooting ambassador-at-large since 1981. He made hundreds of trips — most of them secret — to smooth U.S. relations with foreign countries.

    Office of the U.S. Trade Representative

    Clayton K. Yeutter was confirmed as U.S. trade representative by voice vote June 27, 1985. Yeutter was head of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange at the time he was nominated to succeed William E. Brock III as the nation's top trade negotiator. Brock had been nominated as secretary of labor.

    A farmer-rancher from Nebraska, Yeutter had long been active in Republican politics. He served as the deputy special trade representative during the Ford administration and was an assistant secretary of agriculture during the Nixon administration.

    Office of Management and Budget

    The often stormy tenure of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director David A. Stockman came to an end when the Senate confirmed the nomination of James C. Miller III as the new OMB director Oct. 4, 1985. The vote was 90-2.

    Stockman, dubbed the

    young slasher
    for his role as architect of the Reagan administration's budget-cutting efforts, resigned Aug. 1 to join a New York investment firm. Many budget observers predicted that Miller would not enjoy the power Stockman had; that White House Chief of Staff Donald T. Regan chose Miller over other contenders, including two Cabinet members, to be a team player, with Regan calling the plays.

    Miller, who was chairman of the Federal Trade Commission when he was nominated to the OMB post, had previous OMB experience as administrator of OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. In this post, which he held in 1981, he wrote and enforced a Reagan order that gave OMB a near-veto over many federal regulations.

    Miller graduated from the University of Georgia in 1964 and earned a doctorate in economics from the University of Virginia in 1969. He taught economics at Georgia State University and Texas A&M University. His doctoral thesis on airline deregulation set the tone for what had been more of a cause than a career. He espoused decontrol of industries as an economist at the Transportation Department, the Brookings Institution and the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI), and at posts in the Nixon, Ford and Reagan administrations.

    In 1974-75 Miller served on the Council of Economic Advisers, the Council on Wage and Price Stability and the group managing President Gerald R. Ford's program on regulatory reform. During the Carter administration, he returned to AEI as director of its Center for the Study of Government Regulation. There, he promoted the idea that government should weigh the costs of regulations against any benefits. When Reagan took office, that theory $$Word$$ policy.

    Miller resigned as OMB director on Oct. 15, $$Word$$ assumed a teaching post at the Center for the $$Word$$ $$Word$$ Public Choice at George Mason University. He also $$Word$$ a fellow at Citizens for a Sound Economy, a Washington, D.C.-based public interest group that stressed free-market principles. OMB Deputy Director Joseph R. Wright Jr. replaced Miller; Wright's major job was to produce Reagan's last budget proposal.

    Central Intelligence Agency

    The Senate May 19, 1987, overwhelmingly confirmed FBI Director William H. Webster to be CIA director, despite questions about his failure to act on evidence of Lt. Col. Oliver L. North's dealings with the Nicaraguan contras. Webster took over the CIA at a time when Congress was increasingly concerned about the roles in the Iran-contra affair of the intelligence agency and its former director, William J. Casey.

    Casey died May 6 from a brain tumor that had caused him to step down in December 1986. Deputy CIA Director Robert M. Gates, who had been acting director since that time, was nominated by President Reagan to succeed Casey. But Gates asked in March that his name be withdrawn because of congressional doubts raised by his own Iran-contra involvement. (Gates nomination, p. 1050)

    The 94-1 vote to confirm Webster revealed the depth of the Senate's respect for the former U.S. district court judge, and a hope that he would be more forthcoming to Congress about U.S. intelligence operations than his predecessor. Webster had served as FBI chief since 1978; U.S. District Judge William S. Sessions was named to replace Webster.

    When President Jimmy Carter in 1978 picked Webster to head the FBI, he was a federal appeals court judge in Missouri. He also had served on the federal district court in St. Louis and, prior to that, was a U.S. attorney there. In his years at the FBI, Webster changed the emphasis from investigating bank robberies and stolen car rings — an interest of J. Edgar Hoover — to greater involvement in drug offenses and political corruption. It was under Webster that the FBI instigated the

    sting investigation that resulted in the conviction of six representatives and one senator.

    Federal Reserve Board

    Alan Greenspan, who advised President Richard Nixon from time to time on economic matters and served for two years as chairman of President Gerald R. Ford's Council of Economic Advisers, was tapped to succeed Paul A. Volcker as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. Greenspan was confirmed 91-2 by the Senate on Aug. 3, 1987.

    Volcker, who served two four-year terms as chairman, was admired by members of Congress from both ends of the political spectrum for his single-minded approach to monetary policy and the Fed's success at controlling inflation, despite the recession of 1981-82. It was expected that Greenspan would be a like-minded advocate of tight reins on the money supply, allowing interest rates to rise if need be to keep inflation under control.

    Greenspan was a private economic consultant with the firm of Townsend-Greenspan and Co., which he founded in 1953. He served as a member of Reagan's national campaign committee in 1980.

    Federal Bureau of Investigation

    By a 90-0 vote Sept. 25, 1987, the Senate confirmed William S. Sessions to a 10-year term as director of the FBI. Sessions, who was chief U.S. judge for the sprawling Western District of Texas, was chosen in July to replace William H. Webster as FBI director after Webster was named to head the CIA.

    A self-avowed

    West Texas tough guy
    renowned for his handling of drug and immigration cases, Sessions perhaps was best known for presiding over the trials and sentencing of the killer and conspirators in the assassination of San Antonio federal Judge John H. Wood in 1979. When President Gerald R. Ford named him to the federal bench in 1974, Sessions was President Richard Nixon's appointee as U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas. Before that, he had served in the Justice Department's criminal division.

    Controversial Nominations


    Edward A. Curran

    The Senate Labor and Human Relations Committee Nov. 19 effectively killed the nomination of Curran to be chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The committee refused, on an 8-8 vote, to report the nomination favorably to the Senate floor. The panel then defeated, on another 8-8 tie, a motion to report the nomination without recommendation. (Under Senate rules, a tie vote is not sufficient to carry a motion.)

    Critics argued that Curran lacked the credentials and academic experience to oversee NEH, one of the largest and most prestigious sources of support for scholarly research. Curran's defenders said that he, like all NEH chairmen, would rely on the agency's peer review system of asking experts in the relevant fields to evaluate grant applications.

    The confirmation votes marked the second time in 1985 that a committee had barred a major nomination by President Reagan from reaching the Senate floor. The Judiciary Committee June 27 rejected the nomination of William Bradford Reynolds to be associate attorney general.

    Robert K. Dawson

    The Senate by a vote of 60-34 approved the nomination Dec. 4 of Dawson as assistant secretary of the Army for civil works — the civilian chief of the Army Corps of Engineers. Dawson had been acting assistant secretary since May 1984.

    Opponents argued that Dawson had failed to enforce laws protecting the nation's wetlands from development under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. A leader in the effort to block the confirmation, John H. Chafee, R-R.I., quoted Dawson as having told the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Environmental Pollution earlier in 1985 that

    Congress did not design Section 404 to be a wetland protection mechanism.
    He charged Dawson with frustrating the goals of the Clean Water Act and provoking confrontation with the state and federal agencies that shared a role in the 404 program.

    Robert T. Stafford, R-Vt., chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, said Dawson had done a

    sound job
    running the corps' water resources development programs but had failed to operate the wetlands protection program in a manner that came
    even within whistling distance
    of the standards and criteria in the Clean Water Act.

    Donald J. Devine

    Confronted by almost certain rejection by the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, Devine June 6 withdrew his name from consideration for a second four-year term as director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

    Devine's relations with Congress and federal employee groups often were stormy, and during his confirmation hearings he faced angry questioning from committee Democrats who accused him of being partisan while running OPM. But Republicans as well as Democrats objected to a memorandum Devine signed on his last day in office, delegating himself authority to run the agency while he served as executive assistant to the acting director. After the acting director, Loretta Cornelius, testified that Devine had asked her to say she knew about the memo when in fact she had not, he withdrew his name.


    James L. Malone

    As in previous years, ideological or partisan disputes delayed Senate action on a number of foreign affairs nominations in 1986. Most of the delays were caused by Jesse Helms, R-N.C., who objected to some nominations and demanded that the administration give appointments to his allies instead. One of these allies was Malone, who was nominated in December 1985 to be ambassador to Belize, a tiny Central American country.

    On April 10 the Senate Foreign Relations Committee rejected Malone — its first disapproval of an overseas ambassadorial nomination in the 20th century. Opponents said Malone had mismanaged his former State Department bureau, had paid insufficient attention to ethics and had been

    less than candid
    in testimony before the committee. Malone and Helms rejected those charges.

    Republican Charles McC. Mathias Jr., Md., sided with the committee's eight Democrats on the 9-7 vote against the nomination. He later agreed to switch his vote if Helms would lift the

    he put on the nomination of Morton I. Abramowitz to be assistant secretary of state for intelligence and research. Helms released his hold after Democrats threatened to block all other nominations in retaliation.

    On Oct. 2 the Foreign Relations Committee reconsidered the Malone nomination and approved it 9-0, with Democrats boycotting the session and Mathias ensuring a majority. Democrats then placed a hold on full Senate approval of Malone, prompting Helms to block action on nearly all of the other diplomatic nominations. After Senate leaders sought in vain to negotiate a deal, Majority Leader Robert Dole, R-Kan., on Oct. 14 broke with tradition and tried to force a floor vote by a motion for the Senate to go into executive session to consider Malone. The Senate agreed.

    Edward Zorinsky, D-Neb., Malone's sharpest critic, immediately mounted a filibuster against the nomination. Within hours, Malone sent Dole a letter asking for his nomination to be

    temporarily laid aside.
    Dole agreed.

    Robert E. Rader Jr.

    On June 18, the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee rejected the nomination of Texas lawyer Rader to a review panel within the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

    Committee Democrats and organized labor took issue with Rader's nomination, contending that as a practicing attorney, he opposed OSHA's efforts to inspect the work place.

    Rader denied the charges. Committee Chairman Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, also refuted charges that Rader was biased against OSHA. He said that Rader's view that OSHA inspectors needed search warrants to inspect businesses had been upheld by the Supreme Court.

    Rader's nomination was rejected when the committee split 8-8 on a motion to send his name to the Senate floor with a favorable recommendation. A second vote to send his name to the floor without recommendation also failed on an 8-8 tie.

    Jeffrey Zuckerman

    On May 20 the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee rejected the nomination of Zuckerman to be general counsel of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Zuckerman was nominated in the fall of 1985, and from the start civil rights advocates maintained he lacked commitment to the enforcement of civil rights laws. He came under particular scrutiny for challenging court rulings on age discrimination and for what he described as a

    fundamental disagreement
    with civil rights groups over the use of hiring goals and timetables — so-called affirmative action plans — to increase the number of women and blacks in the work force.

    The vote to reject $$Word$$ was 5-10, with three Republicans joining the $$Word$$ seven Democrats to kill the nomination.


    Robert M. Gates

    In the four months since the Iran arms sales had become public knowledge and threw his administration into turmoil, President Reagan had been able to take only a few actions to demonstrate he was in charge. The nomination of Gates — a respected intelligence professional — as CIA director was meant as one such step. But Gates, who was acting CIA director, encountered growing opposition in the Senate because of questions about his involvement in the Iran-contra affair. Gates damaged himself during confirmation hearings in mid-February; senators said he came across as a man more interested in protecting his own career than in getting to the bottom of CIA involvement in the affair.

    Republican leaders told Reagan Feb. 27 that the Gates nomination could not be salvaged without a long fight, so the White House set out looking for an alternative. On March 2, Gates asked that his name be withdrawn from consideration. Administration and congressional sources said Gates acted to avoid a protracted battle that could damage the CIA.

    Dorothy L. Strunk

    On a party-line 9-7 vote Aug. 5, the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee voted against the nomination of Strunk to be head of the Mine Safety and Health Administration.

    Strunk was a veteran Republican staff member on the House Education and Labor Committee and had extensive experience with mine-safety laws.

    Her nomination was vigorously opposed by organized labor, particularly the United Mine Workers and the Teamsters union, whose representatives said Strunk did not have enforcement experience.

    Richard N. Viets

    After months of delays and rancorous debate, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Nov. 3 approved, 12-6, the nomination of Viets to be ambassador to Portugal. It was the third time the committee had voted to approve Viets, a career foreign service officer and former ambassador to Tanzania and Jordan.

    Jesse Helms, R-N.C., who led the fight against Viets, charged that Viets was unqualified for the post, mistreated subordinates, sought

    questionable reimbursements
    from the State Department for entertainment purposes and may not have paid state and district taxes in certain jurisdictions. But Viets responded that
    the record demonstrates these charges are essentially without foundation.

    However, confirmation by the full Senate was stalled when Majority Leader Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., who also was upset that Viets may not have paid state income taxes, refused to bring up the nomination for a final vote. In December, Viets told colleagues he was retiring from the foreign service because he was not confirmed.

    Melissa Wells

    The nomination of Wells as ambassador to Mozambique, long held hostage by Senate Republicans led by Jesse Helms, R-N.C., who opposed President Reagan's policy toward that country, was confirmed by the Senate Sept. 9.

    The 64-24 vote to confirm Wells, a career Foreign Service officer with experience in Africa, came more than five months after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee recommended her promotion by a vote of 16-3. The stand-off was over when Minority Leader Robert Dole, R-Kan., who had sided with Helms, relaxed his opposition and the Senate voted 65-24 to invoke cloture, thus limiting debate.


    Robert S. Gelbard

    Jesse Helms, R-N.C., who held up Gelbard's nomination as ambassador to Bolivia since March 1988, eventually allowed the nomination to proceed even though he was

    not completely satisfied
    that Gelbard was not involved in a 1986 incident in which unidentified State Department officials accused Helms or an aide to Helms of leaking secret information to officials in Chile. Gelbard at the time was a deputy to Assistant Secretary of State Elliot Abrams, who was engaged in a battle with Helms over U.S. policy toward Chile. An FBI investigation later found that neither Helms nor his aide had leaked classified information.

    Gelbard also was the latest of several State Department nominees to be critcized by Helms for failing to pay income taxes to the District of Columbia. Helms said Gelbard had avoided paying those taxes by claiming legal residence in Washington state. However, Helms insisted that Gelbard actually lived in Washington, D.C., and that he merely intended to move to Washington state in the future.

    The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the nomination on July 13; the full Senate confirmed Gelbard Aug. 11 by voice vote.

    Susan W. Liebeler

    Liebeler was chairman of the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) during the Reagan administration. She was nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which was created in 1982 to handle trade and patent issues and cases involving claims for damages against the federal government.

    Liebeler's supporters considered her a bright and innovative chairman of the ITC, which heard and ruled on complaints of unfair trading practices. But her opponents (including the steel industry, organized labor and the Customs and International Trade Bar Association) said she was an arrogant, conservative ideologue who ignored congressional intent in favor of her own misguided theories of trade-law enforcement. They contended she resisted finding that U.S. companies have been harmed by foreign competitors.

    The Senate Judiciary Committee sent Liebeler's nomination to the Senate floor without recommendation Feb. 23. The committee had rejected, 6-7, a motion to recommend her favorably. Her nomination never was taken up by the Senate.

    Presidential Vetoes, 1981-88

    President Reagan vetoed a total of 71 public bills during his two terms in office. During his first term, he vetoed 34 public bills; during his second term, he vetoed 37. Reagan's predecessor, Democrat Jimmy Carter, vetoed 29 public bills during his four-year tenure. Reagan's immediate Republican predecessor, Gerald R. Ford, vetoed 61 bills during his two and a half years in office.

    Congress made 16 override attempts in 1981-88; nine were successful. Seven override attempts were made in 1981-84 (four were successful), and nine attempts were made in 1985-88 (five were successful). Two vetoes were overridden in 1982, one in 1983, one in 1984, one in 1985, one in 1986, two in 1987 and one in 1988. Veto overrides require a two-thirds majority vote of both houses.

    The record for veto overrides — 15 — was held by Andrew Johnson. Ford was second with 12 overrides.

    Thirty-four of Reagan's public bill vetoes were pocket vetoes; there were 17 pocket vetoes each term. When Congress is in session, a bill becomes law without the president's signature if he does not act upon it within 10 days, excluding Sundays, from the time he receives it. But if Congress adjourns within that 10-day period, the bill is killed, or pocket-vetoed, without the president's signature.

    In addition, Reagan vetoed seven private bills in 1981-88. Five private bills were vetoed in 1981-84; two in 1985-88. Five of the seven were pocket-vetoed.

    Following is a list of public and private bills vetoed by Reagan in 1981-88. Pocket-veto dates reflect dates of presidential memorandums of disapproval.

    • 1.
    • 2.
    • H J Res 357 (Continuing Appropriations)Vetoed: Nov. 23, 1981No override attempt(Story, Congress and the Nation Vol. VI, p. 45)
    • HR 4353 (Bankruptcy Fees on Lifetime Communities Inc.)Pocket-vetoed: Dec. 29, 1981(Story, Congress and the Nation Vol. VI, p. 677)
    • 3.
    • 5.
    • 6.
    • 7.
    • 8.
    • 9.
    • 10.
    • 11.
    • 12.
    • 13.
    • 14.
    • 15.
    • S 1503 (Standby Petroleum Allocation)Vetoed: March 20, 1982Senate sustained March 24: 58-36(Story, Congress and the Nation Vol. VI, p. 376)
    • HR 5922 (Urgent Supplemental Appropriations, Fiscal 1982)Vetoed: June 24, 1982House sustained June 24: 253-151(Story, Congress and the Nation Vol. VI, p. 50)
    • HR 6682 (Urgent Supplemental Appropriations, Fiscal 1982)Vetoed: June 25, 1982House sustained July 13: 242-169(Story, Congress and the Nation Vol. VI, p. 50)
    • HR 6198 (Manufacturers Copyright Bill)Vetoed: July 8, 1982Veto overridden July 13House: 324-86, July 13Senate: 84-9, July 13(Story, Congress and the Nation Vol. VI, p. 686)
    • HR 6863 (Supplemental Appropriations, Fiscal 1982)Vetoed: Aug. 28, 1982Veto overridden Sept. 10House: 301-117, Sept. 9Senate: 60-30, Sept. 10(Story, Congress and the Nation Vol. VI, p. 50)
    • HR 1371 (Contract Disputes)Vetoed: Oct. 15, 1982No override attempt(Story, Congress and the Nation Vol. VI, p. 781)
    • S 2577 (Environmental Research and Development)Vetoed: Oct. 22, 1982No override attempt(Story, Congress and the Nation Vol. VI, p. 453)
    • S 2623 (Indian Controlled Community Colleges)Pocket-vetoed: Jan. 3, 1983(Story, Congress and the Nation Vol. VI, p. 564)
    • HR 5858 (Private Bill for Relief of Certain Silver Dealers)Pocket-vetoed: Jan. 4, 1983
    • HR 7336 (Education Consolidation and Improvement Act Amendments)Pocket-vetoed: Jan. 12, 1983(Story, Congress and the Nation Vol. VI, p. 564)
    • HR 9 (Florida Wilderness Act)Pocket-vetoed: Jan. 14, 1983(Story, Congress and the Nation Vol. VI, p. 465)
    • HR 3963 (Anti-Crime Bill)Pocket-vetoed: Jan. 14, 1983(Story, Congress and the Nation Vol. VI, p. 689)
    • 16.
    • 17.
    • 18.
    • 19.
    • 20.
    • 21.
    • 22.
    • S 366 (Indian Claims Bill)Vetoed: April 5, 1983No override attempt(Story, Congress and the Nation Vol. VI, p. 787)
    • S 973 (Tax Leasing Plan)Vetoed: June 17, 1983No override attempt(Story, Congress and the Nation Vol. VI, p. 787)
    • HR 3564 (Feed Grains Bill)Vetoed: Aug. 12, 1983No override attempt(Story, Congress and the Nation Vol. VI, p. 510)
    • H J Res 338 (Chicago School Desegregation)Vetoed: Aug. 13, 1983No override attempt
    • S J Res 149 (Dairy Assessment Delay Bill)Vetoed: Aug. 23, 1983No override attempt(Story, Congress and the Nation Vol. VI, p. 505)
    • HR 1062 (Oregon Land Transfer Bill)Vetoed: Oct. 19, 1983Veto overridden Oct. 25Senate: 95-0, Oct. 25House: 297-125, Oct. 25(Story, Congress and the Nation Vol. VI, p. 476)
    • HR 4042 (El Salvador Certification)Pocket-vetoed: Nov. 30, 1983(Story, Congress and the Nation Vol. VI, p. 165)
    • 23.
    • 24.
    • 25.
    • 26.
    • 27.
    • 28.
    • 29.
    • 30.
    • 31.
    • 32.
    • 33.
    • 34.
    • 35.
    • 36.
    • 37.
    • 38.
    • 39.
    • S 684 (Water Resources Research)Vetoed: Feb. 21, 1984Veto overridden March 22Senate: 86-12, March 21House: 309-81, March 22(Story, Congress and the Nation Vol. VI, p. 446)
    • S 2436 (Corporation for Public Broadcasting)Vetoed: Aug. 29, 1984No override attempt(Story, Congress and the Nation Vol. VI, p. 282)
    • HR 1362 (Private Bill for Relief of Joseph Karel Hasek)Vetoed: Oct. 8, 1984No override attempt
    • S 1967 (Indian Affairs)Pocket-vetoed: Oct. 17, 1984(Story, Congress and the Nation Vol. VI, p. 790)
    • HR 2859 (Private Bill for Relief of John Brima Charles)Pocket-vetoed: Oct. 17, 1984
    • S 1097 (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Research and Services Act)Pocket-vetoed: Oct. 19, 1984(Story, Congress and the Nation Vol. VI, p. 790)
    • S 607 (Corporation for Public Broadcasting)Pocket-vetoed: Oct. 19, 1984(Story, Congress and the Nation Vol. VI, p. 282)
    • S 2166 (Indian Health Care Improvement Act)Pocket-vetoed: Oct. 19, 1984(Story, Congress and the Nation Vol. VI, p. 790)
    • HR 6248 (Armed Career Criminal Act of 1984)Pocket-vetoed: Oct. 19, 1984
    • HR 5172 (National Bureau of Standards Authorizations)Pocket-vetoed: Oct. 30, 1984(Story, Congress and the Nation Vol. VI, p. 789)
    • S 540 (Health Research Extension Act of 1984)Pocket-vetoed: Oct. 30, 1984(Story, Congress and the Nation Vol. VI, p. 550)
    • S 2574 (Public Health Service Act Amendments of 1984)Pocket-vetoed: Oct. 30, 1984(Story, Congress and the Nation Vol. VI, p. 551)
    • HR 999 (American Conservation Corps Act of 1984)Pocket-vetoed: Oct. 30, 1984(Story, Congress and the Nation Vol. VI, p. 671)
    • HR 5760 (Indian Affairs)Pocket-vetoed: Oct. 30, 1984
    • HR 723 (Private Bill for Relief of Marsha D. Christopher)Pocket-vetoed: Oct. 31, 1984
    • HR 452 (Private Bill for Relief of Jerome J. Hartmann and Rita J. Hartmann)Pocket-vetoed: Oct. 31, 1984
    • HR 5479 (Civil Actions and Procedures)Pocket-vetoed: Nov. 8, 1984(Story, Congress and the Nation Vol. VI, p. 709)
    • 40.
    • 41.
    • 42.
    • 43.
    • 44.
    • 45.
    • HR 1096 (Farm Credit/African Famine Relief)Vetoed: March 6, 1985No override attempt(Story, p. 513)
    • HR 2409 (National Institutes of Health Research)Vetoed: Nov. 8, 1985Veto overridden Nov. 20House: 380-32, Nov. 12Senate: 89-7, Nov. 20(Story, p. 555)
    • HR 3036 (Treasury/Postal Service Appropriations)Vetoed: Nov. 15, 1985No override attempt
    • HR 1562 (Textile Import Restrictions)Vetoed: Dec. 17, 1985House sustained Aug. 6, 1986: 276-149(Story, p. 141)
    • HR 1404 (Virginia Wildlife Refuge)Vetoed: Jan. 14, 1986No override attempt(Story, p. 439)
    • HR 3384 (Federal Employees' Health Benefits)Vetoed: Jan. 17, 1986No override attempt(Story, p. 846)
    • 46.
    • 47.
    • 48.
    • 49.
    • 50.
    • 51.
    • 52.
    • 53.
    • 54.
    • 55.
    • 56.
    • 57.
    • 58.
    • 59.
    • HR 2466 (Coast Guard Laws)Vetoed: Feb. 14, 1986No override attempt(Story, p. 368)
    • S J Res 316 (Saudi Arms Sale)Vetoed: May 21, 1986Senate sustained June 5: 66-34(Story, p. 198)
    • HR 2316 (Private Bill for Relief of Paulette Mendes-Silva)Vetoed: Sept. 25, 1986No override attempt
    • HR 4868 (Anti-Apartheid Act)Vetoed: Sept. 26, 1986Veto overridden Oct. 2House: 313-83, Sept. 29Senate: 78-21, Oct. 2(Story, p. 180)
    • HR 3247 (Native American Programs)Vetoed: Sept. 26, 1986No override attempt(Story, p. 853)
    • HR 2787 (Small Business Pilot Programs)Vetoed: Oct. 7, 1986No override attempt(Story, p. 374)
    • H J Res 748 (Continuing Appropriations, Fiscal 1987)Vetoed: Oct. 9, 1986No override attempt
    • S 593 (Private Bill for Relief of Merchant National Bank of Mobile, Ala.)Pocket-vetoed: Oct. 25, 1986
    • HR 4175 (Maritime Authorization)Pocket-vetoed: Oct. 28, 1986(Story, p. 367)
    • HR 5465 (Appliance Energy Conservation)Pocket-vetoed: Nov. 1, 1986(Story, p. 453)
    • HR 4961 (Transportation Safety Board)Pocket-vetoed: Nov. 4, 1986(Story, p. 367)
    • S 2057 (Health Promotion Conference)Pocket-vetoed: Nov. 5, 1986(Story, p. 560)
    • S 1128 (Clean Water Act)Pocket-vetoed: Nov. 6, 1986(Story, p. 431)
    • HR 5495 (NASA Authorization)Pocket-vetoed: Nov. 14, 1986(Story, p. 852)
    • 60.
    • 61.
    • 62.
    • HR 1 (Clean Water Act)Vetoed: Jan. 30, 1987Veto overridden Feb. 4House: 401-26, Feb. 3Senate: 86-14, Feb. 4(Story, p. 454)
    • HR 2 (Highway Reauthorization)Vetoed: March 27, 1987Veto overridden April 2House: 350-73, March 31Senate: 67-33, April 2(Story, p. 378)
    • S 742 (Fairness in Broadcasting)Vetoed: June 19, 1987No override attempt(Story, p. 405)
    • 63.
    • 64.
    • 65.
    • 66.
    • 67.
    • 68.
    • 69.
    • 70.
    • 71.
    • 72.
    • 73.
    • 74.
    • 75.
    • 76.
    • 77.
    • 78.
    • S 557 (Civil Rights Restoration Act)Vetoed: March 16, 1988Veto overridden March 22House: 292-133, March 22Senate: 73-24, March 22(Story, p. 763)
    • HR 3 (Omnibus Trade Bill)Vetoed: May 24, 1988House: 308-113, May 24Senate sustained June 8: 61-37(Story, p. 148)
    • HR 4264 (Defense Authorization)Vetoed: Aug. 3, 1988No override attempt(Story, p. 318)
    • HR 1154 (Textile Apparel and Footwear Trade Act)Vetoed: Sept. 28, 1988House sustained Oct. 4: 272-152(Story, p. 164)
    • S 1259 (Buffalo National River Park Access)Vetoed: Oct. 11, 1988No override attempt
    • HR 2596 (Admiralty Island)Pocket-vetoed: Oct. 22, 1988
    • S 508 (Whistleblower Protection Act)Pocket-vetoed: Oct. 26, 1988(Story, p. 858)
    • S 437 (SBA Loan Prepayments)Pocket-vetoed: Oct. 31, 1988(Story, p. 403)
    • S 2751 (Montana Natural Resources Protection and Utilization Act)Pocket-vetoed: Nov. 3, 1988(Story, p. 473)
    • HR 3621 (Southern California Indian Land Transfer Act)Pocket-vetoed: Nov. 2, 1988(Story, p. 865)
    • HR 3966 (Children's Television Act)Pocket-vetoed: Nov. 5, 1988(Story, p. 404)
    • HR 4833 (Nursing Shortage Reduction and Education Extension Act)Pocket-vetoed: Nov. 5, 1988(Story, p. 580)
    • S 1081 (Nutrition Monitoring)Pocket-vetoed: Nov. 8, 1988(Story, p. 605)
    • HR 4432 (Population Census)Pocket-vetoed: Nov. 8, 1988(Story, p. 859)
    • HR 5043 (Post Employment Restrictions Act)Pocket-vetoed: Nov. 25, 1988(Story, p. 856)
    • HR 5560 (Health Act Corrections)Pocket-vetoed: Nov. 25, 1988
    Selected Presidential Texts
    President Reagan's Second Inaugural Address

    Following is the text of President Reagan's inaugural address as delivered Jan. 21, 1985.

    Senator Mathias, Chief Justice Burger, Vice President Bush, Speaker O'Neill, Senator Dole, Reverend Clergy, members of my family and friends, and my fellow citizens:

    This day has been made brighter with the presence here of one who, for a time, has been absent — Senator John Stennis.

    God bless you and welcome back. [Applause.]

    There is, however, one who is not with us today: Representative Gillis Long of Louisiana left us last night. I wonder if we could all join in a moment of silent prayer.1

    [Moment of silent prayer.]


    There are no words adequate to express my thanks for the great honor that you have bestowed on me. I will do my utmost to be deserving of your trust.

    This is, as Senator Mathias told us, the 50th time that we the people have celebrated this historic occasion. When the first President, George Washington, placed his hand upon the Bible, he stood less than a single day's journey by horseback from raw, untamed wilderness.

    There were 4 million Americans in a union of 13 States. Today we are 60 times as many in a union of 50 States. We have lighted the world with our inventions, gone to the aid of mankind wherever in the world there was a cry for help, journeyed to the Moon and safely returned.

    So much has changed. And yet we stand together as we did two centuries ago.

    When I took this oath 4 years ago, I did so in a time of economic stress. Voices were raised saying we had to look to our past for the greatness and glory. But we, the present-day Americans, are not given to looking backward. In this blessed land, there is always a better tomorrow.

    Four years ago, I spoke to you of a new beginning and we have accomplished that. But in another sense, our new beginning is a continuation of that beginning created two centuries ago when, for the first time in history, government, the people said, was not our master, it is our servant; its only power that which we the people allow it to have.

    That system has never failed us, but, for a time, we failed the system. We asked things of government that government was not equipped to give. We yielded authority to the National Government that properly belonged to States or to local governments or to the people themselves. We allowed taxes and inflation to rob us of our earnings and savings and watched the great industrial machine that had made us the most productive people on Earth slow down and the number of unemployed increase.

    By 1980, we knew it was time to renew our faith, to strive with all our strength toward the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with an orderly society.

    We believed then and now: There are no limits to growth and human progress when men and women are free to follow their dreams. And we were right. [Applause.]

    And we were right to believe that. Tax rates have been reduced, inflation cut dramatically, and more people are employed than ever before in our history.

    We are creating a nation once again vibrant, robust, and alive. But there are many mountains yet to climb. We will not rest until every American enjoys the fullness of freedom, dignity, and opportunity as our birthright. It is our birthright as citizens of this great Republic.

    And, if we meet this challenge, these will be years when Americans have restored their confidence and tradition of progress; when our values of faith, family, work, and neighborhood were restated for a modern age; when our economy was finally freed from government's grip; when we made sincere efforts at meaningful arms reduction, rebuilding our defenses, our economy, and developing new technologies, and helped preserve peace in a troubled world; when Americans courageously supported the struggle for liberty, self-government, and free enterprise throughout the world, and turned the tide of history away from totalitarian darkness and into the warm sunlight of human freedom. [Applause.]

    My fellow citizens, our Nation is poised for greatness. We must do what we know is right and do it with all our might. Let history say of us, these were golden years — when the American Revolution was reborn, when freedom gained new life, when America reached for her best.

    Our two-party system has served us well over the years, but never better than in those times of great challenge when we came together not as Democrats or Republicans, but as Americans united in a common cause. [Applause.]

    Two of our Founding Fathers, a Boston lawyer named Adams and a Virginia planter named Jefferson, members of that remarkable group who met in Independence Hall and dared to think they could start the world over again, left us an important lesson. They had become political rivals in the Presidential election of 1800. Then years later, when both were retired, and age had softened their anger, they began to speak to each other again through letters. A bond was reestablished between those two who had helped create this Government of ours.

    In 1826, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, they both died. They died on the same day, within a few hours of each other, and that day was the Fourth of July.

    In one of those letters exchanged in the sunset of their lives, Jefferson wrote:

    It carries me back to the times when, beset with difficulties and dangers, we were fellow laborers in the same cause, struggling for what is most valuable to man, his right to self-government. Laboring always at the same oar, with some wave ever ahead threatening to overwhelm us, and yet passing harmless . . . we rode through the storm with heart and hand.

    Well, with heart and hand, let us stand as one today: One people under God determined that our future shall be worthy of our past. As we do, we must not repeat the well-intentioned errors of our past. We must never again abuse the trust of working men and women, by sending their earnings on a futile chase after the spiraling demands of a bloated Federal establishment. You elected us in 1980 to end this prescription for disaster, and I don't believe you reelected us in 1984 to reverse course. [Applause.]

    At the heart of our efforts is one idea vindicated by 25 straight months of economic growth: Freedom and incentives unleash the drive and entrepreneurial genius that are the core of human progress. We have begun to increase the rewards for work, savings, and investment, reduce the increase in the cost and size of government and its interference in people's lives.

    We must simplify our tax system, make it more fair, and bring the rates down for all who work and earn. We must think anew and move with a new boldness, so every American who seeks work can find work; so the least among us shall have an equal chance to achieve the greatest things — to be heroes who heal our sick, feed the hungry, protect peace among nations, and leave this world a better place.

    The time has come for a new American Emancipation — a great national drive to tear down economic barriers and liberate the spirit of enterprise in the most distressed areas of our country. My friends, together we can do this, and do it we must, so help me God.

    From new freedom will spring new opportunities for growth, a more productive, fulfilled and united people, and a stronger America — an America that will lead the technological revolution, and also open its mind and heart and soul to the treasures of literature, music and poetry, and the values of faith, courage, and love.

    A dynamic economy, with more citizens working and paying taxes, will be our strongest tool to bring down budget deficits. But an almost unbroken 50 years of deficit spending has finally brought us to a time of reckoning.

    We have come to a turning point, a moment for hard decisions. I have asked the Cabinet and my staff a question, and now I put the same question to all of you: If not us, who? And if not now, when? It must be done by all of us going forward with a program aimed at reaching a balanced budget. We can then begin reducing the national debt.

    I will shortly submit a budget to the Congress aimed at freezing Government program spending for the next year. Beyond that, we must take further steps to permanently control Government's power to tax and spend.

    We must act now to protect future generations from Government's desire to spend its citizens' money and tax them into servitude when the bills come due. Let us make it unconstitutional for the Federal Government to spend more than the Federal Government takes in. [Applause.]

    We have already started returning to the people and to State and local governments responsibilities better handled by them. Now, there is a place for the Federal Government in matters of social compassion. But our fundamental goals must be to reduce dependency and upgrade the dignity of those who are infirm or disadvantaged. And here a growing economy and support from family and community offer our best chance for a society where compassion is a way of life, where the old and infirm are cared for, the young and, yes, the unborn protected, and the unfortunate looked after and made self-sufficient. [Applause.]

    And there is another area where the Federal Government can play a part. As an older American, I remember a time when people of different race, creed, or ethnic origin in our land found hatred and prejudice installed in social custom and, yes, in law. There is no story more heartening in our history than the progress that we have made toward the

    brotherhood of man
    that God intended for us. Let us resolve there will be no turning back or hesitation on the road to an America rich in dignity and abundant with opportunity for all our citizens. [Applause.]

    Let us resolve that we the people will build an American opportunity society in which all of us — white and black, rich and poor, young and old — will go forward together arm in arm. Again, let us remember that though our heritage is one of blood lines from every corner of the Earth, we are all Americans pledged to carry on this last, best hope of man on Earth. [Applause.]

    National Security

    I have spoken of our domestic goals and the limitations which we should put on our National Government. Now let me turn to a task which is the primary responsibility of National Government — the safety and security of our people.

    Today we utter no prayer more fervently than the ancient prayer for peace on Earth. Yet history has shown that peace will not come nor will our freedom be preserved by good will alone. There are those in the world who scorn our vision of human dignity and freedom. One nation, the Soviet Union, has conducted the greatest military buildup in the history of man, building arsenals of awesome offensive weapons.

    We have made progress in restoring our defense capability. But much remains to be done. There must be no wavering by us, nor any doubts by others, that America will meet her responsibilities to remain free, secure, and at peace. [Applause.]

    There is only one way safely and legitimately to reduce the cost of national security, and that is to reduce the need for it. And this we are trying to do in negotiations with the Soviet Union. We are not just discussing limits on a further increase of nuclear weapons. We seek, instead, to reduce their number. We seek the total elimination one day of nuclear weapons from the face of the Earth. [Applause.]

    Now, for decades, we and the Soviets have lived under the threat of mutual assured destruction; if either resorted to the use of nuclear weapons, the other could retaliate and destroy the one who had started it. Is there either logic or morality in believing that if one side threatens to kill tens of millions of our people, our only recourse is to threaten killing tens of millions of theirs?

    I have approved a research program to find, if we can, a security shield that would destroy nuclear missiles before they reach their target. It wouldn't kill people, it would destroy weapons. It wouldn't militarize space, it would help demilitarize the arsenals of Earth. It would render nuclear weapons obsolete. We will meet with the Soviets, hoping that we can agree on a way to rid the world of the threat of nuclear destruction.

    We strive for peace and security, heartened by the changes all around us. Since the turn of the century, the number of democracies in the world has grown fourfold. Human freedom is on the march, and nowhere more so than in our own hemisphere. Freedom is one of the deepest and noblest aspirations of the human spirit. People worldwide hunger for the right of self-determination, for those inalienable rights that make for human dignity and progress.

    America must remain freedom's staunchest friend, for freedom is our best ally — [Applause.]

    And it is the world's only hope, to conquer poverty and preserve peace. Every blow we inflict against poverty will be a blow against its dark allies of oppression and war. Every victory for human freedom will be a victory for world peace.

    So we go forward today, a Nation still mighty in its youth and powerful in its purpose. With our alliances strengthened, with our economy leading the world to a new age of economic expansion, we look forward to a world rich in possibilities. And all this because we have worked and acted together, not as members of political parties, but as Americans.

    Echoes of the Past

    My friends, we live in a world that is lit by lightning. So much is changing and will change, but so much endures, and transcends time.

    History is a ribbon, always unfurling; history is a journey. And as we continue our journey, we think of those who traveled before us. We stand together again at the steps of this symbol of our democracy — or we would have been standing at the steps if it hadn't gotten so cold. Now we are standing inside this symbol of our democracy. Now we hear again the echoes of our past.

    A General falls to his knees in the hard snow of Valley Forge; a lonely President paces the darkened halls, and ponders his struggle to preserve the Union; the men of the Alamo call out encouragement to each other; a settler pushes west and sings a song, and the song echoes out forever and fills the unknowing air.

    It is the American sound. It is hopeful, big-hearted, idealistic, daring, decent, and fair. That's our heritage; that is our song. We sing it still. For all our problems, our differences, we are together as of old, as we raise our voices to the God who is the Author of this most tender music. And may He continue to hold us close as we fill the world with our sound — sound in unity, affection, and love. One people under God, dedicated to the dream of freedom that He has placed in the human heart, called upon now to pass that dream on to a waiting and hopeful world.

    God bless you and may God bless America.

    The president referred to Sen. John C. Stennis, D-Miss., who had his leg amputated Nov. 30, 1984, because of cancer, and Rep. Gillis W. Long, D-La., who died Jan. 20.

    President Reagan's Fiscal 1986 Budget Message

    Following is the text of President Reagan's budget message sent to Congress Feb. 4, 1985.


    In the past 2 years we have experienced one of the strongest economic recoveries of the post-war period. The prospect of a substantially brighter future for America lies before us. As 1985 begins, the economy is growing robustly and shows considerable upward momentum. Favorable financial conditions presage a continuation of the expansion. Production, productivity, and employment gains have been impressive, and inflation remains well under control. I am proud of the state of our economy. Let me highlight a few points:

    • • The economy expanded at a 6.8% rate in 1984 and at a 6% annual rate over the 2 years since the recession trough at the end of 1982 — faster than any other upturn since 1951.
    • • Confidence in the economy has prompted business firms to expand their capital facilities. Real investment in new plant and equipment has grown 15.4% annually since the end of 1982 — faster than in any other post-war recovery.
    • • The ratio of real investment to real GNP [gross national product] has reached its highest level in the post-war period.
    • • Industrial production is 23% above its level at the recession trough in November 1982 — a greater advance than in any other recovery since 1958.
    • • Corporate profits have risen nearly 90% since the recession trough in 1982 — the fastest 8-quarter increase in 37 years.
    • • Civilian employment has grown 7.2 million over the past 25 months and the number of unemployed has fallen by 3.7 million. In the last 4 months alone, more than 1.1 million Americans have found jobs.
    • • Inflation remains well under control. The December 1984 CPI [consumer price index] was 4% higher than a year earlier, about a third of the rate of inflation this administration inherited. The GNP deflator, the broadest measure of inflation, increased only 3.5% last year and at only a 2.4% annual rate in the fourth quarter.
    • • The prime rate of interest is now only half of what it was when I took office.
    • Contrast our current circumstances with the situation we faced just 4 years ago. Inflation was raging at double-digit rates. Oil prices had soared. The prime rate of interest was over 20%. The economy was stagnating. Unemployment had risen sharply and was to rise further. America's standing in world opinion was at low ebb.

    All that, mercifully, is behind us now. The tremendous turnaround in our fortunes did not just happen. In February 1981, I presented the four fundamentals of my economic program. They were:

    • • Reducing the growth of overall Federal spending by eliminating activities that are beyond the proper sphere of Federal Government responsibilities and by restraining the growth of spending for other activities.
    • • Limiting tax burdens to the minimum levels necessary to finance only essential government services, thereby strengthening incentives for saving, investment, work, productivity, and economic growth.
    • • Reducing the Federal regulatory burden where the Federal Government intrudes unnecessarily into our private lives, the efficient conduct of private business, or the operations of State and local governments.
    • • Supporting a sound and steady monetary policy, to encourage economic growth and bring inflation under control.

    Four Years of Accomplishment

    These policies were designed to restore economic growth and stability. They succeeded.

    The past 4 years have also seen the beginning of a quiet but profound revolution in the conduct of our Federal Government. We have halted what seemed at the time an inexorable set of trends toward greater and greater Government intrusiveness, more and more regulation, higher and higher taxes, more and more spending, higher and higher inflation, and weaker and weaker defense. We have halted these trends in our first 4 years.

    • • The rate of Federal spending growth was out of control at 17.4% a year in 1980. Under my budget proposals the growth of programmatic spending — that is, total Federal spending except for debt service — will be zero next year — frozen at this year's levels.
    • • Further, spending will grow only 30% over the 4 years from 1982 to 1986, compared to its record pace of 66% between 1977 and 1981, and this despite legislated additions to my program and the needed rebuilding of our defense capabilities.
    • • The Federal tax system was changed for the better — marginal tax rates were reduced and depreciation reform introduced. These reforms were designed to increase incentives for work, training and education, saving, business growth, and capital expansion. Tax loopholes have been closed, improving the equity of the system.
    • • Domestic spending, which previously grew faster than any other major part of the budget (nearly four-fold in real terms between 1960 and 1980), will have been virtually frozen from 1981 to 1985.
    • • Our defense capabilities are now getting back to a level where we can protect our citizens, honor our commitments to our allies, and participate in the long-awaited arms control talks from a position of respected strength.
    • • Federal credit programs, which had also grown out of control, have been cut back, and their management has been vastly improved.
    • • The rapid growth of regulations and red tape has also been halted. The number of Federal rules published by agencies has fallen by over 35% during the past 4 years, and many unnecessary old rules have been eliminated. For the first time, the Federal Register of new regulatory actions has grown shorter for 4 consecutive years; it is now 41% shorter than it was in 1980.
    • • Major management improvement initiatives are underway that will fundamentally change the way the Federal Government operates. The President's Private Sector Survey on Cost Control has completed its report, and many of its recommendations are included in this budget. The President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency has reported $46 billion in improved use of funds through reduction of waste and fraud.
    • • The Federal nondefense work force has been reduced by over 78,000.

    The proposals contained in this budget will build on the accomplishments of the last 4 years and put into action a philosophy of government that is working and that has received the overwhelming endorsement of the American people.

    The 1986 Budget Program

    If we took no action to curb the growth of spending, Federal outlays would rise to over a trillion dollars in 1986. This would result in deficits exceeding $200 billion in each of the next 5 years. This is unacceptable. The budget I propose, therefore, will reduce spending by $51 billion in 1986, $83 billion in 1987, and $105 billion in 1988. Enactment of these measures would reduce the deficit projected for 1988 to $144 billion — still a far cry from our goal of a balanced budget, but a significant step in the right direction and a 42% reduction from the current services level projected for that year.

    Last year my administration worked with Congress to come up with a downpayment on reducing the deficit. This budget commits the Government to a second installment. With comparable commitments to further reductions in the next two budgets, and, I hope, other spending reduction ideas advanced by the Congress, we can achieve our goal in an orderly fashion.

    The budget proposes a 1-year freeze in total spending other than debt service. This will be achieved through a combination of freezes, reforms, terminations, cutbacks, and management improvements in individual programs. For a number of reasons, a line-by-line budget freeze is not possible or desirable. Further, such an approach would assume that all programs are of equal importance. Taken together, the specific proposals in this budget hold total Federal spending excluding debt service constant in 1986 at its 1985 level.

    The budget proposals provide for substantial cost savings in the medicare program, in Federal payroll costs, in agricultural and other subsidies to business and upper-income groups, in numerous programs providing grants to State and local governments, and in credit programs. A freeze is proposed in the level of some entitlement program benefits, other than social security, means-tested programs, and programs for the disabled, that have hitherto received automatic

    cost-of-living adjustments
    every year. The budget proposes further reductions in defense spending below previously reduced mid-year levels.

    Despite the reforms of the past 4 years, our Federal tax system remains complex and inequitable. Tax rates are still so high that they distort economic decisions, and this reduces economic growth from what it otherwise could be. I will propose, after further consultation with the Congress, further tax simplification and reform. The proposals will not be a scheme to raise taxes — only to distribute their burden more fairly and to simplify the entire system. By broadening the base, we can lower rates.

    There will be substantial political resistance to every deficit reduction measure proposed in this budget. Every dollar of current Federal spending benefits someone, and that person has a vested self-interest in seeing these benefits perpetuated and expanded. Prior to my administration, such interests had been dominant and their expectations and demands had been met, time and time again.

    At some point, however, the question must be raised:

    Where is the political logrolling going to stop?
    At some point, the collective demands upon the public Treasury of all the special interests combined exceed the public's ability and willingness to pay. The single most difficult word for a politician to utter is a simple, flat
    The patience of the American people has been stretched as far as it will go. They want action; they have demanded it.

    We said

    frequently in 1981, and real spending for discretionary domestic programs dropped sharply. But we did not accomplish enough. We now have no choice but to renew our efforts with redoubled vigor. The profusion of Federal domestic spending programs must be reduced to an acceptable, appropriate, and supportable size.

    It will require political courage of a high order to carry this program forward in the halls of Congress, but I believe that with good faith and goodwill on all sides, we can succeed. If we fail to reduce excessive Federal benefits to special interest groups, we will be saddled either with larger budget deficits or with higher taxes — either of which would be of greater harm to the American economy and people.

    1986 Management and Regulatory Program

    Not only must both the scope and scale of Federal spending be drastically cut back to reduce the deficit: we must also institute comprehensive management improvements and administrative reforms to make sure that we use available funds as efficiently as possible.

    Tough but necessary steps are being taken throughout the Federal Government to reduce the costs of management and administration. Substantial savings in overhead costs have been achieved under provisions of the Deficit Reduction Act of 1984. A 5% Federal civilian employee salary cut has been proposed; a 10% reduction in administrative overhead has been ordered; termination of programs that have outlived their usefulness is proposed; outmoded, inefficient agency field structures that have evolved over the past half-century are being consolidated and streamlined to take advantage of efficiencies made possible by modern transportation, communication, and information technology.

    Administration of Federal agencies is being made more efficient through the adoption of staffing standards, automation of manual processes, consolidation of similar functions, and reduction of administrative overhead costs. A program to increase productivity by 20% by 1992 in all appropriate Government functions is being instituted, as are improved cash and credit management systems and error rate reduction programs.

    This management improvement program will result in a leaner and more efficient Federal structure and will be described in a management report that I am submitting to the Congress for the first time shortly after my annual budget submission.

    We have also made a great deal of progress in reducing the costs imposed on businesses and State and local governments by Federal regulations. These savings are estimated to total $150 billion over a 10-year period. We have reduced the number of new regulations in every year of my first term and have eliminated or reduced papework requirements by over 300 million hours each year. In addition, the regulations are more carefully crafted to achieve the greatest protection for the least cost, and wherever possible to use market forces instead of working against them.

    A recent Executive Order will strengthen the executive branch coordination that has made these accomplishments possible. For the first time, we will publish an annual program of the most significant regulatory activities, including those that precede the publication of a proposed rule. This will give Congress and the public an earlier opportunity to understand the administration's regulatory policies and priorities.


    The key elements of the program I set out 4 years ago are in place and working well. Our national security is being restored; so, I am happy to report, is our economy. Growth and investment are healthy; and inflation, interest rates, tax rates, and unemployment are down and can be reduced further. The proliferation of unnecessary regulations that stifled both economic growth and our individual freedoms has been halted. Progress has been made toward the reduction of unwarranted and excessive growth in domestic spending programs.

    But we cannot rest on these accomplishments. If we are to attain a new era of sustained peace, prosperity, growth, and freedom, Federal domestic spending must be brought firmly under control. This budget presents the steps that I believe must be taken. I do not exclude other economies that Congress may devise, so long as they do not imperil my fundamental constitutional responsibilities to look after the national defense and the general welfare of the American people.

    Let us get on with the job. The time for action is now.


    February 4, 1985

    President Reagan's 1985 State of the Union Address

    Following is the Congressional Record text of President Reagan's State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress Feb. 6, 1985.

    Mr. Speaker, Mr. President, distinguished Members of the Congress, honored guests, and fellow citizens. I come before you to report on the state of our Union. And I am pleased to report that, after 4 years of united effort, the American people have brought forth a Nation renewed — stronger, freer, and more secure than before.

    Four years ago, we began to change — forever, I hope — our assumptions about Government and its place in our lives. Out of that change has come great and robust growth — in our confidence, our economy, and our role in the world.

    Tonight, America is stronger because of the values that we hold dear. We believe that faith and freedom must be our guiding stars, for they show us truth, they make us brave, give us hope, and leave us wiser than we were. Our progress began not in Washington, D.C., but in the hearts of our families, communities, workplaces, and voluntary groups which, together, are unleashing the invincible spirit of one great Nation under God.

    Four years ago, we said we would invigorate our economy by giving people greater freedom and incentives to take risks, and letting them keep more of what they earned.

    We did what we promised, and a great industrial giant is reborn. Tonight we can take pride in 25 straight months of economic growth, the strongest in 34 years; a three-year inflation average of 3.9 percent, the lowest in 17 years; and 7.3 million new jobs in two years, with more of our citizens working than ever before.

    New freedom in our lives has planted the rich seeds for future success:

    • For an America of wisdom that honors the family, knowing that as the family goes, so goes our civilization;
    • For an America of vision that sees tomorrow's dreams in the learning and hard work we do today;
    • For an America of courage whose servicemen and women, even as we meet, proudly stand watch on the frontiers of freedom;
    • For an America of compassion that opens its heart to those who cry out for help.

    We have begun well. But it's only a beginning. We are not here to congratulate ourselves on what we have done, but to challenge ourselves to finish what has not yet been done.

    We are here to speak for millions in our inner cities who long for real jobs, safe neighborhoods, and schools that truly teach. We are here to speak for the American farmer, the entrepreneur, and every worker in industries fighting to modernize and compete. And, yes, we are here to stand, and proudly so, for all who struggle to break free from totalitarianism; for all who know in their hearts that freedom is the one true path to peace and human happiness.

    Proverbs tells us, without a vision the people perish. When asked what great principle holds our Union together, Abraham Lincoln said,

    Something in [the] Declaration giving liberty, not alone to the people of this country, but hope to the world for all future time.

    We honor the giants of our history, not by going back, but forward to the dreams their vision foresaw. My fellow citizens, this Nation is poised for greatness. The time has come to proceed toward a great new challenge — a Second American Revolution of hope and opportunity; a revolution carrying us to new heights of progress by pushing back frontiers of knowledge and space; a revolution of spirit that taps the soul of America, enabling us to summon greater strength than we have ever known; and, a revolution that carries beyond our shores the golden promise of human freedom in a world at peace.

    Let us begin by challenging our conventional wisdom: There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress except those we ourselves erect. Already, pushing down tax rates has freed our economy to vault forward to record growth.

    In Europe, they are calling it

    the American Miracle.
    Day by day, we are shattering accepted notions of what is possible. When I was growing up, we failed to see how a new thing called radio would transform our marketplace. Well, today many have not yet seen how advances in technology are transforming our lives.

    In the late 1950s, workers at the AT&T semiconductor plant in Pennsylvania produced five transistors a day for $7.50 apiece. They now produce over a million for less than a penny apiece.

    New laser techniques could revolutionize heart bypass surgery, cut diagnosis time for viruses linked to cancer from weeks to minutes, reduce hospital costs dramatically, and hold out new promise for saving human lives.

    Our automobile industry has overhauled assembly lines, increased worker productivity, and is competitive once again.

    We stand on the threshold of a great ability to produce more, do more, be more. Our economy is not getting older and weaker, it is getting younger and stronger. It doesn't need rest and supervision, it needs new challenge and greater freedom. And that word, freedom, is the key to the Second American Revolution that we mean to bring about.

    Tax Simplification

    Let us move together with a historic reform of tax simplification for fairness and growth. Last year I asked then Treasury Secretary [Donald T.] Regan to develop a plan to simplify the tax code, so all taxpayers would be treated more fairly, and personal tax rates could come further down.

    We have cut tax rates by almost 25 percent, yet the tax system remains unfair and limits our potential for growth. Exclusions and exemptions cause similar incomes to be taxed at different levels. Low-income families face steep tax barriers that make hard lives even harder. The Treasury Department has produced an excellent reform plan whose principles will guide the final proposal that we will ask you to enact.

    One thing that tax reform will not be is a tax increase in disguise. We will not jeopardize the mortgage interest deduction that families need. We will reduce personal tax rates as low as possible by removing many tax preferences. We will propose a top rate of not more than 35 percent, and possibly lower. And we will propose reducing corporate rates while maintaining incentives for capital formation.

    To encourage opportunity and jobs rather than dependency and welfare, we will propose that individuals living at or near the poverty line be totally exempt from Federal income tax. To restore fairness to families, we will propose increasing significantly the personal exemption.

    And tonight, I am instructing Treasury Secretary James Baker — I have to get used to saying that — to begin working with congressional authors and committees for bipartisan legislation conforming to these principles. We will call upon the American people for support and upon every man and woman in this chamber. Together we can pass, this year, a tax bill for fairness, simplicity and growth, making this economy the engine of our dreams, and America the investment capital of the world. So let us begin.

    Enterprise, Not Dependency

    Tax simplification will be a giant step toward unleashing the tremendous pent-up power of our economy. But a Second American Revolution must carry the promise of opportunity for all. It is time to liberate the spirit of enterprise in the most distressed areas of our country.

    This Government will meet its responsibility to help those in need. But policies that increase dependency, break up families and destroy self-respect are not progressive, they are reactionary. Despite our strides in civil rights, blacks, Hispanics, and all minorities will not have full and equal power until they have full economic power.

    We have repeatedly sought passage of enterprise zones to help those in the abandoned corners of our land find jobs, learn skills, and build better lives. This legislation is supported by a majority of you. Mr. Speaker, I know we agree that there must be no forgotten Americans. Let us place new dreams in a million hearts and create a new generation of entrepreneurs by passing enterprise zones this year.


    [House Speaker Thomas P. O'Neill Jr., D-Mass.] you could make that a birthday present.

    Nor must we lose the chance to pass our Youth Employment Opportunity Wage proposal. We can help teenagers who have the highest unemployment rate find summer jobs, so they can know the pride of work, and have confidence in their futures.

    We will continue to support the Job Training Partnership Act, which has a nearly two-thirds job placement rate. Credits and education and health care vouchers will help working families shop for services they need. Our Administration is already encouraging certain low-income public housing residents to own and manage their own dwellings. It is time that all public housing residents have that opportunity of ownership.

    The Federal Government can help create a new atmosphere of freedom. But States and localities, many of which enjoy surpluses from the recovery, must not permit their tax and regulatory policies to stand as barriers to growth.

    Let us resolve that we will stop spreading dependency and start spreading opportunity; that we will stop spreading bondage and start spreading freedom.

    Cutting Government Spending

    There are some who say that growth initiatives must await final action on deficit reductions. Well, the best way to reduce deficits is through economic growth. More businesses will be started, more investments made, more jobs created, and more people will be on payrolls paying taxes. The best way to reduce Government spending is to reduce the need for spending by increasing prosperity. Each added percentage point per year of real GNP growth will lead to a cumulative reduction in deficits of nearly $200 billion over five years.

    To move steadily toward a balanced budget we must also lighten Government's claim on our total economy. We will not do this by raising taxes. We must make sure that our economy grows faster than the growth in spending by the Federal Government. In our Fiscal Year 1986 budget, over-all Government program spending will be frozen at the current level; it must not be one dime higher than Fiscal Year 1985. And three points are key:

    First, the social safety net for the elderly, the needy, the disabled, and unemployed will be left intact. Growth of our major health care programs, Medicare and Medicaid, will be slowed, but protections for the elderly and needy will be preserved.

    Second, we must not relax our efforts to restore military strength just as we near our goal of a fully equipped, trained, and ready professional corps. National security is Government's first responsibility, so, in past years, defense spending took about half the Federal budget. Today it takes less than a third.

    We have already reduced our planned defense expenditures by nearly $100 billion over the past 4 years, and reduced projected spending again this year. You know, we only have a military industrial complex until a time of danger. Then it becomes the arsenal of democracy. Spending for defense is investing in things that are priceless: peace and freedom.

    Third, we must reduce or eliminate costly Government subsidies. For example, deregulation of the airline industry has led to cheaper airfares, but on Amtrak taxpayers pay about $35 per passenger every time an Amtrak train leaves the station. It's time we ended this huge Federal subsidy.

    Our farm program costs have quadrupled in recent years. Yet I know from visiting farmers, many in great financial distress, that we need an orderly transition to a market-oriented farm economy. We can help farmers best, not by expanding Federal payments, but by making fundamental reforms, keeping interest rates heading down, and knocking down foreign trade barriers to American farm exports.

    We are moving ahead with Grace Commission reforms to eliminate waste, and improve Government's management practices. In the long run, we must protect the taxpayers from Government. And I ask again that you pass, as 32 States have now called for, an amendment mandating the Federal Government spend no more than it takes in. And I ask for the authority used responsibly by 43 Governors to veto individual items in appropriations bills. Senator Mattingly has introduced a bill permitting a 2-year trial run of the line-item veto. I hope you will pass and send that legislation to my desk.

    Nearly 50 years of Government living beyond its means has brought us to a time of reckoning. Ours is but a moment in history. But one moment of courage, idealism, and bipartisan unity can change American history forever.

    Sound monetary policy is key to long-running economic strength and stability. We will continue to cooperate with the Federal Reserve Board, seeking a steady policy that ensures price stability, without keeping interest rates artificially high or needlessly holding down growth.

    Reducing unneeded red tape and regulations, and deregulating the energy, transportation, and financial industries, have unleashed new competition, giving consumers more choices, better services, and lower prices. In just one set of grant programs we have reduced 905 pages of regulations to 31.

    We seek to fully deregulate natural gas to bring on new supplies and bring us closer to energy independence. Consistent with safety standards, we will continue removing restraints on the bus and railroad industries; we will soon send up legislation to return Conrail to the private sector, where it belongs; and we will support further deregulation of the trucking industry.

    Every dollar the Federal Government does not take from us, every decision it does not make for us, will make our economy stronger, our lives more abundant, our future more free.

    The New Frontier: Space

    Our Second American Revolution will push on to new possibilities not only on Earth, but in the next frontier of space. Despite budget restraints, we will seek record funding for research and development.

    We have seen the success of the space shuttle. Now we are going to develop a permanently manned Space Station, and new opportunities for free enterprise because in the next decade Americans and our friends around the world will be living and working together in space.

    In the zero gravity of space we could manufacture in 30 days lifesaving medicines it would take 30 years to make on Earth. We can make crystals of exceptional purity to produce super computers, creating jobs, technologies, and medical breakthroughs beyond anything we ever dreamed possible.

    As we do all this, we will continue to protect our natural resources. We will seek reauthorization and expanded funding for the Superfund program, to continue cleaning up hazardous waste sites which threaten human health and the environment.

    Rediscovery of Values

    Now, there is another great heritage to speak of this evening. Of all the changes that have swept America the past four years, none brings greater promise than our rediscovery of the values of faith, freedom, family, work, and neighborhood.

    We see signs of renewal in increased attendance in places of worship; renewed optimism and faith in our future; love of country rediscovered by our young who are leading the way. We have rediscovered that work is good in and of itself; that it ennobles us to create and contribute no matter how seemingly humble our jobs. We have seen a powerful new current from an old and honorable tradition — American generosity.

    From thousands answering Peace Corps appeals to help boost food production in Africa, to millions volunteering time, corporations adopting schools, and communities pulling together to help the neediest among us at home, we have refound our values. Private sector initiatives are crucial to our future.

    I thank the Congress for passing equal access legislation giving religious groups the same right to use classrooms after school that other groups enjoy. But no citizen should tremble, nor the world shudder, if a child stands in a classroom and breathes a prayer. We ask you again — give children back a right they had for a century and a half or more in this country.

    The question of abortion grips our Nation. Abortion is either the taking of a human life or it isn't; and if it is — and medical technology is increasingly showing it is — it must be stopped.

    It is a terrible irony that while some turn to abortion, so many others who cannot become parents cry out for children to adopt. We have room for these children; we can fill the cradles of those who want a child to love. Tonight I ask you in the Congress to move this year on legislation to protect the unborn.

    In the area of education, we are returning to excellence and again the heroes are our people, not government. We are stressing basics of discipline, rigorous testing, and homework, while helping children become computer smart as well. For 20 years Scholastic Aptitude Test scores of our high school students went down. But now they have gone up two of the last three years.

    We must go forward in our commitment to the new basics, giving parents greater authority and making sure good teachers are rewarded for hard work and achievement through merit pay.

    Violence and Crime

    Of all the changes in the past 20 years, none has more threatened our sense of national well-being than the explosion of violent crime. One does not have to be attacked to be a victim. The woman who must run to her car after shopping at night is a victim; the couple draping their door with locks and chains are victims; as is the tired, decent cleaning woman who can't ride a subway home without being afraid.

    We do not seek to violate the rights of defendants. But shouldn't we feel more compassion for the victims of crime than for those who commit crime? For the first time in 20 years the crime index has fallen two years in a row; we have convicted over 7,400 drug offenders, and put them, as well as leaders of organized crime, behind bars in record numbers.

    But we must do more. I urge the House to follow the Senate and enact proposals permitting use of all reliable evidence that police officers acquire in good faith. These proposals would also reform the habeus corpus laws and allow, in keeping with the will of the overwhelming majority of Americans, the use of the death penalty where necessary.

    There can be no economic revival in ghettos when the most violent among us are allowed to roam free. It is time we restored domestic tranquility. And we mean to do just that.

    Working for Peace

    Just as we are positioned as never before to secure justice in our economy, we are poised as never before to create a safer, freer, more peaceful world.

    Our alliances are stronger than ever. Our economy is stronger than ever. We have resumed our historic role as a leader of the free world — and all of these together are a great force for peace.

    Since 1981 we have been committed to seeking fair and verifiable arms agreements that would lower the risk of war and reduce the size of nuclear arsenals. Now our determination to maintain a strong defense has influenced the Soviet Union to return to the bargaining table. Our negotiators must be able to go to that table with the united support of the American people. All of us have no greater dream than to see the day when nuclear weapons are banned from this Earth forever.

    Each Member of the Congress has a role to play in modernizing our defenses, thus supporting our chances for a meaningful arms agreement. Your vote this spring on the Peacekeeper missile will be a critical test of our resolve to maintain the strength we need and move toward mutual and verifiable arms reductions.

    For the past 20 years we have believed that no war will be launched as long as each side knows it can retaliate with a deadly counterstrike. Well, I believe there is a better way of eliminating the threat of nuclear war.

    It is a Strategic Defense Initiative aimed ultimately at finding a non-nuclear defense against ballistic missiles. It is the most hopeful possibility of the nuclear age. But it is not well understood.

    Some say it will bring war to the heavens — but its purpose is to deter war, in the heavens and on Earth. Some say the research would be expensive. Perhaps, but it could save millions of lives, indeed humanity itself. Some say if we build such a system the Soviets will build a defense system of their own. Well, they already have strategic defenses that surpass ours; a civil defense system, where we have almost none; and a research program covering roughly the same areas of technology we are exploring. And finally, some say the research will take a long time. The answer to that is:

    Let's get started.

    Aid and Trade

    Harry Truman once said that ultimately our security and the world's hopes for peace and human progress,

    lie not in measures of defense or in the control of weapons, but in the growth and expansion of freedom and self-government.

    Tonight we declare anew to our fellow citizens of the world: Freedom is not the sole prerogative of a chosen few; it is the universal right of all God's children. Look to where peace and prosperity flourish today. It is in homes that freedom built. Victories against poverty are greatest and peace most secure where people live by laws that ensure free press, free speech, and freedom to worship, vote, and create wealth.

    Our mission is to nourish and defend freedom and democracy and to communicate these ideals everywhere we can.

    America's economic success is freedom's success; it can be repeated a hundred times in a hundred different nations. Many countries in East Asia and the Pacific have few resources other than the enterprise of their own people. But through low tax rates and free markets they have soared ahead of centralized economies. And now China is opening up its economy to meet its needs.

    We need a stronger and simpler approach to the process of making and implementing trade policy and will be studying potential changes in that process in the next few weeks.

    We have seen the benefits of free trade and lived through the disasters of protectionism. Tonight I ask all our trading partners, developed and developing alike, to join us in a new round of trade negotiations to expand trade and competition, and strengthen the global economy — and to begin it in this next year.

    There are more than 3 billion human beings living in Third World Countries with an average per capita income of $650 a year. Many are victims of dictatorships that impoverish them with taxation and corruption. Let us ask our allies to join us in a practical program of trade and assistance that fosters economic development through personal incentives to help these people climb from poverty on their own. We cannot play innocents abroad in a world that is not innocent. Nor can we be passive when freedom is under siege. Without resources, diplomacy cannot succeed. Our security assistance programs help friendly governments defend themselves, and give them confidence to work for peace. And I hope that you in the Congress will understand that dollar for dollar security assistance contributes as much to global security as our own defense budget.

    We must stand by all our democratic allies. And we must not break faith with those who are risking their lives on every continent, from Afghanistan to Nicaragua, to defy Soviet-supported aggression and secure rights which have been ours from birth.

    The Sandinista dictatorship of Nicaragua, with full Cuban Soviet-bloc support, not only persecutes its people, the church, and denies a free press, but arms and provides bases for communist terrorists attacking neighboring states. Support for freedom fighters is self-defense, and totally consistent with the OAS [Organization of American States] and U.N. Charters. It is essential that the Congress continue all facets of our assistance to Central America. I want to work with you to support the democratic forces whose struggle is tied to our own security.

    Two American Heroes

    Tonight I have spoken of great plans and great dreams. They are dreams we can make come true. Two hundred years of American history should have taught us that nothing is impossible.

    Ten years ago a young girl left Vietnam with her family, part of the exodus that followed the fall of Saigon. They came to the United States with no possessions and not knowing a word of English, 10 years ago. The young girl studied hard, learned English, and finished high school in the top of her class. And this May, May 22 to be exact, is a big date on her calendar. Just 10 years from the time she left Vietnam she will graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point.

    I thought you might like to meet an American hero named Jean Nguyen.

    Now, there is someone else here tonight — born 79 years ago. She lives in the inner city where she cares for infants born of mothers who are heroin addicts. The children born in withdrawal are sometimes even dropped at her doorstep. She helps them with love.

    Go to her house some night and maybe you will see her silhouette against the window as she walks the floor, talking softly, soothing a child in her arms. Mother Hale of Harlem, and she, too, is an American hero.

    Jean, Mother Hale, your lives tell us that the oldest American saying is new again — anything is possible in America if we have the faith, the will, and the heart.

    History is asking us once again to be a force for good in the world. Let us begin — in unity, with justice and love.

    Thank you and God bless you.

    [Applause, the Members rising.]

    Reagan's Statement on SALT II

    Following is the White House text of President Reagan's June 10, 1985, statement regarding U.S. compliance with the unratified SALT II (strategic arms limitation treaty) agreement.

    In 1982, on the eve of the Strategic Arms Reductions Talks [START], I decided that the United States would not undercut the expired SALT I agreement or the unratified SALT II agreement as long as the Soviet Union exercised equal restraint. Despite my serious reservations about the inequities of the SALT I agreement and the serious flaws of the SALT II agreement, I took this action in order to foster an atmosphere of mutual restraint conducive to serious negotiation as we entered START.

    Since then, the United States has not taken any actions which would undercut existing arms control agreements. The United States has fully kept its part of the bargain. However, the Soviets have not. They have failed to comply with several provisions of SALT II, and we have serious concerns regarding their compliance with the provisions of other accords.

    The pattern of Soviet violations, if left uncorrected, undercuts the integrity and viability of arms control as an instrument to assist in ensuring a secure and stable future world. The United States will continue to pursue vigorously with the Soviet Union the resolution of our concerns over Soviet noncompliance. We cannot impose upon ourselves a double standard that amounts to unilateral treaty compliance.

    We remain determined to pursue a productive dialogue with the Soviet Union aimed at reducing the risk of war through the adoption of meaningful measures which improve security, stability and predictability. Therefore, I have reached the judgment that, despite the Soviet record over the last years, it remains in our interest to establish an interim framework of truly mutual restraint on strategic offensive arms as we pursue with renewed vigor our goal of real reductions in the size of existing nuclear arsenals in the ongoing negotiations in Geneva. Obtaining such reductions remains my highest priority.

    The U.S. cannot establish such a framework alone. It will require the Soviet Union to take the positive, concrete steps to correct its noncompliance, resolve our other compliance concerns, and reverse its unparalleled and unwarranted military build-up. So far, the Soviet Union has not chosen to move in this direction. However, in the interest of ensuring that every opportunity to establish the secure, stable future we seek is fully explored, I am prepared to go the extra mile in seeking an interim framework of truly mutual restraint.

    Therefore, to provide the Soviets the opportunity to join us in establishing such a framework which could support ongoing negotiations, I have decided that the United States will continue to refrain from undercutting existing strategic arms agreements to the extent that the Soviet Union exercises comparable restraint and provided that the Soviet Union actively pursues arms reduction agreements in the currently ongoing Nuclear and Space Talks in Geneva.

    As an integral part of this policy, we will also take those steps required to assure the national security of the United States and our allies which were made necessary by Soviet noncompliance. Appropriate and proportionate responses to Soviet noncompliance are called for to ensure our security, to provide incentives to the Soviets to correct their noncompliance, and to make it clear to Moscow that violations of arms control obligations entail real costs.

    Certain Soviet violations are, by their very nature, irreversible. Such is the case with respect to the Soviet Union's flight-testing and steps towards deployment of the SS-X-25 missile, a second new type of ICBM [intercontinental ballistic missile] prohibited by the unratified SALT II agreement. Since the noncompliance associated with the development of this missile cannot be corrected by the Soviet Union, the United States reserves the right to respond in a proportionate manner at the appropriate time. The MIDGETMAN small ICBM program is particularly relevant in this regard.

    Other Soviet activities involving non-compliance may be reversible and can be corrected by Soviet action. In these instances, we will provide the Soviet Union additional time to take such required corrective action. As we monitor Soviet actions for evidence of the positive, concrete steps needed on their part to correct these activities, I have directed the Department of Defense to conduct a comprehensive assessment aimed at identifying specific actions which the United States could take to augment as necessary the U.S. strategic modernization program as a proportionate response to, and as a hedge against the military consequences of, those Soviet violations of existing arms agreements which the Soviets fail to correct.

    To provide adequate time for the Soviets to demonstrate by their actions a commitment to join us in an interim framework of true mutual restraint, we will plan to deactivate and dismantle according to agreed procedures an existing POSEIDON SSBN as the seventh U.S. Ohio-class submarine puts to sea later this year. However, the United States will keep open all programmatic options for handling such milestones as they occur in the future. As these later milestones are reached, I will assess the overall situation in light of Soviet actions correcting their noncompliance and promoting progress in Geneva and make a final determination of the U.S. course of action on a case-by-case basis.

    I firmly believe that if we are to put the arms reduction process on a firm and lasting foundation, and obtain real reductions, our focus must remain on making best use of the promise provided by the currently ongoing negotiations in Geneva. Our policy, involving the establishment of an interim framework for truly mutual restraint and proportionate U.S. response to uncorrected Soviet noncompliance, is specifically designed to go the extra mile in giving the Soviet Union the opportunity to join us in this endeavor.

    My hope is that if the Soviets will do so, we will be able jointly to make progress in framing equitable and verifiable agreements involving real reductions in the size of existing nuclear arsenals in the Geneva negotiations. Such an achievement would not only provide the best and most permanent constraint on the growth of nuclear arsenals, but it would take a major step towards reducing the size of these arsenals and creating a safer future for all nations.

    Reagan's Speech on U.S.-Soviet Summit in Geneva

    Following is the White House text of President Reagan's Nov. 21, 1985, remarks on the U.S.-Soviet summit meeting held in Geneva, Switzerland, as delivered to a joint session of Congress.

    Mr. Speaker, Mr. President, members of the Congress, distinguished guests, my fellow Americans:

    It's great to be home, and Nancy and I thank you for this wonderful homecoming. And before I go on, I want to say a personal thank you to Nancy. She was an outstanding ambassador of good will for all of us. [Applause.] She didn't know I was going to say that.

    Mr. Speaker, Senator [Robert] Dole [R-Kan.], I want you to know that your statements of support here were greatly appreciated. You can't imagine how much it means in dealing with the Soviets to have the Congress, the allies, and the American people firmly behind you. [Applause.]

    I guess you know that I have just come from Geneva and talks with General Secretary [Mikhail S.] Gorbachev. In the past few days, we spent over 15 hours in various meetings with the General Secretary and the members of his official party. And approximately five of those hours were talks between Mr. Gorbachev and myself, just one on one. That was the best part — our fireside summit.

    There will be, I know, a great deal of commentary and opinion as to what the meetings produced and what they were like. There were over 3,000 reporters in Geneva, so it's possible there will be 3,000 opinions on what happened, so — [applause] — maybe it's the old broadcaster in me but I decided to file my own report directly to you. [Applause.]

    `A Constructive Meeting'

    We met, as we had to meet. I had called for a fresh start — and we made that start. I can't claim we had a meeting of the minds on such fundamentals as ideology or national purpose — but we understand each other better, and that's the key to peace. I gained a better perspective; I feel he did, too.

    It was a constructive meeting. So constructive, in fact, that I look forward to welcoming Mr. Gorbachev to the United States next year. [Applause.] And I have accepted his invitation to go to Moscow the following year. [Applause.] We arranged that out in the parking lot. [Applause.]

    I found Mr. Gorbachev to be an energetic defender of Soviet policy. He was an eloquent speaker, and a good listener. Our subject matter was shaped by the facts of this century.

    Summit's Historic Background

    These past 40 years have not been an easy time for the West or for the world. You know the facts; there is no need to recite the historical record. Suffice it to say that the United States cannot afford illusions about the nature of the USSR. We cannot assume that their ideology and purpose will change. This implies enduring competition. Our task is to assure that this competition remains peaceful. With all that divides us, we cannot afford to let confusion complicate things further. We must be clear with each other, and direct. We must pay each other the tribute of candor.

    When I took the oath of office for the first time, we began dealing with the Soviet Union in a way that was more realistic than in, say, the recent past. And so, in a very real sense, preparations for the summit started not months ago but five years ago when, with the help of Congress, we began strengthening our economy, restoring our national will, and rebuilding our defenses and alliances. America is once again strong — and our strength has given us the ability to speak with confidence and see that no true opportunity to advance freedom and peace is lost. [Applause.] We must not now abandon policies that work. I need your continued support to keep America strong.

    That is the history behind the Geneva summit, and that is the context in which it occurred. And may I add that we were especially eager that our meetings give a push to important talks already under way on reducing nuclear weapons. On this subject it would be foolish not to go the extra mile — or in this case the extra 4,000 miles.

    We discussed the great issues of our time. I made clear that before the first meeting that no question would be swept aside, no issue buried, just because either side found it uncomfortable or inconvenient.

    I brought these questions to the summit and put them before Mr. Gorbachev.

    Nuclear Arms Reduction - 1

    We discussed nuclear arms and how to reduce them. I explained our proposals for equitable, verifiable, and deep reductions. I outlined my conviction that our proposals would make not just for a world that feels safer but one that really is safer.

    I am pleased to report tonight that General Secretary Gorbachev and I did make a measure of progress here. [Applause.] While we still have a long way to go, we're still heading in the right direction. We moved arms control forward from where we were last January, when the Soviets returned to the table. We are both instructing our negotiators to hasten their vital work. The world is waiting for results.

    Specifically, we agreed in Geneva that each side should move to cut offensive nuclear arms by 50 percent in appropriate categories. In our joint statement we called for early progress on this, turning the talks toward our chief goal, offensive reductions. We called for an interim accord on intermediate-range nuclear forces, leading, I hope, to the complete elimination of this class of missiles. And all this with tough verification. [Applause.]

    We also made progress in combating together the spread of nuclear weapons, an arms control area in which we've cooperated effectively over the years. We are also opening a dialogue on combating the spread and use of chemical weapons, while moving to ban them altogether. [Applause.] Other arms control dialogues — in Vienna on conventional forces, and in Stockholm on lessening the chances for a surprise attack in Europe — also received a boost. And finally, we agreed to begin work on risk reduction centers, a decision that should give special satisfaction to Senators [Sam] Nunn [D-Ga.] and [John W.] Warner [R-Va.] who so ably promoted this idea. [Applause.]

    Strategic Defense Initiative - 1

    I described our Strategic Defense Initiative [SDI] — our research effort that envisions the possibility of defensive systems which could ultimately protect all nation[s] against the danger of nuclear war. This discussion produced a very direct exchange of views.

    Mr. Gorbachev insisted that we might use a strategic defense system to put offensive weapons into space and establish nuclear superiority.

    I made it clear that SDI has nothing to do with offensive weapons; that, instead, we are investigating non-nuclear defensive systems that would only threaten offensive missiles, not people. If — [applause] — our research succeeds, it will bring much closer the safer, more stable world we seek. Nations could defend themselves against missile attack, and mankind, at long last, escape the prison of mutual terror. And this is my dream.

    Nuclear Arms Reduction - 2

    So I welcomed the chance to tell Mr. Gorbachev that we are a nation that defends, rather than attacks, that our alliances are defensive, not offensive. We don't seek nuclear superiority. We do not seek a first strike advantage over the Soviet Union.

    Indeed, one of my fundamental arms control objectives is to get rid of first-strike weapons altogether. And this is why — [applause] — this is why we've proposed a 50 percent reduction in the most threatening nuclear weapons, especially those that could carry out a first strike.

    Strategic Defense Initiative - 2

    I went further in expressing our peaceful intentions. I described our proposal in the Geneva negotiations for a reciprocal program of open laboratories and strategic defense research. We're offering to permit Soviet experts to see first-hand that SDI does not involve offensive weapons. American scientists would be allowed to visit comparable facilities of the Soviet strategic defensive program, which, in fact, has involved much more than research for many years.

    Finally, I reassured Mr. Gorbachev on another point. I promised that if our research reveals that a defense against nuclear missiles is possible, we would sit down with our allies and the Soviet Union to see how together we could replace all strategic ballistic missiles with such a defense, which threatens no one.

    Regional Peace Process

    We discussed threats to the peace in several regions of the world. I explained my proposals for a peace process to stop the wars in Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Ethiopia, Angola, and Cambodia — [applause] — those places where insurgencies that speak for the people are pitted against regimes which obviously do not represent the will or the approval of the people. I tried to be very clear about where our sympathies lie; I believe I succeeded. [Applause.]

    Human Rights

    We discussed human rights. We Americans believe that history teaches no clearer lesson than this: Those countries which respect the rights of their own people tend, inevitably, to respect the rights of their neighbors. [Applause.] Human rights, therefore, is not an abstract moral issue — it is a peace issue.

    Increased Cultural Exchanges

    Finally, we discussed the barriers to communication between our societies, and I elaborated on my proposals for real people-to-people contacts on a wide scale.

    Americans should know the people of the Soviet Union — their hopes and fears and the facts of their lives. And citizens of the Soviet Union need to know of America's deep desire for peace and our unwavering attachment to freedom.

    As you can see, our talks were wide-ranging. And let me at this point tell you what we agreed upon and what we didn't.

    We remain far apart on a number of issues, as had to be expected. However, we reached agreement on a number of matters, and, as I mentioned, we agreed to continue meeting and this is important and very good. [Applause.] There's always room for movement, action, and progress when people are talking to each other instead of talking about each other.

    We've concluded a new agreement designed to bring the best of America's artists and academics to the Soviet Union. The exhibits that will be included in this exchange are one of the most effective ways for the average Soviet citizen to learn about our way of life. This agreement will also expand the opportunities for Americans to experience the Soviet people's rich cultural heritage — because their artists and academics will be coming here.

    We've also decided to go forward with a number of people-to-people initiatives that will go beyond greater contact not only between the political leaders of our two countries, but our respective students, teachers and others as well. We have emphasized youth exchanges. And this will help break down stereotypes, build friendships and, frankly, provide an alternative to propaganda.

    Other Agreements

    We've agreed to establish a new Soviet Consulate in New York and a new American Consulate in Kiev. This will bring a permanent U.S. presence to the Ukraine for the first time in decades. [Applause.]

    And we have also, together with the government of Japan, concluded a Pacific Air Safety Agreement with the Soviet Union. This is designed to set up cooperative measures to improve civil air safety in that region of the Pacific. What happened before must never be allowed to happen there again. [Applause.]

    And as a potential way of dealing with the energy needs of the world of the future, we have also advocated international cooperation to explore the feasibility of developing fusion energy.

    All of these steps are part of a long-term effort to build a more stable relationship with the Soviet Union. No one ever said it could be easy. But we've come a long way.

    Soviet Expansionism

    As for Soviet expansionism in a number of regions of the world — while there is little chance of immediate change, we will continue to support the heroic efforts of those who fight for freedom. But we have also agreed to continue — and to intensify — our meetings with the Soviets on this and other regional conflicts and to work toward political solutions.

    A Worthwhile Meeting

    We know the limits as well as the promise of summit meetings. This is, after all, the 11th summit of the postwar era — and still the differences endure. But we believe continued meetings between the leaders of the United States and the Soviet Union can help bridge those differences.

    The fact is, every new day begins with possibilities; it's up to us to fill it with the things that move us toward progress and peace. Hope, therefore, is a realistic attitude — and despair an uninteresting little vice.

    And so: Was our journey worthwhile?

    Well, thirty years ago, when Ike — President Eisenhower — had just returned from a summit in Geneva, he said,

    ... the wide gulf that separates so far East and West is wide and deep.
    Well, today, three decades later, that is still true.

    But, yes, this meeting was worthwhile for both sides. [Applause.] A new realism spawned the summit, the summit itself was a good start; and now our byword must be: Steady as we go.

    Hopes for the Future

    I am, as you are, impatient for results. But good will and good hopes do not always yield lasting results. And quick fixes don't fix big problems.

    Just as we must avoid illusions on our side, so we must dispel them on the Soviet side. I have made it clear to Mr. Gorbachev that we must reduce the mistrust and suspicions between us if we are to do such things as reduce arms, and this will take deeds, not words alone. I believe he is in agreement.

    Where do we go from here? Well, our desire for improved relations is strong. We're ready and eager for step-by-step progress. We know that peace is not just the absence of war. We don't want a phony peace or a frail peace; we didn't go in pursuit of some kind of illusory détente. We can't be satisfied with cosmetic improvements that won't stand the test of time. We want real peace.

    As I flew back this evening, I had many thoughts. In just a few days families across America will gather to celebrate Thanksgiving. And again, as our forefathers who voyaged to America, we traveled to Geneva with peace as our goal and freedom as our guide. For there can be no greater good than the quest for peace and no finer purpose than the preservation of freedom. [Applause.]

    It is 350 years since the first Thanksgiving, when Pilgrims and Indians huddled together on the edge of an unknown continent. And now here we are gathered together on the edge of an unknown future — but, like our forefathers, really not so much afraid, but full of hope, and trusting in God, as ever.

    Thank you for allowing me to talk to you this evening and God bless you all. [Applause.]

    President Reagan's 1986 State of the Union Address

    Following is the White House text of President Reagan's State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress Feb. 4, 1986.

    Mr. Speaker, Mr. President, distinguished members of the Congress, honored guests and fellow citizens, thank you for allowing me to delay my address until this evening. We paused together to mourn and honor the valor of our seven Challenger heroes. And I hope that we are now ready to do what they would want us to do — go forward America and reach for the stars. [Applause.] We will never forget those brave seven, but we shall go forward.

    Salute to Speaker O'Neill

    Mr. Speaker, before I begin my prepared remarks, may I point out that tonight marks the 10th and last State of the Union message that you've presided over. And on behalf of the American people, I want to salute you for your service to Congress and the country. [Applause.]

    On the Move

    I have come to review with you the progress of our nation, to speak of unfinished work, and to set our sights on the future. I am pleased to report the state of our Union is stronger than a year ago, and growing stronger each day. [Applause.] Tonight, we look out on a rising America — firm of heart, united in spirit, powerful in pride and patriotism — America is on the move!

    `The Great American Comeback'

    But, it wasn't long ago that we looked out on a different land — locked factory gates, long gasoline lines, intolerable prices and interest rates turning the greatest country on Earth into a land of broken dreams. Government growing beyond our consent had become a lumbering giant, slamming shut the gates of opportunity, threatening to crush the very roots of our freedom.

    What brought America back? The American people brought us back — with quiet courage and common sense; [applause] with undying faith that in this nation under God the future will be ours, for the future belongs to the free.

    Tonight the American people deserve our thanks — for 37 straight months of economic growth; for sunrise firms and modernized industries creating 9 million new jobs in three years; interest rates cut in half, inflation falling over from 12 percent in 1980 to under 4 today; and a mighty river of good works, a record $74 billion in voluntary giving just last year alone.

    And despite the pressures of our modern world, family and community remain the moral core of our society, guardians of our values and hopes for the future. Family and community are the costars of this Great American Comeback. They are why we say tonight: Private values must be at the heart of public policies.

    What is true for families in America is true for America in the family of free nations. History is no captive of some inevitable force. History is made by men and women of vision and courage. Tonight, freedom is on the march. The United States is the economic miracle, the model to which the world once again turns. We stand for an idea whose time is now: Only by lifting the weights from the shoulders of all can people truly prosper and can peace among all nations be secure.

    An `Agenda for the Future'

    Teddy Roosevelt said that a nation that does great work lives forever. We have done well, but we cannot stop at the foot-hills when Everest beckons. It's time for America to be all that we can be.

    We speak tonight of an

    Agenda for the Future,
    an agenda for a safer, more secure world. And we speak about the necessities for actions to steel us for the challenges of growth, trade and security in the next decade and the year 2000. And we will do it — not by breaking faith with bedrock principles, but by breaking free from failed policies. [Applause.]

    Let us begin where storm clouds loom darkest — right here in Washington, D.C. This week I will send you our detailed proposals; tonight, let us speak of our responsibility to redefine government's role: Not to control, not to demand or command, not to contain us; but to help in times of need, and above all, to create a ladder of opportunity to full employment so that all Americans can climb toward economic power and justice on their own.

    Broken Budget Process

    But we cannot win the race to the future shackled to a system that can't even pass a federal budget. We cannot win that race held back by horse-and-buggy programs that waste tax dollars and squander human potential. We cannot win that race if we're swamped in a sea of red ink.

    Now, Mr. Speaker, you know, I know, and the American people know the federal budget system is broken. It doesn't work. Before we leave this city, let's you and I work together to fix it. [Applause.] And then we can finally give the American people a balanced budget. [Applause.]

    Promise of Gramm-Rudman-Hollings

    Members of Congress, passage of Gramm-Rudman-Hollings gives us an historic opportunity to achieve what has eluded our national leadership for decades, forcing federal government to live within its means.

    Your schedule now requires that the budget resolution be passed by April 15th, the very day America's families have to foot the bill for the budgets that you produce.

    How often we read of a husband and wife both working, struggling from paycheck to paycheck to raise a family, meet a mortgage, pay their taxes and bills. And yet, some in Congress say taxes must be raised. Well, I'm sorry — they're asking the wrong people to tighten their belts. [Applause.] It's time we reduce the federal budget and left the family budget alone. [Applause.] We do not face large deficits because American families are undertaxed; we face those deficits because the federal government overspends.

    The detailed budget that we will submit will meet the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings target for deficit reductions, meet our commitment to ensure a strong national defense, meet our commitment to protect Social Security and the truly less fortunate, and, yes, meet our commitment to not raise taxes. [Applause.]

    How should we accomplish this? Well, not by taking from those in need. As families take care of their own, government must provide shelter and nourishment for those who cannot provide for themselves. But we must revise or replace programs enacted in the name of compassion that degrade the moral worth of work, encourage family breakups, and drive entire communities into a bleak and heartless dependency.

    Call for Line-Item Veto

    Gramm-Rudman-Hollings can mark a dramatic improvement. But experience shows that simply setting deficit targets does not assure they'll be met. We must proceed with Grace Commission reforms against waste. And tonight, I ask you to give me what 43 Governors have — give me a line-item veto this year. [Applause.] Give me the authority to veto waste, and I'll take the responsibility, I'll make the cuts, I'll take the heat.

    This authority would not give me any monopoly power, but simply prevent spending measures from sneaking through that could not pass on their own merit. And you can sustain or override my veto — that's the way the system should work. Once we've made the hard choices, we should lock in our gains with a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. [Applause.]

    Commitment to Defense

    I mentioned that we will meet our commitment to national defense. We must meet it. Defense is not just another budget expense. Keeping America strong, free, and at peace is solely the responsibility of the Federal Government; it is Government's prime responsibility. We have devoted five years trying to narrow a dangerous gap born of illusion and neglect. And we've made important gains. Yet the threat from Soviet forces, conventional and strategic, from the Soviet drive for domination, from the increase in espionage and state terror remains great. This is reality. Closing our eyes will not make reality disappear.

    We pledge together to hold real growth in defense spending to the bare minimum. My budget honors that pledge. And I'm now asking you, the Congress, to keep its end of the bargain. The Soviets must know that if America reduces her defenses, it will be because of a reduced threat, not a reduced resolve. [Applause.]

    Keeping America strong is as vital to the national security as controlling Federal spending is to our economic security. But, as I have said before, the most powerful force we can enlist against the Federal deficit is an ever-expanding American economy, unfettered and free.

    Push for Tax Overhaul

    The magic of opportunity — unreserved, unfailing, unrestrained — isn't this the calling that unites us? I believe our tax rate cuts for the people have done more to spur a spirit of risk-taking and help America's economy break free than any program since John Kennedy's tax cut almost a quarter century ago.

    Now history calls us to press on, to complete efforts for an historic tax reform providing new opportunity for all and ensuring that all pay their fair share — but no more. We've come this far. Will you join me now and we'll walk this last mile together? [Applause.]

    You know my views on this. We cannot and we will not accept tax reform that is a tax increase in disguise. True reform must be an engine of productivity and growth, and that means a top personal rate no higher than 35 percent. True reform must be truly fair and that means raising personal exemptions to $2,000. True reform means a tax system that at long last is pro-family, pro-jobs, pro-future, and pro-America. [Applause.]

    Efforts for Freer Trade

    As we knock down the barriers to growth, we must redouble our efforts for freer and fairer trade. We have already taken actions to counter unfair trading practices to pry open closed foreign markets. We will continue to do so. We will also oppose legislation touted as providing protection that in reality pits one American worker against another, one industry against another, one community against another, and that raises prices for us all. If the United States can trade with other nations on a level playing field, we can out-produce, out-compete, and out-sell anybody, anywhere in the world. [Applause.]

    International Currencies

    The constant expansion of our economy and exports requires a sound and stable dollar at home and reliable exchange rates around the world. We must never again permit wild currency swings to cripple our farmers and other exporters. Farmers, in particular, have suffered from past unwise government policies. They must not be abandoned with problems they did not create and cannot control. We've begun coordinating economic and monetary policy among our major trading partners. But there's more to do, and tonight I am directing Treasury Secretary Jim Baker to determine if the nations of the world should convene to discuss the role and relationship of our currencies. [Applause.]

    Social Agenda

    Confident in our future, and secure in our values, Americans are striving forward to embrace the future. We see it not only in our recovery, but in three straight years of falling crime rates, as families and communities band together to fight pornography, drugs, and lawlessness, and to give back to their children the safe and, yes, innocent childhood they deserve.

    We see it in the renaissance in education, the rising SAT scores for three years — last year's increase the greatest since 1963. It wasn't government and Washington lobbies that turned education around, it was the American people who, in reaching for excellence, knew to reach back to basics. We must continue the advance by supporting discipline in our schools; vouchers that give parents freedom of choice; and we must give back to our children their lost right to acknowledge God in their classrooms. [Applause.]

    We are a nation of idealists, yet today there is a wound in our national conscience; America will nver be whole as long as the right to life granted by our Creator is denied to the unborn. For the rest of my time, I shall do what I can to see that this wound is one day healed. [Applause.]

    Re-Evaluating Welfare Programs

    As we work to make the American Dream real for all, we must also look to the condition of America's families. Struggling parents today worry how they will provide their children the advantages that their parents gave them. In the welfare culture, the breakdown of the family, the most basic support system, has reached crisis proportions — in female and child poverty, child abandonment, horrible crimes and deteriorating schools. After hundreds of billions of dollars in poverty programs, the plight of the poor grows more painful. But the waste in dollars and cents pales before the most tragic loss — the sinful waste of human spirit and potential.

    We can ignore this terrible truth no longer. As Franklin Roosevelt warned 51 years ago, standing before this chamber, he said,

    Welfare is a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit.
    And we must now escape the spider's web of dependency. Tonight I am charging the White House Domestic Council to present me by December 1, 1986, an evaluation of programs and a strategy for immediate action to meet the financial, educational, social, and safety concerns of poor families. I am talking about real and lasting emancipation, because the success of welfare should be judged by how many of its recipients become independent of welfare. [Applause.]

    Affordable Health Insurance

    Further, after seeing how devastating illness can destroy the financial security of the family, I am directing the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. Otis Bowen, to report to me by year end with recommendations on how the private sector and government can work together to address the problems of affordable insurance for those whose life savings would otherwise be threatened when catastrophic illness strikes.

    Message to Young People

    And tonight I want to speak directly to America's younger generation, because you hold the destiny of our nation in your hands. With all the temptations young people face it sometimes seems the allure of the permissive society requires superhuman feats of self-control. But the call of the future is too strong, the challenge too great to get lost in the blind alleyways of dissolution, drugs, and despair.

    Wonder and Achievement

    Never has there been a more exciting time to be alive — a time of rousing wonder and heroic achievement. As they said in the film

    Back to the Future
    Where we are going, we don't need roads.
    Well, today physicists peering into the infinitely small realms of subatomic particles find reaffirmations of religious faith. Astronomers build a space telescope that can see to the edge of the universe and possibly back to the moment of creation.

    Continuing the Space Program

    So, yes, this nation remains fully committed to America's space program. We're going forward with our shuttle flights, we're going forward to build our space station, and we are going forward with research on a new Orient Express that could, by the end of the next decade, take off from Dulles Airport, accelerate up to 25 times the speed of sound, attaining low Earth orbit or flying to Tokyo within two hours. [Applause.]

    Anti-Missile Defense

    And the same technology transforming our lives can solve the greatest problem of the 20th century. A security shield can one day render nuclear weapons obsolete and free mankind from the prison of nuclear terror. [Applause.] America met one historic challenge and went to the moon. Now America must meet another — to make our strategic defense real for all the citizens of planet Earth.

    U.S.-Soviet Relations

    Let us speak of our deepest longing for the future — to leave our children a land that is free and just and a world at peace. It is my hope that our fireside summit in Geneva and Mr. [Mikhail S.] Gorbachev's upcoming visit to America can lead to a more stable relationship. Surely no people on Earth hate war more or love peace more than we Americans. [Applause.]

    But we cannot stroll into the future with childlike faith. Our differences with a system that openly proclaims and practices an alleged right to command people's lives and to export its ideology by force are deep and abiding.

    Logic and history compel us to accept that our relationship be guided by realism — rock-hard, clear-eyed, steady, and sure. Our negotiators in Geneva have proposed a radical cut in offensive forces by each side, with no cheating. They have made clear that Soviet compliance with the letter and spirit of agreements is essential. If the Soviet government wants an agreement that truly reduces nuclear arms, there will be an agreement. [Applause.]

    But arms control is no substitute for peace. We know that peace follows in freedom's path and conflicts erupt when the will of the people is denied. So we must prepare for peace not only by reducing weapons but by bolstering prosperity, liberty, and democracy however and wherever we can. [Applause.]

    Advancing Opportunity

    We advance the promise of opportunity every time we speak out on behalf of lower tax rates, freer markets, sound currencies around the world. We strengthen the family of freedom every time we work with allies and come to the aid of friends under siege. And we can enlarge the family of free nations if we will defend the unalienable rights of all God's children to follow their dreams.

    Support for `Freedom Fighters'

    To those imprisoned in regimes held captive, to those beaten for daring to fight for freedom and democracy — for their right to worship, to speak, to live and to prosper in the family of free nations — we say to you tonight: You are not alone, Freedom Fighters. America will support you with moral and material assistance your right not just to fight and die for freedom, but to fight and win freedom — [applause] — to win freedom in Afghanistan; in Angola; in Cambodia; and in Nicaragua. [Applause.]

    This is a great moral challenge for the entire world. Surely, no issue is more important for peace in our own hemisphere, for the security of our frontiers, for the protection of our vital interests — than to achieve democracy in Nicaragua and to protect Nicaragua's democratic neighbors.

    This year I will be asking Congress for the means to do what must be done for the great and good cause. As [Sen. Henry M.]

    Jackson [D-Wash.], the inspiration for our Bipartisan Commission on Central America, once said,
    In matters of national security, the best politics is no politics.

    The Race to the Future

    What we accomplish this year, in each challenge we face, will set our course for the balance of the decade, indeed for the remainder of the century. After all we've done so far, let no one say that this nation cannot reach the destiny of our dreams. America believes, America is ready, America can win the race to the future — and we shall.

    The American Dream is a song of hope that rings through night winter air. Vivid, tender music that warms our hearts when the least among us aspire to the greatest things — to venture a daring enterprise; to unearth new beauty in music, literature, and art; to discover a new universe inside a tiny silicon chip or a single human cell.

    `Heroes of Our Hearts'

    We see the dream coming true in the spirit of discovery of Richard Cavoli — all his life he's been enthralled by the mysteries of medicine. And Richard, we know that the experiment that you began in high school was launched and lost last week, yet your dream lives. And as long as it's real, work of noble note will yet be done — work that could reduce the harmful effects of X-rays on patients and enable astronomers to view the golden gateways of the farthest stars.

    We see the dream glow in the towering talent of a 12-year-old, Tyrone Ford — a child prodigy of gospel music, he has surmounted personal adversity to become an accomplished pianist and singer. He also directs the choirs of three churches and has performed at the Kennedy Center.

    With God as your composer, Tyrone, your music will be the music of angels.

    We see the dream being saved by the courage of the 13-year-old, Shelby Butler — honor student and member of her school's safety patrol. Seeing another girl freeze in terror before an out-of-control school bus, she risked her life and pulled her to safety.

    With bravery like yours, Shelby, America need never fear for our future.

    And we see the dream born again in the joyful compassion of a 13-year-old, Trevor Ferrell. Two years ago, age 11, watching men and women bedding down in abandoned doorways — on television he was watching — Trevor left his suburban Philadelphia home to bring blankets and food to the helpless and homeless. And now, 250 people help him fulfill his nightly vigil.

    Trevor, yours is the living spirit of brotherly love. Would you four stand up for a moment? [Applause.]

    Thank you, thank you. You are heroes of our hearts. We look at you and know it's true — in this land of dreams fulfilled, where greater dreams may be imagined, nothing is impossible, no victory is beyond our reach, no glory will ever be too great.

    So now, it's up to us, all of us, to prepare America for that day when our work will pale before the greatness of America's champions in the 21st century. The world's hopes rest with America's future; America's hopes rest with us. So let us go forward to create our world of tomorrow in faith, in unity, and in love.

    God bless you and God bless America. [Applause.]

    President Reagan's Fiscal 1987 Budget Message

    Following is the text of President Reagan's budget message sent to Congress Feb. 5. 1986.


    The economic expansion we are now enjoying is one of the most vigorous in 35 years. Family income is at an all-time high; production and productivity are increasing; employment gains have been extraordinary; and inflation, which raged at double-digit rates when I took office, has been reduced dramatically. Defense capabilities, which had been dangerously weakened during the 1970s, are being rebuilt, restoring an adequate level of national security and deterrence to war. Moreover, an insupportable growth in tax burdens and Federal regulations has been halted.

    Let me give you a few highlights:

    • • Employment has grown by 9.2 million in the past three years, while the unemployment rate has fallen by 3.8 percentage points; during the three years preceding my administration, employment grew by only 5.5 million and the unemployment rate rose 0.8 percentage points.
    • • The highest proportion of our adult population [60%] is now at work, with more blacks and other minorities employed [14 million] than ever before.
    • • Inflation, which averaged 11.6% a year during the three years before I took office, has averaged only a third of that — 3.8% — during the last three years.
    • • Real GNP [gross national product] has grown at a 4.5% annual rate during the past three years, compared with only a 2.2% annual rate during the last three years of the previous administration.
    • • The prime rate of interest and other key interest rates are less than half what they were when I took office.
    • • Some 11,000 new business incorporations are generated every week, and since early 1983, investment in plant and equipment has risen 44% in real terms.
    • • During the past three years, industrial production has risen by 25%.
    • • During the same period, corporate profits increased 117% and stocks nearly doubled in value.
    • • Federal tax revenues have returned to historic levels of approximately 18½% of GNP, as tax rates have been cut across-the-board and indexed for inflation.
    • • As a result of all of the above, real after-tax personal income has risen 10.6% during the last three years — an average increase of $2,500 for each American household.

    This dramatic improvement in the performance of our economy was no accident. We have put in place policies that reflect our commitment to reduce Federal Government intrusion in the private sector and have eliminated many barriers to the process of capital formation and growth. We continue to maintain a steadfast adherence to the four fundamental principles of the economic program I presented in February 1981:

    • • Reducing the growth of Federal spending;
    • • Limiting tax burdens;
    • • Relieving the economy of excessive regulation; and
    • • Supporting a sound and stable monetary policy.

    Conditions are now in place for a sustained era of national prosperity. But, there is a major threat looming on the horizon; the Federal deficit. If this deficit is not brought under control, we risk losing all we've achieved — and more.

    We cannot let this happen. Therefore, the budget I am presenting has as its major objective setting the deficit on a downward path to a balanced budget by 1991. In so doing, my budget meets or exceeds the deficit reduction targets set out in the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act, commonly known for its principal sponsors as Gramm-Rudman-Hollings.

    At the end of the last session of Congress there emerged a bipartisan consensus that something had to be done about the deficit. The result — Gramm-Rudman-Hollings — committed both the President and the Congress to a fixed schedule of progress. By submitting this budget, I am abiding by the law and keeping my part of the bargain.

    This budget shows, moreover, that eliminating the deficit is possible without raising taxes, without sacrificing our defense preparedness, and without cutting into legitimate programs for the poor and the elderly. A tax increase would jeopardize our economic expansion and might well prove counterproductive in terms of its effect on the deficit. We can hardly back away from our defense build-up without creating confusion among friends and adversaries alike about our determination to maintain our commitments and without jeopardizing our prospects for meaningful arms control talks. And frankly we must not break faith with those poor and elderly who depend on Federal programs for their security.

    The Deficit and Economic Growth

    Until the Second World War, the Federal budget was kept in balance or ran a surplus during peacetime as a matter of course. But in the early 1960s this traditional fiscal discipline and political rectitude began to break down. We have run deficits during 24 of the last 25 years. In the past ten years, they have averaged 2.5% of GNP. But last year the deficit was over 5% of GNP. This trend is clearly in the wrong direction and must be reversed.

    Last year's deficit amounted to nearly $1,000 for every man, woman, and child in the United States. To eliminate the deficit solely by increasing taxes would mean imposing an extra $2,400 burden on each American household. But taxes are already higher relative to GNP than they were during the 1960s and early 1970s — before inflation pushed them to levels that proved insupportable. The American people have made it clear they will not tolerate a higher tax burden. Spending is the problem — not taxes — and spending must be cut.

    The program of spending cuts and other reforms contained in my budget will lead to a balanced budget at the end of five years and will thus remove a serious impediment to the continuation of our economic expansion. As this budget shows, such reforms can be accomplished in an orderly manner, without resorting to desperate measures.

    Inappropriate and outmoded programs, and activities that cannot be made cost effective, must be ended. Activities that are essential, but that need not be carried out by the Federal Government, can be placed in the private sector or, if they are properly public in nature, turned over to State and local governments. As explained in the Management Report I am also submitting today, efficiencies can be realized through improved management techniques, increased productivity, and program consolidations.

    The need to cut unnecessary Federal spending and improve management of necessary programs must be made a compelling guide to our policy choices. The result will be a leaner, better integrated, more streamlined Federal Government — stripped of marginal, nonessential and inappropriate functions and activities, and focusing its energies and resources entirely on its proper tasks and constitutional responsibilities. That way, resources will be allocated more efficiently — those things best done by government will be done by government; those things best done by the private sector will be directed by the marketplace.

    The Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act [Gramm-Rudman-Hollings] requires that spending be reduced in accord with a prescribed formula if projected deficits exceed the predetermined targets. This mechanism will operate in a limited fashion during the current fiscal year. However, we should avoid such across-the-board cuts in the future, and they will not be necessary if Congress adopts this budget. Achieving budget savings by taking into account relative priorities among programs is a much better way than resorting to an arbitrary formula. The latter could dangerously weaken vital programs involving the national security or public health and safety, while leaving marginal programs substantially intact.

    If the spending cuts and other reforms proposed in this budget are approved, the Federal deficit will be reduced by $166 billion over the next three years. This represents about $700 for every individual American and about $1,900 for every household. I believe this is the appropriate way to deal with the deficit: cut excessive Federal spending rather than attack the family budget by increasing taxes, or risk a deterioration in our national security posture, or break faith with the dependent poor and elderly.

    Returning the Federal Government to Its Proper Role

    The task of reducing the deficit must be pursued with an eye toward narrowing the current wide scope of Government activities to the provision of those, but only those, necessary and essential services toward which all taxpayers should be contributing — and providing them as efficiently as possible. This is the underlying philosophy that I have used in shaping this year's budget. Let me explain:

    • High priority programs should be adequately fundedDespite the very tight fiscal environment, this budget provides funds for maintaining — and in some cases expanding — high priority programs in crucial areas of national interest. Necessary services and income support for the dependent poor and the elderly receive significant funding in this budget. So do other programs of national interest, including drug enforcement, AIDS [acquired immune deficiency syndrome] research, the space program, nonmilitary research, and national security.
    • Unnecessary programs are no longer affordableSome government programs have become outmoded, have accomplished their original purpose, represent an inappropriate area for Federal involvement in the first place, or are marginal in the current tight budgetary environment. If it would not be appropriate or feasible for the private sector or for State or local governments to assume such functions, this budget proposes that programs of this variety be terminated immediately, phased out in an orderly manner, or eliminated when their legal authority expires. Examples include Small Business Administration credit programs, Amtrak grants, Urban Development Action Grants, the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Economic Development Administration, the Interstate Commerce Commission, Maritime Administration loan guarantees, education subsidies for health professionals, the work incentives program, and subsidies for air carriers.
    • Many other programs should be reduced to a more appropriate scaleSome Federal programs have become over-extended, misdirected, or operate on too expansive a scale given the current tight budgetary environment. This budget proposes reforms to limit the costs and future growth of medicare and medicaid, subsidized housing, Civil Service pensions and health benefits, postal subsidies, interstate highway grants, the Forest Service, and many other programs.
    • The Government should not compete with the private sectorTraditionally, governments supply the type of needed services that would not be provided by the private marketplace. Over the years, however, the Federal Government has acquired many commercial-type operations. In most cases, it would be better for the Government to get out of the business and stop competing with the private sector, and in this budget I propose that we begin that process. Examples of such privatization initiatives in this budget include sale of the power marketing administrations and the naval petroleum reserves; and implementation of housing and education voucher programs. I am also proposing the sale of unneeded assets, such as loan portfolios and surplus real estate, and contracting out appropriate Federal services.
    • Many services can be provided better by State and local governmentsOver the years, the Federal Government has preempted many functions that properly ought to be operated at the State or local level. This budget contemplates an end to unwarranted Federal intrusion into the State and local sphere and restoration of a more balanced, constitutionally appropriate, federalism with more clearly delineated roles for the various levels of government. Examples include new consolidations of restrictive small categorical grant programs into block grants for transportation and environmental protection, at reduced Federal costs. Continued funding is maintained for existing block grants for social services, health, education, job training, and community development.
    • Remaining Federal activities should be better managedAs we proceed with the deficit reduction process over the next several years, it is important that all remaining Federal operations be well managed and coordinated to avoid duplication, reduce costs, and minimize regulatory burdens imposed on the private sector. Management efficiencies must accompany the process of developing a leaner, more carefully focused Federal role. We can no longer afford unnecessary overhead and inefficiencies when we are scaling back the role and cost of the Federal Government.
    • Finally, user fees should be charged for services where appropriateThose who receive special benefits and services from the Federal Government should be the ones to bear the costs of those services, not the general taxpayer. Accordingly, this budget imposes fees and premiums for Federal guarantees of loans, and imposes user fees and charges for Federal cost recovery for meat and poultry inspection, National park and forest facilities, harbor and inland waterway use, Coast Guard and Customs inspections, and for many other services.

    Reform of the Budget Process

    Over the years, Federal spending constituencies have become increasingly powerful. In part because of their strong and effective advocacy, Congress has become less and less able to face up to its budgetary responsibilities. The Congressional budget process is foundering; last year it fell apart time and time again. The budget resolution and appropriations bills were months late in passing, and few real deficit reductions were achieved.

    Gramm-Rudman-Hollings offers a significant opportunity to avoid many of these problems in the future. That act not only sets deficit targets leading to a balanced budget by 1991, it provides a mechanism for automatic spending cuts and incorporates certain reforms in the budget process itself. But Gramm-Rudman-Hollings does not go far enough in this regard. To meet the clear need for a greatly strengthened budget process, I propose a number of additional reform measures.

    As before, I ask Congress to pass a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. In addition, I continue to seek passage of a line-item veto — authority now possessed by 43 of the Nation's governors. I also urge, for 1988 and beyond, changing the budget resolution to a joint resolution subject to Presidential signature and establishing binding expenditure subcategories within the resolution budget totals. Moreover, I urge that serious study be given to proposals for multiyear appropriations and to the development of a capital budget.

    As I have pointed out time and again, there's not a State in the Union that doesn't have a better budget process than the Federal Government. We can — and we must — do better.


    As I said in my address to Congress yesterday, the State of the Union is strong and growing stronger. We've had some extraordinarily good years, and our economy is performing well, with inflation coming under control. Economic growth and investment are up, while interest rates, tax rates, and unemployment have all come down substantially. Our national security is being restored. The proliferation of unnecessary and burdensome Federal regulations has been halted. A significant beginning has been made toward curbing the excessive and unsustainable growth of domestic spending. Improving the management of the Government has been given priority and is achieving results. I think most Americans would agree that America is truly on the move!

    The large and stubbornly persistent budget deficit remains as a dark and threatening cloud on the horizon. It threatens our prosperity and our hopes for continued healthy economic growth.

    Congress has recognized this threat. It has mandated a gradual, orderly movement to a balanced budget over the next five years. The proposals in this budget are a blueprint for achieving those targets while preserving legitimate programs for the aged and needy, providing for our national security, and doing this without raising taxes.

    I realize it will be difficult for elected officials to make the hard choices envisioned in this budget. But we must find the political will to face up to our responsibilities and resist the pleadings of special interests whose

    era of power
    in Washington must be brought to an end — for taxpayers as a whole can no longer be expected to carry them on their backs. All this will call for statesmanship of a high order. We must all realize that the deficit problem is also an opportunity — an opportunity to construct a new, leaner, better focused, and better managed Federal structure. Let's do it.

    I look forward to working with Congress on meeting these formidable challenges. It is our job. Let's get on with it.


    February 5, 1986

    Reagan's Statement on Arms Treaty Policy

    Following is the White House text of President Reagan's May 27, 1986, statement on U.S. compliance with the SALT I and II (strategic arms limitation treaty) agreements.

    On the eve of the Strategic Arms Reductions Talks [START] in 1982, I decided that the United States would not undercut the expired SALT I Interim Offensive Agreement or the unratified SALT II agreement as long as the Soviet Union exercised equal restraint. I took this action, despite my concerns about the flaws inherent in those agreements, to foster an atmosphere of mutual restraint conducive to serious negotiations on arms reductions. I made clear that our policy required reciprocity and that it must not adversely affect our national security interests in the face of the continuing Soviet military buildup.

    U.S. Observance of Pacts

    Last June, I reviewed the status of U.S. interim restraint policy. I found that the United States had fully kept its part of the bargain. As I have documented in three detailed reports to the Congress, most recently in December 1985, the Soviet Union, regrettably, has not. I noted last June that the pattern of Soviet non-compliance with their existing arms control commitments increasingly affected our national security. This pattern also raised fundamental concerns about the integrity of the arms control process itself. A country simply cannot be serious about effective arms control unless it is equally serious about compliance.

    Going the Extra Mile

    In spite of the regrettable Soviet record, I concluded last June that it remained in the interest of the United States and its allies to try, once more, to establish an interim framework of truly mutual restraint on strategic offensive arms as we pursued, with renewed vigor, our objective of deep reductions in existing U.S. and Soviet nuclear arsenals through the Geneva negotiations. Therefore, I undertook to go the extra mile, dismantling a Poseidon submarine, U.S.S. Sam Rayburn, to give the Soviet Union adequate time to take the steps necessary to join us in establishing an interim framework of truly mutual restraint. However, I made it clear that, as subsequent U.S. deployment milestones were reached, I would assess the overall situation and determine future U.S. actions on a case-by-case basis in light of Soviet behavior in exercising restraint comparable to our own, correcting their non-compliance, reversing their unwarranted military buildup, and seriously pursuing equitable and verifiable arms reduction agreements.

    Later this month, the 8th Trident submarine, U.S.S. Nevada, begins sea trials. In accordance with our announced policy, I have assessed our options with respect to that milestone. I have considered Soviet actions since my June 1985 decision, and U.S. and Allied security interests in light of both those actions and our programmatic options. The situation is not encouraging.

    Soviet Pattern Of Non-Compliance

    While we have seen some modest indications of improvement in one or two areas, there has been no real progress toward meeting U.S. concerns with respect to the general pattern of Soviet non-compliance with major arms control commitments, particularly in those areas of most obvious and direct Soviet non-compliance with the SALT and ABM [anti-ballistic missile] agreements. The deployment of the SS-25, a forbidden second new Intercontinental Ballistic Missile [ICBM] type, continues apace. The Soviet Union continues to encrypt telemetry associated with its ballistic missile testing in a manner which impedes verification. The Krasnoyarsk radar remains a clear violation. We see no abatement of the Soviet strategic force buildup. Finally, since the November summit, we have yet to see the Soviets follow up constructively on the commitment made by General Secretary Gorbachev and myself to achieve early progress in the Geneva negotiations, in particular in areas where there is common ground, including the principle of 50 percent reductions in the strategic nuclear arms of both countries, appropriately applied, as well as an interim agreement on Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces [INF].

    Based on Soviet conduct since my June 1985 decision, I can only conclude that the Soviet Union has not, as yet, taken those actions that would indicate its readiness to join us in an interim framework of truly mutual restraint. At the same time, I have also considered the programmatic options available to the U.S. in terms of their overall net impact on U.S. and Allied security.

    When I issued guidance on U.S. policy on June 10, 1985, the military plans and programs for fiscal year 1986 were about to be implemented. The amount of flexibility that any nation has in the near term for altering its planning is modest at best. Our military planning will take more time to move out from under the shadow of previous assumptions, especially in the budgetary conditions which we now face. These budgetary conditions make it essential that we make the very best possible use of our resources.

    The United States had long planned to retire and dismantle two of the oldest Poseidon submarines when their reactor cores were exhausted. Had I been persuaded that refueling and retaining these two Poseidon submarines would have contributed significantly and cost-effectively to the national security, I would have directed that these two Poseidon submarines not be dismantled, but be overhauled and retained. However, in view of present circumstances, including current military and economic realities, I have directed their retirement and dismantlement as planned.

    As part of the same decision last June, I also announced that we would take appropriate and proportionate responses when needed to protect our own security in the face of continuing Soviet non-compliance. It is my view that certain steps are now required by continued Soviet disregard of their obligations.

    Needless to say, the most essential near-term response to Soviet non-compliance remains the implementation of our full strategic modernization program, to underwrite deterrence today, and the continued pursuit of the Strategic Defense Initiative [SDI] research program, to see if it is possible to provide a safer and more stable basis for our future security and that of our Allies. The strategic modernization program, including the deployment of the second 50 Peacekeeper missiles, is the foundation for all future U.S. offensive force options. It provides a solid basis which can and will be adjusted over time to respond most efficiently to continued Soviet non-compliance. The SDI program represents our best hope for a future in which our security can rest on the increasing contribution of defensive systems that threaten no one.

    It is absolutely essential that we maintain full support for these programs. To fail to do so would be the worst response to Soviet non-compliance. It would immediately and seriously undercut our negotiators in Geneva by removing the leverage that they must have to negotiate equitable reductions in both U.S. and Soviet forces. It would send precisely the wrong signal to the leadership of the Soviet Union about the seriousness of our resolve concerning their non-compliance. And, it would significantly increase the risk to our security for years to come. Therefore, our highest priority must remain the full implementation of these programs.

    Secondly, the development by the Soviet Union of its massive ICBM forces continues to challenge seriously the essential balance which has deterred both conflict and coercion. Last June, I cited the Soviet Union's SS-25 missile, a second new type of ICBM prohibited under SALT II, as a clear and irreversible violation. With the number of deployed SS-25 mobile ICBMs growing, I now call upon the Congress to restore bipartisan support for a balanced, cost-effective, long-term program to restore both the survivability and effectiveness of the U.S. ICBM program. This program should include the full deployment of the 100 Peacekeeper ICBMs. But it must also look beyond the Peace-keeper and toward additional U.S. ICBM requirements in the future, including the Small ICBM to complement Peacekeeper. Therefore, I have directed the Department of Defense to provide to me by November 1986 an assessment of the best options for carrying out such a comprehensive ICBM program. This assessment will address the basing of the second 50 Peacekeeper missiles and specific alternative configurations for the Small ICBM in terms of size, number of warheads, and production rates.

    Finally, I have also directed that the Advanced Cruise Missile program be accelerated. This would not direct any increase in the total program procurement at this time, but rather would establish a more efficient program that both saves money and accelerates the availability of additional options for the future.

    This brings us to the question of the SALT agreements. SALT II was a fundamentally flawed and unratified treaty. Even if ratified, it would have expired on December 31, 1985. When presented to the U.S. Senate in 1979, it was considered by a broad range of critics, including the Senate Armed Services Committee, to be unequal and unverifiable in important provisions. It was, therefore, judged by many to be inimical to genuine arms control, to the security interests of the United States and its allies, and to global stability. The proposed treaty was clearly headed for defeat before my predecessor asked the Senate not to act on it.

    The most basic problem with SALT II was that it codified major arms buildups rather than reductions. For example, even though at the time the Treaty was signed in 1979, the U.S. had, and only planned for, 550 MIRVed ICBM launchers, and the Soviet Union possessed only about 600, SALT II permitted each side to increase the number of such launchers to 820. It also permitted a buildup to 1,200 MIRVed ballistic launchers [both ICBMs and Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles, SLBMs] even though the U.S. had only about 1,050 and the Soviet Union had only about 750 when the treaty was signed. It permitted the Soviet Union to retain all of its heavy ballistic missiles. Finally, it limited ballistic missile launchers, not the missiles or the warheads carried by the ballistic missiles. Since the signing of SALT II, Soviet ballistic missile forces have grown to within a few launchers of each of the 820 and 1,200 MIRVed limits, and from about 7,000 to over 9,000 warheads today. What is worse, given the failure of SALT II to constrain ballistic missile warheads, the number of warheads on Soviet ballistic missiles will continue to grow very significantly, even under the Treaty's limits, in the continued absence of Soviet restraint.

    Call for `Mutual Restraint'

    In 1982, on the eve of the START negotiations, I undertook not to undercut existing arms control agreements to the extent that the Soviet Union demonstrated comparable restraint. Unfortunately, the Soviet Union did not exercise comparable restraint, and uncorrected Soviet violations have seriously undermined the SALT structure. Last June, I once again laid out our legitimate concerns but decided to go the extra mile, dismantling a Poseidon submarine, not to comply with or abide by a flawed and unratified treaty, but rather to give the Soviet Union one more chance and adequate time to take the steps necessary to join us in establishing an interim frame-work of truly mutual restraint. The Soviet Union has not used the past year for this purpose.

    Given this situation, I have determined that, in the future, the United States must base decisions regarding its strategic force structure on the nature and magnitude of the threat posed by Soviet strategic forces, and not on standards contained in the SALT structure which has been undermined by Soviet non-compliance, and especially in a flawed SALT II treaty which was never ratified, would have expired if it had been ratified, and has been violated by the Soviet Union.

    Since the United States will retire and dismantle two Poseidon submarines this summer, we will remain technically in observance of the terms of the SALT II Treaty until the U.S. equips its 131st B-52 heavy bomber for cruise missile carriage near the end of this year. However, given the decision that I have been forced to make, I intend at that time to continue deployment of U.S. B-52 heavy bombers with cruise missiles beyond the 131st aircraft as an appropriate response without dismantling additional U.S. systems as compensation under the terms of the SALT II Treaty. Of course, since we will remain in technical compliance with the terms of the expired SALT II Treaty for some months, I continue to hope that the Soviet Union will use this time to take the constructive steps necessary to alter the current situation. Should they do so, we will certainly take this into account.

    The United States seeks to meet its strategic needs, given the Soviet buildup, by means that minimize incentives for continuing Soviet offensive force growth. In the longer term, this is one of the major motives in our pursuit of the Strategic Defense Initiative. As we modernize, we will continue to retire older forces as our national security requirements permit. I do not anticipate any appreciable numerical growth in U.S. strategic offensive forces. Assuming no significant change in the threat we face, as we implement the strategic modernization program the United States will not deploy more strategic nuclear delivery vehicles than does the Soviet Union. Furthermore, the United States will not deploy more strategic ballistic missile warheads than does the Soviet Union.

    In sum, we will continue to exercise the utmost restraint, while protecting strategic deterrence, in order to help foster the necessary atmosphere for significant reductions in the strategic arsenals of both sides. This is the urgent task which faces us. I call on the Soviet Union to seize the opportunity to join us now in establishing an interim framework of truly mutual restraint.

    Finally, I want to emphasize that no policy of interim restraint is a substitute for an agreement on deep and equitable reductions in offensive nuclear arms, provided that we can be confident of Soviet compliance with it. Achieving such reductions has received, and continues to receive, my highest priority. I hope the Soviet Union will act to give substance to the agreement I reached with General Secretary [Mikhail S.] Gorbachev in Geneva to achieve early progress, in particular in areas where there is common ground, including the principle of 50 percent reductions in the strategic nuclear arms of both countries, appropriately applied, as well as an interim INF agreement. If the Soviet Union carries out this agreement, we can move now to achieve greater stability and a safer world.

    Reagan's Speech on U.S.-Soviet Summit in Iceland

    Following is the White House text of President Reagan's speech, as delivered Oct. 13, 1986, on his meetings in Reykjavik, Iceland, with Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev.

    Good evening. As most of you know, I have just returned from meetings in Iceland with the leader of the Soviet Union, General Secretary Gorbachev. As I did last year when I returned from the summit conference in Geneva, I want to take a few moments tonight to share with you what took place in these discussions.

    The implications of these talks are enormous and only just beginning to be understood. We proposed the most sweeping and generous arms control proposal in history. We offered the complete elimination of all ballistic missiles — Soviet and American — from the face of the Earth by 1996. While we parted company with this American offer still on the table, we are closer than ever before to agreements that could lead to a safer world without nuclear weapons.

    But first, let me tell you that, from the start of my meetings with Mr. Gorbachev, I have always regarded you, the American people, as full participants. Believe me, without your support, none of these talks could have been held, nor could the ultimate aims of American foreign policy — world peace and freedom — be pursued. And it is for these aims I went the extra mile to Iceland.

    Definition of Terms

    Before I report on our talks though, allow me to set the stage by explaining two things that were very much a part of our talks, one a treaty and the other a defense against nuclear missiles which we are trying to develop. Now you've heard their titles a thousand times — the ABM Treaty and SDI. Those letters stand for, ABM, anti-ballistic missile, SDI, strategic defense initiative.

    M.A.D. and Anti-Missile Defense

    Some years ago, the United States and the Soviet Union agreed to limit any defense against nuclear missile attacks to the emplacement in one location in each country of a small number of missiles capable of intercepting and shooting down incoming nuclear missiles, thus leaving our real defense — a policy called Mutual Assured Destruction [M.A.D.], meaning if one side launched a nuclear attack, the other side could retaliate. And this mutual threat of destruction was believed to be a deterrent against either side striking first.

    So here we sit with thousands of nuclear warheads targeted on each other and capable of wiping out both our countries. The Soviets deployed the few anti-ballistic missiles around Moscow as the treaty permitted. Our country didn't bother deploying because the threat of nationwide annihilation made such a limited defense seem useless.

    Soviet ABM Treaty Violation

    For some years now we have been aware that the Soviets may be developing a nationwide defense. They have installed a large modern radar at Krasnoyarsk which we believe is a critical part of a radar system designed to provide radar guidance for anti-ballistic missiles protecting the entire nation. Now this is a violation of the ABM Treaty.

    Strategic Defense Initiative - 1

    Believing that a policy of mutual destruction and slaughter of their citizens and ours was uncivilized, I asked our military a few years ago to study and see if there was a practical way to destroy nuclear missiles after their launch but before they can reach their targets rather than to just destroy people. Well, this is the goal for what we call SDI and our scientists researching such a system are convinced it is practical and that several years down the road we can have such a system ready to deploy. Now, incidentally, we are not violating the ABM Treaty which permits such research. If and when we deploy, the treaty — also allows withdrawal from the treaty upon six months' notice. SDI, let me make it clear, is a non-nuclear defense.

    Iceland Summit Talks

    So here we are at Iceland for our second such meeting. In the first and in the months in between, we have discussed ways to reduce and in fact eliminate nuclear weapons entirely. We and the Soviets have had teams of negotiators in Geneva trying to work out a mutual agreement on how we could reduce or eliminate nuclear weapons. And so far, no success.

    On Saturday and Sunday, General Secretary Gorbachev and his Foreign Minister [Eduard A.] Shevardnadze and Secretary of State George Shultz and I met for nearly 10 hours. We didn't limit ourselves to just arms reductions. We discussed what we call violation of human rights on the part of the Soviets, refusal to let people emigrate from Russia so they can practice their religion without being persecuted, letting people go to rejoin their families, husbands and wives separated by national borders being allowed to reunite.

    In much of this the Soviet Union is violating another agreement — the Helsinki Accords they had signed in 1975. Yuri Orlov, whose freedom we just obtained, was imprisoned for pointing out to his government its violations of that pact, its refusal to let citizens leave their country or return.

    We also discussed regional matters such as Afghanistan, Angola, Nicaragua, and Cambodia. But by their choice the main subject was arms control.

    We discussed the emplacement of intermediate-range missiles in Europe and Asia and seemed to be in agreement they could be drastically reduced. Both sides seemed willing to find a way to reduce even to zero the strategic ballistic missiles we have aimed at each other. This then brought up the subject of SDI.

    Strategic Defense Initiative - 2

    I offered a proposal that we continue our present research and if and when we reached the stage of testing we would sign now a treaty that would permit Soviet observation of such tests. And if the program was practical we would both eliminate our offensive missiles, and then we would share the benefits of advanced defenses. I explained that even though we would have done away with our offensive ballistic missiles, having the defense would protect against cheating or the possibility of a madman sometime deciding to create nuclear missiles. After all, the world now knows how to make them. I likened it to our keeping our gas masks even though the nations of the world had outlawed poison gas after World War I.

    We seemed to be making progress on reducing weaponry although the General Secretary was registering opposition to SDI and proposing a pledge to observe ABM for a number of years as the day was ending.

    Negotiations Through the Night

    Secretary Shultz suggested we turn over the notes our note-takers had been making of everything we'd said to our respective teams and let them work through the night to put them together and find just where we were in agreement and what differences separated us. With respect and gratitude, I can inform you those teams worked through the night till 6:30 a.m.

    Yesterday, Sunday morning, Mr. Gorbachev and I, with our foreign ministers, came together again and took up the report of our two teams. It was most promising. The Soviets had asked for a 10-year delay in the deployment of SDI programs.

    U.S. Arms Proposal

    In an effort to see how we could satisfy their concerns while protecting our principles and security, we proposed a 10-year period in which we began with the reduction of all strategic nuclear arms, bombers, air-launched cruise missiles, intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine launched ballistic missiles and the weapons they carry. They would be reduced 50 percent in the first five years. During the next five years, we would continue by eliminating all remaining offensive ballistic missiles, of all ranges. And during that time we would proceed with research, development, and testing of SDI — all done in conformity with ABM provisions. At the 10-year point, with all ballistic missiles eliminated, we could proceed to deploy advanced defenses, at the same time permitting the Soviets to do likewise.

    U.S.-Soviet Debate

    And here the debate began. The General Secretary wanted wording that, in effect, would have kept us from developing the SDI for the entire 10 years. In effect, he was killing SDI. And unless I agreed, all that work toward eliminating nuclear weapons would go down the drain — canceled.

    I told him I had pledged to the American people that I would not trade away SDI — there was no way I could tell our people their government would not protect them against nuclear destruction. I went to Reykjavik determined that everything was negotiable except two things: our freedom and our future.

    I'm still optimistic that a way will be found. The door is open and the opportunity to begin eliminating the nuclear threat is within reach.

    Realistic Approach to Soviets

    So you can see, we made progress in Iceland. And we will continue to make progress if we pursue a prudent, deliberate, and, above all, realistic approach with the Soviets. From the earliest days of our administration, this has been our policy. We made it clear we had no illusions about the Soviets or their ultimate intentions. We were publicly candid about the critical moral distinctions between totalitarianism and democracy. We declared the principal objective of American foreign policy to be not just the prevention of war but the extension of freedom. And, we stressed our commitment to the growth of democratic government and democratic institutions around the world. And that's why we assisted freedom fighters who are resisting the imposition of totalitarian rule in Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Angola, Cambodia, and elsewhere. And, finally, we began work on what I believe most spurred the Soviets to negotiate seriously — rebuilding our military strength, reconstructing our strategic deterrence, and, above all, beginning work on the strategic defense initiative.

    And yet, at the same time we set out these foreign policy goals and began working toward them, we pursued another of our major objectives: that of seeking means to lessen tensions with the Soviets, and ways to prevent war and keep the peace.

    Now, this policy is now paying dividends — one sign of this in Iceland was the progress on the issue of arms control. For the first time in a long while, Soviet-American negotiations in the area of arms reductions are moving, and moving in the right direction — not just toward arms control, but toward arms reduction.

    But for all the progress we made on arms reductions, we must remember there were other issues on the table in Iceland, issues that are fundamental.

    Human Rights in Soviet Union

    As I mentioned, one such issue is human rights. As President Kennedy once said,

    And, is not peace, in the last analysis, basically a matter of human rights?

    I made it plain that the United States would not seek to exploit improvement in these matters for purposes of propaganda. But I also made it plain, once again, that an improvement of the human condition within the Soviet Union is indispensable for an improvement in bilateral relations with the United States. For a government that will break faith with its own people cannot be trusted to keep faith with foreign powers. So, I told Mr. Gorbachev — again in Reykjavik as I had in Geneva — we Americans place far less weight upon the words that are spoken at meetings such as these, than upon the deeds that follow. When it comes to human rights and judging Soviet intentions, we're all from Missouri — you got to show us.

    Soviet Military Actions

    Another subject area we took up in Iceland also lies at the heart of the differences between the Soviet Union and America. This is the issue of regional conflicts. Summit meetings cannot make the American people forget what Soviet actions have meant for the peoples of Afghanistan, Central America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. Until Soviet policies change, we will make sure that our friends in these areas — those who fight for freedom and independence — will have the support they need.

    Cultural Exchanges

    Finally, there was a fourth item. And this area was that of bilateral relations, people-to-people contacts. In Geneva last year, we welcomed several cultural exchange accords; in Iceland, we saw indications of more movement in these areas. But let me say now the United States remains committed to people-to-people programs that could lead to exchanges between not just a few elite but thousands of everyday citizens from both our countries.

    So I think, then, that you can see that we did make progress in Iceland on a broad range of topics. We reaffirmed our four-point agenda; we discovered major new grounds of agreement; we probed again some old areas of disagreement.

    Strategic Defense Initiative - 3

    And let me return again to the SDI issue. I realize some Americans may be asking tonight: Why not accept Mr. Gorbachev's demand? Why not give up SDI for this agreement?

    Well, the answer, my friends, is simple. SDI is America's insurance policy that the Soviet Union would keep the commitments made at Reykjavik. SDI is America's security guarantee — if the Soviets should — as they have done too often in the past — fail to comply with their solemn commitments. SDI is what brought the Soviets back to arms control talks at Geneva and Iceland. SDI is the key to a world without nuclear weapons.

    The Soviets understand this. They have devoted far more resources for a lot longer time than we, to their own SDI. The world's only operational missile defense to-day surrounds Moscow, the capital of the Soviet Union. What Mr. Gorbachev was demanding at Reykjavik was that the United States agree to a new version of a 14-year-old ABM Treaty that the Soviet Union has already violated. I told him we don't make those kinds of deals in the United States.

    Why Not Have Missile Defense?

    And the American people should reflect on these critical questions.

    How does a defense of the United States threaten the Soviet Union or anyone else? Why are the Soviets so adamant that America remain forever vulnerable to Soviet rocket attack? As of today, all free nations are utterly defenseless against Soviet missiles — fired either by accident or design. Why does the Soviet Union insist that we remain so — forever?

    So, my fellow Americans, I cannot promise, nor can any President promise, that the talks in Iceland or any future discussions with Mr. Gorbachev will lead inevitably to great breakthroughs or momentous treaty signings.

    We will not abandon the guiding principle we took to Reykjavik. We prefer no agreement than to bring home a bad agreement to the United States.

    Prospects for Another Summit

    And on this point, I know you're also interested in the question of whether there will be another summit. There was no indication by Mr. Gorbachev as to when or whether he plans to travel to the United States, as we agreed he would last year in Geneva. I repeat tonight that our invitation stands and that we continue to believe additional meetings would be useful. But that's a decision the Soviets must make.

    Dealing From Strength

    But whatever the immediate prospects, I can tell you that I'm ultimately hopeful about the prospects for progress at the summit and for world peace and freedom. You see, the current summit process is very different from that of previous decades; it's different because the world is different; and the world is different because of the hard work and sacrifice of the American people during the past five and a half years. Your energy has restored and expanded our economic might; your support has restored our military strength. Your courage and sense of national unity in times of crisis have given pause to our adversaries, heartened our friends, and inspired the world. The Western democracies and the NATO alliance are revitalized and all across the world nations are turning to democratic ideas and the principles of the free market. So because the American people stood guard at the critical hour, freedom has gathered its forces, regained its strength, and is on the march.

    So, if there's one impression I carry away with me from these October talks, it is that, unlike the past, we're dealing now from a position of strength, and for that reason we have it within our grasp to move speedily with the Soviets toward even more breakthroughs.

    Our ideas are out there on the table. They won't go away. We're ready to pick up where we left off. Our negotiators are heading back to Geneva, and we're prepared to go forward whenever and wherever the Soviets are ready. So, there's reason — good reason for hope.

    I saw evidence of this in the progress we made in the talks with Mr. Gorbachev. And I saw evidence of it when we left Iceland yesterday, and I spoke to our young men and women at our naval installation at Keflavik — a critically important base far closer to Soviet naval bases than to our own coastline.

    Committed to Freedom

    As always, I was proud to spend a few moments with them and thank them for their sacrifices and devotion to country. They represent America at her finest: committed to defend not only our own freedom but the freedom of others who would be living in a far more frightening world — were it not for the strength and resolve of the United States.

    Whenever the standard of freedom and independence has been ... unfurled, there will be America's heart, her benedictions, and her prayers,
    John Quincy Adams once said. He spoke well of our destiny as a nation. My fellow Americans, we're honored by history, entrusted by destiny with the oldest dream of humanity — the dream of lasting peace and human freedom.

    Another President, Harry Truman, noted that our century had seen two of the most frightful wars in history. And that

    the supreme need of our time is for man to learn to live together in peace and harmony.

    Pursuit of an Ideal

    It's in pursuit of that ideal I went to Geneva a year ago and to Iceland last week. And it's in pursuit of that ideal that I thank you now for all the support you've given me, and I again ask for your help and your prayers as we continue our journey toward a world where peace reigns and freedom is enshrined.

    Thank you and God bless you.

    Reagan's Address on Arms Shipments to Iran

    Following is the White House text of President Reagan's address, as delivered Nov. 13, 1986, on U.S. shipments of arms to Iran.

    Good evening. I know you have been reading, seeing, and hearing a lot of stories the past several days attributed to Danish sailors, unnamed observers at Italian ports and Spanish harbors, and especially unnamed government officials of my administration. Well, now you are going to hear the facts from a White House source, and you know my name.

    Secret Discussions With Iran - 1

    I wanted this time to talk with you about an extremely sensitive and profoundly important matter of foreign policy. For 18 months now we have had under way a secret diplomatic initiative to Iran. That initiative was undertaken for the simplest and best of reasons — to renew a relationship with the nation of Iran, to bring an honorable end to the bloody six-year war between Iran and Iraq, to eliminate state-sponsored terrorism and subversion, and to effect the safe return of all hostages.

    Without Iran's cooperation, we cannot bring an end to the Persian Gulf war; without Iran's concurrence, there can be no enduring peace in the Middle East.

    Getting to the Facts

    For 10 days now, the American and world press have been full of reports and rumors about this initiative and these objectives.

    Now, my fellow Americans, there is an old saying that nothing spreads so quickly as a rumor. So I thought it was time to speak with you directly — to tell you first-hand about our dealings with Iran. As Will Rogers once said,

    Rumor travels faster, but it don't stay put as long as truth.
    So let's get to the facts.

    No Arms-for-Hostages Swap

    The charge has been made that the United States has shipped weapons to Iran as ransom payment for the release of American hostages in Lebanon — that the United States undercut its allies and secretly violated American policy against trafficking with terrorists.

    Those charges are utterly false.

    The United States has not made concessions to those who hold our people captive in Lebanon. And we will not. The United States has not swapped boatloads or planeloads of American weapons for the return of American hostages. And we will not.

    Other reports have surfaced alleging U.S. involvement. Reports of a sealift to Iran using Danish ships to carry American arms. Of vessels in Spanish ports being employed in secret U.S. arms shipments. Of Italian ports being used. Of the U.S. sending spare parts and weapons for combat aircraft. All these reports are quite exciting, but as far as we are concerned, not one of them is true.

    Arms Shipments to Iran

    During the course of our secret discussions, I authorized the transfer of small amounts of defensive weapons and spare parts for defensive systems to Iran. My purpose was to convince Tehran that our negotiators were acting with my authority, to send a signal that the United States was prepared to replace the animosity between us with a new relationship. These modest deliveries, taken together, could easily fit into a single cargo plane. They could not, taken together, affect the outcome of the six-year war between Iran and Iraq — nor could they affect in any way the military balance between the two countries.

    Those with whom we were in contact took considerable risks and needed a signal of our serious intent if they were to carry on and broaden the dialogue.

    Iran's Influence in Hostages' Release

    At the same time we undertook this initiative, we made clear that Iran must oppose all forms of international terrorism as a condition of progress in our relationship. The most significant step which Iran could take, we indicated, would be to use its influence in Lebanon to secure the release of all hostages held there.

    Some progress has already been made. Since U.S. government contact began with Iran, there's been no evidence of Iranian government complicity in acts of terrorism against the United States. Hostages have come home — and we welcome the efforts that the government of Iran has taken in the past and is currently undertaking.

    Strategic Importance of Iran

    But why, you might ask, is any relationship with Iran important to the United States?

    Iran encompasses some of the most critical geography in the world. It lies between the Soviet Union and access to the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. Geography explains why the Soviet Union has sent an army into Afghanistan to dominate that country and, if they could, Iran and Pakistan.

    Iran's geography gives it a critical position from which adversaries could interfere with oil flows from the Arab states that border the Persian Gulf. Apart from geography, Iran's oil deposits are important to the long-term health of the world economy.

    For these reasons, it is in our national interest to watch for changes within Iran that might offer hope for an improved relationship. Until last year, there was little to justify that hope.

    No Need for Permanent Conflict

    Indeed, we have bitter and enduring disagreements that persist today. At the heart of our quarrel has been Iran's past sponsorship of international terrorism. Iranian policy has been devoted to expelling all Western influence from the Middle East. We cannot abide that, because our interests in the Middle East are vital. At the same time, we seek no territory or special position in Iran. The Iranian revolution is a fact of history, but between American and Iranian basic national interests there need be no permanent conflict.

    Since 1983, various countries have made overtures to stimulate direct contact between the United States and Iran. European, Near East, and Far East countries have attempted to serve as intermediaries. Despite a U.S. willingness to proceed, none of these overtures bore fruit.

    With this history in mind, we were receptive last year when we were alerted to the possibility of establishing a direct dialogue with Iranian officials.

    U.S. Interest in Dialogue - 1

    Now, let me repeat. America's long-standing goals in the region have been to help preserve Iran's independence from Soviet domination; to bring an honorable end to the bloody Iran-Iraq war; to halt the export of subversion and terrorism in the region. A major impediment to those goals has been an absence of dialogue, a cutoff in communication between us.

    It's because of Iran's strategic importance and its influence in the Islamic world that we chose to probe for a better relationship between our countries.

    Secret Discussions With Iran - 2

    Our discussions continued into the spring of this year. Based upon the progress we felt we had made, we sought to raise the diplomatic level of contacts. A meeting was arranged in Tehran. I then asked my former national security adviser, Robert McFarlane, to undertake a secret mission and gave him explicit instructions. I asked him to go to Iran to open a dialogue, making stark and clear our basic objectives and disagreements.

    The four days of talks were conducted in a civil fashion, and American personnel were not mistreated. Since then, the dialogue has continued and step-by-step progress continues to be made.

    U.S. Interest in Dialogue - 2

    Let me repeat: Our interests are clearly served by opening a dialogue with Iran and thereby helping to end the Iran-Iraq war. That war has dragged on for more than six years, with no prospect of a negotiated settlement. The slaughter on both sides has been enormous; and the adverse economic and political consequences for that vital region of the world have been growing. We sought to establish communication with both sides in that senseless struggle, so that we could assist in bringing about a ceasefire and, eventually, a settlement. We have sought to be evenhanded by working with both sides and with other interested nations to prevent a widening of the war.

    This sensitive undertaking has entailed great risk for those involved. There is no question but that we could never have begun or continued this dialogue had the initiative been disclosed earlier. Due to the publicity of the past week, the entire initiative is very much at risk today.

    Precedent for Secret Diplomacy

    There is ample precedent in our history for this kind of secret diplomacy. In 1971, then-President Nixon sent his national security adviser on a secret mission to China. In that case, as today, there was a basic requirement for discretion and for a sensitivity to the situation in the nation we were attempting to engage.

    Danger of False Rumors

    Since the welcome return of former hostage David Jacobsen, there has been unprecedented speculation and countless reports that have not only been wrong, but have been potentially dangerous to the hostages and destructive of the opportunity before us. The efforts of courageous people like Terry Waite have been jeopardized. So extensive have been the false rumors and erroneous reports that the risks of remaining silent now exceed the risks of speaking out. And that's why I decided to address you tonight.

    It's been widely reported, for example, that the Congress, as well as top Executive Branch officials, were circumvented. Although the efforts we undertook were highly sensitive and involvement of government officials was limited to those with a strict need to know, all appropriate Cabinet Officers were fully consulted. The actions I authorized were and continue to be in full compliance with Federal law. And the relevant committees of Congress are being and will be fully informed.

    No Tilt Toward Iran

    Another charge is that we have tilted toward Iran in the Gulf war. This, too, is unfounded. We have consistently condemned the violence on both sides. We have consistently sought a negotiated settlement that preserves the territorial integrity of both nations. The overtures we've made to the government of Iran have not been a shift to supporting one side over the other. Rather, it has been a diplomatic initiative to gain some degree of access and influence within Iran — as well as Iraq — and to bring about an honorable end to that bloody conflict. It is in the interests of all parties in the Gulf region to end that war as soon as possible.

    `No Concessions' Policy Intact

    To summarize, our government has a firm policy not to capitulate to terrorist demands. That

    no concessions
    policy remains in force — in spite of the wildly speculative and false stories about arms for hostages and alleged ransom payments. We did not — repeat — did not trade weapons or anything else for hostages — nor will we. Those who think that we have
    gone soft
    on terrorism should take up the question with [Libyan leader] Colonel Gadhafi.

    We have not, nor will we, capitulate to terrorists.

    We will, however, get on with advancing the vital interests of our great nation — in spite of terrorists and radicals who seek to sabotage our efforts and immobilize the United States.

    Our goals have been, and remain:

    • • to restore a relationship with Iran,
    • • to bring an honorable end to the war in the Gulf,
    • • to bring a halt to state-supported terror in the Middle East,
    • • and finally, to effect the safe return of all hostages from Lebanon.

    As President, I've always operated on the belief that, given the facts, the American people will make the right decision. I believe that to be true now.

    I cannot guarantee the outcome. But, as in the past, I ask for your support because I believe you share the hope for peace in the Middle East, for freedom for all hostages, and for a world free of terrorism. Certainly there are risks in this pursuit but there are greater risks if we do not persevere.

    It will take patience and understanding; it will take continued resistance to those who commit terrorist acts; and it will take cooperation with all who seek to rid the world of this scourge.

    Thank you and God bless you.

    Reagan, Meese on Iran-Nicaragua Arms Deals

    Following is the White House text of the Nov. 25, 1986, statements by President Reagan and Attorney General Edwin Meese III regarding the U.S. role in arms shipments to Iran and the transfer of funds to the Nicaraguan contras. The statements were made before reporters.

    President Reagan's Statement

    PRESIDENT REAGAN: Last Friday, after becoming concerned whether my national security apparatus had provided me with a security, or a complete factual record with respect to the implementation of my policy toward Iran, I directed the Attorney General to undertake a review of this matter over the weekend and report to me on Monday. And yesterday, Secretary Meese provided me and the White House Chief of Staff with a report on his preliminary findings. And this report led me to conclude that I was not fully informed on the nature of one of the activities undertaken in connection with this initiative. This action raises serious questions of propriety.

    I've just met with my National Security advisers and Congressional leaders to inform them of the actions that I'm taking today. Determination of the full details of this action will require further review and investigation by the Department of Justice.

    Looking to the future, I will appoint a special review board to conduct a comprehensive review of the role and procedures of the National Security Council staff in the conduct of foreign and national security policy.

    I anticipate receiving the reports from the Attorney General and the special review board at the earliest possible date. Upon the completion of these reports, I will share their findings and conclusions with the Congress and the American people.

    Although not directly involved, Vice Admiral John Poindexter has asked to be relieved of his assignment as Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and to return to another assignment in the Navy. Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North has been relieved of his duties on the National Security Council staff.

    I am deeply troubled that the implementation of a policy aimed at resolving a truly tragic situation in the Middle East has resulted in such controversy. As I've stated previously, I believe our policy goals toward Iran were well-founded. However, the information brought to my attention yesterday convinced me that in one aspect, implementation of that policy was seriously flawed.

    While I cannot reverse what has happened, I'm initiating steps, including those I've announced today, to assure that the implementation of all future, foreign, and national security policy initiatives will proceed only in accordance with my authorization.

    Over the past six years, we've realized many foreign policy goals. I believe we can yet achieve, and I intend to pursue, the objectives on which we all agree — a safer, more secure and stable world.

    And now, I'm going to ask Attorney General Meese to brief you.

    Q: What was the flaw?

    Q: Do you still maintain you didn't make a mistake, Mr. President?

    P: Hold it.

    No Mistake Was Made

    Q: Did you make a mistake in sending arms to Tehran, sir?

    P: No, and I'm not taking any more questions, and — just a second, I'm going to ask Attorney General Meese to brief you on what we presently know of what he has found out.

    Q: Is anyone else going to be let go, sir?

    Q: Can you tell us — did Secretary Shultz —

    Q: Is anyone else going to be let go? There have been calls for —

    P: No one was let go; they chose to go.

    Q: What about Secretary Shultz, Mr. President?

    Q: Is Shultz going to stay, sir?

    Q: How about Secretary Shultz and Mr. Regan, sir?

    Q: What about Secretary Shultz, sir?

    Q: Can you tell us if Secretary Shultz is going to stay?

    Q: Can you give Secretary Shultz a vote of confidence if you feel that way?

    P: May I give you Attorney General Meese?

    Q: And who is going to run National Security?

    Q: What about Shultz, sir?

    Q: Why won't you say what the flaw is?

    ATTORNEY GENERAL MEESE: That's what I'm going to say — what it's all about.

    Q: Why can't he?

    MEESE: Why don't I tell you what is the situation and then I'll take your questions.

    Attorney General Meese's Statement

    On Friday afternoon — or Friday at noon, the President asked me to look into and bring together the facts concerning the — particularly the implementation of the strategic initiative in Iran and more precisely, anything pertaining to the transfer of arms. Over the weekend this inquiry was conducted. Yesterday evening I reported to the President. We continued our inquiry and this morning the President directed that we make this information immediately available to the Congress and to the public through this medium this noon.

    Let me say that all of the information is not yet in. We are still continuing our inquiry. But he did want me to make available immediately what we know at the present time.

    What is involved is that in the course of the arms transfers, which involved the United States providing the arms to Israel and Israel in turn transferring the arms — in effect, selling the arms to representatives of Iran. Certain monies which were received in the transaction between representatives of Israel and representatives of Iran were taken and made available to the forces in Central America which are opposing the Sandinista government there.

    In essence, the way in which the transactions occurred was that a certain amount of money was negotiated by representatives outside of the United States with Iran for arms. This amount of money was then transferred to representatives as best we know that can be described as representatives of Israel. They, in turn, transferred to the CIA, which was the agent for the United States government under a finding prepared by the President — signed by the President in January of 1986. And, incidentally, all of these transactions that I am referring to took place between January of 1986 and the present time. They transferred to the CIA the exact amount of the money that was owed to the United States government for the weapons that were involved plus any costs of transportation that might be involved. This money was then repaid by the CIA to the Department of Defense under the normal procedures and all governmental funds and all governmental property was accounted for and statements of that have been verified by us up to the present time.

    The money — the difference between the money owed to the United States government and the money received from representatives of Iran was then deposited in bank accounts which were under the control of representatives of the forces in Central America.

    President Reagan's Fiscal 1988 Budget Message

    Following is the text of President Reagan's budget message sent to Congress Jan. 5, 1987.


    The current economic expansion, now in its 50th month, is already one of the longest of the postwar era and shows promise of continuing to record length. This has not been due simply to chance — it is the result of successful policies adopted during the past 6 years. Disposable personal income is at an all-time high and is still rising; total production and living standards are both increasing; employment gains have been excellent. Inflation, which raged at double-digit rates in 1980, has been reduced dramatically. Defense capabilities, which had been dangerously weakened during the 1970's, have been substantially rebuilt, restoring a more adequate level of national security. An insupportable growth in tax burdens and Federal regulations has been halted, an intolerably complex and inequitable income tax structure has been radically reformed, and the largest management improvement program ever attempted is in full swing in all major Federal agencies. It has been a good 6 years.

    Now in its 5th year, the current expansion already has exceeded 5 of the 7 previous postwar expansions in duration, and leading economic indicators point to continued growth ahead. Our policies have worked. Let me mention a few highlights of the current economic expansion:

    • • In the past 4 years 12.4 million new jobs have been created, while the total unemployment rate has fallen by 3.7 percentage points. By comparison, jobs in other developed countries have not grown significantly, and unemployment rates have remained high.
    • • Inflation, which averaged 10.3 percent a year during the 4 years before I came to office, has averaged less than a third of that during the last 4 years — 3.0 percent; inflation in 1986, at about 1 percent, was at its lowest rate in over two decades.
    • • The prime rate of interest, and other key interest rates, are less than half what they were in 1981.
    • • Between 1981 and 1986, numerous change[s] in the tax code, including a complete overhaul last year, have simplified and made the tax law more equitable, and significantly lowered tax rates for individuals and corporations. Six million low-income taxpayers are being removed from the income tax rolls. The inhibitive effect of our tax code on individual initiative has been reduced dramatically. Real after-tax personal income has risen 15 percent during the last 4 years, increasing our overall standard of living.
    • • Our defense capabilities have been strengthened with modernized equipment and successful recruiting and retention of higher caliber personnel; the readiness, training, and morale of our troops has been improved.
    • • After years of unsustainably rapid growth, Federal spending for domestic programs other than entitlements has been held essentially flat over the last 4 years.
    • • Since 1981, the amount of time spent by the public filling out forms required by the Federal Government has been cut by over 600 million hours, and the number of pages published annually in the Federal Register has been reduced by over 45 percent.
    • • Our continuing fight against waste, fraud, and abuse in Government programs has paid off, as the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency has saved $84 billion in funds that have been put to more efficient use.
    • • Finally, Federal agencies have instituted the largest management improvement program ever attempted to bring a more businesslike approach to Government.

    The dramatic improvement in the performance of our economy stemmed from steadfast adherence to the four fundamental principles of the economic program I presented in February 1981:

    • • limiting the growth of Federal spending;
    • • reducing tax burdens;
    • • relieving the economy of excessive regulation and paperwork; and
    • • supporting a sound and stable monetary policy.

    Need for Deficit Reduction

    The foundation has been laid for a sustained era of national prosperity. But a major threat to our future prosperity remains: the Federal deficit. If this deficit is not brought under control by limiting Government spending, we put in jeopardy all we have achieved. Deficits brought on by continued high spending threaten the lower tax rates incorporated in tax reform and inhibit progress in our balance of trade.

    We cannot permit this to happen. Therefore, one of the major objectives of this budget is to assure a steady reduction in the deficit until a balanced budget is reached.

    This budget meets the $108 billion deficit target for 1988 set out in the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act, commonly known for its principal sponsors as Gramm-Rudman-Hollings. Gramm-Rudman-Hollings committed both the President and Congress to a fixed schedule of progress toward reducing the deficit. In submitting this budget, I am keeping my part of the bargain — and on schedule. I ask Congress to do the same. If the deficit reduction goals were to be abandoned, we could see unparalleled spending growth that this Nation cannot afford.

    This budget shows that eliminating the deficit over time is possible without raising taxes, without sacrificing our defense preparedness, and without cutting into legitimate programs for the poor and the elderly, while at the same time providing needed additional resources for other high-priority programs.

    Deficit Reduction in 1988

    Although the deficit has equaled or exceeded 5 percent of the gross national product [GNP] in each of the past 4 years, each year I have proposed a path to lower deficits — involving primarily the curtailment of unnecessary domestic spending. Congress, however, has rejected most of these proposals; hence, our progress toward reducing the deficit has been much more modest than it could have been.

    This year there appears to be a major turn for the better. The 1987 deficit is estimated to be about $48 billion less than in 1986 and should decline to less than 4 percent of GNP. As the economy expands, Federal receipts will rise faster than the increase in outlays Congress enacted for the year.

    However, there is no firm guarantee that progress toward a steadily smaller deficit and eventual budget balance will continue. On a current-services basis the deficit will continue to decline over the next 5 years, but this decline is gradual and vulnerable to potential fiscally irresponsible congressional action on a multitude of spending programs. It is also threatened by the possibility of a less robust economic performance than is projected, for that projection is based on the assumption that the necessary spending cuts will be made.

    This 1988 budget can deal the deficit a crucial blow. If the proposals in this budget are adopted and if the economy performs according to the budget assumptions for growth and inflation, then for the second consecutive year the deficit should shrink substantially, by $65 billion, and thus decline to less than 2 1/2 percent of GNP. Reducing the deficit this far would bring it within the range of our previous peacetime experience and bring our goal of a balanced budget much closer to realization.

    Moreover, if Congress adopts the proposals contained in this budget, it will ensure additional deficit reductions in future years, because in many cases the savings from a given action, although small in 1988, would mount in later years. Given the good start made in 1987, Congress has an opportunity this year — by enacting this budget — to put the worst of the deficit problem behind us.

    Adopting the spending reductions and other reforms proposed in this budget would reduce the Federal deficit an average of $54 billion annually for the next 3 years. This represents $220 each year for every individual American and about $600 for every household. I believe this is the appropriate way to deal with the deficit: cutting excessive Federal spending rather than attacking the family budget by increasing taxes, weakening our national security, breaking faith with the poor and the elderly, or ignoring the requirements for additional resources for other high priority programs.

    A More Competitive, Productive America

    The task of deficit reduction is a formidable one — but it can and should be achieved with serious attention to the effects on America's economy, businesses, State and local governments, social organizations, and individual citizens. Reducing the deficit will reduce the burden the Federal Government places on private credit markets. The specific deficit reduction measures proposed in this budget would also help make our economy more competitive — and more productive. These objectives have been major considerations in the formulation of this budget.

    High priority programs must be funded adequately. Despite the very tight overall fiscal environment, this budget provides adequate funds for maintaining and, in selected cases, expanding high priority programs in key areas of national interest. For example:

    • • essential services and income support for the aged and needy are expanded;
    • • the prevention, treatment, and research efforts begun in my 1987 drug abuse initiative are continued, while resources devoted to drug law enforcement have tripled since my administration began;
    • • the budget allocates $85 million to more intensive health care for those with the highest incidence of infant mortality;
    • • over half a billion dollars is provided for AIDS [acquired immune deficiency syndrome] research and education in 1988 — a 28 percent increase above the 1987 level and more than double our 1986 effort [an additional $100 million is provided for AIDS treatment and blood screening by the Veterans Administration and the Department of Defense];
    • • building upon the Nation's pre-eminence in basic biomedical research, the budget seeks funding for the full multiyear costs of biomedical research grants made by the National Institutes of Health;
    • • a $200 million increase over the 1987 level is proposed for compensatory education for educationally disadvantaged children;
    • • current ineffective programs intended to assist dislocated workers are replaced by an expanded billion-dollar program carefully designed to help those displaced from their jobs move quickly into new careers;
    • • a 68 percent increase in funding is provided to permit the Federal Aviation Administration to modernize the Nation's airtraffic-control system; this includes the procurement of Doppler radars capable of detecting severe downdrafts that imperil landings and takeoffs at airports where this is a hazard;
    • • for 1988, $400 million is provided to carry out newly enacted immigration reform legislation;
    • • substantial increases in funding for clean-coal technology demonstrations, as well as research on acid-rain formation and environmental effects, are provided to address the acid-rain problem; and
    • • a new civil space technology initiative, together with previously planned increases to construct a space station, develop a national aerospace plane, and foster the commercial development of space, are provided in this budget.

    Restoring our national security also has been one of my highest priorities over the past 6 years due to the serious weakness arising from severe underfunding during the middle and late 1970's. Nonetheless, defense and international programs have not escaped the effects of fiscal stringency. The defense budget actually has declined in real terms in each of the past 2 years. This trend cannot be allowed to continue. I am proposing in this budget a 3 percent real increase over last year's appropriated level. This request — some $8 billion less than last year's — is the minimum level consistent with maintaining an adequate defense of our Nation.

    Likewise, my request for our international affairs programs is also crucial to our effort to maintain our national security. I urge Congress not to repeat last year's damaging cuts, but rather to fund these programs fully.

    The incentive structure for other Federal programs should be changed to promote efficiency and competitiveness. One of the problems with many Federal programs is that they provide payments without encouraging performance or efficiency. They are perceived to be

    and, therefore, there is potentially unlimited demand. This has to be changed — and this budget proposes creating needed incentives in critical areas.

    Our farm price support programs, under the Food Security Act of 1985, are proving much too costly — half again as costly as estimated when the bill was enacted just one year ago. The $25 billion being spent on farm subsidies in 1987 is 14 percent of our total Federal deficit and equivalent to taking $415 of each non-farm family's taxes to support farmers' incomes — over and above the amount that price supports add to their grocery bills. Some of the provisions of the Act encourage farmers to overproduce just to receive Federal benefits. Other provisions give the greatest benefits to our largest and most efficient agricultural producers instead of to those family farmers most in need of help.

    My administration will propose amendments to the Food Security Act to focus its benefits on the full-time family farmer by placing effective limitations on the amount paid to large producers and removing the incentive for farmers to overproduce solely to receive Federal payments.

    Reform of the medicare physician payment system is also proposed. Under the proposals, medicare would pay for radiology, anesthesiology, and pathology [RAP] services based on average area costs instead of inflationary fee-for-service reimbursements. The current fee-for-service payment distorts incentives and induces inappropriate billing for unneeded services. This initiative would remove the distortions caused by medicare's current reimbursement rules, eliminating a key barrier preventing the restoration of traditional arrangements between RAP physicians and hospital staffs.

    The budget proposes continued increases in federally supported basic research that will lead to longer term improvements in the Nation's productivity and global competitiveness. For example, the budget projects a doubling within 5 years of the National Science Foundation's support for academic research. I also propose to increase support for training future scientists and engineers, and to foster greater technology transfer from Government to industry.

    Another way of attaching a

    to Government-provided services — and an incentive to use them only as needed — is to charge user fees where appropriate. Those who receive special Federal services — not the general taxpayer — should bear a greater share of the costs of those services. Accordingly, this budget imposes fees for Federal lending activities, for meat and poultry inspection, for National park and forest facilities, for Coast Guard services, for Customs inspections, and for many other services.

    The Government should stop competing with the private sector. The Federal Government interferes with the productivity of the private sector in many ways. One is through borrowing from the credit markets to finance programs that are no longer needed — as in the case of the rural housing insurance fund, direct student financial assistance, urban mass-transit discretionary grants, vocational education grants, the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation fund, sewage plant construction grants, justice assistance grants, the Legal Services Corporation, and rural electrification loans. I am proposing in this budget that we terminate these programs and rely instead on private or State and local government provision of these services.

    The budget also proposes that a number of programs that have real utility be transferred back to the private sector, through public offerings or outright sales. Following our successful effort to authorize sale of Conrail, I am now proposing the sale of the Naval Petroleum Reserves, Amtrak, the Alaska Power Administration, the helium program, and excess real property. In addition, I am proposing legislation to authorize study of a possible divestiture of the Southeastern Power Administration. These

    efforts continue to be a high priority of my administration and, I believe, will result in increased productivity and lower total costs of providing these services. The Federal Government needs to provide essential services that are truly public in nature and national in scope. It has no business providing services to individuals that private markets or their State or local governments can provide just as well or better.

    The Federal Government should depend more on the private sector to provide ancillary and support services for activities that remain in Federal hands. The budget proposes that the work associated with over 40,000 Federal positions be contracted out to the private sector as yet another way to increase productivity, reduce costs, and improve services.

    Federal credit programs should operate through the private markets and reveal their true costs. The Federal Government provides credit for housing, agriculture, small business, education, and many other purposes. Currently, over a trillion dollars of Federal or federally assisted loans are outstanding. Including lending of Government-sponsored enterprises, federally assisted lending amounted to 14 percent of all lending in U.S. credit markets in 1985.

    Under current treatment, loan guarantees appear to be

    ; they do not affect the budget until and unless borrowers default. Direct loans are counted as outlays when they are made, but as
    negative outlays
    when they are repaid; thus, direct loans seem
    too, inasmuch as it is presumed they will be repaid. But neither direct loans nor loan guarantees are free. Besides the better terms and conditions a borrower gets from the Government, there is the matter of default. When a borrower does not repay a direct loan, the negative outlay does not occur, and this is a subsidy implicit in the original loan transaction. When a borrower defaults on a guaranteed loan, the Government has to make good on repayment — also a program subsidy.

    Since these effects are poorly understood and lead to grave inefficiencies in our credit programs, we will ask Congress to enact legislation whereby the true cost to the economy of Federal credit programs would be counted in the budget. By selling a substantial portion of newly made loans to the private sector and reinsuring some newly made guarantees, the implicit subsidy in the current practice will become explicit. This reform will revolutionize the way Federal credit activities are conducted.

    The private sector will also be increasingly involved in the management of our huge portfolio of outstanding loans and loan guarantees. Delinquent Federal borrowers will be reported to private credit bureaus, and private loan collection agencies will be used to help in our collection efforts. The Internal Revenue Service [IRS] will expand its

    of refunds to pay off delinquent Federal debts, and Federal employees who have not paid back Federal loans will have their wages garnished.

    Increased role for State and local governments. Over the past 6 years I have sought to return various Federal services to State and local governments — which are in a much better position to respond effectively to the needs of the recipients of these services. To me, this is a question of reorganizing responsibilities within our Federal system in a manner that will result in more productive delivery of the services that we all agree should be provided. Thus, this budget phases out inappropriate Federal Government involvement in local law enforcement, sewage treatment, public schools, and community and regional development. Transportation programs will be consolidated or States will be given greater flexibility in the use of Federal funds for highways, mass transit, and airports.

    Federal regulations must be reduced even further to improve productivity. My administration will continue the deregulation and regulatory relief efforts that were begun in 1981. The Task Force on Regulatory Relief, headed by the Vice President, has been reinstated. In the past, excessive Federal regulations and related paperwork have stifled American productivity and individual freedom. We must continue our efforts to streamline the regulatory process and to strike the proper balance between necessary regulation and associated paperwork on the one hand, and the costs of these requirements on the other.

    Federal activities should be better managed. The American people deserve the best managed Federal Government possible. Last year, I initiated the Federal Government Productivity Program, with the goal of improving productivity in selected areas by 20 percent by 1992. A substantial portion of total direct Federal employment falls within the program, including such activities as the Department of Agriculture meat and poultry inspection, Navy aircraft maintenance and repair, Social Security claims processing, National Park maintenance, operation of Federal prisons, and IRS processing of tax returns.

    Credit reform, privatization, productivity improvement, and other proposals will be described in more detail in the Management Report to be issued this month. It will also identify further measures to reduce waste, fraud, and abuse; to improve management of the Government's $1.7 trillion cash flow; to institute compatible financial management systems across all federal agencies; and other initiatives to improve the management of Government operations. These ambitious management reform undertakings, called

    Reform '88,
    constitute the largest management reform effort ever attempted.

    The budget also proposes a new approach to paying Federal employees who increase their productivity. I ask that Congress approve a new plan to transform the current system of virtually automatic

    within grade
    salary increases for the roughly 40 percent of employees eligible each year for these 3 percent hidden pay raises to one that is
    This will give Federal employees stronger incentives to improve service delivery.

    I include with this budget my recommendations for increases in executive-level pay for the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the Federal Government. The Quadrennial Commission report submitted to me on December 15, 1986, documented both the substantial erosion in the real level of Federal executive pay that has occurred since 1969 and the recruitment and retention problems that have resulted, especially for the Federal judiciary. The Commission is to be commended for its diligent and conscientious effort to address the complicated and complex problems associated with Federal pay levels.

    Every one of the Quadrennial Commissions that have met over the past 18 years has recognized that a pay increase for key Federal officials was necessary. Each Commission concluded that pay for senior Government officials fell far behind that of their counterparts in the private sector. They also understood that we cannot afford a government composed primarily of those who are wealthy enough to serve. Unfortunately, the last major Quadrennial Commission pay adjustment was in 1977 — a decade ago.

    However, I recognize that we are under mandated efforts to reduce the Federal deficit and hold down the costs of Government to the absolute minimum level. In this environment, I do not believe it would be appropriate to implement fully the Quadrennial Commission recommendations.

    Accordingly, I have decided to propose a pay increase, but have cut substantially the recommendations made by the Quadrennial Commissioners in their report to me last month. Moreover, I have decided to establish a Career Manager Pay Commission to review and report to me by next August on appropriate pay scales for our elite corps of Government managers. The pay increases I am proposing to Congress, plus the results of this new Commission, should place Government compensation on a fairer and more comparable footing.

    Peace Through Strength

    I have become convinced that the only way we can bring our adversaries to the bargaining table for arms reduction is to give them a reason to negotiate — while, at the same time, fulfilling our responsibility to our citizens and allies to provide an environment safe and secure from aggression.

    We have built our defense capabilities back toward levels more in accord with today's requirements for security. Modest and sustained growth in defense funding will be required to consolidate the real gains we have made. Because of severe fiscal constraints, we are proceeding at a slower pace than I originally planned, and the budget I propose provides the minimum necessary to ensure an adequate defense.

    I am also submitting, for the first time, a two-year budget for National Defense. This will permit greater stability in providing resources for our defense efforts and should lead to greater economy in using these resources.

    Budget Process Reform

    The current budget process has failed to provide a disciplined and responsible mechanism for consideration of the Federal budget. Budget procedures are cumber-some, complex, and convoluted. They permit and encourage a process that results in evasion of our duty to the American people to budget their public resources responsibly. Last year Congress did not complete action on a budget for 8 months and 2 weeks — 2 weeks past the statutory deadline. Except for the initial report of the Senate Budget Committee, Congress missed every deadline it had set for itself just 9 months earlier. In the end, Congress passed a yearlong, 389-page omnibus appropriations bill full of excessive and wasteful spending. Because Congress had not completed action on the annual appropriations bills, at one point I was compelled by law to initiate a shutdown of Federal Government activities. Such abrogation of a responsible budget process not only discourages careful, prudent legislation — it encourages excessive spending and waste.

    Furthermore, since I, as President, do not have a line-item veto, I had to ignore the many objectionable features of the omnibus appropriations legislation and sign it to avoid a Federal funding crisis. I am sure that many Members of Congress do not approve of this method of budgeting the Federal Government.

    Last Fall's funding crisis and its slapdash resolution are only one of the most obvious manifestations of the flaws in the system. Congress passes budget resolutions [without the concurrence of the President] based on functions; it considers 13 separate, but related, appropriations bills based on agencies, not functions; it develops a reconciliation bill; it passes authorizing legislation, sometimes annually; and it enacts limits on the public debt. The words alone are obscure and confusing; the process behind it is chaotic. The process must be streamlined and made more accountable.

    Shortly, I will outline specific reforms designed to make the process more efficient and increase accountability, so that we can give the American people what they deserve from us: a budget that is fiscally responsible and on time.


    Looking back over the past 6 years, we can feel a sense of pride and satisfaction in our accomplishments.

    Inflation has been brought under control. Growth and investment are up, while interest rates, tax rates, and unemployment rates have all come down substantially. A foundation for sustained economic expansion is now in place. Our national security has been restored to more adequate levels. The proliferation of unnecessary and burdensome Federal regulations has been halted. A significant beginning has been made toward curbing the excessive growth of domestic spending. Management of the Government is being improved, with special emphasis on productivity.

    Important tasks, however, still remain to be accomplished. The large and stubbornly persistent budget deficit has been a major source of frustration. It threatens our prosperity and our hopes for continued economic growth.

    Last year, the legislative and executive branches of Government responded to this threat by mandating gradual, orderly progress toward a balanced budget over the next 4 years. The proposals outlined here achieve the 1988 target while preserving legitimate programs for the aged and needy, providing for adequate national security, devoting more resources to other high-priority activities, and doing this without raising taxes.

    This budget presents hard choices which must be faced squarely. Congress must not abandon the statutory deficit targets of Gramm-Rudman-Hollings. Honoring the provisions and promises of this legislation offers the best opportunity for us to escape the chronic pattern of deficit spending that has plagued us for the past half century. We must realize that the deficit problem is also an opportunity of a different kind — an opportunity to construct a new, leaner, better focused, and better managed Federal structure supporting a more productive and more competitive America.


    January 5, 1987

    President Reagan's 1987 State of the Union Address

    Following is the White House text of President Reagan's State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress Jan. 27, 1987.

    Thank you very much. Mr. Speaker, Mr. President, distinguished Members of Congress, honored guests and fellow citizens. May I congratulate all of you who are members of this historic 100th Congress of the United States of America. In this 200th anniversary year of our Constitution, you and I stand on the shoulders of giants — men whose words and deeds put wind in the sails of freedom.

    Constitution's Spirit and Promise

    However, we must always remember that our Constitution is to be celebrated not for being old, but for being young — young with the same energy, spirit, and promise that filled each eventful day in Philadelphia's State House. We will be guided tonight by their acts; and we will be guided forever by their words.

    Now, forgive me, but I can't resist sharing a story from those historic days. Philadelphia was bursting with civic pride in the spring of 1787, and its newspapers began embellishing the arrival of the Convention delegates with elaborate social classifications.

    Governors of states were called

    Justices and Chancellors had reserved for them
    with a capital
    For Congressmen, it was
    with a small
    And all others were referred to as
    the following respectable characters.

    Well, for this 100th Congress, I invoke special Executive powers to declare that each of you must never be titled less than Honorable with a capital

    [Applause.] Incidentally, I'm delighted you're celebrating the 100th birthday of the Congress. It's always a pleasure to congratulate someone with more birthdays than I've had. [Laughter.]

    New House Speaker

    Now, there's a new face at this place of honor tonight. And please join me in warm congratulations to the Speaker of the House, Jim Wright [D-Texas]. [Applause.] Mr. Speaker, you might recall a similar situation in your very first session of Congress, 32 years ago. Then, as now, the Speakership had changed hands and another great son of Texas, Sam Rayburn —

    Mr. Sam
    — sat in your chair. I cannot find better words than those used by President Eisenhower that evening. He said,
    We shall have much to do together; I am sure that we will get it done and that we shall do it in harmony and goodwill.

    Tonight, I renew that pledge. To you, Mr. Speaker, and to Senate Majority Leader Robert Byrd [D-W. Va.], who brings 34 years of distinguished service to the Congress, may I say: though there are changes in the Congress, America's interests remain the same. And I am confident that, along with Republican leaders [Rep.] Bob Michel [R-Ill.] and [Sen.] Bob Dole [R-Kan.], this Congress can make history. [Applause.]

    Administration's Results

    Six years ago, I was here to ask the Congress to join me in America's New Beginning. Well, the results are something of which we can all be proud. Our inflation rate is now the lowest in a quarter of a century. The prime interest rate has fallen from the 21 1/2 percent the month before we took office to 7 1/2 percent today, and those rates have triggered the most housing starts in eight years.

    The unemployment rate — still too high — is the lowest in nearly seven years, and our people have created nearly 13 million new jobs. Over 61 percent of everyone over the age of 16, male and female, is employed — the highest percentage on record.

    Let's roll up our sleeves and go to work, and put America's economic engine at full throttle. [Applause.]

    We can also be heartened by our progress across the world. Most important, America is at peace tonight, and freedom is on the march. And we've done much these past years to restore our defenses, our alliances, and our leadership in the world. [Applause.] Our sons and daughters in the services once again wear their uniforms with pride.

    Iran-Contra Affair

    But though we've made much progress, I have one major regret. I took a risk with regard to our action in Iran. It did not work, and for that I assume full responsibility.

    The goals were worthy. I do not believe it was wrong to try to establish contacts with a country of strategic importance or to try to save lives. And certainly it was not wrong to try to secure freedom for our citizens held in barbaric captivity. [Applause.] But we did not achieve what we wished, and serious mistakes were made in trying to do so. We will get to the bottom of this, and I will take whatever action is called for.

    But in debating the past — [applause] — in debating the past, we must not deny ourselves the successes of the future. Let it never be said of this generation of Americans that we became so obsessed with failure that we refused to take risks that could further the cause of peace and freedom in the world. [Applause.]

    Much is at stake here, and the nation and the world are watching — to see if we go forward together in the national interest, or if we let partisanship weaken us.

    U.S. Policy on Terrorism

    And let there be no mistake about American policy: we will not sit idly by if our interests or our friends in the Middle East are threatened, nor will we yield to terrorist blackmail.

    And now, ladies and gentlemen of the Congress, why don't we get to work? [Applause.]

    Military/Foreign Aid Budget

    I am pleased to report that, because of our efforts to rebuild the strength of America, the world is a safer place. Earlier this month, I submitted a budget to defend America and maintain our momentum to make up for neglect in the last decade. Well, I ask you to vote out a defense and foreign affairs budget that says

    to protecting our country.

    While the world is safer, it is not safe.

    Soviet Expansionism

    Since 1970, the Soviets have invested $500 billion more on their military forces than we have. Even today, though nearly one in three Soviet families is without running hot water, and the average family spends two hours a day shopping for the basic necessities of life, their government still found the resources to transfer $75 billion in weapons to client states in the past five years — clients like Syria, Vietnam, Cuba, Libya, Angola, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, and Nicaragua.

    With 120,000 Soviet combat and military personnel and 15,000 military advisers in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, can anyone still doubt their single-minded determination to expand their power? Despite this, the Congress cut my request for critical U.S. security assistance to free nations by 21 percent this year, and cut defense requests by $85 billion in the last three years. [Applause.]

    These assistance programs serve our national interests as well as mutual interests, and when the programs are devastated, American interests are harmed. My friends, it's my duty as President to say to you again tonight that there is no surer way to lose freedom than to lose our resolve. [Applause.]

    Afghan Rebels' Resolve

    Today, the brave people of Afghanistan are showing that resolve. The Soviet Union says it wants a peaceful settlement in Afghanistan, yet it continues a brutal war and props up a regime whose days are clearly numbered. We are ready to support a political solution that guarantees the rapid withdrawal of all Soviet troops and genuine self-determination for the Afghan people.

    Commitment to Contras

    In Central America, too, the cause of freedom is being tested. And our resolve is being tested there as well. Here, especially, the world is watching to see how this nation responds.

    Today, over 90 percent of the people of Latin America live in democracy. Democracy is on the march in Central and South America. Communist Nicaragua is the odd man out — suppressing the Church, the press, and democratic dissent, and promoting subversion in the region. We support diplomatic efforts, but these efforts can never succeed if the Sandinistas win their war against the Nicaraguan people.

    Our commitment to a Western Hemisphere safe from aggression did not occur by spontaneous generation on the day that we took office. It began with the Monroe Doctrine in 1823 and continues our historic bipartisan American policy. Franklin Roosevelt said we

    are determined to do everything possible to maintain peace on this hemisphere.
    President Truman was very blunt:
    International communism seeks to crush and undermine and destroy the independence of the Americans. We cannot let that happen here.

    And John F. Kennedy made clear that

    communist domination in this hemisphere can never be negotiated.

    Some in this Congress may choose to depart from this historic commitment, but I will not. [Applause.]

    This year we celebrate the second century of our Constitution. The Sandinistas just signed theirs two weeks ago — and then suspended it. We won't know how my words tonight will be reported there, for one simple reason: there is no free press in Nicaragua.

    Nicaraguan freedom fighters have never asked us to wage their battle, but I will fight any effort to shut off their life-blood and consign them to death, defeat, or a life without freedom. There must be no Soviet beachhead in Central America. [Applause.]

    Strategic Defense Initiative

    You know, we Americans have always preferred dialogue to conflict, and so we always remain open to more constructive relations with the Soviet Union. But more responsible Soviet conduct around the world is a key element of the U.S.-Soviet agenda. Progress is also required on the other items of our agenda as well — real respect for human rights, and more open contacts between our societies, and, of course, arms reduction.

    In Iceland last October, we had one moment of opportunity that the Soviets dashed because they sought to cripple our strategic defense initiative — SDI. I wouldn't let them do it then. I won't let them do it now or in the future. [Applause.] This is the most positive and promising defense program we have undertaken. It's the path — for both sides — to a safer future; a system that defends human life instead of threatening it. SDI will go forward.

    The United States has made serious, fair, and far-reaching proposals to the Soviet Union, and this is a moment of rare opportunity for arms reduction. But I will need, and American negotiators in Geneva will need Congress' support. Enacting the Soviet negotiating position into American law would not be the way to win a good agreement. [Applause.] So I must tell you in this Congress I will veto any effort that undercuts our national security and our negotiating leverage. [Applause.]

    U.S. Trade Policy - 1

    Now, today, we also find ourselves engaged in expanding peaceful commerce across the world. We will work to expand our opportunities in international markets through the Uruguay round of trade negotiations and to complete a historic free trade arrangement between the world's two largest trading partners — Canada and the United States.

    Our basic trade policy remains the same: we remain opposed as ever to protectionism because America's growth and future depend on trade. But we would insist on trade that is fair and free. We are always willing to be trade partners but never trade patsies. [Applause.]

    Now from foreign borders, let us return to our own because America in the world is only as strong as America at home.

    100th Congress' Responsibilities

    This 100th Congress has high responsibilities. I begin with a gentle reminder that many of these are simply the incomplete obligations of the past. The American people deserve to be impatient because we do not yet have the public house in order.

    We've had great success in restoring our economic integrity, and we've rescued our nation from the worst economic mess since the Depression.

    Balanced Federal Budget - 1

    But there's more to do. For starters, the federal deficit is outrageous. [Applause.]

    For years I've asked that we stop pushing onto our children the excesses of our government. [Applause.] And what the Congress finally needs to do is pass a constitutional amendment that mandates a balanced budget — [applause] — and forces government to live within its means. States, cities, and the families of America balance their budgets. Why can't we? [Applause.]

    Sorry Budget Process

    Next — the budget process is a sorry spectacle. [Applause.] The missing of deadlines and the nightmare of monstrous continuing resolutions packing hundreds of billions of dollars of spending into one bill must be stopped. [Applause.]

    Line-Item Veto

    We ask the Congress, once again: Give us the same tool that 43 Governors have — a line-item veto so we can carve out the boondoggles and pork — [applause] — those items that would never survive on their own. I will send the Congress broad recommendations on the budget, but first I'd like to see yours. Let's go to work and get this done together. [Applause.]

    Balanced Federal Budget - 2

    But now, let's talk about this year's budget. Even though I have submitted it within the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings deficit-reduction target, I have seen suggestions that we might postpone that timetable. Well, I think the American people are tired of hearing the same old excuses. [Applause.] Together, we made a commitment to balance the budget; now, let's keep it. [Applause.]

    As for those suggestions that the answer is higher taxes, the American people have repeatedly rejected that shopworn advice.

    They know that we don't have deficits because people are taxed too little; we have deficits because big government spends too much. [Applause.]

    Now, next month, I'll place two additional reforms before the Congress.

    Welfare Reform

    We've created a welfare monster that is a shocking indictment of our sense of priorities. Our national welfare system consists of some 59 major programs and over 6,000 pages of federal laws and regulations on which more than $132 billion was spent in 1985.

    I will propose a new national welfare strategy — a program of welfare reform through state-sponsored, community-based demonstration projects. This is the time to reform this outmoded social dinosaur and finally break the poverty trap. Now, we will never abandon those who, through no fault of their own, must have our help. But let us work to see how many can be freed from the dependency of welfare and made self-supporting, which the great majority of welfare recipients want more than anything else. [Applause.]

    Catastrophic Health Care

    Next, let us remove a financial specter facing our older Americans — the fear of an illness so expensive that it can result in having to make an intolerable choice between bankruptcy and death. I will submit legislation shortly to help free the elderly from the fear of catastrophic illness. [Applause.]

    Now, let's turn to the future.

    U.S. Trade Policy - 2

    It's widely said that America is losing her competitive edge. Well, that won't happen if we act now. How well prepared are we to enter the 21st century? In my lifetime, America set the standard for the world. It is now time to determine that we should enter the next century having achieved a level of excellence unsurpassed in history.

    We will achieve this: first, by guaranteeing that government does everything possible to promote America's ability to compete. Second, we must act as individuals in a quest for excellence that will not be measured by new proposals or billions in new funding. Rather, it involves an expenditure of American spirit and just plain American grit.

    The Congress will soon receive my comprehensive proposals to enhance our competitiveness — including new science and technology centers and strong new funding for basic research. [Applause.]

    The bill will include legal and regulatory reforms and weapons to fight unfair trade practices. Competitiveness also means giving our farmers a shot at participating fairly and fully in a changing world market.

    Preparing for the future must begin, as always, with our children.

    Goals in Education

    We need to set for them new and more rigorous goals. We must demand more of ourselves and our children by raising literacy levels dramatically by the year 2000. Our children should master the basic concepts of math and science, and let's insist that students not leave high school until they have studied and understood the basic documents of our national heritage. [Applause.]

    War Against Drugs

    There's one more thing we can't let up on. Let's redouble our personal efforts to provide for every child a safe and drug-free learning environment. [Applause.] If our crusade against drugs succeeds with our children, we will defeat that scourge all over the country.

    School Prayer

    Finally, let's stop suppressing the spiritual core of our national being. Our nation could not have been conceived without divine help. Why is it that we can build a nation with our prayers but we can't use a schoolroom for voluntary prayer? [Applause.] The 100th Congress of the United States should be remembered as the one that ended the expulsion of God from America's classrooms. [Applause.]

    Modernizing the Work Place

    The quest for excellence into the 21st century begins in the schoolroom but must go next to the work place. More than 20 million new jobs will be created before the new century unfolds, and, by then, our economy should be able to provide a job for everyone who wants to work.

    We must also enable our workers to adapt to the rapidly changing nature of the work place, and I will propose substantial new federal commitments keyed to retraining and job mobility.

    Legislative Initiatives

    Over the next few weeks, I will be sending the Congress a complete series of these special messages — on budget reform, welfare reform, competitiveness, including education, trade, worker training and assistance, agriculture, and other subjects.

    The Congress can give us these tools, but to make these tools work, it really comes down to just being our best, and that is the core of American greatness.

    The responsibility of freedom presses us towards higher knowledge and, I believe, moral and spiritual greatness. Through lower taxes and smaller government, government has its ways of freeing people's spirit. But only we, each of us, can let the spirit soar against our own individual standards. Excellence is what makes freedom ring. And isn't that what we do best?

    We're entering our third century now, but it's wrong to judge our nation by its years. The calendar can't measure America because we were meant to be an endless experiment in freedom — with no limit to our reaches, no boundaries to what we can do, no end point to our hopes.

    Constitution: An Inspired Vehicle

    The United States Constitution is the impassioned and inspired vehicle by which we travel through history. It grew out of the most fundamental inspiration of our existence: that we are here to serve Him by living free — that living free releases in us the noblest of impulses and the best of our abilities. That we would use these gifts for good and generous purposes and would secure them not just for ourselves, and for our children, but for all mankind. [Applause.]

    Over the years — I won't count if you don't — nothing has been so heartwarming to me as speaking to America's young. And the little ones especially — so fresh-faced and so eager to know — well, from time to time I've been with them, they will ask about our Constitution, and I hope you Members of Congress will not deem this a breach of protocol if you'll permit me to share these thoughts again with the young people who might be listening or watching this evening.

    `We the People'

    I have read the constitutions of a number of countries — including the Soviet Union's. Some people are surprised to hear they have a constitution, and it even supposedly grants a number of freedoms to its people. Many countries have written into their constitution provisions for freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. Well, if this is true, why is the Constitution of the United States so exceptional?

    Well, the difference is so small that it almost escapes you — but it's so great it tells you the whole story in just three words: We the people.

    In those other constitutions, the government tells the people of those countries what they are allowed to do. In our Constitution, we the people tell the government what it can do and that it can do only those things listed in that document and no others.

    Virtually every other revolution in history has just exchanged one set of rulers for another set of rulers. Our revolution is the first to say the people are the masters, and government is their servant. [Applause.]

    And you young people out there, don't ever forget that. Some day, you could be in this room — but wherever you are, America is depending on you to reach your highest and be your best — because here, in America, we the people are in charge.

    Just three words. We the people. Those are the kids on Christmas Day looking out from a frozen sentry post on the 38th Parallel in Korea, or aboard an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean. A million miles from home. But doing their duty.

    We the people. Those are the warm-hearted whose numbers we can't begin to count who'll begin the day with a little prayer for hostages they will never know and MIA families they will never meet. Why? Because that's the way we are, this unique breed we call Americans.

    We the people. They're farmers on tough times, but who never stop feeding a hungry world. They're the volunteers at the hospital choking back their tears for the hundredth time, caring for a baby struggling for life because of a mother who used drugs. And you'll forgive me a special memory — it's a million mothers like Nelle Reagan who never knew a stranger or turned a hungry person away from her kitchen door.

    We the people. They refute last week's television commentary downgrading our optimism and idealism. They are the entrepreneurs, the builders, the pioneers, and a lot of regular folks — the true heroes of our land who make up the most uncommon nation of doers in history. You know they're Americans because their spirit is as big as the universe and their hearts are bigger than their spirits.

    We the people. Starting the third century of a dream and standing up to some cynic who's trying to tell us we're not going to get any better.

    Are we at the end? Well, I can't tell it any better than the real thing — a story recorded by James Madison from the final moments of the Constitutional Convention — September 17, 1787. As the last few members signed the document, Benjamin Franklin — the oldest delegate at 81 years, and in frail health — looked over toward the chair where George Washington daily presided. At the back of the chair was painted the picture of a sun on the horizon. And turning to those sitting next to him, Franklin observed that artists found it difficult in their painting to distinguish between a rising and setting sun.

    Well, I know if we were there, we could see those delegates sitting around Franklin — leaning in to listen more closely to him. And then Dr. Franklin began to share his deepest hopes and fears about the outcome of their efforts, and this is what he said:

    I have often looked at that picture behind the President without being able to tell whether it was a rising or setting Sun: But now at length I have the happiness to know that it is a rising and not a setting Sun.

    Well, you can bet it's rising, because, my fellow citizens, America isn't finished; her best days have just begun.

    Thank you, God bless you and God bless America. [Applause.]

    Reagan's Address on Tower Board Investigation

    Following is the White House text of President Reagan's March 4, 1987, address in which he responded to the Tower commission report on the Iran-contra affair.

    My fellow Americans, I've spoken to you from this historic office on many occasions and about many things. The power of the Presidency is often thought to reside within this Oval Office. Yet it doesn't rest here; it rests in you, the American people, and in your trust.

    Powers of Leadership

    Your trust is what gives a President his powers of leadership and his personal strength and it's what I want to talk to you about this evening.

    For the past three months, I've been silent on the revelations about Iran. And you must have been thinking,

    Well, why doesn't he tell us what's happening? Why doesn't he just speak to us as he has in the past when we've faced troubles or tragedies?
    Others of you, I guess, were thinking,
    What's he doing hiding out in the White House?

    Well, the reason I haven't spoken to you before now is this: You deserved the truth. And, as frustrating as the waiting has been, I felt it was improper to come to you with sketchy reports, or possibly even erroneous statements, which would then have to be corrected, creating even more doubt and confusion. There's been enough of that.

    The Price of Silence

    I've paid a price for my silence in terms of your trust and confidence. But I've had to wait, as you have, for the complete story. That's why I appointed [former NATO] Ambassador David Abshire as my special counselor to help get out the thousands of documents to the various investigations. And I appointed a special review board, the Tower Board, which took on the chore of pulling the truth together for me and getting to the bottom of things. It has now issued its findings.

    I'm often accused of being an optimist, and it's true I had to hunt pretty hard to find any good news in the Board's report. As you know, it's well-stocked with criticisms, which I'll discuss in a moment, but I was very relieved to read this sentence,

    ... the Board is convinced that the President does indeed want the full story to be told.
    And that will continue to be my pledge to you as the other investigations go forward.

    I want to thank the members of the panel — former Senator John Tower [R-Texas], former Secretary of State Edmund Muskie, and former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft. They have done the nation, as well as me personally, a great service by submitting a report of such integrity and depth. They have my genuine and enduring gratitude.

    I've studied the Board's report. Its findings are honest, convincing and highly critical, and I accept them. And tonight I want to share with you my thoughts on these findings and report to you on the actions I'm taking to implement the Board's recommendations.

    First, let me say I take full responsibility for my own actions and for those of my administration. As angry as I may be about activities undertaken without my knowledge, I am still accountable for those activities. As disappointed as I may be in some who served me, I am still the one who must answer to the American people for this behavior. And as personally distasteful as I find secret bank accounts and diverted funds — well, as the Navy would say, this happened on my watch.

    Arms for Hostages

    Let's start with the part that is the most controversial. A few months ago I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that is true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not. As the Tower Board reported, what began as a strategic opening to Iran deteriorated in its implementation into trading arms for hostages. This runs counter to my own beliefs, to administration policy, and to the original strategy we had in mind. There are reasons why it happened, but no excuses. It was a mistake.

    I undertook the original Iran initiative in order to develop relations with those who might assume leadership in a post-Khomeini government. It's clear from the Board's report, however, that I let my personal concern for the hostages spill over into the geopolitical strategy of reaching out to Iran. I asked so many questions about the hostages' welfare that I didn't ask enough about the specifics of the total Iran plan.

    Let me say to the hostage families, we have not given up. We never will. And I promise you we'll use every legitimate means to free your loved ones from captivity. But I must also caution that those Americans who freely remain in such dangerous areas must know that they're responsible for their own safety.

    Transfer of Funds

    Now, another major aspect of the Board's findings regards the transfer of funds to the Nicaraguan Contras. The Tower Board wasn't able to find out what happened to this money, so the facts here will be left to the continuing investigations of the court-appointed Independent Counsel and the two Congressional investigating committees. I'm confident the truth will come out about this matter as well. As I told the Tower Board, I didn't know about any diversion of funds to the Contras. But as President, I cannot escape responsibility.

    Management Style

    Much has been said about my management style, a style that's worked successfully for me during eight years as Governor of California and for most of my Presidency. The way I work is to identify the problem, find the right individuals to do the job, and then let them go to it. I have found this invariably brings out the best in people. They seem to rise to their full capability, and in the long run you get more done.

    When it came to managing the NSC [National Security Council] staff, let's face it, my style didn't match its previous track record. I have already begun correcting this. As a start, yesterday I met with the entire professional staff of the National Security Council. I defined for them the values I want to guide the national security policies of this country. I told them that I wanted a policy that was as justifiable and understandable in public as it was in secret. I wanted a policy that reflected the will of the Congress as well as of the White House. And I told them that there'll be no more freelancing by individuals when it comes to our national security.

    You have heard a lot about the staff of the National Security Council in recent months. I can tell you, they are good and dedicated government employees, who put in long hours for the nation's benefit. They are eager and anxious to serve their country.

    One thing still upsetting me, however, is that no one kept proper records of meetings or decisions. This led to my failure to recollect whether I approved an arms shipment before or after the fact. I did approve it; I just can't say specifically when. Well, rest assured, there's plenty of record-keeping now going on at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

    For nearly a week now, I've been studying the Board's report. I want the American people to know that this wrenching ordeal of recent months has not been in vain. I endorse every one of the Tower Board's recommendations. In fact, I'm going beyond its recommendations, so as to put the house in even better order.

    I'm taking action in three basic areas — personnel, national security policy, and the process for making sure that the system works.


    First, personnel. I've brought in an accomplished and highly respected new team here at the White House. They bring new blood, new energy, and new credibility and experience.

    Former Senator Howard Baker [R-Tenn.], my new Chief of Staff, possesses a breadth of legislative and foreign affairs skills that's impossible to match. I'm hopeful that his experience as Minority and Majority Leader of the Senate can help us forge a new partnership with the Congress, especially on foreign and national security policies. I'm genuinely honored that he's given up his own presidential aspirations to serve the country as my Chief of Staff.

    Frank Carlucci, my new National Security Adviser, is respected for his experience in government and trusted for his judgment and counsel. Under him, the NSC staff is being rebuilt with proper management discipline. Already, almost half the NSC professional staff is comprised of new people.

    Yesterday I nominated William Webster, a man of sterling reputation, to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Mr. Webster has served as Director of the FBI and a U.S. District Court Judge. He understands the meaning of

    rule of law.

    So that his knowledge of national security matters can be available to me on a continuing basis, I will also appoint John Tower to serve as a member of my Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.

    I am considering other changes in personnel, and I'll move more furniture as I see fit in the weeks and months ahead.

    National Security Policy

    Second, in the area of national security policy, I have ordered the NSC to begin a comprehensive review of all covert operations. I have also directed that any covert activity be in support of clear policy objectives and in compliance with American values. I expect a covert policy that if Americans saw it on the front page of their newspaper, they'd say,

    That makes sense.

    I have had issued a directive prohibiting the NSC staff itself from undertaking covert operations — no ifs, ands, or buts.

    I have asked Vice President [George] Bush to reconvene his task force on terrorism to review our terrorist policy in light of the events that have occurred.

    Making the System Work

    Third, in terms of the process of reaching national security decisions I am adopting in total the Tower Report's model of how the NSC process and staff should work. I am directing Mr. Carlucci to take the necessary steps to make that happen. He will report back to me on further reforms that might be needed. I've created the post of NSC Legal Adviser to assure a greater sensitivity to matters of law.

    I am also determined to make the Congressional oversight process work. Proper procedures for consultation with the Congress will be followed, not only in letter but in spirit. Before the end of March I will report to the Congress on all the steps I've taken in line with the Tower Board's conclusions.

    Going Forward

    Now, what should happen when you make a mistake is this: You take your knocks, you learn your lessons, and then you move on. That's the healthiest way to deal with a problem. This in no way diminishes the importance of the other continuing investigations, but the business of our country and our people must proceed. I've gotten this message from Republicans and Democrats in Congress, from allies around the world — and if we're reading the signals right, even from the Soviets. And, of course, I've heard the message from you, the American people.

    You know, by the time you reach my age, you've made plenty of mistakes. And if you've lived your life properly — so you learn.

    You put things in perspective. You pull your energies together. You change. You go forward.

    My fellow Americans, I have a great deal that I want to accomplish with you and for you over the next two years. And, the Lord willing, that's exactly what I intend to do.

    Good night and God bless you.

    Reagan's Speech on the `Iran-Contra Mess'

    Following is the White House text of President Reagan's Aug. 12, 1987, address to the nation on the Iran-contra affair.

    My fellow Americans, I've said on several occasions that I wouldn't comment about the recent Congressional hearings on the Iran-Contra matter until the hearings were over. Well, that time has come, so tonight I want to talk about some of the lessons we've learned.

    But rest assured, that's not my sole subject this evening. I also want to talk about the future and getting on with things, because the people's business is waiting.

    These past nine months have been confusing and painful ones for the country. I know you have doubts in your own minds about what happened in this whole episode. What I hope is not in doubt, however, is my commitment to the investigations themselves.

    So far, we've had four investigations — by the Justice Department, the Tower Board [a special review board, appointed by the president and headed by former Sen. John G. Tower, R-Texas], the Independent Counsel, and the Congress. I requested three of those investigations, and I endorsed and cooperated fully with the fourth — the Congressional hearings — supplying over 250,000 pages of White House documents, including parts of my own private diaries. Once I realized I hadn't been fully informed, I sought to find the answers.

    Some of the answers I don't like. As the Tower Board reported, and as I said last March, our original initiative rapidly got all tangled up in the sale of arms, and the sale of arms got tangled up with hostages. Secretary [of State George P.] Shultz and Secretary [of Defense Caspar W.] Weinberger both predicted that the American people would immediately assume this whole plan was an arms for hostages deal and nothing more. Well, unfortunately, their predictions were right.

    As I said to you in March, I let my preoccupation with the hostages intrude into areas where it didn't belong. The image — the reality of Americans in chains, deprived of their freedom and families so far from home, burdened my thoughts. And this was a mistake.

    My fellow Americans, I've thought long and often about how to explain to you what I intended to accomplish, but I respect you too much to make excuses. The fact of the matter is that there's nothing I can say that will make the situation right. I was stubborn in my pursuit of a policy that went astray.

    Diversion of Funds

    The other major issue of the hearings, of course, was the diversion of funds to the Nicaraguan Contras.

    Col. [Oliver L.] North and Adm. [John M.] Poindexter believed they were doing what I would've wanted done — keeping the democratic resistance alive in Nicaragua. I believed then and I believe now in preventing the Soviets from establishing a beachhead in Central America.

    Since I have been so closely associated with the cause of the Contras, the big question during the hearings was whether I knew of the diversion. I was aware the resistance was receiving funds directly from third countries and from private efforts and I endorsed those endeavors whole-heartedly. But, let me put this in capital letters, I did not know about the diversion of funds. Indeed, I didn't know there were excess funds.

    Yet the buck does not stop with Adm. Poindexter, as he stated in his testimony; it stops with me. I am the one who is ultimately accountable to the American people. The Admiral testified he wanted to protect me; yet no President should ever be protected from the truth. No operation is so secret that it must be kept from the Commander-in-Chief. I had the right, the obligation, to make my own decision.

    I heard someone the other day ask why I wasn't outraged. Well, at times, I've been mad as a hornet. Anyone would be — just look at the damage that's been done and the time that's been lost. But I've always found that the best therapy for outrage and anger is action.

    Making Changes

    I've tried to take steps so that what we've been through can't happen again, either in this administration or future ones. But I remember very well what the Tower Board said last February when it issued this report. It said the failure was more in people than in process.

    We can build in every precaution known to the world. We can design the best system ever devised by man. But in the end people are going to have to run it. And we will never be free of human hopes, weaknesses and enthusiasms.

    Let me tell you what I've done to change both the system and the people who operate it.

    First of all, I've brought in a new and knowledgeable team. I have a new National Security Adviser, a new Director of the CIA [Central Intelligence Agency], a new Chief of Staff here at the White House. And I've told them that I must be informed and informed fully.

    In addition, I adopted the Tower Board's model of how the NSC [National Security Council] process and staff should work and I prohibited any operational role by the NSC staff in covert activities.

    The report I ordered reviewing our nation's covert operations has been completed. There were no surprises. Some operations were continued and some were eliminated because they'd outlived their usefulness.

    I am also adopting new, tighter procedures on consulting with and notifying the Congress on future covert action findings.

    We will still pursue covert operations when appropriate, but each operation must be legal and it must meet a specific policy objective.

    The problem goes deeper, however, than policies and personnel. Probably the biggest lesson we can draw from the hearings is that the executive and legislative branches of government need to regain trust in each other. We've seen the results of that mistrust in the form of lies, leaks, divisions, and mistakes. We need to find a way to cooperate while realizing foreign policy can't be run by committee. And I believe there's now the growing sense that we can accomplish more by cooperating.

    And in the end, this may be the eventual blessing in disguise to come out of the Iran-Contra mess.

    Looking Ahead

    But now let me turn to the other subject I promised to discuss this evening — the future. There are now 17 months left in this administration and I want them to be prosperous, productive ones for the American people.

    When you first elected me to this office, you elected me to pursue a new, different direction for America. When you elected me the second time, you reaffirmed your desire to continue that course. My hopes for this country are as fervent today as they were in 1981. Up until the morning I leave this house, I intend to do what you sent me here to do — lead the nation toward the goals we agreed on when you elected me.

    Let me tell you where I'm going to put my heart and my energies for the remainder of my term.

    Bork Nomination

    For my entire political life, I've spoken about the need for the Supreme Court to interpret the law, not make it. During my presidency, I've proudly appointed two new justices who understand that important principle — Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and Justice Antonin Scalia.

    I've now nominated a third — Judge Robert Bork. When I named him to the U.S. Court of Appeals, the American Bar Association gave Judge Bork, who is a brilliant scholar and jurist, its very highest rating. As a member of that court, Judge Bork has written more than 100 majority opinions and joined in another 300. The Supreme Court has never reversed a single one of these 400 opinions.

    His nomination is being opposed by some because he practices judicial restraint. Now, that means he won't put their opinions ahead of the law; he won't put his own opinions ahead of the law. And that's the way it should be. Judge Bork would be an important intellectual addition to the Court, and I will fight for him because I believe in what he stands for.

    As soon as the Senate returns from its recess next month, it should consider Judge Bork's qualifications and then vote yes or no, up or down. This nation and its citizens deserve a full bench with nine justices when the Court convenes in October.

    U.S.-Soviet Arms Agreement

    In the months ahead, I also hope to reach an agreement, a comprehensive and verifiable agreement, with the Soviet Union on reducing nuclear arms. We're making real progress on the global elimination of an entire class of nuclear weapons — the U.S. and Soviet intermediate-range, or INF, missiles.

    I first proposed this idea to the Soviets back in 1981. They weren't too keen on it and, in fact, walked out of the negotiations at one point. But we kept at it. Until recently, the Soviet Union had insisted on the right to retain some of its INF missiles. But in mid-July, General Secretary [Mikhail S.] Gorbachev announced that he was prepared to drop this demand. That was welcome news, indeed.

    We've come this far because, in 1980, you gave me a mandate to rebuild our military. I've done that. And today, we're seeing the results. The Soviets are now negotiating with us because we're negotiating from strength.

    This would be an historic agreement. Previous arms control agreements merely put a ceiling on weapons and even allowed for increases; this agreement would reduce the number of nuclear weapons. I am optimistic that we'll soon witness a first in world history — the sight of two countries actually destroying nuclear weapons in their arsenals. And imagine where that might lead.

    We're also ready to move ahead on a START [Strategic Arms Reduction Talks] agreement that would cut intercontinental nuclear forces by 50 percent, thereby eliminating thousands of nuclear missiles. I urge the Soviets to move ahead with us. And I say to General Secretary Gorbachev, both our nations could begin a new relationship by signing comprehensive agreements to reduce nuclear and conventional weapons.

    What we seek in our relationship with the Soviet Union is peace and stability. That is also what we seek in the Persian Gulf and the Middle East more generally. And bringing stability to this troubled region remains one of the most important goals of my Presidency.

    Economic Bill of Rights

    Over the next 17 months, I'll also be advocating an Economic Bill of Rights for our citizens. I believe the American people have a right to expect the nation's budget to be handled responsibly. Yet chaos reigns in the budgetary process. For the past several months, there's been much debate about getting our fiscal house in order, but the result once again has been inaction. The Congressional budget process is neither reliable nor credible — in short, it needs to be fixed.

    We must face reality — the only force strong enough to stop this nation's massive runaway budget is the Constitution. Only the Constitution — the document from which all government power flows, the document that provides our moral authority as a nation — only the Constitution can compel responsibility.

    We desperately need the power of a constitutional amendment to help us balance the budget. Over 70 percent of the American people want such an amendment. They want the federal government to have what 44 state governments already have — discipline.

    To get things moving, I am proposing tonight — if Congress agrees to schedule an up-or-down vote this year on our balanced budget amendment, then I will agree to negotiate on every spending item in the budget.

    If the Congress continues to oppose the wishes of the people by avoiding a vote on our balanced budget amendment, the call for a constitutional convention will grow louder. The prospect for a constitutional convention is only two states away from approval, and one way or another, the will of the people always prevails.

    Democratic Resistance In Nicaragua

    And there's another area that will occupy my time and my heart — the cause of democracy. There are Americans still burning for freedom — Central Americans, the people of Nicaragua. Over the last 10 years, democrats have been emerging all over the world. In Central and South America alone, 10 countries have been added to the ranks. The question is, will Nicaragua ever be added to this honor roll?

    As you know, I am totally committed to the democratic resistance — the freedom fighters and their pursuit of democracy in Nicaragua. Recently there's been important progress on the diplomatic front, both here in Washington and in the region itself.

    Central American Peace Plan

    My administration and the leadership of Congress have put forth a bipartisan initiative proposing concrete steps that can bring an end to the conflict there. Our key point was that the communist regime in Nicaragua should do what it formally pledged to do in 1979 — respect the Nicaraguan people's basic rights of free speech, free press, free elections, and religious liberty. Instead, those who govern in Nicaragua chose to turn their country over to the Soviet Union to be a base for communist expansion on the American mainland.

    The need for democracy in Nicaragua was also emphasized in the agreement signed by the five Central American presidents in Guatemala last Friday. We welcome this development and pledge our support to democracy and those fighting for freedom. We have always been willing to talk — we have never been willing to abandon those who are fighting for democracy and freedom.

    I'm especially pleased that in the United States' diplomatic initiative we once again have the beginnings, however uncertain, of a bipartisan foreign policy. The recent hearings emphasized the need for such bipartisanship, and I hope this cautious start will grow and blossom.

    These are among the goals for the remainder of my term as President. I believe they're the kinds of goals that will advance the security and prosperity and future of our people. I urge the Congress to be as thorough and energetic in pursuing these ends as it was in pursuing the recent investigation.

    My fellow Americans, I have a year-and-a-half before I have to clean out this desk. I'm not about to let the dust and cobwebs settle on the furniture in this office, or on me. I have things I intend to do, and with your help, we can do them.

    Good night and God bless you.

    Reagan's Address Before OAS Meeting

    Following is the White House text of President Reagan's Oct. 7, 1987, address to a meeting of the Organization of American States (OAS).

    Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, Ambassadors, and ladies and gentlemen: It's a great honor to have this opportunity to address this session of the Organization of American States. I confess to a feeling of great pride at being here today. For this is no ordinary diplomatic event, but what must be the largest assemblage of ambassadors from democratic countries in the history of the hemisphere.

    As we gather here today, the hopes and dreams that built this hall and formed this organization have never been so near fulfillment. The work of our forefathers, honored in the Hall of Heroes, has never been so close to completion. We come together as the representatives, not of one country, nor of a single continent — but of a hemisphere dedicated to the cause of human freedom and democratic government.

    This last decade has witnessed the triumph of freedom in the Americas. Ten years ago, the great majority of people in Latin America lived under oppression. Today, 90 percent know the freedom and dignity of democratic government. The story of that democratic transformation is one of the proudest chapters in human history.

    Many here in this room today have been a part of it. It's a story of courage, statesmanship, perseverance, of heroism and, yes, sometimes, martyrdom.

    It is the story of men such as Victor Paz Estenssoro, fighting terrorists, drug traffickers, and sheer poverty to keep Bolivia free.

    It is the story of Raul Alfonsin, raising Argentina from defeat and dictatorship to a new democracy.

    It is the story of José Napoleón Duarte — detained, tortured, and exiled after winning El Salvador's presidency in 1972. He had the courage to return home, face down his torturers and prevail.

    It is the story of all the valiant statesmen of Central and South America who struggle to establish and maintain democracy in their countries.

    It is also the story of common people, such as the woman in El Salvador, wounded by guerrilla fire on the way to vote. She stood in line at the polls for hours, but would not leave to have her wounds treated until after she had voted. And the grandmother who had been warned by the communists that if she voted she would be killed when she returned from the polls.

    You can kill me,
    was her defiant answer,
    You can kill my family, kill my neighbors, but you can't kill us all.

    Well, that's the voice of the Americas, the proud voice of the descendants of Simon Bolivar who demand freedom as their birthright.

    The veil has been torn asunder,
    Bolivar once wrote.
    We have already seen the light and it is not our desire to be thrust back into the darkness.

    Yes, the Americas have come far into the light of liberty, and we have no intention of falling back into the shadows of oppression and tyranny. But for all the heroism and perseverance, our journey is not yet complete. Today, we're called upon to face one of the most serious challenges that has ever confronted our hemisphere. It will demand from all our nations the same statesmanship, the same courage, and the absolute commitment to freedom that have brought us so far.

    I'm talking about the efforts of the democratic nations of Central, South, and North America to bring Nicaragua into the embrace of freedom; to sever its ties from an expansionist, colonial force and to secure for the people of Nicaragua the fulfillment of the promises of democracy and human rights that were made to the OAS in 1979.

    The Guatemala Peace Plan

    We are now at a critical juncture. The Guatemala Peace Accord, an historic agreement signed by the five Central American Presidents on August 7th, contains many of the elements necessary to bring both lasting peace and enduring democracy to the region. The Accord calls on all parties to end the fighting and insist on true democracy and human rights in Nicaragua, including freedom of the press, freedom of worship, the right of free political association, and full, free, and fair elections. The Accord makes clear: Democracy is the bottom line. There can be no compromise on that point.

    But while there's reason for hope, there is also reason for great caution. President [of Costa Rica Oscar] Arias has stated that it is only with true democracy in Nicaragua that peace will survive.

    If democracy doesn't take hold in Nicaragua,
    he said,
    the armed struggle will continue.
    And of the Sandinistas, he has said,
    It is true they are Marxists. It is true if they consolidate themselves they're going to try to export the revolution, to undermine Costa Rica, to try to create subversion in this country.

    Well, we share President Arias's hope and aspirations, but also his skepticism of the communist Sandinistas — a skepticism born of a long record of Sandinista deceit and broken promises. I think skeptics may be excused if they ask: Just where will [Sandinista leader] Daniel Ortega be on November 7th — the day the Accord goes into effect?

    A Previous Agreement

    We cannot forget that there already exists a negotiated settlement with the Sandinistas that predates the Guatemala plan — the settlement of 1979, in which this organization, in an unprecedented action, removed recognition from a sitting government, the government of Anastasio Somoza, and helped bring the Sandinistas to power. As part of that settlement, the Sandinistas agreed to implement genuine democracy with free elections and full civil liberties. Each nation here, as a member of the Organization of American States, is a party to that negotiated settlement.

    We know that the Sandinistas never intended to carry out those promises. And just a few months later, the Sandinistas met in secret and drafted what has come to be known as

    the 72-hour document,
    in which they spelled out their plans for building another Cuba in Nicaragua. And even as the United States was sending the new Nicaraguan government millions of dollars in aid, more aid than any other nation, the Sandinistas wee busy smuggling arms to the communist guerrillas in El Salvador.

    But although the Sandinistas have reneged on their commitment to that negotiated settlement, this Organization must not. Those promises of democracy and peace were promises we made as well — promises to the people of Nicaragua that their hopes for freedom would not be disappointed. We gave our word of honor and we can't walk away from it. Those promises still form the absolute base of any negotiated settlement with the Sandinista communists. Full, free, and fair elections and the open society that alone can make them possible, including full human rights and explusion of all Soviet and Cuban forces — these must be the bedrock conditions upon which any further agreement with the Sandinistas is built.

    Sandinista Compliance

    This is why, as we press on toward negotiations, we must remain steadfast in our commitment to bring true democracy to Nicaragua, and clear-eyed and realistic about who and what the Sandinistas are. In response to the Guatemala Accord, the Sandinistas have taken a few initial steps toward compliance — but these welcome steps are only a beginning. La Prensa and Radio Catolica have been allowed to reopen, but the other independent papers remain closed. The dozen other radio stations are still not allowed to broadcast.

    Recently, the Social Christian Party held its 30th anniversary celebration in Managua. In a demonstration of the internal opposition to the Sandinistas, some 4,000 people attended the rally. The Sandinistas allowed the rally to take place, but immediately detained 18 of the Social Christian Party members on trumped-up charges. The former President of Venezuela, Luis Herrera Campins, who was there as a special guest, called the arrests a

    blatant act of political harassment.

    The Sandinistas must learn that democracy doesn't mean allowing a rally to take place and then arresting those who take part — it means hundreds of such rallies, free from harassment, either by the secret police or by what the Sandinistas call the

    divine mobs.
    Democracy doesn't mean opening one newspaper and one radio station — but opening them all. Democracy doesn't mean releasing a few political prisoners — but all 10,000 of them, some of whom have been imprisoned for as long as eight years. Democracy doesn't mean selectively granting temporary freedoms in order to placate world opinion — but permanent, across-the-board human rights, guaranteed by a constitution and protected by the checks and balances of democratic government.

    Ultimately — and this is the most important lesson of all — democracy means returning power to the hands of the people. The Sandinistas have to understand that they do not have the option of being dictators. Their only option is to lead a political party and serve for limited terms of office if chosen by the people in free and fair elections.

    Giving Peace a Chance

    What happens in this next month will be crucial — and it will be the responsibility of all of us in the OAS to insist that the Sandinistas give peace a chance by truly opening up their society. More than anyone, the members of the OAS have a particular responsibility to take the lead in verification of the Guatemala agreements. We cannot be satisfied with facades of freedom erected to fool international opinion and then quickly dismantled when the pressure is off. We must insist on real democracy in Nicaragua — not for a week, not for a month or a year — but for always.

    All we're asking for is true democracy. Anyone who demands anything less is not serving the cause of peace in Nicaragua. And let me just say, there are no new demands here. It is all spelled out in the Guatemala Accord and the [House Speaker Jim] Wright [D-Texas]-Reagan peace plan.

    Tell me — how can you have democracy when thousands are arrested for political reasons? How can you have a democracy when individuals who displease the Sandinistas are punished by withholding the ration cards that allow them to buy food and other necessities? How can you have democracy with a secret police force, commanded by dedicated Leninists, that keeps tabs on every citizen through the so-called

    block committees
    ? How can you have democracy when the entire society is being militarized with the military under the control of one political party and its Cuban and Soviet

    Democracy is made up of specifics — day-to-day freedoms — just as tyranny is made up of day-to-day oppressions. Is it sincere to talk about democracy but ignore the specific markers by which we can tell if democracy truly exists? I don't think so. And that's why the march toward peace in Central America must be a march — step-by-step, perhaps, but still relentless — toward democratic freedom.


    Along with democratic reforms, the Guatemala Accord calls for national reconciliation in Nicaragua, through a negotiated cease-fire and a full amnesty. Just this week, President Duarte has called for a spirit of national reconciliation in his country, urging all Salvadorans to, in his words,

    `forgive all those whose acts — or those acts — that have touched our hearts with pain.
    Despite the violence done to him and his family by the guerrillas, he has begun negotiations with them. President [Vinicio] Cerezo of Guatemala, too, has responded to the call for reconciliation, and his government will soon be meeting with the guerrillas there. They've done so because they want the Guatemala Accord to work. If the Sandinistas truly want the Accord to work, isn't it time they sat down and negotiated with the Nicaraguan freedom fighters?

    The Press' Responsibility

    I'd like to take a moment now to address myself to the ladies and gentlemen of the press. As the process of national reconciliation moves forward, your profession bears a special responsibility to see that the terms of the peace process are fully carried out and democracy finds a permanent home in Nicaragua. Sometimes in the past, the media has been criticized for having a double standard.

    As the story unfolds in Nicaragua, there can be no double standard, only one single and absolute standard — democracy. You must keep watch on the progress of democracy in Nicaragua — train all your investigatory abilities, all your skepticism on the Sandinista government. Demand full disclosure. See that they live up to their promises. This could be one of journalism's finest hours when, with the truth, you helped set a people free.

    U.S. Security Concerns

    As I said, the Guatemala Accord is a positive movement in the continuing effort, begun with the OAS-negotiated settlement in 1979, to bring democracy and peace to Nicaragua. But although the Accord is a step in the right direction, it does not address U.S. security concerns in the region — the growing Soviet-Cuban presence that seeks to establish a Soviet beachhead on the American mainland, and the rapid and destabilizing growth of the Sandinista armed forces that threatens Nicaragua's democratic neighbors.

    However, these security concerns are addressed in the Wright-Reagan peace plan. The first paragraphs of that plan state in no uncertain terms

    that there be no Soviet, Cuban, or communist-bloc bases in Nicaragua,
    that Nicaragua pose no threat to its neighbor countries, or provide a staging ground for subversion in this hemisphere.

    In other words, the Soviet-bloc and Cuban forces must leave. We will not tolerate communist colonialism on the American mainland. Freedom in Nicaragua, liberation from all tyrants, domestic and foreign — that is the commitment of the United States, a bipartisan consensus on the conditions that will satisfy U.S. security interests.

    And let me add, those security interests are shared by every democratic nation in the hemisphere. From the first Congress of American States, convened by Simon Bolivar; and the Treaty of Perpetual Union, League and Confederation, the peoples of the American hemisphere have insisted on the sovereignty and independence of member states against foreign imperialism. Today, there are only two colonial dictatorships in the Americas. Of one, John Kennedy said over 20 years ago,

    Forces beyond the hemisphere have made Cuba a victim of foreign imperialism, an instrument of the policy of others, a weapon in an effort dictated by external powers to subvert the other American republics.
    Today, these same forces — these same forces grip Nicaragua, but there is an anti-colonial struggle that has arisen and that can throw off the imperialist yoke.

    Freedom Fighters

    The fact is that there is only one reason why the communist subversion of the Central American democracies has been, for the moment, blocked. There is only one reason why the democratic process envisioned in the Guatemala plan still has a hope for success, and that is the brave Nicaraguan freedom fighters who are battling and dying to bring freedom and justice to their homeland.

    Most are young men, barely in their 20s — only children when the Somoza regime was toppled. They have heard the promises of 1979 — of freedom, human rights — but they've known only tyranny, the steadily growing stranglehold of the new dictators on their society. They have seen their freedoms choked off one by one, their farms confiscated, their priests harassed. They have seen arbitrary arrests, beatings, and official murder become the order of the day. They've seen other young Nicaraguans drafted to serve under Soviet and Cuban so-called

    pawns in their war to impose a foreign tyranny on the American mainland.

    Yes, these Nicaraguans have known only tyranny. They have seen one dictator fall only to be replaced by nine comandantes who are far worse — and they have rebelled. Their hearts demand freedom. In the spirit of the American freedom fighters of earlier centuries, they are fighting for liberty, they're fighting for independence.

    There are now well over 15,000 Nicaraguan freedom fighters — three times the number that overthrew Somoza — operating throughout the entire length of Nicaragua. They would not have survived without the friendship and help of the Nicaraguan people. For seven years now the freedom fighters have prevented the consolidation of totalitarian power in Nicaragua. For now, the billions of dollars in Soviet-bloc military aid pouring into Managua have been aimed primarily at defeating the freedom fighters so that later they may attack the surrounding democracies.

    All of us in public life should remember it is the freedom fighters — most of them poor farmers fighting against over-whelming odds in the jungles of Nicaragua — it is their blood and courage that have stemmed the tide of communist expansion in Central America. Without the freedom fighters, the Sandinistas never would have signed the Guatemala Accord and there would be no pressure on the Sandinistas to reform.

    Their totalitarian grip on Nicaragua would only grow tighter and, with all dissent quashed at home, the Sandinistas would soon turn their attention to their neighbors. The huge Sandinista military machine, equipped and staffed by Cubans and Soviet-bloc advisers, would spread its shadow across all of Central America. Their proven subversion of the surrounding democracies, only temporarily slowed, would continue apace. In fact, even now, in the middle of the peace process, with all world opinion focused on the Sandinistas, they still continue to supply weapons to the communist guerrillas in El Salvador.

    A Moral Obligation

    We will not just shrug our shoulders and watch tens of thousands of brave men and their families turned into refugees. No, we want to see that nation reconciled. We want to see the freedom fighters able to go home to live in peace and freedom in Nicaragua. The Congress of the United States has made a moral commitment to these men. It cannot just walk away. I've made a personal commitment to them and I will not walk away. They are fighting in the jungles of Nicaragua not only for their own freedom, but for your freedom and mine. And I make a solemn vow — as long as there is breath in this body, I will speak and work, strive and struggle, for the cause of the Nicaraguan freedom fighters.

    But continuing aid to the democratic resistance is not only a moral obligation — it is the essential guarantee that the Sandinistas will live up to the democratic conditions of the Guatemala Accord and that the democratic countries of the Americas will be safe from Sandinista subversion. We must ask: Would the Sandinistas have signed the Accord if it weren't for the freedom fighters? If the United States Congress had voted against aid to the freedom fighters last year, would we be talking about democratic reforms in Nicaragua today? The answer is clearly, no.

    Renewing Contra Aid

    For these reasons, I will request and fight for a $270 million package of renewed military and humanitarian assistance for the freedom fighters that will be spread over an 18-month period. The renewed assistance will continue until the Sandinistas, negotiating with the freedom fighters, conclude an agreement for a cease-fire and full democracy is established in Nicaragua. Once a cease-fire is fully in effect, only that support necessary to maintain the freedom fighters as a viable force will be delivered. Then we — and they — will be watching to see how genuine the democratic reforms in Nicaragua are.

    The best indicator will be when the freedom fighters are allowed to contest power poltically without retribution, rather than through force of arms. As that happens, our support levels to the resistance forces will decrease proportionately. And the assistance money will then be redirected to strengthening the democratic process under way in Nicaragua.

    In the next crucial months, the free nations of the Americas will have to be ever vigilant. We'll have to be steadfast in our insistence that democracy is the only guarantee of peace. But the Americas would not have come this far without the courage, perseverance, and commitment to freedom that I spoke of earlier. I have no doubt that freedom will prevail. José Martí, the great Cuban apostle of freedom, once said,

    There are two sides in this world: On one side are those who hate liberty because they want it solely for themselves; on the other are those who love liberty for one and all.

    Liberty for one and all — that might be the motto of this organization. During the laying of the cornerstone of this building, the Brazilian statesman Joaquim Nabuco talked of the special destiny of the American hemisphere and the unique purpose of the OAS:

    It seems evident that a degree — decree of providence made the western shore of the Atlantic appear late in history as the chosen land for a great renewal of mankind.
    That is the solemn trust of this organization — to keep watch over this chosen land, to keep it secure from alien powers and colonial despotisms, so that man may renew himself here in freedom.

    That is why, in 1979, this organization, and many of the American states individually, reached out to the Nicaraguan people and pledged to them true freedom and full human rights. Now we must simply hold to that promise, just as we hold to our love of liberty — not for the few, but, as José Martí said: liberty, for one and for all.

    Thank you all very much. God bless you all.

    Reagan's OAS Speech on Nicaragua's Peace Efforts

    Following are excerpts from the White House text of President Reagan's Nov. 9, 1987, remarks to the Organization of American States (OAS) regarding Nicaragua's efforts to live up to the provisions of the Guatemala Peace Plan signed by five Central American presidents Aug. 7, 1987.

    This week, as we all know, is the week that the Guatemala Accord goes into effect in Central America. I have spoken at length of the Sandinistas and their failure to live up to the promises of democracy and human rights they made to the OAS in 1979. There is no need to repeat that record of broken promises today. The business at hand is to determine compliance with the Guatemala Accord, to examine, with cleareyed realism, the progress of peace and democracy in Central America. . . .

    Reconciliation — none could have pursued that with greater nobility and strength of heart than the President of El Salvador.

    When President [José Napoléon] Duarte visited me last month, he told me of his negotiations with the communist guerrillas, the FMLN — how he sat in the same room with the men who had kidnapped his daughter and said to them: There will be a complete amnesty in El Salvador. All prisoners will be released. All will be forgiven, just as I, Napoleon Duarte, forgive you.

    That's the democratic temperament, the true spirit of reconciliation. Contrast that to the partial and grudging release of prisoners in Nicaragua. Thousands of political prisoners still remain in their jails — many of them have languished there for as long as eight years. And the Sandinistas have said there are thousands who will never be released. Well, that's the voice of totalitarianism....

    We see the contrast between democracy and communism in another area, too. Despite the clear requirements of the Guatemala Accord, the Sandinistas still refuse to lift their state of emergency. President Duarte and President [of Guatemala Venicio] Cerezo, whose countries are also torn by violence, make no excuses — they have no state of emergency. Only in Nicaragua is the state of emergency still in effect.

    There is, however, one hopeful sign. I welcome the designation of Cardinal Obando y Bravo as the mediator between the Sandinista regime and the Nicaraguan resistance. I have repeatedly said that the struggle in Nicaragua is fundamentally a contest among Nicaraguans over their own future, and that can only be resolved by negotiations between Nicaraguans. The indirect talks the Sandinistas have now agreed to are a way to start that process....

    The United States has a role to play, as a neighbor of Central America and an ally of the region's four democracies and of the Nicaraguan people.

    Our goals are simple to state: democracy in Nicaragua and peace in the region. And clearly, there can be no peace in the region until there is democracy in Nicaragua.

    When serious negotiations between the Sandinistas and the freedom fighters, under the mediation of Cardinal Obando, are under way, Secretary [of State George P.] Shultz will be ready to meet jointly with the foreign ministers of all five Central American nations, including the Sandinistas' representative. Before such a meeting and throughout this period, we will consult closely with the freedom fighters, for the key to democracy and peace in the region is freedom and national reconciliation in Nicaragua....

    Let me just say here: We have all been very patient in giving the peace process time to work. The Wright-Reagan Plan was scheduled to take effect on September 30th. The original deadline for compliance with the Guatemala Accord was this week. Now we're told the deadline has been pushed off until mid-January. It's in no one's interest to let this peace process become another round of endless and fruitless negotiations.

    Reagan's Speech on Washington, D.C., Summit

    Following is the White House text of President Reagan's Dec. 10, 1987, address to the nation at the conclusion of the U.S.-Soviet arms reduction summit held in Washington, D.C.

    Good evening. As I am speaking to you now, General Secretary [Mikhail S.] Gorbachev is leaving on his return trip to the Soviet Union. His departure marks the end of three historic days here in Washington in which Mr. Gorbachev and I continued to build a foundation for better relations between our governments and our peoples.

    During these three days we took a step — only a first step, but still a critical one — toward building a more durable peace; indeed, a step that may be the most important taken since World War II to slow down the arms buildup.

    I am referring to the treaty that we signed Tuesday afternoon in the East Room of the White House. I believe this treaty represents a landmark in post-war history because it is not just an arms control, but an arms reduction agreement. Unlike treaties of the past, this agreement does not simply establish ceilings for new weapons; it actually reduces the number of such weapons. In fact, it altogether abolishes an entire class of U.S. and Soviet nuclear missiles.

    The verification measures in this treaty are also something new, with farreaching implications. On-site inspections and short-notice inspections will be permitted within the Soviet Union. Again, this is a first-time event, a breakthrough.

    That is why I believe this treaty will not only lessen the threat of war but can also speed along a process that may someday remove that threat entirely. Indeed, this treaty — and all that we've achieved during this summit — signals a broader understanding between the United States and the Soviet Union. It is an understanding that will help keep the peace as we work towards the ultimate goal of our foreign policy: A world where the people of every land can decide for themselves their form of government and way of life.

    Yet as important as the INF [intermediate-range nuclear-force missiles] treaty is, there is a further and even more crucial point about the last three days and the entire summit process: Soviet-American relations are no longer focused only on arms control issues; they now cover a far broader agenda, one that has — at its root — realism and candor.

    Let me explain this with a saying I've often repeated: Nations do not distrust each other because they are armed, they are armed because they distrust each other. And just as real peace means the presence of freedom and justice, as well as the absence of war, so too, summits must be discussions not just about arms but about the fundamental differences that cause nations to be armed.

    Dealing then with the deeper sources of conflict between nations and systems of government is a practical and moral imperative. That is why it was vital to establish a broader summit agenda, one that dealt not only with arms reductions but also people-to-people contacts between our nations and — most important — the issues of human rights and regional conflicts.

    This is the summit agenda we have adopted. By doing so, we have dealt not just with arms control issues, but also with fundamental problems such as Soviet expansionism and human rights violations, as well as our own moral opposition to the ideology that justifies such practices. In this way, we have put Soviet-American relations on a far more candid and far more realistic footing.

    It also means that while there is movement — indeed, dramatic movement — in the arms reduction area, much remains to be done in that area as well as in these other critical areas that I have mentioned, especially — and this goes without saying — in advancing our goal of a world open to the expansion of human freedom and the growth of democratic government.

    So, much work lies ahead. Let me explain: On the matter of regional conflicts, I spoke candidly with Mr. Gorbachev on the issue of Afghanistan, Iran-Iraq, Cambodia, Angola, and Nicaragua. I continue to have high hopes — and he assured me that he did too — that we can have real cooperation in resolving regional conflicts on terms that promote peace and freedom. This is essential to a lasting improvement in our relations.

    So too, on human rights, there was some very limited movement — resolution of a number of individual cases, in which prisoners will be released or exit visas granted. There were assurances of future, more substantial movement, which we hope to see become a reality.

    And finally, with regard to the last item on our agenda — scientific, educational, cultural and economic exchanges — we agreed to expand cooperation in ways that will break down some of the artificial barriers between our nations. For example, agreement was reached to expand and improve civil air service between our two countries.

    But let me point out here that while much work is ahead of us, the progress we have made, especially in arms reduction, does reflects a better understanding between ourselves and the Soviets.

    It also reflects something deeper. You see, since my first meeting with General Secretary Gorbachev in 1985, I have always regarded you, the American people, as full participants in our discussions. Though it may surprise Mr. Gorbachev to discover that all this time there has been a third party in the room with us, I do firmly believe the principal credit for the patience and persistence that brought success this year belongs to you, the American people.

    Your support over these last seven years has laid the basis for these negotiations; your support made it possible for us to rebuild our military strength, to liberate Grenada, to strike hard against terrorism in Libya, and more recently, to protect our strategic interests and bolster our friends in the Persian Gulf. Your support made possible our policy of helping freedom fighters like those in Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Angola, Cambodia, and other places around the globe. And when last year at Reykjavik [Iceland], I refused Soviet demands that we trade away SDI — our Strategic Defense Initiative that could erect a space shield against ballistic missiles — your overwhelming support made it clear to the Soviet leaders that the American people prefer no deal to a bad deal, and will back their President on matters of national security. In short, your support for our foreign policy goals — building a safer peace as we advance the cause of world freedom — has helped bring the Soviets to the bargaining table. It makes it possible now to hope for a real, fundamental improvement in our relations.

    You know, the question has often been asked whether democratic leaders who are accountable to their people aren't at a grave disadvantage in negotiating with leaders of totalitarian states who bear no such burden. Well, believe me, I think I can answer that question, I can speak from personal experience. Over the long run, no leader at the bargaining table can enjoy any greater advantage than the knowledge that he has behind him a people who are strong and free — and alert; and resolved to remain that way. People like you.

    And it's this kind of informed and enlightened support, this hidden strength of democratic government, that enabled us to do what we did this week at the Washington summit.

    Now that the treaty has been signed, it will be submitted to the Senate for the next step, the ratification process. I will meet with the leadership of Congress here tomorrow morning, and I am confident that the Senate will now act in an expeditious way to fulfill its duty under our Constitution.

    To this end, let me explain the background. In the mid- and late-1970s, the Soviets began to deploy hundreds of new, mobile intermediate-range missiles, capable of destroying major cities and military installations in Europe and Asia. This action was an unprovoked, new dimension of the threat against our friends and allies on both continents, a new threat to which the democratic nations had no comparable counter.

    Despite intense pressure from the Soviets, NATO proceeded with what we called a

    two-track policy.
    First, we would deploy a limited number of our own INF missiles as a deterrent but, at the same time, push hard in negotiations to do away with this entirely new nuclear threat. And we set out to do this with a formula I first put forward in 1981 — it was called the zero-option; it meant the complete elimination of these missiles on both sides.

    The INF Treaty

    Well, at first, many called this a mere propaganda ploy, some even here in this country. But we were persistent, our allies steadfast, and eventually the Soviets returned to the bargaining table. The result is our INF treaty.

    As you see from the map on the screen now, the Soviet missiles, which will be removed and eliminated under the treaty, have been a major threat to the security of our friends and allies on two continents, Europe and Asia. Under the terms of this treaty, we will be eliminating 400 deployed warheads while the Soviet Union eliminates 1,600, or four times as many.

    Now let me also point out that this does not, however, leave NATO unprotected. In fact, we will maintain a substantial deterrent force on the ground, in the air, and at sea. Our commitment to NATO's strategy of being able to respond as necessary to any form of aggression remains steadfast.

    And with regard to verification, as I've mentioned, we have the breakthroughs of on-site inspections and short-notice inspections not only at potential missile deployment sites but at the facility where the Soviet SS-20 missiles and their components have been assembled. We have a verification procedure that assures each side that the missiles of the other side have been destroyed and that new ones aren't built.

    Here, then, is a treaty that shows how persistence and consistency eventually can pay off in arms negotiations. And let me assure you too that this treaty has been accomplished with unprecedented consultation with our allies and friends. I have spoken personally with the leaders of the major democracies, as has Secretary [of State George P.] Schultz and our diplomats. This treaty has full allied support.

    But if persistence is paying off in our arms reductions efforts, the question of human rights and regional conflicts are still problems in our relations. But I am pleased that some progress has been made in these areas also.

    Now, in addition to these candid exchanges on our four-part agenda, Mr. Gorbachev and I did do some important planning for a Moscow summit next year. We agreed that we must redouble our efforts to reach agreements on reducing the levels of U.S. and Soviet long-range or strategic nuclear arms as I have proposed in the START [strategic arms reduction talks] negotiations. He and I made real progress toward our goal first agreed to at Geneva — to achieve deep, 50-percent cuts in our arsenals of those powerful weapons. We agreed that we should build on our efforts to achieve agreement on a START treaty at the earliest possible date; and we have instructed our delegations in Geneva accordingly.

    Now, I believe deep reduction in these offensive weapons — along with the development of SDI — would do much to make the world safer. For that reason, I made it clear that our SDI program will continue, and that when we have a defense ready to deploy — we will do so.

    Looking Ahead

    About the future, Mr. Gorbachev and I also agreed that, as nuclear weapons are reduced, it becomes all the more important to redress the disparities in conventional and chemical weapons, where the Soviets now enjoy significant advantages over the United States and our allies.

    I think then from all of this you can see not only the direction of Soviet-American relations but the larger framework of American foreign policy. As I told the British Parliament in 1982, we seek to rid the world of the two great nightmares of the post-war era — the threat of nuclear war and the threat of totalitarianism. And that's why, by pursuing SDI, which is a defense against offensive missiles, and by going for arms reduction rather than just arms control, we are moving away from the so-called policy of mutual assured destruction by which nations hold each other hostage to nuclear terror and destruction. So too, we are saying that the post-war policy of containment is no longer enough, that the goal of American foreign policy is both world peace and world freedom — that as a people we hope and will work for a day when all of God's children will enjoy the human dignity that their creator intended. I believe we gained some ground with regard to that cause in these last few days.

    Since my first days in office, I have argued that the future belongs not to repressive or totalitarian ways of life but to the cause of freedom — freedom of the marketplace, freedom to speak, assemble, and vote. And when we see the progress of democracy in these last years — from Latin America to Asia — we must be optimistic about the future of our children.

    When we were together in Iceland, Mr. Gorbachev told me that this sort of talk is sometimes viewed in the Soviet Union as a threat. I told him then and I have said since then that this is no threat at all but only a dream — the American dream.

    And it's a dream that has meant so much to so many — a dream that still shines out to the world. You know, a couple of years ago, Nancy and I were deeply moved by a story told by former New York Times reporter and Greek immigrant, Nicholas Gage. It's the story of Eleni, his mother, a woman caught in one of the terrible struggles of the post-war era — the Greek civil war at the end of World War II, a mother who was tried and executed because she smuggled her children out to safety in America.

    It is also the story of how her son secretly vowed to return to Greece someday to take vengeance on the man who had sent his mother to her death. But at the end of the story Nicholas Gage finds he cannot extract the vengeance he promised himself. Mr. Gage writes it would have relieved the pain that had filled him for so many years, but it would also have broken the one bridge still connecting him to his mother, that part of him most like her. As he tells it:

    and her final cry was not a curse on her killers, but an invocation of what she died for — a declaration of love.
    These simple last words of Mr. Gage's mother — of Eleni, were:
    My children.

    How that cry echoes down through the centuries, a cry for all children of the world, a cry for peace, for a world of love and understanding.

    And it is the hope of heeding such words — the call for freedom and peace spoken by a chosen people in a promised land, the call spoken by the Nazar carpenter — Nazarene carpenter I should say — standing at the Sea of Galilee, the carpenter whose birth into the poverty of a stable we celebrate. It is these words that we remember as the holiday season approaches and we reflect on the events of this week here in Washington.

    So, let us remember the children, and the future we want for them. And let us never forget that this promise of peace and freedom — the gift that is ours as Americans — the gift that we seek to share with all the world — depends for its strength on the spiritual source from which it comes.

    So during this holy season, let us also reflect that in the prayers of simple people there is more power and might than that possessed by all the great statesmen or armies of the Earth. Let us then thank God for all His blessings to this Nation and ask Him for His help and guidance; so that we might continue the work of peace and foster the hope of a world where human freedom is enshrined.

    To sum up then: This summit was a clear success; we made progress on each item in our four-part agenda. Mr. Gorbachev and I have agreed to meet in several months in Moscow to continue what we have achieved. . . . I believe there is reason for both hope and optimism.

    President Reagan's 1988 State of the Union Address

    Following is the White House text of President Reagan's State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress Jan. 25, 1988.

    Thank you. Mr. Speaker, Mr. President and distinguished members of the House and Senate, when we first met here seven years ago — many of us for the first time — it was with the hope of beginning something new for America. We meet here tonight in this historic Chamber to continue that work. If anyone expects just a proud recitation of the accomplishments of my administration, I say let's leave that to history; we're not finished yet. So my message to you tonight is, put on your work shoes — we're still on the job.

    History records the power of the ideas that brought us here those seven years ago. Ideas like the individual's right to reach as far and as high as his or her talents will permit, the free market as an engine of economic progress and, as an ancient Chinese philosopher, Lao-tzu, said,

    Govern a great nation as you would cook a small fish; do not overdo it.

    Well, these ideas were part of a larger nation — a vision, if you will, of America herself — an America not only rich in opportunity for the individual but an America, too, of strong families and vibrant neighborhoods, an America whose divergent but harmonizing communities were a reflection of a deeper community of values — the value of work, of family, of religion — and of the love of freedom that God places in each of us and whose defense He has entrusted in a special way to this nation.

    All of this was made possible by an idea I spoke of when [Soviet leader Mikhail S.] Gorbachev was here — the belief that the most exciting revolution ever known to humankind began with three simple words:

    We the People
    — the revolutionary notion that the people grant government its rights, and not the other way around.

    And there is one lesson that has come home powerfully to me, which I would offer to you now. Just as those who created this Republic pledged to each other their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor, so, too, America's leaders today must pledge to each other that we will keep foremost in our hearts and minds not what is best for ourselves or for our party, but what is best for America. In the spirit of [Thomas] Jefferson, let us affirm that, in this Chamber tonight, there are no Republicans, no Democrats, just Americans.

    Yes, we will have our differences. But let us always remember — what unites us far outweighs whatever divides us. Those who sent us here to serve them — the millions of Americans watching and listening tonight — expect this of us. Let's prove to them and to ourselves that democracy works even in an election year.

    We have done this before. And as we have worked together to bring down spending, tax rates and inflation, employment has climbed to record heights; America has created more jobs and better, higher-paying jobs; family income has risen for four straight years, and America's poor climbed out of poverty at the fastest rate in more than 10 years. Our record is not just the longest peacetime expansion in history, but an economic and social revolution of hope, based on work, incentives, growth and opportunity; a revolution of compassion that led to private sector initiatives and a 77 percent increase in charitable giving; a revolution that — at a critical moment in world history — reclaimed and restored the American dream.

    A Strong America

    In international relations, too, there's only one description for what, together, we have achieved — a complete turnabout, a revolution. Seven years ago, America was weak and freedom everywhere was under siege. Today America is strong and democracy is everywhere on the move. From Central America to East Asia, ideas like free markets and democratic reforms and human rights are taking hold. We've replaced

    Blame America
    Look up to America.
    We've rebuilt our defenses, and, of all our accomplishments, none can give us more satisfaction than knowing that our young people are again proud to wear our country's uniform. And in a few moments, I'm going to talk about three developments — arms reduction, the Strategic Defense Initiative and the global democratic revolution — that, when taken together, offer a chance none of us would have dared imagine seven years ago, a chance to rid the world of the two great nightmares of the postwar era. I speak of the startling hope of giving our children a future free of both totalitarianism and nuclear terror.

    Tonight, then, we're strong, prosperous, at peace, and we are free. This is the state of our Union. And if we will work together this year, I believe we can give a future President and a future Congress the chance to make that prosperity, that peace, that freedom, not just the state of our Union, but the state of our world.

    Objectives for 1988

    Toward this end, we have four basic objectives tonight. First, steps we can take this year to keep our economy strong and growing, to give our children a future of low inflation and full employment. Second, let's check our progress in attacking social problems where important gains have been made but which still need critical attention. I mean schools that work, economic independence for the poor, restoring respect for family life and family values. Our third objective tonight is global — continuing the exciting economic and democratic revolutions we've seen around the world. Fourth and finally, our nation has remained at peace for nearly a decade and a half, as we move toward our goals of world prosperity and world freedom. We must protect that peace and deter war by making sure the next President inherits what you and I have a moral obligation to give that President — a national security that is unassailable and a national defense that takes full advantage of new technology and is fully funded.

    This is a full agenda. It's meant to be. You see, my thinking on the next year is quite simple — let's make this the best of eight. And that means — and that means it's all out — right to the finish line. I don't buy the idea that this is the last year of anything, because we're not talking here tonight about registering temporary gains, but ways of making permanent our successes. And that's why our focus is the values, the principles and ideas that made America great. Let's be clear on this point — we're for limited government because we understand, as the Founding Fathers did, that it is the best way of ensuring personal liberty and empowering the individual so that every American of every race and region shares fully in the flowering of American prosperity and freedom.

    One other thing we Americans like — the future — like the sound of it, the idea of it, the hope of it. Where others fear trade and economic growth, we see opportunities for creating new wealth and undreamed-of opportunities for millions in our own land and beyond. Where others seek to throw up barriers, we seek to bring them down; where others take counsel of their fears, we follow our hopes. Yes, we Americans like the future and like making the most of it. Let's do that now.

    Controlling the Federal Deficit

    And let's begin by discussing how to maintain economic growth by controlling and eventually eliminating the problem of federal deficits. We have had a balanced budget only eight times in the last 57 years. For the first time in 14 years, the federal government spent less in real terms last year than the year before. We took $73 billion off last year's deficit compared to the year before. The deficit itself has moved from 6.3 percent of the Gross National Product to only 3.4 percent. And perhaps the most important sign of progress has been the change in our view of deficits. You know, a few of us can remember when, not too many years ago, those who created the deficits said they would make us prosperous and not to worry about the debt because

    we owe it to ourselves.
    Well, at last there is agreement that we can't spend ourselves rich.

    Our recent budget agreement, designed to reduce federal deficits by $76 billion over the next two years, builds on this consensus. But this agreement must be adhered to without slipping into the errors of the past — more broken promises and more unchecked spending. As I indicated in my first State of the Union, what ails us can be simply put: The federal government is too big and it spends too much money. I can assure you, the bipartisan leadership of Congress, of my help in fighting off any attempt to bust our budget agreement. And this includes the swift and certain use of veto power.

    Now, it is also time for some plain talk about the most immediate obstacle to controlling federal deficits. The simple but frustrating problem of making expenses match revenues — something American families do and the federal government can't — has caused crisis after crisis in this city. Mr. Speaker, Mr. President, I will say to you tonight what I have said before — and will continue to say: The budget process has broken down; it needs a drastic overhaul. With each ensuing year, the spectacle before the American people is the same as it was this Christmas — budget deadlines delayed or missed completely, monstrous continuing resolutions that pack hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of spending into one bill — and a federal government on the brink of default.

    I know I'm echoing what you here in the Congress have said because you suffered so directly — but let's recall that in seven years, of 91 appropriations bills scheduled to arrive on my desk by a certain date, only 10 made it on time. Last year, of the 13 appropriations bills due by October 1st, none of them made it. Instead, we had four continuing resolutions lasting 41 days, then 36 days, and two days, and three days, respectively. And then, along came these behemoths. This is the conference report — 1,053-page report weighing 14 pounds. Then this — a reconciliation bill six months late, that was 1,186 pages long, weighing 15 pounds; and the long-term continuing resolution — this one was two months late and it's 1,057 pages long, weighing 14 pounds. That was a total of 43 pounds of paper and ink. You had three hours — yes, three hours, to consider each, and it took 300 people at my Office of Management and Budget just to read the bill so the government wouldn't shut down.

    Congress shouldn't send another one of these. No — and if you do, I will not sign it.

    Let's change all this; instead of a presidential budget that gets discarded and a congressional budget resolution that is not enforced, why not a simple partnership, a joint agreement that sets out the spending priorities within the available revenues? And let's remember our deadline is October 1st, not Christmas; let's get the people's work done in time to avoid a footrace with Santa Claus. And yes, this year — to coin a phrase — a new beginning. Thirteen individual bills, on time and fully reviewed by Congress.

    Line-Item Veto

    I'm also certain you join me in saying: Let's help ensure our future of prosperity by giving the President a tool that — though I will not get to use it — is one I know future Presidents of either party must have. Give the President the same authority that 43 governors use in their states, the right to reach into massive appropriation bills, pare away the waste and enforce budget discipline. Let's approve the line-item veto.

    And let's take a partial step in this direction. Most of you in this Chamber didn't know what was in this catchall bill and report. Over the past few weeks, we've all learned what was tucked away behind a little comma here and there. For example, there's millions for items such as cranberry research, blueberry research, the study of crawfish and the commercialization of wild flowers. And that's not to mention the $.5 million or so — that — so that people from developing nations could come here to watch Congress at work. I won't even touch that. So tonight, I offer you this challenge. In 30 days, I will send back to you those items as rescissions, which if I had the authority to line them out, I would do so.

    Now, review this multibillion-dollar package that will not undercut our bipartisan budget agreement. As a matter of fact, if adopted, it will improve our deficit reduction goals. And what an example we can set; that we're serious about getting our financial accounts in order. By acting and approving this plan, you have the opportunity to override a congressional process that is out of control.

    Balanced Budget Amendment

    There is another vital reform. Yes, Gramm-Rudman-Hollings has been profoundly helpful, but let us take its goal of a balanced budget and make it permanent. Let us do now what so many states do to hold down spending and what 32 state legislatures have asked us to do; let us heed the wishes of an overwhelming plurality of Americans and pass a constitutional amendment that mandates a balanced budget and forces the federal government to live within its means.

    Reform of the budget process — including the line-item veto and balanced budget amendment — will, together with real restraint on government spending, prevent the federal budget from ever again ravaging the family budget.

    Let's ensure that the federal government never again legislates against the family and the home. Last September, I signed an Executive Order on the family requiring that every department and agency review its activities in light of seven standards designed to promote and not harm the family. But let us make certain that the family is always at the center of the public policy process, not just in this administration but in future — all future administrations. It's time for Congress to consider — at the beginning — a statement of the impact that legislation will have on the basic unit of American society, the family.


    And speaking of the family, let's turn to a matter on the mind of every American parent tonight — education. We all know the sorry story of the '60s and '70s — soaring spending, plummeting test scores — and that hopeful trend of the '80s, when we replaced an obsession with dollars with a commitment to quality, and test scores started back up. There's a lesson here that we all should write on the blackboard 100 times — in a child's education, money can never take the place of basics like discipline, hard work and, yes, homework.

    As a nation we do, of course, spend heavily on education — more than we spend on defense — yet across our country, governors like New Jersey's Tom Kean are giving classroom demonstrations that how we spend is as important as how much we spend. Opening up the teaching profession to all qualified candidates, merit pay, so that good teachers get A's as well as apples, and stronger curriculum, as Secretary [of Education William J.] Bennett has proposed for high schools. These imaginative reforms are making common sense the most popular new kid in America's schools.

    How can we help? Well, we can talk about and push for these reforms. But the most important thing we can do is to reaffirm that control of our schools belongs to the states, local communities and, most of all, to the parents and teachers.

    Poverty and Welfare

    My friends, some years ago, the federal government declared war on poverty, and poverty won. Today, the federal government has 59 major welfare programs and spends more than $100 billion a year on them. What has all this money done?

    Well, too often it has only made poverty harder to escape. Federal welfare programs have created a massive social problem. With the best of intentions, government created a poverty trap that wreaks havoc on the very support system the poor need most to lift themselves out of poverty — the family. Dependency has become the one enduring heirloom, passed from one generation to the next, of too many fragmented families.

    It is time — this may be the most radical thing I've said in seven years in this office — it's time for Washington to show a little humility. There are a thousand sparks of genius in 50 states and a thousand communities around the nation. It is time to nurture them and see which ones can catch fire and become guiding lights.

    States have begun to show us the way. They have demonstrated that successful welfare programs can be built around more effective child support enforcement practices and innovative programs requiring welfare recipients to work or prepare for work.

    Let us give the states even more flexibility and encourage more reforms. Let's start making our welfare system the first rung on America's ladder of opportunity — a boost up from dependency; not a graveyard, but a birthplace of hope.


    And now let me turn to three other matters vital to family values and the quality of family life. The first is an untold American success story. Recently, we released our annual survey of what graduating high school seniors have to say about drugs. Cocaine use is declining and marijuana use was lowest since surveying began. We can be proud that our students are

    just saying no
    to drugs. But let us remember what this menace requires — commitment from every part of America and every single American — a commitment to a drug-free America. The war against drugs is a war of individual battles, a crusade with many heroes — including America's young people, and also someone very special to me. She has helped so many of our young people to say
    to drugs. Nancy, much credit belongs to you, and I want to express to you your husband's pride and your country's thanks. Surprised you, didn't I?


    Well now, we come to a family issue that we must have the courage to confront. Tonight, I call America — a good nation, a moral people — to charitable but realistic consideration of the terrible cost of abortion on demand. To those who say this violates a woman's right to control of her own body — can they deny that now medical evidence confirms the unborn child is a living human being entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Let us unite as a nation and protect the unborn with legislation that would stop all federal funding for abortion — and with a human life amendment making, of course, an exception where the unborn child threatens the life of the mother. Our Judeo-Christian tradition recognizes the right of taking a life in self-defense.

    But with that one exception, let us look to those others in our land who cry out for children to adopt. I pledge to you tonight, I will work to remove the barriers to adoption and extend full sharing in family life to millions of Americans, so that children who need homes can be welcomed into families who want them and love them.

    School Prayer

    And let me add here: So many of our greatest statesmen have reminded us that spiritual values alone are essential to our nation's health and vigor. The Congress opens its proceedings each day, as does the Supreme Court, with an acknowledgment of the Supreme Being — yet we are denied the right to set aside in our schools a moment each day for those who wish to pray. I believe Congress should pass our school prayer amendment.

    Now, to make sure there is a full nine-member Supreme Court to interpret the law, to protect the rights of all Americans, I urge the Senate to move quickly and decisively in confirming Judge Anthony Kennedy to the highest Court in the land and to also confirm 27 nominees now waiting to fill vacancies in the federal judiciary.

    Here then are our domestic priorities; yet if the Congress and the administration work together, even greater opportunities lie ahead to expand a growing world economy; to continue to reduce the threat of nuclear arms and to extend the frontiers of freedom and the growth of democratic institutions.

    Our policies consistently received the strongest support of the late Congressman Dan Daniel of Virginia. I'm sure all of you join me in expressing heartfelt condolences on his passing.

    Free Trade

    One of the greatest contributions the United States can make to the world is to promote freedom as the key to economic growth. A creative, competitive America is the answer to a changing world, not trade wars that would close doors, create greater barriers and destroy millions of jobs. We should always remember: protectionism is destructionism. America's jobs, America's growth, America's future depend on trade — trade that is free, open and fair.

    This year, we have it within our power to take a major step toward a growing global economy and an expanding cycle of prosperity that reaches to all the free nations of this Earth. I'm speaking of the historic Free Trade Agreement negotiated between our country and Canada. And I can also tell you that we're determined to expand this concept, south as well as north. Next month I will be traveling to Mexico where trade matters will be of foremost concern. And, over the next several months, our Congress and the Canadian Parliament can make the start of such a North American accord a reality. Our goal must be a day when the free flow of trade — from the tip of Tierra del Fuego to the Arctic Circle — unites the people of the Western Hemisphere in a bond of mutually beneficial exchange; when all borders become what the U.S.-Canadian border so long has been — a meeting place, rather than a dividing line.

    Democracy Abroad: Central America

    This movement we see in so many places toward economic freedom is indivisible from the worldwide movement toward political freedom — and against totalitarian rule. This global democratic revolution has removed the specter — so frightening a decade ago — of democracy doomed to permanent minority status in the world. In South and Central America, only a third of the people enjoyed democratic rule in 1976. Today, over 90 percent of Latin Americans live in nations committed to democratic principles.

    And the resurgence of democracy is owed to these courageous people on almost every continent who have struggled to take control of their own destiny. In Nicaragua, the struggle has extra meaning because that nation is so near our own borders. The recent revelations of a former high-level Sandinista major, Roger Miranda, show us that, even as they talk peace, the communist Sandinista government of Nicaragua has established plans for a large 600,000-man army. Yet even as these plans are made, the Sandinista regime knows the tide is turning and the cause of Nicaraguan freedom is riding at its crest. Because of the freedom fighters, who are resisting communist rule, the Sandinistas have been forced to extend some democratic rights, negotiate with Church authorities and release a few political prisoners.

    The focus is on the Sandinistas, their promises and their actions. There is a consensus among the four Central American democratic presidents that the Sandinistas have not complied with the plan to bring peace and democracy to all of Central America. The Sandinistas again have promised reforms. Their challenge is to take irreversible steps toward democracy.

    On Wednesday, my request to sustain the freedom fighters will be submitted which reflects our mutual desire for peace, freedom and democracy in Nicaragua. I ask Congress to pass this request — let us be for the people of Nicaragua what [the Marquis de] Lafayette, [Gen. Casimir] Pulaski and [Baron] von Steuben were for our fore-fathers and the cause of American independence.


    So, too, in Afghanistan, the freedom fighters are the key to peace. We support the Mujahadeen. There can be no settlement unless all Soviet troops are removed and the Afghan people are allowed genuine self-determination. I have made my views on this matter known to Mr. Gorbachev. But not just Nicaragua or Afghanistan. Yes, everywhere we see a swelling freedom tide across the world — freedom fighters rising up in Cambodia and Angola, fighting and dying for the same democratic liberties we hold sacred. Their cause is our cause. Freedom.

    Arms Reduction

    Yet, even as we work to expand world freedom, we must build a safer peace and reduce the danger of nuclear war. But let's have no illusions. Three years of steady decline in the value of our annual defense investment have increased the risk of our most basic security interests, jeopardizing earlier hard-won goals. We must face squarely the implications of this negative trend and make adequate, stable defense spending a top goal both this year and in the future. This same concern applies to economic and security assistance programs as well. But the resolve of America and its NATO allies has opened the way for unprecedented achievement in arms reduction. Our recently signed INF [intermediate-range nuclear-force missiles] Treaty is historic because it reduces nuclear arms and establishes the most stringent verification regime in arms control history, including several forms of short-notice, on-site inspection. I submitted the treaty today, and I urge the Senate to give its advice and consent to ratification of this landmark agreement. Thank you very much.

    In addition to the INF Treaty, we're within reach of an even more significant START [strategic arms reduction talks] agreement that will reduce U.S. and Soviet long-range missile or strategic arsenals by half. But let me be clear — our approach is not to seek agreement for agreement's sake, but to settle only for agreements that truly enhance our national security and that of our allies. We will never put our security at risk — or that of our allies — just to reach an agreement with the Soviets. No agreement is better than a bad agreement.

    Strategic Defense Initiative

    As I mentioned earlier, our efforts are to give future generations what we never had — a future free of nuclear terror. Reduction of strategic offensive arms is one step. SDI another. Our funding request for our Strategic Defense Initiative is less than 2 percent of the total defense budget. SDI funding is money wisely appropriated and money well spent. SDI has the same purpose and supports the same goals of arms reduction. It reduces the risk of war and the threat of nuclear weapons to all mankind. Strategic defenses that threaten no one could offer the world a safer, more stable basis for deterrence. We must also remember that SDI is our insurance policy against a nuclear accident — a Chernobyl of the sky — or an accidental launch, or some madman who might come along.

    We've seen such changes in the world in seven years — as totalitarianism struggles to avoid being overwhelmed by the forces of economic advance and the aspiration for human freedom, it is the free nations that are resilient and resurgent. As the global democratic revolution has put totalitarianism on the defensive, we have left behind the days of retreat — America is again a vigorous leader of the free world, a nation that acts decisively and firmly in the furtherance of her principles and vital interests. No legacy would make me more proud than leaving in place a bipartisan consensus for the cause of world freedom, a consensus that prevents a paralysis of American power from ever occurring again.

    But my thoughts tonight go beyond this. And I hope you'll let me end this evening with a personal reflection. You know, the world could never be quite the same again after Jacob Shallus, a trustworthy and dependable clerk of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, took his pen and engrossed those words about representative government in the Preamble of our Constitution. And in a quiet but final way, the course of human events was forever altered when, on a ridge overlooking the Emmitsburg Pike in an obscure Pennsylvania town called Gettysburg, [Abraham] Lincoln spoke of our duty to government of and by the people and never letting it perish from the Earth.

    At the start of this decade, I suggested that we lived in equally momentous times — that it is up to us now to decide whether our form of government would endure and whether history still had a place of greatness for a quiet, pleasant, greening land called America. Not everything has been made perfect in seven years — nor will it be made perfect in seven times 70 years — but before us, this year and beyond, are great prospects for the cause of peace and world freedom.

    It means, too, that the young Americans I spoke of seven years ago, as well as those who might be coming along the Virginia or Maryland shores this night and seeing for the first time the lights of this capital city, the lights that cast their glow on our great halls of government and the monuments to the memory of our great men — it means those young Americans will find a city of hope in a land that is free.

    We can be proud that for them and for us as those lights along the Potomac are still seen this night — signaling, as they have for nearly two centuries and as we pray God they always will, that another generation of Americans has protected and passed on lovingly this place called America, this shining city on a hill, this government of, by and for the people.

    Thank you and God bless you.

    Reagan Address on Aid to Nicaraguan Contras

    Following is the White House text of President Reagan's Feb. 2, 1988, televised speech in which he asked for more aid to the Nicaraguan contras. The address was aired live only by the Cable News Network (CNN). The three major networks declined to run the president's speech on the grounds that it did not contain any news.

    My fellow Americans, I want to begin tonight by telling a story, a true story of courage and hope. It concerns a small nation to our south, El Salvador, and the struggle of its people to throw off years of violence and oppression and live in freedom.

    Nearly four years ago, I addressed you as I do tonight and asked for your help in our efforts to support those brave people against a communist insurgency. That was one of the hardest-fought political battles of this administration. The people of El Salvador, we heard, weren't ready for democracy; the only choice was between the left-wing guerrillas and the violent right — and many insisted that it was the guerrillas that truly had the backing of the people.

    El Salvador: Vote for Democracy

    But with your support, we were able to send help in time. Our package of military aid for El Salvador passed Congress by only four votes — but it passed. Some of you may remember those stirring scenes as the people of El Salvador braved communist gunfire to turn out in record numbers at the polls and vote emphatically for democracy.

    Observers told of one woman, wounded in a communist attack, who refused to leave the line at the polls to have her wounds treated until after she had voted. They told of another woman who defiantly answered communist death threats saying,

    You can kill me, you can kill my family, you can kill my neighbors, but you can't kill us all.
    Well, that's the voice of a people determined to be free. That is the voice of the people of Central America.

    In these last several years, there have been many such times when your support for assistance saved the day for democracy. The story of what has happened in that region is one of the most inspiring in the history of freedom. Today, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, as well as Costa Rica, choose their governments in free and open democratic elections. Independent courts protect their human rights and their people can hope for a better life for themselves and their children.

    It is a record of success that should make us proud. But the record is as yet incomplete. Now this is a map of Central America. As I said, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Costa Rica are all friendly and democratic.

    The Threat to Democracy

    In their midst, however, lies a threat that could reverse the democratic tide and plunge the region into a cycle of chaos and subversion. That is the communist regime in Nicaragua called the Sandinistas — a regime whose allies range from communist dictator Fidel Castro of Cuba to terrorist-supporter [Muammar el-] Qadhafi of Libya. But their most important ally is the Soviet Union.

    With Cuban and Soviet-bloc aid, Nicaragua is being transformed into a beach-head for aggression against the United States — it is the first step in a strategy to dominate the entire region of Central America and threaten Mexico and the Panama Canal. That's why the cause of freedom in Central America is united with our national security. That is why the safety of democracy to our south so directly affects the safety of our own nation.

    Fighting for Peace

    But the people of Nicaragua love freedom just as much as those in El Salvador. You see, when it became clear the direction the Sandinistas were taking, many who had fought against the old dictatorship literally took to the hills, and, like the French Resistance that fought the Nazis in World War II, they have been fighting the communist Sandinistas to the negotiating table and forcing them to negotiate seriously.

    From the beginning, the United States has made every effort to negotiate a peace settlement — bilaterally, multilaterally, in other diplomatic settings. My envoys have traveled to the region on at least 40 different occasions. But until this last year, these negotiations dragged on fruitlessly because the Sandinistas had no incentive to change. Last August, however, with mounting pressure from the freedom fighters, the Sandinistas signed the Guatemala Peace Plan.

    This time, the leaders of the four Central American democracies refused to let the peace negotiations become an empty exercise. When Nicaragua missed the second deadline for compliance, the democratic leaders courageously stood as one to insist that the Sandinistas live up to their signed commitments to democratic reform. Their failure to do so, said the democratic leaders, was the biggest obstacle to peace in the region.

    Sandinistas Under Pressure

    The Sandinistas are clearly feeling the pressure and are beginning to take limited steps. Yet at this crucial moment, there are those who want to cut off assistance to the freedom fighters and take the pressure off. Tomorrow, the House of Representatives will be voting on a $36-million bill — a support package to the freedom fighters. Ninety percent is for non-lethal support such as food, clothing and medicine and the means to deliver it. Ten percent is for ammunition. That amount will be suspended until March 31st to determine whether the Sandinistas are taking irreversible steps toward democracy. I'm hopeful this will occur. However, if there is no progress toward a negotiated cease-fire, I will make a decision to release these additional supplies — but only after weighing carefully and thoroughly the advice from Congress and the democratic presidents of Central America.

    Congress to Determine Compliance

    Now, over the past several days, I've met with many members of Congress, Republicans and Democrats, concerning my proposal. In the spirit of bipartisanship, I will, tomorrow, send a letter to the congressional leadership taking a further step. At the appropriate time, I will invite Congress to act by what is called a sense of Congress resolution on the question of whether the government of Nicaragua is in compliance with the San José Declaration [the result of a Jan. 15-16 meeting in Costa Rica of the Central American presidents]. If Congress adopts such a resolution within 10 days containing this finding, then I will honor this action and withhold deliveries of ammunition in this package.

    Military Aid

    One thing is clear. Those brave freedom fighters cannot be left unarmed against communist tyranny.

    Now, some say that military supplies aren't necessary, that humanitarian aid is enough. But there's nothing humanitarian about asking people to go up against Soviet helicopter gunships with nothing more than boots and bandages. There's no vote scheduled tomorrow in the Soviet Union on continued assistance to the Sandinistas — that assistance will continue, and it won't be just humanitarian.

    Our policy of negotiations, backed by the freedom fighters, is working. Like the brave freedom fighters in Afghanistan who have faced down the Soviet army and convinced the Soviet Union that it must negotiate its withdrawal from their country, the freedom fighters in Nicaragua can win the day for democracy in Central America. But our support is needed now — tomorrow will be too late. If we cut them off, the freedom fighters will soon begin to wither as an effective force. Then with the pressure lifted, the Sandinistas will be free to continue the consolidation of their totalitarian regime, the military buildup inside Nicaragua and communist subversion of their neighbors.

    Threat of Revolution

    Even today, with the spotlight of world opinion focused on the peace process, the Sandinistas openly boast that they are arming and training Salvadoran guerrillas.

    We know that the Sandinistas, who talk of a revolution without borders reaching to Mexico, have already infiltrated guerrillas into neighboring countries. Imagine what they'll do if the pressure is lifted. What will be our response as the ranks of the guerrillas in El Salvador, Guatemala, even Honduras and unarmed Costa Rica, begin to swell and those fragile democracies are ripped apart by the strain? By then the freedom fighters will be disbanded, refugees, or worse — they won't be able to come back.

    U.S. National Security

    Let me explain why this should be and would be such a tragedy, such a danger to our national security. If we return to the map for a moment, we can see the strategic location of Nicaragua. Close to our southern border, within striking distance of the Panama Canal, domination of Central America would be an unprecedented strategic victory for the Soviet Union and its allies. And they're willing to pay for it. Cubans are now in Nicaragua constructing military facilities, flying combat missions and helping run the secret police. The Soviet Union and Soviet-bloc countries have sent over $4 billion in arms and military aid and economic aid — 20 times the amount that the United States has provided the democratic freedom fighters. If Congress votes tomorrow against aid, our assistance will very quickly come to an end — but Soviet deliveries won't.

    We must ask ourselves why the Soviet Union, beset by an economic crisis at home, is spending billions of dollars to subsidize the military buildup in Nicaragua. Backed by some 2,000 Cuban and Soviet-bloc advisers, the Sandinista military is the largest Central America has ever seen. Warsaw Pact engineers are completing a deep-water port on the Caribbean coast — similar to the naval base in Cuba for Soviet submarines — and the recently expanded airfields outside Managua can handle any aircraft in the Soviet arsenal, including the Bear Bomber, whose 5,200-mile range covers most of the continental United States.

    The Miranda Revelations

    But this is only the beginning. Last October, a high-ranking Sandinista officer, Roger Miranda, defected to this country, bringing with him a series of five-year plans — drawn up among the Sandinistas, Soviets and Cubans — for a massive military buildup in Nicaragua extending through 1995. These plans, which Major Miranda makes clear are to be put into effect whether the freedom fighters receive aid or not, call for quadrupling the Sandinista Armed Forces — to 600,000 or one out of every five men, women and children in the country.

    As I speak to you tonight, several thousand Nicaraguans are taking courses in the Soviet Union and Cuba to learn to operate new high-tech missiles, artillery and other advanced weapons systems. Of grave concern is the fact that the Soviets have scheduled delivery of Soviet MiG aircraft to Nicaragua. Now if these were just claims of one defector, no matter how highly-placed and credible, some might still find reason to doubt. But even before Major Miranda's revelations were made public, his old boss, Defense Minister Humberto Ortega, confirmed them in a public speech — adding that if Nicaragua chose to acquire MiGs, it was none of our business.

    The introduction of MiGs into Nicaragua would be so serious an escalation that members of both parties in the Congress have said the United States simply cannot tolerate it.

    Trusting the Sandinistas?

    The Miranda revelations can't help but make us skeptical of the recent Sandinista promises to abide by the Guatemala Peace Accord. The argument is made that the freedom fighters are unnecessary, that we can trust the Sandinistas to keep their word. Can we? It's important to remember that we already have a negotiated settlement with the Sandinistas — the settlement of 1979 that helped bring them to power, in which they promised — in writing — democracy, human rights and a nonaligned foreign policy.

    Of course, they haven't kept a single one of those promises, and we now know that they never intended to. Barely two months after assuming power, the Sandinista leadership drafted a secret report, called the

    72-hour document,
    outlining their plans to establish a communist dictatorship in Nicaragua and spread subversion throughout Central America. This is the document in which they detailed their deception. It is now part of the public record, available for all to see.

    Playing the U.S. and Soviets

    One day after that 72-hour meeting, President [Jimmy] Carter, unaware of their secret plans, received [Sandinista leader] Daniel Ortega here in the White House and offered his new government our friendship and help, sending over $100 million in aid, more than any other country at the time, and arranging for millions more in loans. The Sandinistas say it was U.S. belligerence that drove them into the hands of the Soviets. Some belligerence.

    A short while later, the Sandinista commandantes made their first official trip to Moscow and signed a communiqué expressing support for the foreign policy goals of the Soviet Union. But that, one might say, was only the paperwork. Already, Soviet military planners were in Nicaragua and the Sandinista subversion of El Salvador had begun — all while our hand was extended in friendship.

    This is not a record that gives one much faith in Sandinista promises. Recently, Daniel Ortega was up in Washington again, this time talking to members of Congress, giving them assurances of his commitment to the Guatemala peace process. But we now know that at the same time, back in Managua, the Sandinistas were drawing up plans for a massive military escalation in Nicaragua and aggression against their neighbors.

    Now, as the Sandinistas see the vote on aid to the freedom fighters nearing, they are making more promises. Well, forgive my skepticism, but I kind of feel that every time they start making promises, like that fellow in the Isuzu commercial, there should be subtitles under them telling the real story.

    `Insurance Policy'

    One may hope they're sincere this time, but it hardly seems wise to stake the future of Central America and the national security of the United States on it. The freedom fighters are our insurance policy in case the Sandinistas once again go back on their word. The Sandinistas themselves admit that the limited steps they have taken to comply with the peace accords were promised in order to influence the vote in Congress. Was there ever a better argument for aid?

    Even now, with the entire world watching, the Sandinistas have harassed and beaten human rights activists and arrested several leaders of the peaceful democratic opposition, including the editor of La Prensa. Before being interrogated, some were sealed for over an hour in metal lockers, three feet square on the floor and seven feet high. Said one comandante of the opposition, they are, quote,

    scorpions. They should return to their holes or we will crush them.

    The Sandinistas' True Colors

    Just a short while ago, the Sandinistas made their true intentions clear. Even if they were forced to hold elections and lost, they said they would never give up power. Responding to the estimate that the Sandinistas have no more than 15 percent popular support, another comandante responded by saying,

    That's all right. We can hold on to power with only five percent.
    Now these are not the words, these are not the actions of democratic reformers.

    Those who want to cut off the freedom fighters must explain why we should believe the promises the Sandinista communists make trying to influence Congress, but not the threats they make at home. They must explain why we should listen to them when they promise peace and not when they talk of turning all Central America into one, quote,

    revolutionary fire
    and boast of carrying their fight to Latin America and Mexico.

    If we cut off aid to the freedom fighters, then the Sandinistas can go back to their old ways. Then the negotiations can become, once again, what they were before — high-blown words and promises and convenient cover while the Sandinista communists continue the consolidation of their dictatorial regime and the subversion of Central America.

    Contras: Proving Themselves

    During the last vote in Congress, many who voted for aid to the freedom fighters set conditions on further assistance. They said the freedom fighters must broaden their leadership. They have. They said the freedom fighters must show that they are a viable fighting force and win support from the people. Well, the latest victory in the Las Minas area proved that. For several weeks, nearly 7,000 freedom fighters maneuvered in secret throughout the country — something they could only have done with support of the population. In one of the largest military operations in Nicaraguan history, they overran enemy headquarters, routed army barracks, blew up ammunition dumps, petroleum tanks and other military targets. At one point they captured a warehouse where grain was being hoarded for the army. The freedom fighters opened the doors and invited the hungry people of the area to take what they needed.

    The freedom fighters are inside Nicaragua today because we made a commitment to them. They have done what Congress asked; they have proven their effectiveness. Can we, as a moral people, a moral nation, withdraw that commitment now and leave them at the mercy of the Sandinista regime? Or turn them forever into refugees — refugees from the country for which they are making such a heroic sacrifice?

    America: `An Unreliable Ally?'

    What message will that send to the world, to our allies and friends in freedom? What message will it send to our adversaries — that America is a fairweather friend, an unreliable ally? Don't count on us, because we may not be there to back you up when the going gets a little rough.

    By fighting to win back their country, the freedom fighters are preventing the permanent consolidation of a Soviet military presence on the American mainland; by fighting for their freedom, they're helping to protect our national security. We owe them our thanks, not abandonment.

    Some talk of

    but we must not repeat the mistake we made in Cuba. If
    didn't work for that island nation, how much less effective will it be for an expansionist Soviet ally on the American mainland. I will tell you truthfully tonight, there will be no second chances tomorrow. If Congress votes down aid, the freedom fighters will soon be gone and, with them, all effective pressure on the Sandinistas.

    `Peace and Democracy'

    Our goal in Nicaragua is simple — peace and democracy. Our policy has consistently supported the efforts of those who seek democracy throughout Central America and who recognize that the freedom fighters are essential to that process.

    So, my fellow Americans, there can be no mistake about this vote — it is up or down for Central America. It is win or lose for peace and freedom. It is yes or no to America's national security.

    My friends, I've often expressed my belief that the Almighty had a reason for placing this great and good land, the

    new world,
    here between two vast oceans. Protected by the seas, we have enjoyed the blessings of peace — free for almost two centuries now from the tragedy of foreign aggression on our mainland.

    Help us to keep that precious gift secure. Help us to win support for those who struggle for the same freedoms we hold dear. In doing so, we will not just be helping them, we will be helping ourselves, our children and all the peoples of the world. We'll be demonstrating that America is still a beacon of hope, still a light unto the nations.

    Yes, a great opportunity awaits us, an opportunity to show that hope still burns bright in this land and over our continent, casting a glow across the centuries, still guiding millions — to a future of peace and freedom.

    Thank you, and God bless you.

    President Reagan's Fiscal 1989 Budget Message

    Following is the text of President Reagan's budget message sent to Congress Feb. 18, 1988.


    As we consider the state of our Nation today, we have much cause for satisfaction. Thanks to sound policies, steadfastly pursued during the past 7 years, America is at peace, and our people are enjoying the longest peacetime economic expansion in our Nation's history.

    By reordering priorities so that we spend more on national security and less on wasteful or unnecessary Federal programs, we have made freedom more secure around the world and have been able to negotiate with our adversaries from a position of strength. By pursuing market-oriented economic policies, we have uncorked the genie of American enterprise and created new businesses, more jobs, improved production, and widespread prosperity. And we have done all this without neglecting the poor, the elderly, the infirm, and the unfortunate among us.

    Seven Years of Accomplishment

    Let me note a few of the highlights from our Administration's record of accomplishment:

    • • The current expansion, now in its sixty-third month, has outlasted all previous peacetime expansions in U.S. history. Business investment and exports are rising in real terms, foreshadowing continued economic growth this year and next.
    • • Since this expansion began, 15 million new jobs have been created, while the unemployment rate has fallen by 5 percentage points — to 5.7 percent, the lowest level in nearly a decade. By comparison, employment in other developed countries has not grown significantly, and their unemployment rates have remained high.
    • • Inflation, which averaged 10.4 percent annually during the 4 years before I came to office, has averaged less than a third of that during the past 5 years.
    • • The prime interest rate was 21.5 percent just before I came into office; it is now 8.5 percent; the mortgage rate, which was 14.9 percent, is now down to 10.2 percent.
    • • Since 1981, the amount of time spent by the public filling out forms required by the Federal Government has been cut by hundreds of millions of hours annually, and the number of pages of regulations published annually in the Federal Register has been reduced by over 45 percent.
    • • Between 1981 and 1987, changes in the Federal tax code, including a complete overhaul in 1986, have made the tax laws more equitable, significantly lowered earned income tax rates for many individuals and corporations, and eliminated the need for 4.3 million low-income individuals or families to file tax forms.
    • • At the same time, real after-tax personal income has risen 15 percent during the past 5 years, increasing our overall standard of living.
    • • The outburst of spending for meanstested entitlement programs that occurred in the 1970s has been curbed. Eligibility rules have been tightened to retarget benefits to the truly needy, and significant progress has been made in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of these programs.
    • • We have begun the process of putting other entitlement programs on a more rational basis. This includes medicare, which was converted from cost-plus financing to a system that encourages competition and holds down costs.
    • • Federal spending for domestic programs other than entitlements has been held essentially flat over the past 5 years, while basic benefits for the poor, the elderly, and others in need of Federal assistance have been maintained. This is a dramatic improvement over the unsustainably rapid annual growth of these programs that prevailed before 1981.
    • • The social security system has been rescued from the threat of insolvency.
    • • Our defense capabilities have been strengthened. Weapons systems have been modernized and upgraded. We are recruiting and retaining higher caliber personnel. The readiness, training, and morale of our troops have been improved significantly. Because we are stronger, enormous progress has been achieved in arms reduction negotiations with the Soviet Union.
    • • Federal agencies have undertaken a major management improvement program called Reform '88. This program has two main objectives: to operate Federal agencies in a more business-like manner, and to reduce waste, fraud, and abuse in government programs.
    • • Some functions of the Federal Government — such as financing waste treatment plants — are being transferred back to State and local governments. In other instances — such as water projects — State and local governments are bearing a larger share of costs, leading to more rational decision-making in these areas.
    • • Finally, we have made real progress in privatizing Federal activities that are more appropriate for the private sector than government. Notable examples include the sale of Conrail, the long-term lease of National and Dulles Airports, and the auction of billions of dollars in loan portfolios.
    • • Related to this shift away from the Federal budget are our achievements on cost sharing and user fees, shifting the cost of projects and programs where appropriate to non-Federal sources.

    While we have reason to be proud of this record of achievement, we must be vigilant in addressing threats to continued prosperity. One major threat is the Federal deficit.

    Deficit Reduction, the Agreement and Gramm-Rudman-Hollings

    If the deficit is not curbed by limiting the appetite of government, we put in jeopardy what we have worked so hard to achieve. Larger deficits brought on by excessive spending could precipitate rising inflation, interest rates, and unemployment. We cannot permit this to happen, and we will not.

    The Congress acknowledged the pressing need to reduce the deficit when, in December 1985, it enacted the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act, commonly known for its principal sponsors as the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings [G-R-H] Act. This Act committed both the President and the Congress to a fixed schedule of progress toward balancing the budget.

    In 1987, the budget deficit was $150 billion — down $71 billion from the record level of $221 billion reached in 1986. This was also a record decline in the deficit. To some extent, however, this improvement represented one-time factors, such as a high level of receipts in the transitional year of tax reform. Economic forecasters predicted that without action, the 1988 and 1989 deficits would be higher than the 1987 level. In order to prevent this, and to preserve and build upon the 1987 deficit-reduction progress in a realistic fashion, last fall the Congress modified the G-R-H Act. Specifically, it required that the 1988 deficit target be $144 billion and the target for 1989 be $136 billion.

    Last year, members of my Administration worked with the Leaders of Congress to develop a 2-year plan of deficit reduction — the Bipartisan Budget Agreement. One of the major objectives of the budget I am submitting today is to comply with that agreement — in order to help assure a steady reduction in the deficit until budget balance is achieved.

    The Bipartisan Budget Agreement reflects give and take on all sides. I agreed to some $29 billion in additional revenues and $13 billion less than I had requested in defense funding over 2 years. However, because of a willingness of all sides to compromise, an agreement was reached that pared $30 billion from the deficit projected for 1988 and $46 billion from that projected for 1989.

    In submitting this budget, I am adhering to the Bipartisan Budget Agreement and keeping my part of the bargain. I ask the Congress to do the same. This budget does not fully reflect my priorities, nor, presumably, those of any particular Member of Congress. But the goal of deficit reduction through spending reduction must be paramount. Abandoning the deficit reduction compromise would threaten our economic progress and burden future generations.

    The budget shows that a gradual elimination of the deficit is possible without abandoning tax reform, without cutting into legitimate social programs, without devastating defense, and without neglecting other national priorities.

    Under the Bipartisan Budget Agreement, progress toward a steadily smaller deficit and eventual budget balance will continue, but this projected decline rests on two assumptions: continued economic growth and implementation of the Agreement. If the economy performs as expected, and if the Bipartisan Budget Agreement reflected in this budget is adhered to, the deficit should decline to less than 3 percent of GNP [gross national product] in 1989. For the first time in several years, the national debt as a proportion of GNP will actually fall. Reducing the deficit and the debt in this manner would bring our goal of a balanced budget and a reduced burden on future generations much closer to realization.

    Moreover, adherence to the Agreement, as reflected in this budget, will ensure the achievement of additional deficit reductions in future years, because in many cases the savings from a given action this year will generate deficit savings in subsequent years. Given the good start made in 1987, we have an opportunity this year to put the worst of the deficit problem behind us.

    Meeting National Priorities

    In formulating this budget, I have endeavored to meet national priorities while keeping to the terms of the Bipartisan Budget Agreement and the G-R-H Act. In essence, the Agreement limits the 1988-to-1989 increase in domestic discretionary program budget authority to 2 percent. To address urgent national priorities insofar as possible within this overall 2 percent limit, my budget proposes that some programs — such as those for education, drug enforcement, and technology development — receive larger funding increases, while others are reduced, reformed, or, in some cases, terminated.

    High-priority programs must be funded adequately. One of our highest priorities is to foster individual success through greater education and training opportunities. For example:

    • • I propose an increase of $656 million over the $16.2 billion appropriated for 1988 for discretionary programs of the Department of Education. Although State and local governments fund most educational activity, Federal programs provide crucial aid for the poor, the handicapped, and the educationally disadvantaged.
    • • I have proposed reform of our over-centralized welfare system through State experimentation with innovative alternatives. In addition, my initiative would over-haul current employment and training programs for welfare recipients, and strengthen our national child support enforcement system.
    • • By emphasizing housing vouchers, I would provide housing assistance to 135,500 additional low-income households in 1989 — 8 percent more than the 125,000 additional households receiving housing subsidies in 1988.
    • • Ineffective programs to assist dislocated workers would be replaced by an expanded $1 billion worker readjustment program [WRAP] carefully designed to help those displaced from their jobs move quickly into new careers.

    In addition, I am proposing funds to strengthen U.S. technology and make America more competitive. For example:

    • • I propose a continued increase in federally supported basic research aimed at longer-term improvements in the Nation's productivity and global competitiveness. This budget would double National Science Foundation support for academic basic research, increase support for training future scientists and engineers, and expedite technology transfer of Government-funded research to industry.
    • • I would provide $11.5 billion for space programs, including: essential funding for continued development of America's first permanently manned Space Station; increased support for improving the performance and reliability of the space shuttle; a major new initiative, the Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility, for space science; further support to encourage the commercial development of space; and a new technology effort, Project Pathfinder, designed to develop technologies to support future decisions on the expansion of human presence and activity beyond Earth's orbit, into the solar system.
    • • I also recommend $363 million in 1989 to initiate construction of the Superconducting Super Collider [SSC], including $283 million for construction and $60 million for supporting research and development. The SSC as currently envisaged will be the largest pure science project ever undertaken. It will help keep this country on the cutting edge of high energy physics research until well into the next century.

    This budget also reflects my belief that the health of all of our citizens must remain one of our top priorities:

    • • I continue to urge enactment of an affordable self-financing insurance program through medicare to protect families from economic devastation caused by catastrophic illness.
    • • To attack the scourge of AIDS [acquired immune deficiency syndrome], I propose $2 billion for additional research, education, and treatment in 1989 — a 38 percent increase over the 1988 level and more than double the Federal Government's effort in 1987. This includes $1.3 billion in funding for the Public Health Service.
    • • Building upon the Nation's pre-eminence in basic biomedical research, I seek a 5.1 percent increase for non-AIDS research at the National Institutes of Health.

    Our fight against drug abuse must continue, as well as our efforts to protect the individual against crime:

    • • For expanded law enforcement, including efforts targeted at white collar crime, organized crime, terrorism, and public corruption, I propose $4.5 billion — an increase of 6 percent over 1988.
    • • For drug law enforcement, prevention, and treatment programs, I propose $3.9 billion in 1989, a 13 percent increase over the 1988 level.
    • • To relieve prison overcrowding and adequately house a growing inmate population, I would provide $437 million — more than double the $202 million devoted to Federal prison construction in 1988.