Sponsors of a bill to impose mandatory wage-price controls have won an opportunity for a formal hearing later this month before a House Banking subcommittee, but the panel is considered unlikely to approve such legislation. s
Spokesmen said the Economic Stabilization subcommittee headed by Rep. William Moorhead (D-Pa.) has agreed to hear testimony on the measure as part of its previously scheduled review of President Carter's voluntary wage-price guidelines.
However, sources said the move merely was a courtesy gesture and is not likely to lead to controls legislation, either in the subcommittee or in the full House Banking Committee. A majority of both panels is said to oppose controls.
Some viewed the step as an effort to head off another vote on controls at the next meeting of the House Democratic caucus, set for Feb. 20. The caucus rejected a controls proposal at its last meeting by a vote of 94 to 50.
The developments came as, separately, Thomas Juster, director of the Survey Research Center of the University of Michigan, added his name to the list of economists now urging enactment controls.
Last week, Barry P. Bosworth, onetime director of President Carter's Council on Wage and Price Stability, recommended consideration of mandatory controls on grounds that traditional economic measures no longer are working.
Like Bosworth Juster coupled his recommendation with a call for continued tight monetary and fiscal policies and imposition of gasoline rationing or a stiff gasoline excise tax.
Most mainstream economists still remain vigorously opposed to controls as unworkable and likely to result in distrotions. Juster, however, joined Bosworth in contending they are needed to break the momentum of inflation.
The controls measure to be presented to the House Committee is a bill by Rep. Ted WEISS (D-N.Y.) that would provide standby authority to impose mandatory controls but would leave the decision and the details up to the president.
The Weiss legislation would cover wages, prices, rents, interest rates and dividends. It also would give the president authority to roll prices back to their levels six months before the bill was enacted.
Weiss and Rep. Sam Stratton (D-N.Y.) sought to attach similar legislation to a Wage-Price Council renewal bill last year, but the proposal was ruled out of order as "non-germane" by the house parilamentarian.
A similar fate is expected to meet any such effort this year.
The subcommittee hearing, to be held the week of Feb. 26, were designed to consider legislation to renew Carter's voluntary wage-price program, which otherwise would expire Sept. 30.
Ironically, one of the leading witnesses at the session will be Bosworth, who was invited while he still was director of the Council on Wage-Price Stability. The White House still opposes mandatory controls.
The controls issue generally had been regarded as dead thoughout 1979 and earlier this year, but Bosworth's call last week -- and endorsements from some other mainstream economists -- appeared to renew debate over the issue.
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), Carter's chief rival in the Democratic presidential primary, also has endorsed controls. However, Kennedy has not demanded a champanion tight monetary fiscal policy to go with it.
The use of mandatory wage-price controls generally has been confined in the United States to periods of war or national emergency.