Members of the Maryland congressional delegation were pleased last week to receive calls from President Carter's office saying that the President had signed the disaster declaration for the Chesapeake Bay area.
In signing the declaration, a White House spokesman told the staff members of the delegation that the President would "no longer do so on a 'blank check' basis as had been past practice."
Instead, the Federal Disaster Assistant Administration will do a "cost out" and allocate certain amounts.
The White House spokesman also said that Maryland would initially receive $1.1 million for special employment compensation and $750,000 to cover disaster relief loans. As these limits are approached, FDAA will automatically review the situation and allocate extra money, they said.
The caller's fianl words: "Y'all have a real good day and tell the congressman we called."
Republican Sen. Charles McC. Mathias led the Senate floor opposition to the nomination of Griffin Bell for Attorney General last week.
After Bell was confirmed (75-21), Mathias said he "looked forward to working with Mr. Bell."
Mathias also indicated that he thought the controversy over Bell's confirmation would probably assure that the new Attorney General would do an excellent job with the Justice Department, Mathias is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Freshman Rep. Newton Steers has introduced legislation that would create a low-interest loan program for solar heating and cooling equipment.
The bill, which is aimed at individual homeowners, would allow loans of a maximum of $8,000 for up to 75 per cent of the cost of purchasing and installing of the equipment.
Rep. Gladys Noon Spellman has requested congressional hearings on the increasing costs of health insurance for federal employees.
"In less than a 10 year period, Blue Cross-Blue Shield increased monthly premium rates for family high option coverage more than 230 per cent," Mrs. Spellman said. She also indicated that Aetna has gone up 222 per cent in the same period.
According to Spellman, these two insurance plans insure approximately 77 per cent of all government employees.
Newton Steers was the only freshman representative elected to the 16-member steering committee of the Members of Congress of Peace Through Law. It is an unofficial group of 160 congressmen whose purpose is "self-education and legislative action aimed at achieving a peaceful world through the rule of law."
BLOOPER: With more than 500 members of Congress to serve, the Congressional printers are entitled to an occasional mix-up in the press releases they send out. Last month they switched the press released of Maryland's Sen. Charles Mc. Mathias and Nevada's Senator Howard Cannon.
The folks living in the arid state of Nevada - the gambling center of the nation - are no doubt wondering why their senator, Howard Cannon, Feels it is "urgent" that the Chesapeake Bay be called a disaster area due to heavy ice accumulation. Meanwhile, here in Maryland, Mathias' readers are being told that he has asked the IRS to revise the reporting requirments for earnings from keno and slot machines.
Votes of area members of Congress on key roll calls for the week ending Jan. 28, 1977. SENATE
Anti-amnesty Resolution President Carter narrowly escaped an embarrassing defeat on the Senate floor when an anti-amnesty resolution was tabled (killed) by a two-vote margin. The 48-46 vote to table the resolution expressed the Senate's tacit support as a presidential proclaimation granting a general pardon to Vietnam-era resisters.
Opponents of the anti-amnesty resolution charged that it was a debatable but useless effort since the pardon had already been granted by Carter.
Supporters of the resolution conceded that they could not restrict the presidential pardon but they could express the "overwhelming public opinion" against the pardon.
Voting to table (kill) anti-amnesty resolution: MARYLAND - Mathias (R).
Voting not to table anti-amnesty resolutuon: MARYLAND - Sarbanes (D).
Bell Confirmation. By a 75-21 vote, the Senate conformed President Carter's nomination of Griffin Bell as Attorney General of the United States. The confirmation came after six days of committee hearings and a full day of floor debate on the controversial Georgia lawyer and former federal judge.
Opponents of Bell attacked his civil rights record, accusing him of aiding the opponents of desegregation in Georgia as a gubernatorial adviser from 1958-61. Furthermore, they said that his judicial record on civil rights was poor and they criticized his admitted membership in exclusionary private clubs in Georgia.
Bell's supporters responded that he had been a force for moderation in civil rights and race relations both in Georgia and on the bench. During Judiciary Committee hearings on the nomination, both white and black witnesses from the South gave testimony in support of Bell.
Voting to confirm Bell as Attorney General: MARYLAND - Sarbanes (D).
Voting not to confirm Bell as Attorney General: MARYLAND - Mathias (R).