A proposed ban on federal training or employment for anyone who publicly advocates the violent overthrow of the government died in Congress yesterday, a victim of haggling over congressional and executive pay raises.
The measure's chief sponsor immediately predicted that the proposal -- which some opponents say raises constitutional questions about freedom of speech -- will pass at the next session.
Rep. W.C. (Dan) Daniel (D-Va.), who offered the measure last month in anger at a Communist couple in his district who are enrolled in a federal job training program, said yesterday that "a foundation has been laid for enactment" of the ban.
The Senate unanimously approved the measure last week as an amendment to the federal government's omnibus spending bill for 1981 and no objections to it were raised in the House. But during a pay-raise disagreement between the two chambers, the ban was stripped from a "barebones" spending bill along with more than 100 other amendments.
The proposal, which Daniel said he will attach to another bill next year, is directed at Dorothy and Allen Blitz of Martinsville in southern Virginia. The Blitzes, a couple in their early 30s who say they support the armed overthrow of the government, are learning how to become a brick mason and carpenter under a federal job program.
Civil rights lawyer Joseph L. Raugh of Washington has said Daniel's bill smacks of "McCarthyism" and that it "hardly seems sensible" since Congress is also considering repeal of a 1940 law making it a crime to advocate the violent overthrow of the government.
In a statement yesterday, Daniel said that because Congress "was so overwhelming" in its support of the ban, no government agency is likely to employ anyone who advocates the violent overthrow of the government.
Federal and Virginia officials, however, say that under existing law the Blitzes and others who hold similar political views cannot be denied enrollment in job-training or similar programs.