Nominations made yesterday by the House Democratic Steering Committee to fill six vacancies on the Ways and Means Committee appear to leave it as divided as it was last year on such major issues as tax reform.
Several times last year, strong tax revision amendments were defeated by the margin of one vote. Two conservatives were among the six who left the committee last year and liberals pushed a group of supporters of tax and welfare reform to fill the six vacancies.
But the four freshmen and two second-term members nominated yesterday appear to leave the overall committee makeup about what it was in the last Congress - more liberal than in the past, but not enough so too pass what liberals consider meaningful tax reform legislation. The six nominated yesterday included only one. Rep. William. Brodhead (D-Mich.), that the liberals were pushing. One who didn't make it was Rep. Barbara Mikulski of Baltimore.
The other five nominated for the Ways and Means openings were second-term Rep. Kenneth L. Holland (D-S.C.), and first-term reps. Ed Jenkins (D-Ga.), Richard A. Gephardt (D-Mo.), Jim Guy Tucker (D-Ark.), and Raymond F. Lederer (D-Pa.).
The nominations must be approved by the caucus of all House Democrats and then the full House. The Losers could make another fight in the caucus next week.
To fill three vacancies on the House Appropriations Committee, the steering committee nominated Rep. Corinne C. (Lindy) Boggs (D-La.) and two first-term members, Reps. Adam Benjamin (D-Ind.) and Norman D. Dicks (D-Wash.).
Eight new members nomited for the House Budget Committee including Rep. Joseph L. Fisher (D-Va.), will give a more liberal look to the committee which draits a congressional budget. The others are Reps. Otis G. Pike (D-N.Y.). Donald M. Fraser (D-Minn.). David R. Obey (D-Wis.). William Lehman (D-Fla.). Paul M. Simon (D-Ill). Norman Y. Mineta (D-Calif.) and Jim Mattox (D-Tex).
Rep. Fortney H. Stark (D-Calif.), who wants to run for chairman of the Budget Committee but cannot unless he is first elected a member, was turned down by the Steering Committee in his bid for membership on the committee. Stark promptly obtained the necessary signatures of five members to put him on the ballot for committee membership at next week's party caucus.
Stark, a third-term liberal, claims strong support among younger house membres. Rep. Robert N. Giaimo (D-Conn.) and Thomas L. Ashley (D-Ohio), the two most senior Democrats on the Budget Committee, also seek the chairmanship.