[TEXT OMITTED FROM SOURCE] nearly mile-long stretch from the foot of Capitol Hill to the Treasury, the route President Carter walked with his wife and daughter after the inauguration ceremony on Jan. 20.
In the 126 years Washington has been the nation's capital, Pennsylvania Avenue has seen victory and inaugural parades, marches by demonstrators for countless causes and presidential funeral processions.
In that time, as the south side of the avenue was developed into the Federal Triangle - a sprawling compound of neoclassic government buildings - the north side deteriorated into nondescript shabbiness. It was from a desire to restore this area that the Pennsylvania Avenue plan was proposed during the Kennedy administration.
Since then, there have been setbacks, but none as severe as the one dealt by the House just a year and two days ago. In the name of economy, it refused by a vote of 201 to 149 to grant $38.8 million for the project.
Quesada said yesterday that last year's vote left the plan close to dead. But a decision was made to try again.
In February, at an appropriation hearing, Rep. Clarence D. Long (D. Md.) denounced the plan, raising fears by supporters that he would seek to block the funds anew.
Yesterday, when the House reading clerk came to the item in a catchall $28-billion supplemental appropriation bill, Long was off the floor, and nobody questioned it. That cinched the approval.
"I wish to God I had been in there to oppose it," Long later told a reporter who asked if he had decided to support the project. "I think it's a rip-off. In the entire United States, you couldn't find a more choice piece of real estate for private enterprise to develop."
The House Appropriations Committee chairman, reported on it, Rep. project was "to protect (Pennsylvania Avenue) from haphazard and unworthy development which private renewal might bring."
There was only passing mention of the project in the floor discussion of the bill. As Rep. Sidney R. Yates (D-Ill.), the Appropriations Subcommittee chairman, reported on it, Rep. Jamie Whitten (D-Miss) interrupted.
Whitten said he recently had been reading "Reveille in Washington," a history of Washington during the Civil Wars, and he concluded - as the late House Speaker Sam Rayburn did years ago - that "it would be a reflection on us (in Congress)" to let Pennsylvania Avenue deteriorate.
The only local controversy during the discussion of the catchall bill involved $4.7 million proposed for repairs to the leaky roof of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Rep. John M. Ashbrook (R-Ohio) forced the elimination of the money on a procedural point.
The supplemental bill contains a total of $102.9 million in mostly routine outlays being made specifically for projects and agencies (other than federal departmental headquarters operations) in the Washington area.
It provides as added $57 million for operations of the District government for the balance of this fiscal year, financed partly by an additional $18 million federal payment to the city. One item approved was $650,000 to reimburse the city government for unusual expenditures during the inauguration festivities.