House Majority Leader Jim Wright (D-Tex.) said yesterday that a bill banning the use of federal funds to promote or perform abortions is "an abomination," and he predicted it will not become law in its present form.
Wright appearing on "Face the Nation" (CBS, WTOP), said the measure as now written, "seems to go too far."
"I think that's an abomination where they deny any use of federal funds to make available (abortion) information to mothers where the physician has certified that a mother's life is in danger," said Wright, pointing out one of his objections to the bill. "It seems to me that it goes too far and that it will have to be ameliorated," he said.
The House voted 201 to 155 Friday to approve the abortion measure, which is an amendment to a $61.3 billion appropriations bill for the Departments of Labor and Health, Education and Welfare.
The bill also would forbid the use of federal money for school busing and the enforcement of hiring and school admission quotas based on race or sex. It would specifically prohibit using or threatening to withhold federal education funds to require busing a student to any school "other than the school which is nearest the student's home."
Asked if he thought President Carter would approve the appropriations measure with the school-busing rider, Wright said: "I think he will accept the bill in the form in which we finally send it to him."
Wright said the "major thrust of the bill has to do with how much money we spend on the bill, and I think we've achieved an accommodation which will be satisfactory to the White House and to the Congress.
"President Carter agrees with the major thrust of the bill," he said, giving credence to reports that the President and the House Democratic leadership worked together to prevent any dollar changes in the money measure during the floor debate last week.
On another matter, "Wright said he does not expect Carter to veto a public works bill, although it may include funds for a number of water projects the President opposes.
The House passed the public works bill last week after blocking an attempt to delete funds for 16 of the 17 water projects Carter wants to kill. The measure is now before the Senate.
"I'm quite hopeful we will not have any presidential vetoes," he said. "There's going to be, in my opinion, a mutual yielding. I fully expect that some additional concessions will be made," he said.
Wright said the House last week eliminated one water project the President wanted to halt and modified five others. He said he believes the Senate "will satisfy him (Carter) on certain others.
"Congress will yield to some degree toward his position, and perhaps he will yield to some degree towards Congress. . . . Honest people can honestly disagree without condemning one another's motives," Wright said.
However, in a magazine interview published yesterday, Interior Secretary Cecil D. Andrus predicted that if Congress fails to compromise to the President's satisfaction on the water projects, he will carry out his threat to veto the public works bill.
Said Andrus: "I would suspect that if the bil is vetoed, that veto will be sustained. The administration is going to insist with every possible method at our command to see that we have water reform in America."