Four of the 12 House votes against a resolution seeking a boycott of the summer Olympics in Moscow were cast by blacks, in good part as a protest over what they considered a double standard.
Rep. Louis Stokes (D-Ohio), one of the four, recalled that four years ago some black African countries boycotted the summer games in Canada because of the presence of South Africa which officially discriminated against blacks. "But the United States paid no heed," said Stokes. "We ought to have one standard."
The only black member to speak during Thursday's debate, Rep. Ronald Dellums (D-Calif.), also spoke of the 1976 boycott saying, "There was no voice at that time talking about boycotting the Olympics . . . The principles on which this country wass founded ought to be such that our focus here would not be to further politicize the Olympic Games but rather to make every single effort we can to depoliticize the games."
Stokes also made the point that the Olympic Games have provided a means for blacks, especially boxers, to step up out of poverty.
Other blacks voting against the resolution were Reps. William Clay (D-Mo.) and John Conyers (D-Mich.). Eleven other black members voted for it.
Rep. Jim Lloyd (D-Calif.) did a survey of House roll call votes last year and decided that 161 of the 15-minute roll calls, or 21 percent of the total, were a waste of time -- procedural votes that had no legislative no legislative purpose except to delay action.
These were quorum calls (76), approval of noncontroversal resolutions (30), approval of the Journal of the previous day's proceedings (20), motions resolving the House into committee of the whole where it debates and amends legislation (34) and on permission to read a document (1).
Time consumed was 40.25 hours or a loss of 17,500-member hours for the 435 members of the House, not to mention time wasted by high-priced executive branch officials whose testimony before House committees was interrupted by the roll call bells. Lloyd said the cost in wasted time of members alone was $479,544.
Lloyd also determined that 111 or 69 percent of these roll calls were demanded byRepublicans.
Speaker Thomas P. (Tip) O'Neill Jr. agreed that the number of roll calls "isgetting out of hand. Republicans seem to think that wasting time will keep legislation from coming to the floor."
Democratic leaders also have become increasingly irritated at another delaying tactic, the proliferation of trivial amendments to the bills on the floor.
The House recently increased from 20 to 25 the number of members who must stand to get a record vote on an amendment, and the House Rules Committee increasingly has been limiting the number of amendments that may be offered to bills.
Sen. Bennett Johnston (D-La.) introduced a bill yesterday to block sale of government- owned oil from two petroleum reserves at some of the highest prices being charged anywhere in the world.
Recently concluded sales of 126,465 barrels of oil a day from the Elk Hills Petroleum Reserve in California for $40 to $41 a barrel and about 5,000 barrels a day from the Teapot Dome reserve in Wyoming forr $43.52 a barrel "will substantially undermine the administrations's efforts to moderate world crude oil prices and fuel spiraling cost of energy to the U.S. consumer," johnston declared.
The sales, the result of open bidding by oil companies, are for a six-month period beginning Feb. 1. The Elk Hills contracts were signed last week.
Johnston's bill would allow the sales for 120 days and directs the secretary of energy "to develop a program for the disposition of the Elk Hills and Teapot Dome crude . . ."
Administration sources said the Department of Energy is already considering ending the sales when the present contracts expire and instead of using the oil directly, or through sways for other oil, to fill the strategic problem reserve (SPR) stored in salt domes in Louisana. No oil has been added to the SPR in recent months because of the tight world oil market and objections for the Saudi Arabian government.
Next week on Capitol Hill:
The House will continue work on a $4 billion water projects bill and resume action in the countercyclical aid bill to help economically depressed big cities that it began debating last month.
The Senate is expected to take up the resolution urging a boycott of the summer Olympics in Moscow unless the Soviet Union withdraws troops from Afghanistan. It may also take up an annual authorization bill for the Department of Energy.