States lost and cities gained yesterday as the House Government Operations Committee resumed voting on extension of revenue sharing.
Last winter as Congress and the president were trying to fashion a balanced budget and looking for places to cut spending, almost everybody's top priority was revenue sharing to the states, many of which have budget surpluses. A subcommittee voted to cut the states off from the no-strings-attached aid.
But when the full committee began voting on the bill before the Fourth of July recess, friends of state governments protested that many have balanced budgets because of legal requirements and must cut services to comply. The committee then approved a compromise which left the states out of the program next year but would have granted them aid for the two years after that.
Yesterday the committee turned around and voted 20 to 15 to throw the states entirely out of the program. Votes were switched as the result of an administration proposal to double to $1 billion countercyclical antirecession aid to cities next year. The money would become available if the gross national product declined for two consecutive quarters.
Once the states had been voted out, Rep. Toby Moffet (D-Conn.), one of the switchers, moved to double the anti-recession city aid. This was adopted by the same 20 to 15 vote. The House voted this formula for countercyclical aid last year, but the Senate opposed it and the bill never got to a House-Senate conference to settle differences. The committee will resume action on the billtomorrow.