Republicans and Democrats took potshots at each otehr yesterday as Congress prepared to quit until after the November elections.
In the House, Republicans renewed their effort to show Democrats are scared of taking tough votes before the election. They tried again to force congress to stay in session until it has completed action on the second budget resolution setting spending ceilings for the fiscal year that began yesterday. Minority Leader John Rhodes (R-Ariz.) lost, 161 to 231, when he tried to delay the recess.
When another Republican resolution requiring Congress to stay at work until it settled the budget was ruled out of order by Speaker Thomas P. (Tip) O'Neil Jr., an appeal from the ruling of the chair was squelched, 382 to 11. No Democrat voted against O'Neill's ruling. The last time a ruling of the presiding officer was appealed to the full House, 44 Democrats defected and O'Neill wrote them a sharp note demanding party loyalty on procedural matters.
Senate Majority Leader Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) called up the nomination of Deputy Energy Secretary John Sawhill to be chairman of the corporation to promote development of synthetic fuels. It ran into a filibuster by Sen. Mark Hatfield (R-Ore.) who had promised delaying tactics because the White House had rejected Republican efforts to put off appointment of three of the seven members. The idea was that if Republican Ronald Reagan were elected president he could fill the posts. Hatfield's action could make it appear Republicans were obstructing the crash program to develop alternative energy sources to foreign oil, so, after three hours, Byrd ruled the nomination back off the floor.
But the synfuels filibuster wasn't an all-Republican effort. When the White House rejected a demand by Sen. Gary Hart (D-Colo.) that the vacant seventh position on the corporation go to a westerner, Hart said he would let the Sawhill nomination pass but would try to delay the rest.