The Senate yesterday reiterated its approval of an antibusing provision that may invite a veto of the $9 billion appropriation bill for the departments of State, Justice and Commerce.
Before final passage of the bill by a vote of 51 to 35, Sen. Ernest F. Hollings (D-S.C.) told the Senate that Attorney General Benjamin R. Civiletti had said he would recommend that President Carter veto the bill if the provision forbidding the Justice Department from filing suits or taking other actions to require busing for racial integration were adopted.
Sen. Lowell P. Weicher Jr. (R-Conn.), senior Republican on the subcommittee that drafted the bill, said the antibusing rider was not worthy of the Senate and urged that the bill on which he had spent nearly a year be defeated. But Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.), a sponsor of the amendment, said busing students long distances to integrated schools was discriminatory and that the provision merely said students should attend their neighborhood schools.
The Senate vote sent the bill to conference with the House. Since the House earlier adopted similar language, the proviso appears certain to remain in the final version that will be sent to the White House. If the bill were voted, Congress could repass it without the busing language or the agencies could be financed through a continuing resolution. That will be needed for some other departments whose appropriations bills are not expected to pass before Congress adjourns in December.