The House Rules Committee yesterday cleared the way for the House to act on several sensitive issues during the closing days of the session expected to end this week.
The committee sent to the floor a resolution permitting final congressional approval, by majority vote, of a bill phasing in a requirement that auto manufacturers offer buyers either airbags or seatbelts for protection in collisions. Until now, the bill has been stuck in a parliamentary status requiring a two-thirds vote. Opponents of airbags will try to kill it but the legislation previously won a majority vote in the House.
Also possibly rescued by a resolution from the Rules Committee was a bill to start designating sites to dispose of nuclear wastes which have been accumulating 35 years. The proposal, similar to one passed by the Senate, has been stuck in a position requiring unanimous consent to be taken up by the House. The major issue is the power states should have to veto a site selection within their borders.
The committee also approved the usual end-of-session resolution relaxing rules generally. This resolution would permit, among other things, House consideration of the Senate-passed "superfund" bill to clean up toxic wastes. it has been delayed by a rule the resolution would suspend.