Not to be outdone by their colleagues in the House, 34 senators have taken the continuing-resolution pledge, promising to vote to uphold any presidential veto of another omnibus appropriations bill.
In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.), the senators -- enough to sustain a veto -- said they would join President Reagan in insisting that Congress pass its 13 regular appropriations bills this year.
"Enough is enough," said the letter organized by Sen. Daniel J. Evans (R-Wash.), who along with his colleagues protested last year's massive $604 billion spending bill into which Congress crammed all its regular spending measures. Only one Democrat signed the pledge.
"We were required to vote on one massive continuing resolution the same day that the conference committee filed its report," Evans wrote. "This left members of the Senate, supposedly a deliberative body, with approximately 30 minutes to review its contents. It was not until well after passage that we were made aware of the unusual spending provisions and new legislation concealed in this continuing resolution."
The increasingly common practice of funding most government operations through omnibus spending bills chock full of policy changes and special-interest projects "damages the integrity of the authorizing committees and makes virtually impossible thoughtful analysis of appropriations bills by individual members," the senators complained to Byrd.
As did 49 House members earlier, the senators vowed to oppose any future long-term continuing resolutions, and they promised to do so by voting to sustain a presidential veto. In his State of the Union address, Reagan threatened to veto such legislation.
"A continuing resolution should be used as a temporary bridge when Congress is unable to reach agreement on appropriations bills," the senators wrote. "It should only provide funding at the prior year's level . . . legislative changes to existing law should not be included. Only a continuing resolution with these basic characteristics is acceptable."
Here are the senators who signed the letter: Evans, William S. Cohen (R-Maine), Don Nickles (R-Okla), Christopher S. Bond (R-Mo.), Warren B. Rudman (R-N.H.), Alan K. Simpson (R-Wyo.), David K. Karnes (R-Neb.), Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.), Nancy Landon Kassebaum (R-Kan.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Robert W. Kasten Jr. (R-Wis.), Gordon J. Humphrey (R-N.H.) and John C. Danforth (R-Mo.)
Also, Jesse Helms (R-N.C.), James A. McClure (R-Idaho), Phil Gramm (R-Tex.), Dan Quayle (R-Ind.), David Durenberger (R-Minn.), Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), Rudy Boschwitz (R-Minn.), Pete Wilson (R-Calif.), Steve Symms (R-Idaho), William L. Armstrong (R-Colo.), Malcolm Wallop (R-Wyo.), William Proxmire (D-Wis.), John S. McCain III (R-Ariz.), Frank H. Murkowski (R-Alaska), Jake Garn (R-Utah), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Paul S. Trible Jr. (R-Va.), Robert T. Stafford (R-Vt.), Robert J. Dole (R-Kan.), Chic Hecht (R-Nev.) and Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.).