The House is tentatively set to vote again next week on a Senate-passed bill containing a $30 million authorization for the reorganization of the U.S. Olympic Committee and related reforms in the amateur sports system.
A spokesman for House Speaker Thomas P. (Tip) O'Neill (D-Mass.) said the bill, which cleared the Rules Committee yesterday, will probably come up for a vote on Thursday. Debate on a number of bills is scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, but there will be no votes because of the Jewish holidays.
The Rules Committee, which sets the ground rules for debate in the House, agreed to an open rule with a one-hour debate, which means amendments are in order.
A simple majority vote by the House members present would assure the bill's passage. Last week, the bill was narrowly defeated on a rules-suspension vote as it fell 24 votes short of collecting the required two-thirds approval under that procedure. The final vote was 244-158 in favor.
The Rule Committee's unanimous decision yesterday came at the requests of Reps. Robert H. Michel (R-Ill.), Robert W. Kastenmeier (D-Wis.) and Thomas N. Kindness (R-Ohio).
Michel and Kastenmeier reemphasized that the money is to be a one-time grant for the USOC's reorganization aimed at ending the feuds among amateur sports groups.
"If we can convince the general public that the warring parties and factions are together under one roof, then they (public) will support (the USOC financially)," Michel said.
In a surprise development. Kindness, who has led the opposition to the money, said yesterday that he will not sponsor any amendments to strike the funding. Other members may, however.
Predicting that the bill will pass, Kindness said he intends to offer an amendment that would delineate how the money cannot be spent - particularly the $12 million portion earmarked for permanent training centers and research and sports medicine facilities.
"I don't think it should go for rent, computers and other tangible things," Kindness said. "The money should be spent for the operation of training centers so that the coaches, athletes and trainers benefit from it, rather than sports bureaucrats."
The remaining $18 million is to be used over a four-year period for the establishment of national governing bodies in the Olympic and Pan American sports.