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The House of Representatives recessed yesterday, with a request for the funds to register 19- and 20-year-old males for the draft still languishing in the Appropriations Committee.
A staff aide of the Subcommittee on Independent Agencies said yesterday the two-week recess diminshes the chances that the full committee will eventually approve President Carter's $13 million request, but he added that the delay does not ensure defeat for the proposal.
About 22 of the committee's 54 members are committed to voting in favor of the request, with a half-dozen more leaning strongly in that direction; however, the committee is "not terribly thrilled" about setting a precedent for transferring funds from one agency to another, the aide said.
The committee is expected either to approve the transfer of the full amount from the Department of Defense to the Selective Service System (SSS), or to recommend a transfer of only $4.7 million--enough to upgrade SSS computer facilities and to ready the bureaucracy in case mass registration is necessary.
White House spokesman Patricia Barrio said yesterday Carter is optimistic that Rep. Jamie Whitten (D-Miss.), chairman of the Appropriations Committee, will bring the request to a vote after the recess, and that the committee will approve the transfer.
Late last week, Whitten scheduled a vote on the measure but abruptly cancelled the vote, citing committee members' apprehensions about setting a precedent for transfers when Contress is trying to curb federal budget expenditures.
The House reconvenes April 15.
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