1982 Scorecard Vote
The vote is on the Breaux (D-LA) motion to suspend the rules and pass the Coastal Barrier Resources Act (H.R. 3252). Many barrier islands are still wild places of exceptional beauty. They have long beaches on the ocean side, and wetlands on the other protected side, providing critical but diminishing habitat for fish and migratory birds. They are composed of sand or other shifting materials, and are regularly pounded by ocean storms at the first line of defense for the mainland. For all these reasons, they are totally unsuitable for development.
The bill prohibited federal aid for barrier island development such as funding for sewers, highways, bridges, boat landings, housing loans, some erosion control and federal flood insurance. The ban applied only to specified islands and peninsulas that were still wild. The government has often paid twice for barrier island development: once to subsidize development in the first place, and again to bail out property owners hit by hurricane or other disaster. The bill will save the federal government about $2 billion over the next 20 years. It does not ban private development but greatly inhibits it by insisting that everything be financed by private capital. This bill was the only significant new environmental law enacted in the 97th Congress. It passed the House almost unanimously and was supported by the President. Motion agreed to 399-4; September 24, 1982. YES is the pro-environmental vote. The Act passed the Senate on a voice vote and became law.