1984 Scorecard Vote
The Reclamation Dam Safety bill was intended primarily for the maintenance and repair of existing dams. But it also authorized money for new dams to replace old ones. Much of the money in the bill was slated to build the new Cliff Dam in Arizona, which would damage important habitat for bald eagles. This expensive project also took money away from other existing dams which badly needed repair. It is usually cheaper to repair old dams than to build new ones. Once again, cost sharing provisions are critical for stopping unnecessary projects. If the beneficiaries know they must pay part of the cost, they will have an incentive to limit themselves to needed, cost-effective repairs.
Environmentalists supported the Solomon amendment to require project beneficiaries to pay 15% of the costs of construction and repairs under this bill. The vote is on the Kazan proposal to gut the Solomon amendment and go back to the status quo.
Kazan substitute adopted 194-192; March 20, 1984. NO is the pro-environmental vote. (Kazan substitute to Solomon amendment to the Reclamation Dam Safety bill, H.R. 1652.) The Reagan Administration supported Solomon's proposal in 1983, but then changed their minds and supported Kazan's effort to kill it in 1984, probably in order to curry political favor in the West in an election year. The dam repair bill passed Congress without any significant cost sharing provision.