1994 Scorecard Vote
This year, as in several recent years, the House voted by a wide margin to terminate the Department of Energy's program to develop an Advanced Liquid Metal Reactor (ALMR), a wasteful and dangerous nuclear technology. The Senate, in contrast, voted narrowly to continue funding the ALMR (see Senate vote 10).
As a result, the fate of the ALMR had to be decided in "conference," when lawmakers from the House and Senate meet to work out differences between their versions of the same piece of legislation (ALMR funding is included in the annual Energy and Water Appropriations bill).
Prior to the conference, Rep. Phil Sharp (D-IN) wanted to require the House "conferees" -- the lawmakers who represent the House at the conference -- to uphold the House vote to terminate the ALMR. Before Sharp could offer his amendment, however, the House had to vote to defeat the "previous question" -- a previously offered motion that would have enabled the House conferees to accept the Senate's position to keep the ALMR alive.
On August 1, 1994, the House rejected the previous question by a vote of 171 - 209, allowing Rep. Sharp to offer an amendment to instruct the conferees to terminate ALMR. NO is the pro-environment vote. In a significant victory for the environment, the Sharp amendment subsequently passed on a voice vote and the House-Senate conference terminated the ALMR program.