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Rep. Becker Seeks Vote in House on His Proposal on School Prayers

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Rep. Frank H. Becker, New York Republican, appealed in the House yesterday for signatures to force out of the House Judiciary Committee for a vote in the House his proposed constitutional amendment to void the Supreme Court ban on prayers and Bible readings in public schools.

He told his House colleagues that he needed 52 more signatures to make his discharge petition effective, indicating that he had 166 names. He asserted that “time was running out” and that to date “we have had no result” from the seven weeks of hearings before the Judiciary committee on his and related proposals.

After the open hearings from April 22 to June 3, the Judiciary committee was scheduled to begin closed hearings but Chairman Emanuel Celler, Brooklyn Democrat, has indicated he is in no hurry to schedule the closed hearings. The testimony at the open hearings reportedly has left committee members still divided on the wisdom of the proposed amendments.

The 166 asignature total was about the same as it was when Rep. Becker halted his campaign for signatures when the Judiciary committee began the hearings.

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