WASHINGTON (Jul. 19)
The first vote on the Mills-Vanik Amendment regarding Soviet emigration policy is expected to take place next week in the House Ways and Means Committee, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency learned today. The Mills-Vanik measure is the equivalent of the Jackson Amendment in the Senate which would deny the Soviet Union credits and other commercial benefits unless it eases its restrictions on emigration of Soviet citizens including Jews.
The qualification “tentative” was put on the initial vote by a source intimate with the Committee’s functions since the possibility always exists that the measure may be altered or the members may change their votes after it is first taken. The Committee’s actions are behind closed doors.
“Right now we don’t know how the Committee will go.” the source said. Neither could he give a firm date when the vote might be taken. Rep. Wilbur Mills (D.Ark.). the Committee chairman and himself, the sponsor of the amendment along with Rep. Charles A. Vanik (D.Ohlo), has Indicated that he would like the trade reforms Bill acted upon before Congress takes a month-long recess Aug. 4.
Although the Mills-Vanik measure, which has been prepared to be a part of the overall trade bill. Is sponsored by 285 members of the House and 17 of the Committee’s 20 members, there is uncertainty whether in the give and take on tariff benefits affecting their Congressional districts, some Committee members now favoring It may vote against it to satisfy Nixon Administration demands to give most favored nation status to the Soviet Union.” Nixon has expressed determination that his pledge to Soviet Communist Party Secretary Leonid I. Brezhnev on this matter is to be carried out.
On the Senate side, the 77 Senators sponsoring the Jackson Amendment appear standing firm on the insistence that legislation is necessary to have the USSR ease its emigration policy. The Senate is unlikely to act on the amendment until after the Ways and Means Committee and the House as a whole makes its decision on the Mills-Vanik Measure. Capitol Hill specialists believe that the route taken by the Ways and Means Committee on the amendment will determine how the House as a whole will vote.