Statement by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Speakes on United States Assistance for the Nicaraguan Democratic Resistance

April 10, 1986

There are reports in the paper this morning that the leadership of the House is planning a parliamentary maneuver to put the President's contra aid package into a large supplemental which contains many features that have been added to it in the House that we don't like and will be a prime candidate for a veto. We hope these reports are not so. It would be unfortunate if this were the decision of the leadership in the House. We find it hard to believe that they would use a parliamentary maneuver in order to delay a vote on contra aid.

We believe this is an important proposal that should be submitted to a vote in the House without delay. More delay would only delay an opportunity for a straight up-or-down vote. Whether or not the Members of the House agree or do not agree on this subject, we believe that the American people are entitled to have these issues voted up or down. They should not hold this legislation, important foreign policy initiative, hostage to a parliamentary maneuver. We just look at the other side of the coin to the contras and find out they have no parliamentary maneuver in their hands that they can use to keep from being attacked by Sandinista forces.

Note: Larry M. Speakes read the statement to reporters at 9:37 a.m. in the Briefing Room at the White House.