HOUSE MEMBERS TOOK MILLIONS IN HONORARIUMS

Members of the US House of Representatives received nearly $5.9 million in honorariums in 1988 for writing articles and giving speeches to special-interest groups. The honorarium system was almost scrapped by the House earlier this year. The honorarium figures, compiled by the public-interest group Common Cause, came from the annual House financial disclosure statements that were released Monday. The final honorarium figures for the year could surpass the 1987 total of $6.7 million once financial disclosure forms are received from another 20 lawmakers.

Rank-and-file House members were allowed to keep $26,850 in honorariums in 1988 - leaders slightly more. The amount over the limit, more than $1 million, was donated to charity while nearly $4.8 million was kept for personal use.

House Speaker Jim Wright (D) of Texas earned $30,000 in honorariums, a figure eclipsed by 45 other House members.

Separately, a former savings and loan executive in Dallas has agreed to plead guilty to federal charges that he took part in a scheme to donate thrift funds to Speaker Wright and other politicians, court records show. Federal law forbids corporate contributions to politicians.

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