Copyright 2000 The National Journal, Inc.
The National Journal
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MARCH 4, 2000
SECTION: CONGRESS; Pg. 704; Vol. 32, No. 10
LENGTH: 515 words
The Sausage Factory: House-Senate Committee Action: Feb. 28-Mar 2
BYLINE: National Journal News Service
Here is the status of
major legislation on the congressional
House: Approved a bipartisan patients' rights and
access bill (H.R. 2990) last October, 275-151.
Senate: Approved GOP leadership bill (S. 1344) with
reforms favored by insurers last July, 51-49.
Outlook: As a House-Senate conference committee convened
on March 2,
plenty of differences remained. But GOP leaders,
election-year pressure, have predicted
agreement on giving patients at least
a limited right to sue
insurers, and President Clinton this week signaled a
to compromise. Digital Signatures
Approved H.R. 1714 on Nov. 9, 1999, 356-66.
Approved S. 761 on Nov. 19, 1999, by unanimous
Outlook: Senate Democrats have taken their time naming
conference negotiators, reportedly to let Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-
seek informal agreements on consumer issues raised by the
bill, which would
set legal standards for e-commerce and online
House: Approved H.R. 434 on July 16, 1999,
Senate: Approved an amended H.R. 434 on
Nov. 3, 1999, 76-
Outlook: The Senate bill,
which includes a Caribbean
trade initiative (S. 1389), still must be
reconciled with the
House measure. Negotiators have begun meeting
Republican leaders say a final bill could clear Congress by
House: Approved H.R.
1995 on July 20, 1999, 239-185; and H.R. 2
on Oct. 21, 1999, 358-67.
Senate: Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
began to mark up S. 2 on March 1.
Outlook: A fierce floor debate over who controls the way
to schools is spent awaits the Senate, which is
trying to pass a single,
comprehensive renewal of the Elementary
and Secondary Education Act instead
of separate bills, as the
House prefers. Senate Democrats say they will try
President Clinton's school spending priorities.
Rural Satellite TV
House: Agriculture Committee
approved H.R. 3615 on Feb. 16, 41-0.
unanimous consent agreement requires action by
Outlook: Sens. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, and Conrad Burns, R-
have a bill to provide $ 1.25 billion in federal loan
guarantees for rural
satellite television service. Jurisdictional
issues may slow down final
approval, as the House Commerce
Committee wants a say in the outcome. But
constituents are keenly
interested in this issue.
Social Security Earnings Limit
House: Approved H.R. 5 on March 1,
Senate: S. 279 has been referred to the
Outlook: The bill, which
allows full Social Security
benefits for people who keep working beyond
retirement age, has
strong bipartisan support, and President Clinton says
it if lawmakers don't weigh it down with election-year goodies.
LOAD-DATE: March 7, 2000