Copyright 2000 The National Journal, Inc.
The National Journal
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March 18, 2000
SECTION: CONGRESS; Pg. 872; Vol. 32, No. 12
LENGTH: 521 words
House-Senate Committee Action: Hot Bills March 13-16
BYLINE: National Journal News Service
Here is the status of
major legislation on the congressional
House: Approved H.R. 3846 on March 9,
attached it to a small-business tax cut bill (H.R. 3081).
Senate: Approved amended version of H.R. 833 on Feb.
Outlook: House Republicans sweetened a
tax relief bill by
adding a $ 1 minimum-wage increase over two years, while
Senate GOP mixed small-business tax relief and a three-year wage
hike with bankruptcy reform legislation. The White House says
legislative stew has too many ingredients, but GOP chefs
don't like a wage
hike without a garnish of tax cuts. And some
conservatives still insist
states ought to be able to "opt out"
of the wage hike.
SOCIAL SECURITY EARNINGS LIMIT
House: Approved H.R. 5 on March 1,
Senate: Considers H.R. 5 on March 21.
Outlook: This bill, which allows full benefits for
who keep working beyond retirement age, should fly through the
Senate, which is eager to have the President sign it.
MARRIAGE PENALTY TAX RELIEF
House: Approved H.R. 6 on Feb. 10,
Senate: Finance Committee plans to draft a
Outlook: Senate Republicans have not yet
to move tax cuts one at a time or in a big package. They
they'll be even more generous to married couples than the House
was, despite President Clinton's threat to veto a cut as large as
Approved a bipartisan patients' rights bill (H.R. 2723) on
Oct. 7, 1999,
275-151, and then merged it with an insurance
access bill (H.R. 2990).
Senate: Approved S. 1344 with narrower reforms
health insurers on July 15, 1999, 53-47.
Outlook: Conferees settled three issues on March 9, but
ones await resolution: who is covered by the bill,
who decides what is a
"medical necessity," and what rights
patients will have to sue their health
plans and employers. GOP
leaders, who hoped to have a final bill this month,
committed to finishing work by Easter.
AFRICA TRADE ENHANCEMENTS
House: Approved H.R. 434 on July 16, 1999,
Senate: Approved an amended H.R. 434 on
Nov. 3, 1999, 76-
Outlook: Senate Majority
Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., is
working to close the negotiations in the hope
that Congress can
clear a final bill by early April.
House: Approved H.R. 1995 on July 20, 239-185, and H.R. 2
21, 1999, 358-67.
Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee
approved S. 2 on March 9.
Outlook: A fierce floor debate over who controls the
federal aid to schools is spent awaits the Senate, which is
to pass a single bill renewing the Elementary and
Secondary Education Act
instead of the separate House-passed
bills. Despite defeats in committee,
Senate Democrats will push
President Clinton's education priorities on the
LOAD-DATE: March 23, 2000