Copyright 2000 The National Journal, Inc.
The National Journal
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March 25, 2000
SECTION: CONGRESS; Pg. 966; Vol. 32, No. 13
LENGTH: 586 words
House-Senate Committee Action, March 20-23
National Journal News Service
Spring arrived at the Capitol, but it was still the dark
of winter in several committees, as Democrats and
Republicans squared off
over education tax credits and reforms to
the Immigration and Naturalization
Service. One ray of sunshine
broke through when House and Senate panels
compromised on help
for families who adopt children from overseas.
Here is the status of major legislation on the congressional
SOCIAL SECURITY EARNINGS LIMIT
Approved H.R. 5 on March 1, 422-0. Senate: Approved H.R. 5
on March 22, 100-0.
Outlook: This popular bipartisan
bill, which allows full
Social Security benefits for people who keep working
current retirement age of 65, heads soon to President Clinton,
who has indicated he will sign it.
House: Approved a bipartisan patients' rights bill (H.R. 2723) on
Oct. 7, 1999, 275-151, then merged it with an insurance access
Senate: Approved S. 1344 with narrower
reforms favored by
health insurers on July 15, 1999, 53-47.
Outlook: Despite mounting pressure to clear the three
obstacles to a compromise bill-involving the bill's
scope, who decides when
care is a "medical necessity," and
liability provisions-few encouraging
signs of progress have
surfaced. GOP leaders, who had hoped to have a final
March 31, remain committed to finishing work by Easter.
House: Approved H.R. 1714 on
Nov. 9, 1999, 356-66.
Senate: Approved S. 761 on
Nov. 19, 1999, by unanimous
Despite delays in naming Senate negotiators, key
GOP players are now
crafting a compromise bill, which would set a
legal standard for e-commerce
and online contracts. Senate
Democrats are already plotting moves aimed at
consumer protections to any final version.
House: Debated H.Con.Res. 290 on March 23.
Senate: Canceled Budget Committee drafting sessions
March 22 and 23.
Outlook: The Republican
budget-writing process is
threatening to implode (as it did in 1998), as
vigorously challenge top leaders with demands for a tighter
on nondefense spending in fiscal 2001. Senate Majority Leader
Lott, R-Miss., is willing to bypass a divided Budget
Committee and bring a
budget resolution directly to the floor,
but the GOP may not have the
political muscle needed to pass a
House: Approved H.R. 3846 on March 9, 282-143,
then 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 cut bill by
adding a $ 1 minimum-wage increase over two years, while the
Senate GOP mixed small-business tax relief and a three-year wage
with bankruptcy reform legislation. The White House says
stew has too many ingredients.
MARRIAGE PENALTY TAX
House: Approved H.R. 6 on Feb. 10, 268-158.
Senate: Finance Committee plans to draft a bill soon.
Outlook: Senate Republicans are taking their time
whether to move tax cuts one at a time or in a big
package. They also are
likely to ignore the President's threat to
veto a cut as large as the House
marriage penalty bill.
LOAD-DATE: March 29, 2000