Copyright 2000 The National Journal, Inc.
The National Journal
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April 1, 2000
SECTION: CONGRESS; Pg. 1059; Vol. 32, No. 14
LENGTH: 519 words
the status of major legislation on the
congressional front burner:
House: Sent five bills, which cut federal gasoline taxes from
between 4.3 cents a gallon to 10 cents, to the Ways and Means
Senate: Floor action is pending on S. 2285.
Outlook: After groping for a response to rising gas
prices, Republican leaders now agree that cutting gas taxes by
a gallon for one year, and suspending the entire 18.4
cent tax for a year if
prices hit $ 2, might mollify angry
motorists. But their plan to tap the
budget surplus to fill the
funding gaps for highway projects could backfire,
rage down the road.
SOCIAL SECURITY EARNINGS LIMIT
House: Approved final version of H.R. 5 on March 28, 419-0.
Senate: Approved H.R. 5 on March 22, 100-0.
Outlook: President Clinton is expected to sign the bill,
full Social Security benefits for people who keep
working beyond the current
retirement age of 65, by mid-April.
House: Approved a
bipartisan patients' rights bill (H.R. 2723) on
Oct. 7, 1999, 275-151, then
merged it with an insurance access
bill (H.R. 2990).
Senate: Approved S. 1344 with narrower reforms favored by
insurers on July 15, 1999, 53-47.
House-Senate negotiators reportedly have moved
closer to a deal on an
appeals process for health maintenance
organization patients who are denied
medical care, but other
obstacles remain to reaching a compromise bill.
House: Approved H.Con.Res. 290 on March 24, 211-207.
Senate: Budget Committee approved a draft budget on
Outlook: Senate GOP leaders
struck a deal with
conservatives to commit surplus funds toward debt relief,
fiscal discipline, and limit use of gimmicks to hide spending
increases. But critics foresee a return to gimmicks when
try to implement an ambitious spending and tax
PENALTY TAX RELIEF
House: Approved H.R. 6 on Feb. 10, 268-158.
Senate: Finance Committee approved a draft bill on
Outlook: Senate Republicans have
set an April 14 target
date to pass a bill with more tax cuts than the House
despite the President's threat to veto anything as large as the
House bill. But the Senate bill must survive a likely floor
from critics of its price tag.
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. 2,
Republicans sweetened a tax cut bill by
adding a $ 1 minimum-wage increase
over two years, while the
Senate mixed small-business tax relief and a
three-year wage hike
with bankruptcy reform legislation. Senators are trying
untangle the issues but seem unlikely to satisfy White House
that they separate tax cuts from the wage hike.
LOAD-DATE: April 3, 2000