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Copyright 2000 The National Journal, Inc.  
The National Journal

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May 20, 2000

SECTION: CONGRESS; Pg. 1612; Vol. 32, No. 21

LENGTH: 530 words

HEADLINE: The Sausage Factory: House-Senate Committee Action, May 15-18

BYLINE: National Journal News Service


Hot Bills
Here is the status of major legislation on the congressional
front burner:

House: Floor action is pending on the last of four parts of the
Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorization (H.R.

     Senate: Began debate on an omnibus ESEA bill (S. 2) on
May 1.

     Outlook: The Senate continues its ESEA debate in between
other business, as Democrats weigh whether to push gun-control
amendments. Look for this schoolyard fight to spill into the
election season and possibly into next year.      PATIENTS' RIGHTS
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
health insurers on July 15, 1999, 53-47.

     Outlook: Despite the reported support of House Speaker J.
Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., the negotiations could collapse in a
heartbeat. Disagreements persist on the number of people to cover
and patients' rights to sue health plans.

House: Approved H.R. 6 on Feb. 10, 268-158.

     Senate: Effort to end debate on S. 2346 failed on April

     Outlook: Differences over the size and scope of the
Senate GOP bill seem irreconcilable, so Senate Majority Leader
Trent Lott, R-Miss., has a new tactic: He wants to attach it to a
budget enforcement measure the Senate expects to take up in June.
Senate rules bar filibusters and nongermane amendments to such a

House: Approved juvenile-justice bill (H.R. 1501) on June 17,
1999, 287-139.

     Senate: Approved juvenile-justice bill (S. 254),
including new gun control measures, on May 20, 1999, 73-25.

     Outlook: Senate Democrats on May 17 forced a vote on a
resolution, which was approved 50-49, that urges final passage of
the Senate's gun control provisions. The GOP responded with its
own resolution, passed 69-30, urging more-aggressive enforcement
of existing gun laws. But neither measure was binding, and
there's no encouraging sign that Congress will find a compromise.

House: Approved H.R. 1714 on Nov. 9, 1999, 356-66.

     Senate: Approved S. 761 on Nov. 19, 1999, by unanimous

     Outlook: House and Senate negotiators set a May 18
meeting to come up with a final bill, which would provide a
presumption of legal validity to electronic signatures and
records. But Democrats were still voicing concerns over the need
for more protections for consumers, especially those unfamiliar
with the Internet and online transactions.

House: Approved H.R. 833 on May 5, 1999, 313-108.

     Senate: Approved amended version of H.R. 833 on Feb. 2,

     Outlook: Reforms to the nation's bankruptcy laws could be
piggybacked on the e-signatures bill or pending crop insurance
legislation, but Senate Minority Leader Thomas A. Daschle, D-
S.D., is wary of bundling too many measures together and has
warned of a veto.

LOAD-DATE: May 23, 2000

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