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Copyright 2000 The National Journal, Inc.  
The National Journal

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June 10, 2000

SECTION: CONGRESS; Pg. 1832; Vol. 32, No. 24

LENGTH: 576 words

HEADLINE: The Sausage Factory: House-Senate Committee Action, June 5-8

BYLINE: National Journal News Service


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

House: Approved H.R. 4444 on May 24, 237-197.

     Senate: Finance Committee approved S. 2277 on May 17, 19-

     Outlook: Finance Committee leaders this week announced
that the House-passed bill granting permanent normal trade
relations to China will go directly to the Senate floor. The
panel will bypass a review of House-added amendments on human
rights monitoring and import surge protections. Although the
Senate is inclined to back PNTR, some say by July 4, no one is
taking smooth sailing for granted.      BANKRUPTCY REFORM
House: Approved H.R. 833 on May 5, 1999, 313-108.

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

     Outlook: Negotiators are still at work hammering out the
fine points of a prospective agreement. Still unclear is what
legislative vehicle will carry a final compromise; bankruptcy
reform provisions were yanked off a crop insurance measure before
the Memorial Day break.

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

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

     Outlook: Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., has
announced that a marriage penalty "phaseout" will be included in
a budget reconciliation measure this summer. That way, he said,
debate is limited to 20 hours and the measure can't be
"filibustered to death, or amended to death."

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

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

     Outlook: A majority of the House and Senate conferees
crafting this legislation, which would provide a presumption of
legal validity to electronic signatures and records, had forged
yet another deal late on June 7. If the deal sticks, quick final
approval is expected.

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: Senate Republicans unveiled their compromise
conference committee proposal this week. But unimpressed
Democrats pressed ahead with an amendment, which mirrored the
House's bipartisan patients' rights bill, during the Senate's
debate on its Defense authorization bill on June 8.

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

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

     Outlook: On May 17, Senate Democrats forced a vote on a
resolution, approved 50-49, urging final passage of the Senate's
gun control provisions. The GOP responded by passing a resolution
on a 69-30 vote urging more-aggressive enforcement of gun laws.
Compromise seems unlikely.

             The Senate this week took a break from moving any
more money bills through committee because a procedural logjam
had kept appropriations legislation off the floor in that
chamber. House panels slogged through some political mud to
advance several measures that they hope may eventually get
cleaned up.

LOAD-DATE: June 13, 2000

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