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Copyright 1999 The National Journal, Inc.  
The National Journal

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SECTION: CONGRESS; Pg. 2496; Vol. 31, No. 36

LENGTH: 509 words

HEADLINE: A Handicapper's Guide


     Before adjournment, tentatively scheduled for Oct. 29,
Congress must pass the 12 remaining appropriations bills in some
form, but relatively few other bills appear likely to win
approval. Here's the outlook for major legislation that's still
on Congress's plate this fall:
Bet the Ranch
Continuing Resolution
Congressional leaders acknowledge that they will be unable to
finish the 13 appropriations bills by the end of the fiscal year
on Sept. 30, so a continuing resolution will be necessary to keep
the federal government running.
Appropriations Bills
Congress must pass the 12 remaining bills, even if many are
bundled into an omnibus spending package like last year's.
Adjournment Resolution
Many members would like to go home sooner rather than later.
Tax Cuts
Republicans are split over whether to continue to push the issue
after President Clinton's expected veto of the $ 792 billion tax
cut bill, or whether to simply take the issue to the voters
during the 2000 election campaign.
Minimum-Wage Increase
The support among Democrats and some moderate Republicans for a
boost in the minimum wage could be too strong for GOP leaders to
Financial Services Reform
Although both chambers have passed this legislation, squabbling
in conference committee could doom the bill.
Bankruptcy Reform
The Senate would like to resolve the issue, but Democrats could
try to tack on the controversial minimum-wage legislation.
Gun Control
Juvenile-justice legislation, including contentious Senate-passed
gun control provisions, awaits action in conference committee.
Managed Care Reform
While the Senate has passed a patient protection bill, House
Republicans are in disarray, with some joining Democrats to push
for more-sweeping changes than GOP leaders want.
Prescription Drug Benefits
Expanding prescription drug coverage for Medicare recipients is a
priority for the Clinton Administration, but the plan could get
bogged down over other budget matters.
Health Care Fix
Health care lobbyists and others are seeking relief from certain
Medicare rules that were part of the 1997 balanced-budget
agreement and that have hit health care providers harder than
FAA Reauthorization
Negotiations are continuing on legislation to reauthorize the
Federal Aviation Administration, but Congress may be unable to
resolve the thorny issues. Another short-term extension might be
Sure Losers
Medicare Reform
Time has run out for a huge overhaul this year.
Social Security Reform
Again, time is too short and disagreement is too widespread.
Campaign Finance Reform
Many House Republicans are counting on the Senate to again kill
the bill.
Budget Process Changes
Most lawmakers would like to change the process, but the Clinton
Administration opposes a key House provision to establish an
automatic continuing resolution that would take effect when
Congress cannot finish the funding bills.

LOAD-DATE: September 09, 1999

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