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   But I was prevented--every Senator was prevented--from offering any amendments because the Treasury-Postal Service bill was never brought up. Normally a bill that does not come before the Senate cannot become law.

   But the majority wanted to avoid debating and voting on these amendments, and so they found a way to

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make an end-run around the rules of the Senate and to run roughshod over the rights of 100 Senators.

   I will not be a party to this process, so I will vote against the bill.

   Ms. SNOWE. Mr. President, I rise today in support of the contraceptive coverage provision included in the FY2001 Treasury-Postal appropriations conference report currently before the Senate.

   This provision is fundamental to the health of the approximately 2 million women of reproductive age who rely on the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, or FEHBP, for their health care, and I thank Chairman CAMPBELL for again including this important language. This language is essentially the same language that has been signed into law the last 2 years.

   This provision says that if an FEHBP health plan provides coverage of prescription drugs and devices, they must also cover all FDA-approved prescription contraceptives. It also says that plans which already cover outpatient services also cover medical and counseling services to promote the effective use of those contraceptives.

   This language respects the rights of religious plans that, as a matter of conscience, choose not to cover contraceptives. Furthermore, the committee language we have before us makes it clear that this language does not cover abortion in any way, shape, or form.

   The contraceptive coverage provision signed into law the last 2 years, and contained in this year's bill, contains a conscience clause that strikes the appropriate balance between recognizing the legitimate religious concerns of individual health plans and physicians with the equally important goal of increasing access to prescription contraceptives and reducing unintended pregnancy and abortion rates in this country.

   The religious exemption in current law specifically exempts the religious-based plans that the Office of Personnel Management, which manages FEHBP, identified as participating in FEHBP. And it exempts ``any existing or future plan, if the plan objects to such coverage on the basis of religious beliefs.''

   Despite concerns voiced by opponents, this provision has caused no upheaval in the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program. When plans have left the program in the last 2 years they cited insufficient enrollment, noncompetitive premiums, or unpredictable utilization as the reason for leaving the program--not the requirement to cover prescription contraception. And other than the five plans specifically excluded in current law, no plan has requested to be excluded from the provision nor has any plan complained that the conscience clause is insufficient. Furthermore, OPM is not aware of any physician or other health care provider who requested an exclusion.

   The need to retain the current committee language is clear. Today, nearly 9 million Federal employees, retirees, and their dependents participate in the FEHBP. Approximately 2 million women of reproductive age rely on FEHBP for all their medical needs. Unfortunately, before 1998, the vast majority of these women were denied access to the broad range of safe and effective methods of contraception.

   It is clear that the need for prescription contraceptive coverage is well understood by women across the country. And while we in Congress debate this need and delay guaranteeing coverage to women across the country, states are taking up the call on their own. In fact there are 13 states--Maryland, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, Vermont, California, Delaware, Iowa, and Rhode Island--who have passed their own contraceptive coverage legislation.

   Across America, the lack of equitable coverage of prescription contraceptives contributes to the fact that women today spend 68 percent more than men in health care costs. That's 68 percent. And this gap in coverage translates into $7,000 to $10,000 over a woman's reproductive lifetime.

   So I ask my colleagues: with 10 percent of all Federal employees earning less than $25,000 what do you think is the likely effect of these tremendous added costs for these Federal employees?

   Well, I'll tell you the effect is has: Many of them simply stop using contraceptives, or will never use them in the first place, because they simply can't afford to. And the impact of those decisions on these individuals and on this nation is a lasting and profound one.

   Women spend more than 90 percent of their reproductive life avoiding pregnancy, and a woman who doesn't use contraception is 15 times more likely to become pregnant than women who do. Fifteen times. And of the 3 million unintended pregnancies in the United States, half of them will end in abortion.

   Mr. President, I can't think of anyone I know, no matter their ideology or party, who doesn't want to see the instances of abortion in this nation reduced. Well, imagine if I told you we could do something about it.

   We vote year after year to restrict abortion coverage in FEHBP plans. My colleagues know that I vote against this restriction every time it comes up. At the same time I firmly believe that, if the Senate is going to vote against allowing FEHBP plans to cover abortion, then we should require this same plan to cover prescription contraceptives if they cover other prescription medications--prescription contraceptives which prevent unintended pregnancies that lead to abortion.

   That is what the committee language does. When the Alan Guttmacher Institute estimates that the use of birth control lowers the likelihood of abortion by a remarkable 85 percent, how can we ignore a provision like this which makes the use of birth control more affordable to our Federal employees, and do so--according to the Congressional Budget Office--with negligible cost to the Federal Government.

   The fact is, all methods of contraception are cost effective when compared to the cost of unintended pregnancy. And with unplanned pregnancies linked to higher rates of premature and low-birth weight babies, costs can rise even above and beyond those associated with healthy births.

   As the American Journal of Public Health estimates, the cost under managed care for a year's dose of birth control pills is less than one-tenth of what it would cost for prenatal care and delivery.

   Whatever the reason, as an employer and model for the rest of the nation, the Federal Government should provide equal access to this most basic health benefit for women. The committee language would allow Federal employees to have that option.

   In closing, Mr. President, let me say that if we, as a nation, are truly committed to reducing abortion rates and increasing the quality of life for all Americans, then we need to begin focusing our attention on how to prevent unintended pregnancies. Retailing contraceptive coverage for Federal employees is a significant step in the right direction. I thank Chairman CAMPBELL for again including this important language.

   Mr. DOMENICI. Mr. President, I am pleased to rise today in support of the conference report accompanying H.R. 4516, the Legislative Branch and Treasury-general government appropriations bill for FY 2001.

   The pending conference agreement combines two of the 13 annual appropriations bills into one bill, which provides $34.9 billion in new budget authority and $30.9 billion in new outlays to fund the operations of the Legislative Branch, and the Executive Office of the President, and the agencies of the Department of the Treasury, including the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Customs Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the General Services Administration, and related agencies. When outlays from prior-year budget authority and other completed actions are taken into account the conference agreement totals $33.0 billion in BA and $32.5 billion in outlays for fiscal year 2001.

   The final bill is $145 million in BA and $145 million in outlays below the most recent section 302(b) allocation for these two subcommittees filed on September 20th.

   The final bill also has a revenue effect for two provisions--repeal of a provision in the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 that temporarily increases federal employee retirement contributions by 0.5 percent; and repeal of the telephone tax enacted in the late 1800's to help finance the Spanish-American War. A loss of revenue totaling approximately

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$4.8 billion is estimated for fiscal year 2001, and additional amounts in the outyears.

   I commend the subcommittee chairman and ranking members for bringing this important measure to the floor. I urge the adoption of the bill and ask for unanimous consent that the Budget Committee scoring of the bill be printed in the RECORD at this point.

   There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the RECORD, as follows:

[Fiscal year 2001, $ millions]
  General purpose   Mandatory   Total 
Conference Report\1\:  
Budget authority   18,161   14,805   32,966  
Outlays   17,683   14,810   32,493  
Senate 302(b) allocation:  
Budget authority   18,306   14,805   33,111  
Outlays   17,828   14,810   32,638  
2000 level:  
Budget authority   16,210   14,479   30,689  
Outlays   16,679   14,488   31,167  
President's request  
Budget authority   19,057   14,805   33,862  
Outlays   17,951   14,810   32,761  
House-passed bill:  
Budget authority   16,886   14,805   31,691  
Outlays   17,201   14,810   32,011  
Conference report compared to:  
Senate 302(b) allocation:  
Budget authority   -145     -145  
Outlays   -145     -145  
2000 level:  
Budget authority   1,951   326   2,277  
Outlays   1,004   322   1,326  
President's request  
Budget authority   -896     -896  
Outlays   -268     -268  
House-passed bill:  
Budget authority   1,275     1,275  
Outlays   482     482

\1\ Also reflects conference report on Treasury-General Government Appropriations. Conference report also includes repeal of federal communications excise tax, which results in a revenue loss of $4.328 billion in 2001, and a repeal of federal employee retirement contribution, which results in a revenue loss of $460 million in 2001. Neither revenue effect is reflected in the discretionary scoring of this bill, and count on the PAYGO scorecard instead.

Note: Details may not add to totals due to rounding. Totals adjusted for consistency with scorekeeping conventions.

   Mr. BENNETT. Mr. President, am I correct in my assumption that the previous order calls for a vote now on the conference report?

   The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator is correct.

   Mr. BENNETT. Have the yeas and nays been ordered?


   Mr. BENNETT. Mr. President, I ask for the yeas and nays on the conference report.

   The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?

   There is a sufficient second.

   The question is on agreeing to the conference report. The clerk will call the roll.

   The legislative clerk called the roll.

   Mr. REID. I announce that the Senator from Hawaii (Mr. AKAKA), the Senator from California (Mrs. FEINSTEIN), and the Senator from Connecticut (Mr. LIEBERMAN) are necessarily absent.

   The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber desiring to vote?

   The result was announced--yeas 28, nays 69, as follows:

[Rollcall Vote No. 253 Leg.]

























   Smith (OR)


















   Chafee, L.















































   Smith (NH)













   The conference report was not agreed to.

   Mr. STEVENS. Mr. President, I enter a motion to reconsider the vote by which the conference report was defeated.

   The PRESIDING OFFICER. The motion is so entered.

   Mr. STEVENS. I suggest the absence of a quorum.

   The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.

   The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.

   Mr. GRAHAM. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded.

   The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

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