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D.C. budget remains stalled in Congress

(Published November 1, 1999)

The D.C. budget seemed headed for another date with the veto stamp at press time, after Congress attached the labor and human services funding bill to it which the presidentís advisers have urged him to reject.

The House of Representatives passed the bill 218-211 Oct. 28 and the Senate was expected to vote on the measure the first week in November. However the bill is almost certainly doomed to be vetoed for a second time by President Bill Clinton because of a 1 percent spending cut Republicans factored into the bill.

Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., criticized Republicans, saying they used the D.C. budget bill as a "mule" to carry the doomed labor and human services bill to the White House for a veto.

House Speaker Trent Lott, R-Miss., warned the D.C. budget could face further cuts if it is vetoed again and specifically threatened to remove money earmarked for the mayorís discretionary uses.

Norton said she could accept the D.C. budget bill in its current form, if she has to, but she particularly noted the provision allowing cell towers to be erected in Rock Creek Park remains in the bill over her strenuous objections. Several other objectionable riders have been altered.

In the meantime, the D.C. government continues to operate under temporary spending legislation that allows it to stay open at last yearís spending levels.

Copyright 1999, The Common Denominator