CHN: Congress Passes Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Bill
Articles from December 20, 2001
- Congress Passes Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Bill
The House approved the conference report for the fiscal year 2002 Labor-Health and Human Services-Education spending bill (HR 3061) on a 393-30 vote Wednesday, and the Senate followed suit Thursday morning with a 90-7 vote. The conference report does not include the hotly debated mental health parity provision pushed by Sens. Pete Domenici (R-NM) and Paul Wellstone (D-MN) that would have expanded insurance coverage for mental illness to be at the same level as coverage for physical illness. The education appropriation of $22 billion falls $4.5 billion short of the level asked for in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (HR 1) passed earlier this week. A provision that would allow states to transfer up to 10 percent of their TANF block grant into SSBG was also included in the final bill.
- House and Senate Pass Education Overhaul Bill
On Tuesday, December 18, the Senate passed massive education overhaul legislation (HR 1), which will now be sent to the President to be signed into law. The House adopted the conference report by an overwhelming vote of 381-41 on December 13. The passage of the conference report comes after months of contentious debate about the contents of the overhaul package. Most recently, the measure stalled in conference due to differences in special education funding.
Farm Bill Stalled On Senate Floor, Food Stamp Reauthorization To Wait Until Next Year
On Wednesday, December 19, the Senate failed for the third time to cut off debate on the Farm Bill (S 1731) and move towards a vote on the measure. The cloture vote of 54-43 did not give Democrats the needed 60 votes to limit debate to 30 hours and kill all non-germane amendments. Earlier in the week, the Senate voted on several amendments that would have altered the committee-passed bill. On December 11, Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) offered an amendment to increase funding for the nutrition title from $6.2 to $10 billion, while Sen. Tim Hutchison offered an amendment to substitute the House Farm Bill (HR 2646) for the committee bill. Both amendments were tabled. Due to the failure of the three cloture votes, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) has decided to pull the Farm Bill for the year. The Senate is expected to adjourn later this week and return to Washington in late January.