Congress and the Nation, 1993-1996, Vol. IX: The 103rd and 104th Congresses

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    Appendix

    1993 Key Votes

    Senate
    1. Budget Resolution

    The Senate vote on President Clinton's fiscal 1994 budget blueprint in March exemplified two themes that would reappear again and again in the battle over tax and spending issues in 1993. First, Democrats evinced deep unease about voting for many of Clinton's economic proposals, particularly the tax increases that formed the core of his plan to reduce the deficit. Second, at crucial moments, Democrats put aside their fears and backed Clinton, saving his plan from imminent defeat.

    The Senate version of the budget resolution (H Con Res 64) embodied a slightly modified version of Clinton's $1.5 trillion budget. Because the budget resolution set in motion the so-called reconciliation process, in which various committees drafted contributions to a bill putting tax increases and spending cuts into law, it provided the initial test of the Senate's willingness to follow the president's economic plan.

    The budget resolution passed the Senate on March 25 on an almost strictly party-line vote of 54-45: R 0-43; D 54-2 (ND 41-0, SD 13-2).

    The only two Democrats to vote against it were Bob Krueger of Texas, who was defeated in a special election May 1, and Richard C. Shelby of Alabama, who opposed Clinton's economic plan at every stage.

    Throughout the six-day floor debate on the budget resolution, Democrats appeared sorely tempted to abandon key elements of Clinton's plan. Republicans crafted amendment after amendment to put them on the spot. But the Democrats stuck together and voted down amendments that, for example, would have stripped out a tax increase imposed on better-off Social Security beneficiaries, would have knocked out Clinton's proposed spending and tax increases and would have restored money that Clinton wanted to cut from defense.

    The resolution did reflect an important shift in fiscal policy. It laid out a goal of cutting the deficit by more than $500 billion over five years, somewhat more than had been suggested by Clinton. It proposed net new taxes of $295 billion and net spending cuts of slightly more than $200 billion. All these figures would be adjusted as the budget moved through Congress, but the basic thrust of the plan would remain intact.

    Keeping nervous Democrats in line required enormous lobbying pressure from Democratic leaders and from the president himself. Clinton and the leadership were able to succeed partly by appealing to lawmakers to give the president's program a chance. But many Democrats also knew that the specific tax and spending decisions would be made later in the year on the budget-reconciliation bill (HR 2264).

    The vote on the budget resolution overstated the level of support among Democrats for the specifics of Clinton's program. Later in the summer, many of the same Democrats who voted for the budget gave the administration fits and forced revisions to key elements of the program. In particular, a proposed energy tax based on the heat content of fuels was dropped, and additional spending cuts were substituted for it.

    Throughout the debate on the budget resolution, Republicans remained on the outside. Every GOP effort to make a substantive change in the blueprint was voted down. Not a single Republican voted for the Clinton plan, nor would any for the rest of the year.

    2. Economic Stimulus

    Senate Republicans in April killed President Clinton's first piece of fiscal legislation—an economic stimulus package—refusing to accept a multibillion-dollar increase in the deficit in exchange for several hundred thousand temporary jobs.

    The bill's Democratic sponsors had the 50 votes needed to pass the bill but not the 60 needed to limit debate. The fourth and final attempt to end a GOP filibuster came April 21, after Clinton had agreed to cut 25 percent from the bill's spending in the hope of attracting a few Republican votes. The motion to invoke cloture failed, however, by a vote of 56-43: R 0-42; D 56-1 (ND 42-0, SD 14-1).

    Billed as one of the three cornerstones of Clinton's economic program, the stimulus package took the form of a $16.3 billion supplemental appropriations bill for fiscal 1993 (HR 1335). It was a blend of diverse elements: public works projects to create jobs and spur economic development, summer jobs for youths and unskilled laborers, social programs for the poor and high-technology purchases for the federal government.

    The White House had pushed the bill through the House without changes and tried to do the same in the Senate. The first hurdle it encountered was a trio of dissident Democrats—David L. Boren of Oklahoma, John B. Breaux of Louisiana and Richard H. Bryan of Nevada. Saying that the public wanted spending cuts, not increases, the trio wanted to postpone much of the spending in the bill until after Congress adopted a deficit-cutting budget-reconciliation bill.

    When the stimulus package reached the Senate floor March 25, its manager, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert c. Byrd, D-W.Va., set up a parliamentary obstacle course to stop the dissident Democrats. He offered two slightly different versions of Clinton's entire stimulus package as substitute amendments, setting up an “amendment tree” that could wipe out any other amendments adopted by the Senate. The tactic bought time for Byrd, allowing the White House to negotiate a compromise with Boren, Breaux and Bryan. It also provoked an angry response from Republicans, even after Byrd dismantled his amendment tree.

    After failing in several attempts to cut the bill, Republicans released a letter March 31 announcing their willingness to filibuster unless changes were made in HR 1335. The Democrats clamped down further, taking control of the Senate floor and allowing no amendments to be offered. Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell, D-Maine, threatened to delay the two-week Senate recess that was scheduled to begin April 5 until the stimulus package passed. But Republicans held their ground, voting as a bloc against motions to limit debate on April 2, April 3 and April 5. With Democrat Richard C. Shelby of Alabama joining the Republicans, the bill's sponsors fell at least five votes short of cloture each time.

    The Senate then recessed for two weeks, and Clinton signaled his willingness to compromise. His proposed 25 percent cut, however, did not meet the basic Republican demand: any spending beyond the $4 billion for extended unemployment benefits had to be offset with cuts in other programs. Although a handful of Republican moderates said they were interested in compromising, none voted for cloture April 21.

    Mitchell offered to trim the bill to $12.9 billion in appropriations and trust-fund spending, with $5 billion in offsetting cuts. Minority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., rejected that proposal, and Mitchell refused Dole's counteroffer of a $6.55 billion package with $2.55 billion in offsetting cuts.

    By voice vote, the Senate then agreed to strip the bill down to one provision—a $4 billion emergency appropriation for extended unemployment benefits. The truncated measure quickly passed, and Clinton signed it into law April 23 (PL 103-24). (House key vote 3)

    3. Campaign Finance

    For three years in a row—from 1990 through 1992—the Senate approved campaign finance legislation that would have provided substantial public funding to candidates who agreed to comply with spending limits. But in 1993 Democrats could not break a Republican-led filibuster until they stripped out all public funding.

    While concern over the deficit was a key factor, another was the occupant of the White House. Republicans had not tried to filibuster those previous bills because they knew that then-president George Bush would veto them. President Clinton, on the other hand, had promised to sign a bill.

    Democrats had long argued that the way to reform the campaign finance system was to limit spending, which they said would keep incumbents from winning on the strength of their fundraising advantages. The only way limits could be imposed within the confines of the Supreme Court's 1976 decision in Buckley v. Valeo was to make them voluntary and encourage compliance by offering partial public financing.

    Republicans, on the other hand, objected to spending caps, which they said would prevent challengers from being as visible as incumbents. They also objected to asking taxpayers to foot even part of the bill for congressional campaigns.

    After two cloture votes failed on largely party lines to end the 1993 filibuster, Democrats agreed to a demand by five key Republicans that public funding be eliminated and replaced with a new 34 percent tax on contributions to candidates who rejected spending limits.

    The tax amendment, offered by Sen. Dave Durenberger, R-Minn., passed on a 52-47 vote June 16, with 47 Democrats in support. Though many said the tax would not pass constitutional muster—they argued that it was a tax on speech—the absence of public funding paved the way for a 62-37 vote to shut off debate hours later.

    The bill as passed by the Senate set spending limits ranging from $8.25 million for a candidate in California to $2 million for those in small states. It banned political action committee contributions, prohibited groups that lobbied Congress from bundling individual contributions to a candidate and restricted the use of money raised outside federal guidelines in federal elections.

    With the exception that it lacked public funding, the bill essentially modeled a plan endorsed by Clinton on May 7. The Senate passed the bill on June 17 by a vote of 60-38: R 7-35; D 53-3 (ND 42-0; SD 11-3). (House key vote 15)

    4. Budget-Reconciliation

    It was the closest Senate vote in six years, and President Clinton came perilously close to seeing his entire economic plan go down to defeat at the hands of rebellious Democrats. But in the end, he won passage of the budget-reconciliation bill (HR 2264—PL 103-66) that was designed to put a reworked version of his plan into law.

    The bill passed only with the intervention of Vice President Al Gore, who cast the tie-breaking vote shortly after 3 a.m. June 25. The vote was 50-49: R 0-43; D 49-6 (ND 38-3, SD 11-3).

    Clinton's heavy reliance on tax increases to reduce the deficit was initially the cause of the division among Senate Democrats. Conservative Democrats, many of them from energy producing states, balked at his proposal for an energy tax, based on the heat content of fuels. They wanted more emphasis on spending cuts, and when the bill came over from the House, some were determined to kill the energy tax, even if it meant bringing down the entire package. (House key vote 6)

    The leading Democratic opponent was David L. Boren of Oklahoma, who had initially praised the Clinton plan but later became a vocal critic. In the weeks leading up to the Senate vote, Clinton had to rewrite key elements of his plan. But every attempt to produce a formula satisfactory to the conservatives caused problems with other party factions.

    Deeper spending cuts drew protests from liberal senators, who wanted to defend programs for the poor and elderly. Pro-business moderates were upset that costly business tax breaks were to be scaled back to pay for a smaller energy tax.

    Each group was able to exercise a sort of veto power over the deal because of Clinton's strategy to rely entirely on Democratic votes to pass his program. It was a strategy born partly of necessity, partly of choice. Republican leaders worked hard to keep their rank and file unified in opposition to Clinton's plan. The White House had almost no opportunity to seek a bipartisan coalition in support of its economic program.

    At the same time, the White House and Senate Democratic leaders made little effort to attract moderate Republicans, some of whom said they would have supported tax increases if the administration had been willing to make a more serious attempt at cutting spending in entitlement programs, such as Social Security and Medicare.

    The upshot was that Clinton's plan had to rise or fall with the Democrats alone. Democrats escaped this quagmire with a laboriously crafted compromise that junked Clinton's energy tax and replaced it with an increase in federal excise taxes on gasoline and other transportation fuels. Liberals had to accept deeper cuts in Medicare, but they managed to limit the damage. And the moderates won a commitment from Clinton to fight for business tax breaks when the final version of the bill was written in conference with the House.

    When the bargaining was over, the broad outlines of Clinton's package looked roughly the same. But many key details had been changed. Even then, when the bill went to the floor, there was plenty of doubt whether Democrats could energize their majority, put aside their worries about voting for tax increases and pass their president's plan.

    When the roll was called, the Democrats lost six of their own, two of whom were up for reelection in 1994: Richard H. Bryan of Nevada and Frank R. Lautenberg of New Jersey. A third opponent, Dennis DeConcini of Arizona, later announced that he would not run for reelection the next year. Three Southern conservatives—J. Bennett Johnston of Louisiana, Sam Nunn of Georgia and Richard C. Shelby of Alabama—also voted no. Every Republican was opposed.

    Two senators were absent: Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Arlen Specter, R-Pa. With 49 votes for the plan and 49 against, Gore had to break the tie.

    Although the victory had Pyrrhic overtones, Clinton had accomplished something that had looked nearly impossible in the weeks before the vote. He had kept a recognizable version of his plan alive when it seemed headed for certain death in the Senate. And he set up a party-defining showdown for the Democrats later in the summer, when House and Senate leaders would sit down to write the final version of the bill. The conference agreement on HR 2264 ultimately was adopted by a 51-50 vote that reprised the June test, including Gore's tie-breaker.

    5. National Service

    President Clinton must never have believed it would be so difficult to enact his plan to create a National Service corps for young people to earn financial credit toward their postsecondary education in return of their contribution of community service. At stops across the country during the 1992 presidential campaign, he received more applause for mentioning National Service than for almost any other initiative.

    But the feel-good program of the campaign turned into a gridlocked program in the Senate. It went through a series of revisions, compromises and delays before the Senate ultimately passed the National Service bill (HR 2010) on Aug. 3 by 58-41: R 7-37; D 51-4 (ND 38-3, SD 13-1).

    Passage came only after a threatened Republican filibuster knocked the bill off the floor the week before, when Democrats scrambled—but failed—to come up with 60 votes to invoke cloture, stop Republican delaying tactics and bring the measure to a vote. Democrats had united in their attempts to stop the filibuster, but they failed by one vote July 29 to muster the necessary 60-vote majority. Four Democrats later voted against final passage: Robert c. Byrd of West Virginia, Ernest F. Hollings of South Carolina and Jim Exon and Bob Kerrey of Nebraska.

    Democratic sponsors broke the impasse by scaling back the measure to a three-year program with specified cost ceilings each year. That lured enough Republican support that a second cloture vote proved unnecessary. The cost ceilings of $300 million in fiscal 1994, $500 million in fiscal 1995 and $700 million in fiscal 1996 were projected to reduce the maximum number of service workers to about 100,000 from an earlier estimate of 150,000. Nonetheless, Clinton proclaimed victory despite enactment of a bobtailed version of his campaign promise.

    Once over the initial Senate hurdle, a conference compromise was quickly worked out that had no trouble winning adoption in the House or Senate, though final action in the Senate was delayed by the August congressional recess.

    As enacted, the National Service program was designed to give awards of as much as $4,725 a year for no more than two years to individuals age 17 or older who performed community service before, during, or after their postsecondary education. Local programs were to offer stipends to participants of as much as $7,400 a year, with the federal government providing 85 percent of the stipend. The federal government was to provide up to 85 percent of the cost of health-care and child-care benefits.

    Nonprofit organizations, including institutions of higher education, local governments, school districts and state or federal agencies, were to run the individual programs. Young people would work in such positions as nurses' aides in hospitals or helpers in police departments, or in environmental jobs in national parks.

    6. Supreme Court Nomination

    The announced retirement of Supreme Court Justice Byron R. White in March gave the Democrats their first opportunity in 26 years to fill a Supreme Court vacancy. However, President Clinton's choice of U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg did not reflect a desire to begin reshaping a court that had been molded by Republican presidents. Instead, Clinton chose a noncontroversial and well-respected centrist, acceptable to most parts of the political spectrum.

    Concerned about the public perception that his presidency was drifting toward the left, Clinton made it clear from the outset that he was inclined to pick a centrist judge. He was still smarting from his recent withdrawal of Justice Department nominees Zoé Baird and Lani Guinier. Baird, nominated for attorney general, withdrew following disclosures that she had hired two illegal immigrants as domestic workers and failed to pay Social Security taxes on them. Guinier, nominated to head Justice's civil rights division, ran into ideological problems, particularly regarding writings on such issues as voting rights that suggested to many that she was too far to the left.

    The president's choice of Ginsburg came only after he conducted a long and very public search, eventually passing over two touted finalists—Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt and U.S. Appeals Court Judge Stephen G. Breyer.

    Ginsburg, only the second woman to be nominated to the high court, seemed an ideal candidate. Considered a liberal on civil rights issues and somewhat conservative on criminal and business law, she was generally perceived as a political moderate. In addition, Ginsburg had impressive professional credentials and a solid reputation for personal integrity. A potential snag—her criticism of the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nationwide—dissipated as a threat to her nomination after she publicly reiterated her support for abortion rights.

    After four days of low-key testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in late July, the Senate confirmed Ginsburg on Aug. 3, 96-3: R 41-3; D 55-0 (ND 41-0, SD 14-0).

    The Senate's overwhelming support for Clinton's choice reflected not only Ginsburg's qualities as a candidate but also the president's decision to consult with key senators during the selection process. This was a break with the recent past, when Republican presidents and the Democratic-controlled Senate often squared off over high court nominations. Ginsburg's confirmation proceeded at a relatively fast pace, with the Senate vote coming a little more than seven weeks after her nomination—roughly half the time it took to confirm Clarence Thomas in 1991. Still, the process was not as speedy as it once was. White, for example, nominated by President John F. Kennedy in 1962, was confirmed within 12 days.

    7. Gays in the Military

    President Clinton's image and his relations with Congress during the first months of his administration were colored by a dispute over his campaign promise to eliminate the military's ban on homosexuals.

    The first major party presidential nominee to openly seek gay support, Clinton had pledged months before he secured the Democratic nomination that he would lift the long-standing ban on gay and lesbian service members. Though Clinton repeated the promise several times during the campaign, it never became a focal point of the Democratic message, and George Bush's campaign did little to highlight it.

    The issue leapt into prominence almost immediately after the election, in part because it was one of the few controversial campaign pledges that Clinton did not either recant or turn over to a committee for study. The issue also rekindled the campaign debate over whether Clinton's avoidance of the draft during the Vietnam War demonstrated a fundamental antipathy toward the U.S. military.

    The vast majority of senior military personnel, including Gen. Colin L. Powell Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, vehemently opposed Clinton's pledge. Clinton's military critics, who maintained that abolition of the gay ban would undermine cohesion within combat units, were supported by many conservative members of Congress, particularly Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sam Nunn, D-Ga.

    After an uproar that lasted for months and under the threat of being reversed by Congress, Clinton backed down and ordered only minor changes in the ban. The new policy banned homosexual conduct, and its definition of “conduct” included a service member's private disclosure to a friend of his or her homosexual orientation.

    However, under the new policy, recruits no longer would be asked if they were gay. Moreover, investigations of suspected homosexuals could be initiated only by a senior officer acting on the basis of credible information.

    The Senate Armed Services Committee declined to let the issue rest, adding language to the defense authorization bill that sealed the military's gay ban into law. In addition, the committee included in the bill strongly worded findings that homosexuality posed “an unacceptable risk” to morale, order and discipline in the armed forces. These findings were intended to buttress the new policy against anticipated court challenges.

    In a key vote during debate on the fiscal 1994 defense authorization bill (S 1298), opponents of the gay ban attempted on Sept. 9 to remove from the bill all language on the issue and to explicitly cede the subject to the president. But that amendment, by Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., was rejected 33-63: R 3-38; D 30-25 (ND 29-12; SD 1-13). (House key vote 8)

    8. Strategic Defense

    The Clinton administration renamed the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), endorsed a less ambitious focus for the antimissile defense program and dramatically reduced its projected funding. But the rechristened Ballistic Missile Defense program was not scaled back enough for the Senate. For the second year in a row, the Senate demonstrated its willingness to cut more money from the budget for antimissile defenses than was requested by the Pentagon or recommended by the Senate Armed Services Committee.

    The Senate's action in 1993 reduced funding for the Ballistic Missile Defense program to $2.8 billion, significantly less than the average annual budget of $3.6 billion that Defense Secretary Les Aspin had outlined for the Clinton administration's approach to antimissile defense. President Clinton had eliminated the budget increases that President George Bush had planned for the program, requesting $3.8 billion—including $121 million for procurement—instead of the $6.3 billion that Bush had projected for fiscal 1994.

    Clinton also reshaped the antimissile work along lines mandated by Congress in 1991, placing more emphasis on early deployment of ground-based defenses against attacks by a small number of intercontinental-range ballistic missiles or shorter-range “theater” missiles. It was a far less ambitious approach than that of President Ronald Reagan, who founded SDI in 1983 with a vision of rendering nuclear missiles “impotent and obsolete.” The program's original goal was to deploy a shield of antimissile defenses that could make the United States impregnable to an all-out attack by the Soviet Union.

    In drafting the fiscal 1994 defense authorization bill (HR 2401), the Armed Services Committee shifted part of the antimissile defense request—$253 million sought for the Brilliant Eyes missile detection satellite—to another account, then approved $3.2 billion for the remaining projects.

    In a key vote on the defense authorization bill, the Senate on Sept. 9 approved an amendment by Jim Sasser, D-Tenn., to cut the Ballistic Missile Defense program to $2.8 billion, not including the separate funding for Brilliant Eyes. The amendment was adopted 50-48: R 6-36; D 44-12 (ND 36-6; SD 8-6).

    Advocates of the cut argued that the antimissile program was still spending too much on “global” defenses that were relics of the Cold War nuclear competition with Moscow. Arguing the case on fiscal grounds, Sasser, chairman of the Budget Committee, said the biggest threat to U.S. national security was no longer ballistic missiles but a federal budget deficit that “threatens the very survival of our nation.”

    Opposing the cut, Howell Heflin, D-Ala., argued that even though the Soviet Union was gone, “we are still without any means of defending against attacks from hostile and possibly irrational Third World leaders.”

    Two staunch backers of the antimissile program, Republicans Malcolm Wallop, Wyo., and Frank H. Murkowski, Alaska, did not vote.

    The Senate's action essentially settled the funding issue because the version of the bill crafted by the House Armed Services Committee and passed by the House authorized roughly the same amount.

    In 1992, Senate Armed Services recommended $4.3 billion for the program for fiscal 1993. But the Senate on a procedural vote in effect endorsed an amendment by Sasser and Dale Bumpers, D-Ark., that would have cut the program by an additional $1 billion. Action on the defense bill was stalled for weeks of negotiations. Eventually, the Senate compromised on $3.8 billion for SDI in fiscal 1993, the level that Clinton requested for fiscal 1994.

    9. Grazing Fees

    Working against an unyielding phalanx of Western senators, the Clinton administration tried and failed in 1993 to initiate a plan to more than double grazing fees and impose tough environmental standards on publicly held rangeland. It was a major setback for President Clinton and his Interior secretary, Bruce Babbitt, who kicked off the year proposing to overhaul all public lands policies.

    Members of Congress had tried since 1976 to force Western ranchers to pay market prices for leasing federal lands, most of which were in the West. The existing grazing fee rate, based on a formula established by a 1985 executive order by then-president Ronald Reagan, was $1.86 per “animal unit month”—enough forage to feed one cow and calf, five sheep or one horse for a month. That was about one-fifth the amount charged on private lands, although ranchers contended that it did not account for the costs of fences, stock ponds and other amenities that those who used commercial rangeland did not have to pay.

    Another concern was the damage done by grazing. On many public lands, lush rangeland had turned to stubble and once-verdant areas near streams were nearly gone.

    Nevertheless, Western senators fiercely opposed Clinton's proposals on grazing. At stake were the livelihoods of 27,000 ranchers—a fraction of the nation's ranchers but a politically potent force on an issue that had all the makings of a broader showdown on Western land policies for timber, mining and agriculture.

    Malcolm Wallop of Wyoming, the ranking Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, set the tone early by pushing an amendment to Clinton's budget that would have cut out nearly all the proposed increases. While the amendment was killed, 59-40, on March 23 on a tabling motion by Budget Committee Chairman Jim Sasser, D-Tenn., Western opponents to overhauling public land policy made it clear that they would fight any attempt to impose new burdens on ranchers, miners and farmers.

    A week later, Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., led a small band of Western senators to lobby Clinton to reverse his budget proposals. To their surprise and to the chagrin of environmentalists, Clinton decided to back off on all the fee increases.

    For the most part, the move left the proponents of overhauling public land policy looking to Congress to update such laws as the 1872 Mining Law. Still, on grazing, Babbitt had the administrative authority to increase fees without congressional approval.

    Babbitt took a step in that direction Aug. 9, saying he would gradually raise grazing fees over three years to $4.28 per animal unit month. But Babbitt angered Western lawmakers and the cattle industry by also proposing an overhaul of rangeland management policies by tying the duration of a grazing permit to a rancher's environmental stewardship record.

    On Sept. 14, during Senate debate on the fiscal 1994 appropriations bill for the Interior Department (HR 2520), Western senators argued that Babbitt's proposals were too sweeping to be implemented by executive order. Led by Pete V. Domenici, R-N.M., and Harry Reid, D-Nev., the Western senators pushed through an amendment to prohibit Babbitt from implementing the grazing package during fiscal 1994. All but three senators from Western, Rocky Mountain or Plains states voted in favor of the one-year moratorium. Even some Easterners who supported grazing fee increases voted with Domenici and Reid, who prevailed 59-40: R 38-5; D 21-35 (ND 14-28, SD 7-7).

    The vote demonstrated the unique balance of power in the Senate and the unusual voting allegiances it created. A contentious battle over the entire Interior spending bill ensued. Reid immediately began working on a compromise and crafted an amendment that would only increase grazing fees moderately while codifying some of Babbitt's land management proposals.

    House negotiators easily approved Reid's amendment in conference committee, while Senate conferees split on a party-line vote. The full House on Oct. 20 affirmed the compromise, 317-106, but it got no further. Using the Senate's unlimited debate rules, 40 Republicans and 5 Democrats from Western, Rocky Mountain and Plains states kept the Interior bill in a procedural stranglehold for three weeks.

    During that time, Democratic sponsors of the grazing fee increase failed three times to cut off the filibuster, so Reid finally agreed on Nov. 9 to withdraw his compromise. In exchange, Domenici dropped the one-year moratorium, ended the filibuster and cleared the way for final passage of the fiscal 1994 Interior spending bill.

    Both sides claimed victory. Babbitt retained the power to impose grazing fee increases but acknowledged that, as a result of the Senate's intransigence, he would proceed with extra deliberation and consultation with Western interests before doing so.

    10. Ex-Soviet Aid

    Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., said it was “a real roll of the dice” to bring the fiscal 1994 foreign operations appropriations bill to the Senate floor while Russia was teetering on the brink of political collapse.

    The Senate began consideration of the measure (HR 2295)—which included $2.5 billion in aid for Russia and its neighbors—on Sept. 22, just one day after Russian president Boris N. Yeltsin had thrown his nation into turmoil by disbanding Parliament.

    With Yeltsin locked in a test of wills with his hard-line political rivals, Leahy feared that senators would be reluctant to vote for the massive aid package.

    The gamble paid off. The Senate overwhelmingly backed the legislation, handing President Clinton a foreign policy triumph. Clinton had urged the Senate to send a signal of support to the Russian leader.

    In a key vote Sept. 23, the Senate approved the foreign operations bill, 88-10: R 36-7; D 52-3 (ND 40-2, SD 12-1).

    Leahy, who chaired the Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, really had no choice but to press for quick Senate action. The bill's unusual funding formula had created a tight timetable. Of the $2.5 billion in aid for the former Soviet Union, $1.6 billion was in the form of a supplemental appropriation for fiscal 1993.

    That money—drawn from unexpended balances of defense and foreign aid funds—would have become unavailable on Sept. 30, the last day of the fiscal year.

    Lawmakers ended up acting in time to fully fund the administration's request. Congress cleared the foreign operations bill Sept. 30, and Clinton signed it into law the same day.

    Surprisingly, Russia's political chaos was barely mentioned during the Senate debate. The Senate adopted a host of conditions that reflected concerns over various policies being pursued by Moscow, but none were regarded as “killer” amendments that would have prevented disbursement of the aid.

    Senators seemed generally content to follow Clinton's lead in backing Yeltsin. After the vote, Leahy told reporters that the Senate's virtual silence on the issue should be read as support for the administration's policy. After all, he said, any senator could have held up the bill.

    No one was more pleased by the outcome than Strobe Talbott, the ambassador-at-large for the former Soviet Union. Talbott had been criticized by Leahy and other senators for not adequately consulting with Congress on the massive aid program for the former Soviet republics.

    “It's a big victory for American foreign policy,” Talbott said after the vote. “It would have been the worst possible signal to in any way pull back.”

    The administration and Congress remained committed to Yeltsin as a crisis in Moscow reached a bloody climax less than a week later. The standoff ended Oct. 4 as troops loyal to the Russian president launched a military assault on the Russian Parliament building, which had been occupied for two weeks by Yeltsin's opponents. (House key vote 4)

    11. Abortion

    From the beginning, Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md., had insisted that she had the votes to lift the long-running ban on using federal dollars to pay for most abortions for poor women.

    The House had been unable to kill the Hyde amendment, named after sponsor Henry J. Hyde, R-Ill. Instead, the House voted to relax slightly the restrictions on Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program for the poor, allowing it to pay for abortions only in cases of rape and incest, as well as when the woman's life was in danger, a long-standing exception.

    When the revised Hyde language came to the Senate as part of a spending bill (HR 2518) for the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, Mikulski persuaded the Senate Appropriations Committee to strike it. The committee's action would have allowed poor women to receive abortions under most circumstances—paid for by Medicaid.

    Mikulski and the four other female Democratic senators—all abortion rights supporters—believed they could maintain that position on the floor. The Senate had always been more liberal than the House when it came to abortions paid for by Medicaid. For the previous decade, the House had usually voted to restrict Medicaid from paying for abortions except when the life of the woman was in danger. In the Senate, members had usually voted to allow Medicaid to pay for abortions in cases of rape and incest as well. But in conference, the House had always prevailed.

    In 1993, female lawmakers in the Senate wanted to move beyond their usual position and drop all restrictions without any compromise. They worried that if they offered a compromise and lost, it would hurt attempts to insure abortion in President Clinton's universal health-care plan.

    Mikulski's calculation proved way off the mark. On Sept. 28, when abortion opponents forced a vote on the Appropriations Committee proposal to strike the Hyde language from the House-passed bill, the Senate voted it down, 40-59: R 6-38; D 34-21 (ND 31-11, SD 3-10).

    In the end, 21 Democrats sided with 38 Republicans to defeat the amendment. While some of those Democrats supported a woman's right to an abortion, they would not go so far as to allow taxpayers' funds to be used to pay for the procedure.

    The vote meant that the House language would stay in the bill, prohibiting Medicaid from paying for abortions except in cases of rape and incest and when the life of the woman was in danger. The vote also was a key test of clout for the five Democratic female senators, working together as a bloc. The large majority against federal funding suggested that future proposals—particularly on a health insurance reform bill affecting all women—would run into similar obstacles in the Senate.

    Abortion rights supporters fared better on another abortion-related bill to make it a federal crime to intimidate by force or threat of force a woman seeking to obtain an abortion, or abortion clinic workers. The Senate passed that bill (S 636—S Rept 103-117) on Nov. 16 by 69-30. But just as in the House, the clinic access debate turned more on the issue of free speech versus fear of terrorism, rather than on the fundamental question of abortion.

    In the end, both House and Senate were willing to go only so far to protect and ensure access to abortion services. (House key vote 5)

    12. Somalia/Peacekeeping

    Amid a growing controversy over the U.S. role in international peacekeeping missions, the Senate voted Oct. 15 to effectively cut off funding for participation by U.S. forces in the United Nations' Somalia operation after March 31, 1994. President Clinton already had agreed to that deadline, but only in the face of a growing threat that Congress might insist on an even earlier U.S. pullout.

    In February, when the mission still retained broad congressional support, the Senate by voice vote adopted S J Res 45, authorizing the initial phase of the humanitarian mission that had been launched in December 1992 by President George Bush. Most of the 20,000 U.S. troops initially deployed were withdrawn from Somalia by May 4, when the military mission was handed over to a multilateral U.N. force.

    Congressional approval for the U.S. commitment began to wane as troops loyal to Somali warlord Gen. Mohammed Farah Aidid began a relatively low-level but deadly campaign of harassment against U.S. and other U.N. forces in the Somali capital of Mogadishu.

    On Sept. 9, the Senate adopted 90-7 a nonbinding amendment by Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert c. Byrd, D-W.Va.—attached to the defense authorization bill (HR 2401, formerly S 1298)—urging Clinton to report to Congress by Oct. 15 on the objectives of the Somalia operation and to seek congressional approval if he wanted to continue the deployment beyond Nov. 15.

    The issue boiled over after 18 U.S. soldiers were killed Oct. 3 in a bloody battle with Aidid's forces as they tried to arrest several leaders of Aidid's clan. When the Appropriations panel marked up the defense appropriations bill (HR 3116) the following day, Byrd announced that he would force a Senate vote on an amendment to the bill intended to force an end to U.S. participation in the Somalia operation early in 1994.

    Majority Leader George J. Mitchell, D-Maine, Armed Services Committee Chairman Sam Nunn, D-Ga., and other Senate leaders negotiated with Byrd and with the White House to work out a compromise Somalia amendment, which the Senate added to the defense appropriations bill Oct. 15.

    The compromise measure endorsed Clinton's March 31 pullout date but cut off most U.S. funds after that. In a key vote Oct. 15, the Senate approved the compromise amendment, offered by Byrd, 76-23: R 24-20; D 52-3 (ND 38-3; SD 14-0).

    Aside from writing into law Clinton's acquiescence in congressional demands for a firm end point to the Somalia deployment, the Byrd amendment also was significant on several other levels. It highlighted the opposition of many Republicans to such multinational peacekeeping ventures, and it marked the first time since the Vietnam War that either chamber had voted to cut off funds for an ongoing overseas military operation.

    Before the Byrd amendment was adopted, the Senate first quashed an effort to mandate an earlier withdrawal date, voting 61-38 to table (kill) an amendment by John McCain, R-Ariz., to require a “prompt” withdrawal of U.S. forces.

    A week after the Somalia showdown, Clinton survived another confrontation with GOP critics, as the Senate defeated, 33-65, an amendment that would have required congressional approval before the president placed U.S. forces under foreign command.

    But deep dissatisfaction with Clinton's peacekeeping policies was underscored by passage of nonbinding resolutions urging the administration to come to Congress before dispatching troops on such missions, including to Haiti and Bosnia. (House key vote 11)

    13. Ethics Enforcement

    The Constitution gave each chamber of Congress the power to “punish its members for disorderly behavior.” After more than 200 years, however, the House and Senate could not shake the public perception that misbehavior was rampant on Capitol Hill, but punishment was not.

    When ABC News asked a sample of Americans in August about allegations that Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dan Rostenkowski, D-Ill., had embezzled cash from the House Post Office, 68 percent said that sort of activity represented “business as usual in Congress.”

    It was in this atmosphere of public distrust that the Senate confronted sexual harassment allegations against Bob Packwood, R-Ore., first revealed in the Washington Post in November 1992.

    Reconstituted with all new members in 1993, the Senate Ethics Committee toughened its image under its most prosecutorial-minded chairman in years, Richard H. Bryan, D-Nev. Within two weeks of being named, the panel barred questions about the Packwood accusers' sexual histories after hints that he might raise them in his defense, and it expanded its inquiry to include allegations that he tried to intimidate his accusers. Though accusers feared that the committee would limit its probe to the 11 women named by the Washington Post, it mailed letters to every woman who had ever worked for Packwood.

    After interviewing 150 witnesses, the committee in October prepared to wrap up the first phase of its inquiry so it could decide whether to hold public hearings. Its final task involved taking a deposition from Packwood.

    During his testimony, Packwood referred to his personal diaries. Despite concerns about the personal nature of such documents, the committee demanded to see them. It was the clearest signal yet of a tough new era. Packwood initially allowed the panel to review them and copy relevant passages. But he balked when committee aides requested passages raising questions about whether he traded official favors for job offers to his estranged wife when he was in divorce court trying to minimize his alimony. The committee subpoenaed the diaries and asked the Senate to go to court to enforce the demand. Embodied in a resolution (S Res 153), the request sparked a wrenching fight unlike any the Senate had seen in years.

    Packwood accused the committee of prying into the sexual lives of other lawmakers. Bryan accused Packwood of possible criminal acts. Members begged the two sides to compromise to avoid what one called “a floor debacle”—to no avail.

    For 15 hours on Nov. 1–2, with a majority of senators present most of the time, the Senate debated fine legal points and big constitutional issues. Bryan coolly stated the case against Packwood, who responded with insulted anger. Ethics members from both parties accused Packwood and his lawyers of bad faith. Freshman Democratic women insisted that the Senate take a hard line against sexual harassment by backing the committee.

    Packwood's few public defenders—Republicans Alan K. Simpson, Wyo, Arlen Specter, Pa., and John C. Danforth, Mo.—protested that his privacy rights were being trampled. The precedent, they said, would haunt all senators forever.

    For all the debate's complex facets, however, the mindset of the Senate was best framed by Ethics Committee Vice Chairman Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. “A lot of people—in the media, in the public—think that we can't handle the job of disciplining our fellow members and guarding the integrity of this institution,” he said. “The question before us today is really whether we are up to the job.”

    It was clear from the start that Packwood's only hope was to limit the scope of the subpoena. On the second day, he offered to turn over all entries related to the sexual charges and to the job offers; an independent examiner would make sure he turned over everything required.

    The committee refused the offer. Bryan said it would have required the examiner to ignore any other misdeeds that might be in the diaries. Nor would the examiner know for sure what was relevant. He insisted that the precedent set by the sweeping subpoena was limited because Packwood had introduced the diaries into the proceeding, and then let the committee peruse them and find other possible misdeeds that required further study.

    On Nov. 2, Simpson offered the pivotal amendment—to limit the subpoena to “relevant” entries. He argued that the discovery process in civil proceedings was limited to relevant evidence. The Ethics Committee countered that its proceeding was more akin to that of a grand jury, which had broad subpoena powers.

    In the end, the Senate decided that it could not risk the appearance that it treated its own more leniently than the government treated other citizens. The vote against Simpson's amendment, and the rebuke of Packwood, was overwhelming—23-77: R 22-22; D 1-55 (ND 1-41, SD 0-14). The Senate then approved the resolution to enforce the subpoena by 94-6.

    14. Crime Bill/Assault Weapons

    The annual Senate showdown over crime took an unusual turn in 1993 when key Republicans and Democrats struck a deal: Instead of fighting over whose approach to crime-fighting was more worthy, they stitched together a bill in early November that included enough money to make both sides happy. The result was a $22.3 billion measure (HR 3355) that included Republican prison proposals and Democratic rehabilitation efforts, as well as funds that both parties wanted for 100,000 new police officers.

    The two sides agreed that they could not agree on how to limit death penalty appeals, so they dealt with that Republican issue separately, quietly killing it for the year and probably for the 103rd Congress. They also dealt separately with the Democrats' so-called Brady bill (HR 1025—PL 103-159), a five-day waiting period for handguns, which made it to the president's desk.

    Only one thing stood in the way of the crime bill's final passage: the insistence of gun-control advocates, most of them Democrats, on a semiautomatic assault weapons ban. Though a narrow Senate majority had favored such a move since 1990, gun-control opponents might have been willing to filibuster the crime bill to death had it included a ban.

    Gun-control advocates decided to risk it. Backed by the Clinton administration, Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., crafted a compromise that was stricter than one successfully offered by Dennis DeConcini, D-Ariz., in 1990 and less strict than one advocated by the chamber's biggest antigun exponent, Howard M. Metzenbaum, D-Ohio. Feinstein's proposal banned the manufacture, sale and possession of 19 specific weapons, as well as so-called copycats and most ten-bullet-plus feeders. It explicitly exempted 650 named sporting and hunting guns and existing semiautomatic assault weapons.

    It really comes down to a question of blood or guts—the blood of innocent people or the Senate of the United States having the guts to do what we should do when we take that oath to protect the welfare of our citizens,
    Feinstein said, as she and other advocates recounted the horror of recent random attacks with assault weapons.

    Opponents reiterated their arguments—that toughening and enforcing existing criminal laws was the better solution; that relatively few crimes involved assault weapons; that knives and blunt objects killed more people than rifles; and that gun bans gave criminals an edge over law-abiding citizens seeking to protect themselves.

    Their most compelling argument did not involve the amendment's merits. “This particular amendment could cause us to lose this bill,” said Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah. Added Phil Gramm, R-Texas, “The fragile alliance we put together could be torn apart.”

    The threats proved empty after the Senate rejected a motion to kill the amendment on Nov. 9 by a 49-51 vote (with Ben Nighthorse Campbell, D-Colo., switching his 1991 House position to vote for the amendment at the last minute). It became clear that a filibuster would not materialize the next day, when the two parties late on Nov. 10 struck a deal to allow the amendment and the bill to come to a final vote. In the end, five Republicans who had voted to table Feinstein's amendment switched sides to vote for it, and the amendment carried on Nov. 17 by a comfortable margin, 56-43: R 10-34; D 46-9 (ND 38-3, SD 8-6).

    Whether the gun ban would survive into law was very much in doubt. The House, by 247-177, had voted against a ban in 1991. DeConcini said he would not be surprised if the same thing happened again. He had good reason to say so: The National Rifle Association (NRA) was quite influential in the House. The Senate bill contained many get-tough provisions that liberals abhorred; faced with a chance to scrap them, the Democrats might just be willing to dump the assault weapons ban.

    Then again, the Senate vote—cast in the throes of a tenuous compromise on the rest of the crime bill—demonstrated anew the mood in that chamber for gun control. Combined with the Brady bill vote to impose a waiting period on handgun purchases, the Senate once again put the NRA forces on the defensive.

    15. Handgun Control

    It took seven years of debate and a harrowing final week of political maneuvering, but the so-called Brady bill (HR 1025—PL 103-159) finally became law as Congress adjourned for the year. Public pressure for the well-known handgun waiting-period measure was instrumental in breaking an eleventh-hour legislative logjam and passing the first major gun control legislation since 1968.

    The bottleneck was in the Senate. The House had passed its version of the bill Nov. 10. Senate Republicans led a filibuster against the bill, which imposed a five-day waiting period for handgun purchases and led to a nationwide system of instant checks of criminal records to make sure guns were not sold to felons or other unqualified buyers. The bill was named after former White House press secretary James S. Brady, who was wounded during the 1981 assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan.

    Advocates said the measure would save lives by keeping guns away from some potential killers. But critics complained that it would simply inconvenience law-abiding gun owners while doing little or nothing to fight crime, and many on both sides described the bill as a modest measure that at best would make only a small dent in fighting crime.

    Throughout the week of Nov. 15, Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., had negotiated with Majority Leader George J. Mitchell, D-Maine, and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Joseph R. Biden Jr., D-Del., over how to proceed with the legislation. They eventually settled on a compromise version of the bill, to be voted on if supporters could muster the 60 votes for cloture needed to limit debate.

    When they failed on two cloture votes on Nov. 19, many observers declared the bill dead for the year. But the legislation had a huge following. Brady's wife, Sarah, expressed frustration at the prospect of letting the bill die for the year, as did President Clinton. So did the public. That unsettled some Republicans who had voted against cloture but did not want to be blamed for killing the bill.

    Their concerns sent Dole back into negotiations. He emerged with a version that was only superficially different from the legislation Republicans had filibustered the night before. Instead of ending the waiting period after five years, the new compromise called for a four-year sunset and gave the attorney general the authority to extend it into a fifth year.

    That version carried the Senate on Nov. 20, when more Republicans agreed to abandon the filibuster. The bill passed by 63-36: R 16-28; D 47-8 (ND 38-3, SD 9-5).

    Republicans who voted against cloture but for final passage were Christopher S. Bond, Mo.; Daniel R. Coats, Ind.; William S. Cohen, Maine; Kay Bailey Hutchison, Texas; Richard G. Lugar, Ind.; Bob Packwood, Ore.; and Strom Thurmond, S.C. Meanwhile, Democrat Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont voted for cloture then voted against the bill.

    More intrigue followed. During a raucous House-Senate negotiating session Nov. 22, Biden showed little interest in fighting for many aspects of the Senate version. Conferees essentially took the House bill intact. But while the House readily agreed to the conference version shortly after midnight, Dole balked in the Senate, accusing Democrats of abandoning the Senate's position.

    A tense period ensued, with Mitchell threatening to reconvene the Senate after Thanksgiving to consider cloture votes. But Republicans did not want to be blamed for bucking public opinion by thwarting the bill. Opponents agreed to let the bill go through the Senate by voice vote Nov. 24 on the condition that Congress consider revising the law in 1994. (House key vote 12)

    16. NAFTA Implementation

    When the Senate on Nov. 20 passed the bill (HR 3450) implementing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the controversial trade deal had cleared its last hurdle and a wrenching national debate about trade policy had come to an end.

    The outcome in the Senate was never in doubt, and the debate never reached the intensity it did in the House. That was because Republicans, who overwhelmingly supported the agreement, were proportionately more numerous in the Senate. Also, the body as a whole was less susceptible to the localized pressures for protection against foreign competition that nearly sank the trade deal in the House. (House key vote 13)

    The Senate vote was significant, nonetheless. It suggested that Clinton's victory on NAFTA in the House, achieved as it was through furious deal-cutting and bare-knuckles lobbying, was not an isolated event, owed exclusively to the persuasive powers of the president. The White House expended virtually no effort or time rounding up votes in the Senate. Yet NAFTA passed in that chamber by a comfortable margin, 61-38: R 34-10; D 27-28 (ND 18-23, SD 9-5).

    The Senate vote exhibited the same divisions that made NAFTA such a tough sell in the House. Clinton once again owed his victory more to opposition Republicans than to members of his own party; Southern Democrats, as in the House, were key, however.

    Senate NAFTA opponents included an unusual mix of liberals and conservatives. Many were from states that had suffered severe manufacturing job losses or had industries that expected fiercer competition as trade barriers with Mexico were removed. Conservatives opposed the agreement because they said it would create a multinational bureaucracy that would undermine U.S. sovereignty.

    More representative of the sentiment in the Senate was that expressed by Democrats Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts and Tom Harkin of Iowa. Both had close ties to organized labor but voted for the agreement because, they said, Mexico offered their states expanded export opportunities.

    House
    1. Family and Medical Leave

    In the end, it seemed almost too easy. Sixteen days after Bill Clinton was sworn into office as president, he signed into law the Family and Medical Leave Act. Congress's quick action belied the eight years and repeated rounds of negotiations that it took for the measure to be enacted.

    In signing the 1993 version of the bill (HR 1—PL 103-3) during a Feb. 5 Rose Garden ceremony, Clinton granted most workers the right to unpaid leave of up to 12 weeks for the birth or adoption of a child or for the illness of a close family member.

    It was Clinton's election, not a change in Congress, that allowed the measure to become law. Family leave was one of Clinton's top campaign issues. Vice President Al Gore spoke frequently during the campaign of how fortunate he was to be able to take time off from work in 1989 when his young son lay critically injured in the hospital after being hit by a car.

    President George Bush had vetoed bills similar to HR 1 in 1990 and 1992, saying he refused to place another government mandate on business.

    Bush's opposition notwithstanding, family leave bills had attracted bipartisan support in previous years. Republican Rep. Marge Roukema of New Jersey became a sponsor in 1990 after businesses with fewer than 50 employees were exempted. A bipartisan compromise in the Senate at the start of the 102nd Congress—brokered by Christopher J. Dodd, D-Conn., and Christopher S. Bond, R-Mo.—exempted key employees and made other changes. That change attracted the support of conservatives, such as Daniel R. Coats, R-Ind., who signed on to what they called a profamily bill.

    Despite the new compromises, only the Senate was able to muster the two-thirds majority needed to override Bush's 1992 veto. Though a strong majority of the House was in favor, supporters fell short of the votes needed to override the veto.

    With Clinton in the White House, that impediment was removed: There would be no veto and a simple majority would suffice. The House passed HR 1 on Feb. 3 by 265-163: R 40-134; D 224-29 (ND 162-8, SD 62-21); I 1-0.

    The Senate amended the measure the next day and passed it 71-27; the House then immediately cleared the Senate-passed version, 247-152.

    2. Budget Resolution

    The House provided the first big legislative test for Bill Clinton's presidency when it considered the fiscal 1994 budget on March 18.

    The Democratic majority gave the president a key victory and at the same time took full advantage of its opportunity to put an end to 12 years of Republican economic policy. The fiscal 1994 budget resolution (H Con Res 64) was adopted on a largely party-line vote of 243-183: R 0-172; D 242-11 (ND 164-6, SD 78-5); I 1-0.

    The budget blueprint called for nearly $500 billion in net deficit reduction over five years, almost evenly divided between spending cuts and tax increases. It closely followed Clinton's budget request, though it included $63 billion in spending cuts beyond what the president had proposed.

    The victory margin was comfortable in part because the vote was tied to others the same day on a second element of Clinton's economic package—a bill (HR 1335) to target spending increases as an aid to the nation's struggling economy. Nervous Democrats had insisted that it was politically important to adopt the budget before the stimulus bill, to give credence to their claim that they were cutting spending first.

    The budget resolution represented an important shift in fiscal policy. Its heavy reliance on tax increases, aimed primarily at upper-income taxpayers, and more than $140 billion in spending increases for favored domestic programs differentiated Clinton's budget from those offered by Republican presidents George Bush and Ronald Reagan.

    Its adoption was critical for several reasons. Though few of the recommendations built into the budget resolution were binding, it was the adoption of the resolution that forced Congress to consider a budget-reconciliation bill that actually cut spending and raised taxes to meet the deficit-reduction goals the resolution laid out. (Senate key vote 1)

    Moreover, though debate on the budget was partly symbolic, giving lawmakers a chance to inject broad themes into the multifaceted budget process, in 1993 that aspect took on added importance because the first Democrat in more than a decade had just taken office as president.

    Conservative Democrats, although not thrilled by the tax-heavy deficit-reduction plan, won modest concessions in the Budget Committee strengthening their support for it on the floor. House leaders added the $63 billion in further spending reductions to mollify lawmakers who claimed Clinton's plan did not go far enough.

    The support of conservatives solidified, Democrats used the floor debate to outmuscle and outvote the Republicans, who were limited to just two amendments to the plan, neither of which had a chance of adoption. A detailed package of spending cuts to replace Clinton's tax increases failed on a 135-295 vote. A second GOP amendment containing some tax increases was rejected even more soundly.

    Republicans would remain outside the budget debate for the rest of the year. But the Democrats would not have an easy time deciding among themselves how to carry out the broad recommendations of the budget resolution. They would spend the rest of the summer—and countless hours of negotiations—finishing the job.

    3. Economic Stimulus

    One of President Clinton's few early triumphs in Congress came shortly after midnight March 19, when the House approved his economic stimulus package by a vote of 235-190. The victory was sealed two hours earlier, though, when the House cast a key vote, approving a rule barring hostile amendments by a vote of 240-185: R 0-172; D 239-13 (ND 165-4, SD 74-9); I 1-0.

    Billed as one of the three cornerstones of Clinton's economic program, the stimulus package took the form of a $16.3 billion supplemental appropriations bill for fiscal 1993 (HR 1335). It was a blend of diverse elements: public works projects to create jobs and spur economic development, summer jobs for youths and unskilled laborers, social programs for the poor and high-technology purchases for the federal government.

    Republicans opposed the bill en masse, as they did Clinton's budget. Their main complaint was that all $16.3 billion would be treated as emergency spending—a designation that translated into a multibillion-dollar increase in the deficit. Many Democrats had qualms about the spending, too. To address some of the complaints, the White House and the House leadership accelerated the fiscal 1994 budget resolution so lawmakers could vote on future spending cuts before voting on current spending increases.

    The change in timing was not enough to satisfy conservative House Democrats. Led by Texan Charles W. Stenholm, they asked the administration to pare the stimulus package back to the elements that would create jobs quickly. When the administration declined, Stenholm readied an amendment that would have required spending cuts to offset at least $11 billion of the bill's proposed outlays.

    Republicans also prepared amendments to cut proposals that they ridiculed as “pork barrel” or frivolous spending. This included the proposed increases in spending on Community Development Block Grants, summer jobs for youths, a federal fish-mapping program and energy-efficiency grants to industry.

    Concerned that these amendments could attract a winning coalition of Republicans and dissident Democrats, the House Democratic leadership proposed a rule for floor debate allowing only one amendment to HR 1335. That amendment, which would make unspecified cuts in the bill, would be offered by House Appropriations Committee Chairman William H. Natcher, D-Ky., only if needed to shore up Democratic support for the bill.

    As conservative Democrats worked to defeat the rule, they were undercut by their own success in trimming the fiscal 1994 budget resolution. Moderate and liberal Democrats argued that the full stimulus package was needed to boost the economy before Congress started clamping down on the deficit in 1994. They also noted that Democrats in the Senate were likely to cut HR 1335, and they wanted the House to go into conference with the largest possible bill.

    Clinton intervened personally with House Democrats in meetings and telephone calls, urging them to vote for the rule even if they opposed the bill. In the final tally, only Stenholm and 12 other Democrats joined the united Republican bloc in voting against the rule. (Senate key vote 2)

    4. Ex-Soviet Aid

    The House put aside deep philosophical and political differences over President Clinton's domestic agenda to approve his request for $2.5 billion in aid for the former republics of the Soviet Union.

    In a striking display of bipartisanship, top congressional leaders were nearly unanimous in their support of the aid package. President George Bush's aid request for the former Soviet republics also had received bipartisan backing, but its price tag did not approach Clinton's huge proposal.

    The only challenge to the aid package came from a disparate alliance that included some conservatives and a handful of members of the Congressional Black Caucus. The conservatives were critical of various Russian policies, while some in the black caucus opposed funding a massive foreign aid initiative when domestic programs were facing budget reductions.

    Except for those defections, this was one instance when the House stood solidly behind its leadership. Before passing the fiscal 1994 foreign operations bill (HR 2295), the House on June 17 easily defeated an amendment to cut $1.6 billion from the aid package for Russia and its neighbors. In a key vote, the House rejected the amendment, offered by Sonny Callahan, R-Ala., 140-289: R 93-79; D 46-210 (ND 30-143, SD 16-67); I 1-0.

    The key to the victory was the strong backing provided by leading Republicans. Minority Whip Newt Gingrich, Ga., and other members of the GOP signed on to the administration's rationale that the aid package would serve U.S. security interests.

    Majority Leader Richard A. Gephardt, D-Mo., had worked to buttress support for the request by arranging for a delegation of senior members of both parties to visit Russia and Ukraine in April. Agricultural businesses and other commercial interests lobbied for the request, saying much of the aid would be funneled through U.S. companies.

    The administration also avoided seeking the aid as an emergency supplemental appropriation. Such a request would have drawn the ire of House budget-cutters as well as lawmakers who favored more domestic spending.

    Instead, the administration and its congressional allies came up with a formula that tapped $1.6 billion from unexpended balances of defense and foreign aid from fiscal 1993. While that funding was sought in the form of a supplemental appropriation—which Callahan targeted with his amendment—it lacked the baggage of an emergency, off-budget request.

    The remaining $900 million came from the regular foreign operations appropriation for fiscal 1994. Appropriations Foreign Operations Subcommittee Chairman David R. Obey, D-Wis., proposed reductions of nearly $1.4 billion from the administration's $14.4 billion foreign operations request, making it easier for many members to tolerate sending aid abroad.

    After disposing of Callahan's amendment, the House approved the foreign aid measure, 309-111. (Senate key vote 10)

    5. Abortion

    Abortion rights supporters were expecting big things to happen during President Clinton's first year in office. No longer would they have to worry about the president vetoing bills that expanded access to abortion, as George Bush had done consistently for four years. Despite some marginal gains in 1993, it was not nearly as easy as abortion rights forces had hoped. On the most significant legislative front, the gain for abortion rights advocates was so slight it could hardly be called a win.

    Once again, the main venue for the abortion debate was the appropriations bill that paid for programs under the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. That was because members had to decide whether Medicaid, the joint federal-state health insurance program, would pay for abortions for poor women. Since 1981, Congress had placed strict restrictions on federal abortion funding, permitting exceptions only to save the life of the woman. That provision was known as the Hyde amendment, after its original sponsor, Henry J. Hyde, R-Ill.

    The 1992 elections suggested that the mood of the nation might be different in 1993. With 24 more women and 16 more African-American members in the House, abortion rights supporters believed they had to votes to kill the Hyde restriction and open the door to full abortion access for poor women.

    But any thought that Democratic control of the White House would lead to congressional consensus on the abortion issue vanished June 30, when the Labor-HHS bill (HR 2518) came to the floor. As reported by the Appropriations Committee, the bill prohibited funding of abortions except in cases of rape, incest or life endangerment. This language represented a slight loosening of the original Hyde amendment by adding the exceptions for rape and incest.

    During an increasingly bitter floor debate, abortion rights lawmakers tried to use the Democratic majority's parliamentary advantage to fend off abortion opponents' amendments. The floor swarmed with members attempting to follow the parliamentary guerrilla war, as Democrats corralled newcomers and handed out sheets explaining how to vote on procedural motions.

    At the beginning of the debate, it appeared as if abortion rights supporters would prevail when they succeeded in having the committee's restrictive language struck from the bill on a point of order that it constituted legislating on a spending bill. House rules prohibited policy language in appropriations bills.

    That left Hyde with the challenge of finding a way to get the committee language back into the bill. He ultimately trumped a potential point of order through careful rewording.

    Hyde then struggled for permission to present the revised amendment. Abortion rights lawmakers used procedural maneuvers to block him from speaking. But Hyde finally succeeded with the help of Appropriations Committee Chairman William H. Natcher, D-Ky., an abortion opponent, who worked out a deal with the House leadership.

    Natcher offered a procedural motion to report the bill back to the full House, a move that would have prohibited additional amendments placing limits on the use of funds. But the House rejected that motion, 190-244, thus opening the door for Hyde to offer his amendment.

    The House then adopted Hyde's new language, 255-178: R 157-16; D 98-161 (ND 54-120, SD 44-41); I 0-1.

    The vote was a pivotal test of the strength of abortion rights supporters and showed it to be wanting. It may also have foreshadowed the upcoming debate over Clinton's health plan (S 1757, HR 3600) and whether it would ensure access to abortions. If federal dollars were involved in a universal health plan—as they were in Medicaid—antiabortion activists would try to keep the plan from including abortions.

    The House made a bigger change in abortion law on the appropriations bill that paid for the Treasury, Postal Service and General Government spending (HR 2403—PL 103-123). The bill lifted a decade-long ban on allowing women who were federal workers to receive abortions through their taxpayer-subsidized health-care plans. But antiabortion lawmakers almost toppled the bill when the conference report was brought to the House floor Sept. 29. Working quietly, they lobbied members to vote against the measure. The measure barely prevailed, 207-206.

    Abortion rights forces also found some success when the House and Senate passed a bill (HR 796—H Rept 103-306) to make it a federal crime to intimidate by force or threat of force a woman seeking to obtain an abortion, or abortion clinic workers. But the clinic-access debate turned more on questions of terrorist activities versus freedom of speech and assembly than it did on abortion rights. A number of abortion opponents supported the clinic access bill.

    Over the course of the year, then, the debate over the Hyde amendment overshadowed any other gains that abortion rights supporters made in Congress. The vote demonstrated that, despite election-year gains of abortion rights supporters, there was still a large, bipartisan majority in the House that was wary of using taxpayer funds to pay for abortions. (Senate key vote 11)

    6. Budget-Reconciliation

    At the end of a long, torturous summer of negotiations over President Clinton's budget, the House was confronted with one final, climactic vote in which neither of the choices had much appeal for many lawmakers. It was the vote on the conference report for the budget-reconciliation bill (HR 2264)—the final version of Clinton's economic plan.

    Wavering members were faced, on one hand, with the knowledge that rejecting the measure would cripple Clinton early in his presidency and throw the budget process into turmoil. But, hard as the bill was to swallow, most lawmakers found at least something to like in the budget deal—a tax and spending package that was estimated to reduce the deficit by almost $500 billion over the next five years.

    A no vote would have killed the whole thing. But a yes vote evoked at least as many terrors. The final deal was the product of intense negotiations between the House and Senate, and many lawmakers found the terms inadequate—either the deal relied too heavily on taxes and not enough on spending cuts, or it was not generous enough in granting tax breaks for the poor and businesses.

    Many members had come to Washington pledging to put an end to gridlock, but to vote yes on a controversial and possibly flawed measure merely to break a partisan stalemate struck many as foolish politics and bad policy.

    No member felt the cross-pressures more intensely than freshman Democrat Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky of Pennsylvania. She had pledged during her campaign and even the day before the vote that she would vote against a bill that increased taxes. But Democratic leaders extracted a private promise from her to support the deficit-reduction package if her vote proved necessary to pass it.

    In the end, Margolies-Mezvinsky's vote was necessary, and she voted yes. Her vote was among the last cast during the Aug. 5 roll call in the House, and it gave Clinton a razor-thin victory, 218-216: R 0-175; D 217-41 (ND 155-18, SD 62-23); I 1-0.

    Twenty-four hours later, the Senate adopted the conference report, also with only one vote to spare, and that a tie-breaker supplied by Vice President Al Gore.

    Again, not a single Republican voted with Clinton. It was the first time in postwar congressional history and possibly the first time ever that the majority party had passed major legislation with absolutely no support from the opposition.

    The narrow House margin was something of a surprise. When the original version of the bill came before the House, it passed by the comparatively comfortable margin of 219-213. But it had returned in somewhat different form, owing to changes demanded in conference by the Senate. Conservative Democrats were particularly upset that the final bill was missing an “entitlement review” provision that would have set targets for spending on entitlement programs, such as Social Security and Medicare.

    House leaders and the administration went into overdrive, cutting deals and making commitments to get the necessary votes. For example, Clinton issued an executive order setting up a complex process that would in effect bind the White House and the House to some action if entitlement spending exceeded projections.

    Clinton went to Capitol Hill to lobby Democrats, and he and top White House officials were everywhere, working uncommitted or wavering members for votes right up until the roll call began.

    When the vote was over and the conference report was adopted, Clinton claimed that he had succeeded in reorienting the nation's fiscal policy. Clinton asserted that his administration was setting the stage for lower long-term interest rates, economic growth and a healthier economy sometime in the future. The nervous Democrats who voted with him could only hope that he was right. (Senate key vote 4)

    7. Thrift Bailout Financing

    Rounding up the requisite votes to pass bills to salvage failed savings and loan institutions had never been an easy task for House leaders. In 1993 action on an unpopular bill (HR 1340) to finance the bailout's final round proved to be no exception. But unlike 1992, Congress ultimately met the challenge.

    The key House vote to pass the bailout measure came in September, nearly a year and a half after Congress allowed the bulk of an earlier $25 billion appropriation for the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC), the thrift salvage agency, to revert to the Treasury. The resulting delay left the cleanup essentially without money and cost taxpayers more than $1 billion as the RTC was forced to operate failed thrifts at a loss rather than move quickly to pay off depositors or transfer those deposits to other institutions.

    The House had last faced the issue in April 1992, when a standoff between Democrats and Republicans stopped an effort to replenish the RTC's coffers. House Democratic leaders had agreed with the Bush administration that the RTC should be financed on a bipartisan basis—that majorities of both parties would be required to pass the financing bill. So when Republicans abandoned the 1992 effort, Democrats also jumped ship. The bailout languished without cash for 20 months, until the measure cleared on Nov. 23.

    House members had always viewed voting for the bailout as politically risky, even though the taxpayer-provided money was used to make good on the federal government's deposit-insurance guarantee. Some saw a vote for the bailout as carrying the taint of the savings and loan debacle of the 1980s. Members criticized the RTC for not always getting the best deal possible for taxpayers when selling the acquired assets of failed thrifts, for failing to give enough contracts to minority-owned businesses and law firms and for freezing out some smaller investors who wanted to purchase real estate and thrift franchises.

    The election of Democrat Bill Clinton as president added a new twist: It put the responsibility for passing the financing bill squarely on Democrats, many of whom had never voted to replenish the bailout when it was being pushed by the Treasury Department under Republican president George Bush. Moreover, the mood of the sizable freshman class on this issue was unknown.

    Members ignored the administration's request for a “clean” $45 billion bill free of congressional mandates on agency operations. It likewise became obvious that the full financing request—$28 billion for the RTC and $17 billion to capitalize the thrift industry's new deposit insurance fund—would be pared significantly. As reported by the House Banking Committee in May, the bill included an $18.3 billion appropriation to be obtained by lifting the April 1, 1992, date on which the previous RTC appropriation reverted to the Treasury.

    The bill was ready for floor action by early summer, and Democratic whip counts appeared favorable, but House leaders were skittish about bringing up the measure, having seen prior RTC bills rejected by wide margins.

    Democratic leaders pressed top Banking Committee members to accommodate Republican concerns about provisions directing agency contracts to women- and minority-owned businesses and authorizing future appropriations for the new Savings Association Insurance Fund. Even so, those compromises barely picked up any GOP votes. The House on Sept. 14 narrowly passed HR 1340, 214-208: R 24-148; D 190-59 (ND 131-34, SD 59-25); I 0-1.

    At one point during the roll call, the bill was behind by 20 votes, but Democratic vote counts proved accurate and the measure squeaked by. Once over that hurdle, the road to final action was less arduous, though it took until the last day of the session.

    After passing HR 1340, the House took up a companion Senate bill (S 714), amended it to include the text of HR 1340 and passed it by voice vote. The Senate had passed S 714 on May 13 by a bipartisan 61-35 vote. The Senate adopted the conference report on S 714 by 54-45 on Nov. 20, and the House cleared the measure in the early hours of Nov. 23 by a healthier 235-191 margin.

    8. Gays in the Military

    Before passing the defense authorization bill (HR 2401), the House weighed in on the explosive issue of homosexuals in the military, a debate that had been centered primarily in the Senate for much of the year.

    By the time the House took up the issue, President Clinton had abandoned his campaign pledge to lift the military's ban on homosexuals, settling for an easing of its application to gay service members who remained chaste and discreet about their orientation.

    When the House Armed Services Committee drafted its version of the annual defense authorization bill late in July, it adopted without change language that had been written into the Senate version of the bill a few days earlier by Democrat Sam Nunn of Georgia, chairman of the Armed Services Committee.

    That provision wrote into law the essentials of the military's previous regulations banning homosexual conduct by service members, a ban broad enough to cover a soldier's private disclosure to a friend of his or her homosexual orientation.

    While many members of the House panel argued for an even more restrictive approach, Military Forces and Personal Subcommittee Chairman Ike Skelton, D-Mo., and a majority of others accepted the Senate language, partly in the hope of putting an end to the emotionally charged debate that had drowned out most other defense issues during the first several months of the Clinton presidency.

    On the House floor, opponents of the gay ban offered an amendment to the defense authorization bill. Like an amendment by California Democrat Barbara Boxer that was defeated in the Senate, the amendment would have stripped from the defense bill the language reasserting the military ban and would have explicitly left the issue to the president.

    In a key vote Sept. 28, the House rejected the amendment, by Martin T. Meehan, D-Mass., 169-264: R 11-163; D 157-101 (ND 131-43; SD 26-58); I 1-0.

    Before that vote, the House also defeated, 144-291, a conservative amendment that would have toughened the ban by renewing the policy—which Clinton had ended—of questioning new recruits about their sexual orientation. The House later adopted, 301-134, an amendment reaffirming the gay ban language in the bill.

    The congressional language took a harder line than the position Clinton finally arrived at in July.

    Clinton's stated policy asserted that “homosexual orientation is not a bar to military service” in the absence of conduct. But the Nunn-Skelton language rejected that view, declaring instead that the presence of openly homosexual members in a military unit “would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability.”

    The congressional provision left to the secretary of defense the decision of whether to resume asking recruits about their sexual orientation, thus leaving intact the administration's decision in January to suspend that practice. It was silent on two other facets of administration policy: Clinton's insistence that Pentagon investigators even-handedly pursue any alleged violation of military law, which prohibited both homosexual and heterosexual sodomy; and his effort to curb dragnet-style hunts intended to discover service members who were secretly homosexual. (Senate key vote 7)

    9. Endangered Species/Property Rights

    For the previous 20 years, Congress had regularly embraced the environmental movement by passing laws to clean the air and water, to force polluters to clean up toxic waste sites and to preserve the nation's wilderness and endangered species.

    In 1993 landowners began to push the pendulum back in the other direction. A critical House vote helped spawn a political force that was likely to reemerge during coming debates over the reauthorization of the 1973 Endangered Species Act (PL 93-205) and the overhaul of wetlands policy in the 1972 Federal Pollution Control Act (PL 92-500), known as the clean water law.

    Landowners contended that enforcement of such environmental laws had driven down the market value of their private property and, in some cases, rendered their property useless for farming or development. A key test of that idea came Oct. 6, when the House considered a bill (HR 1845) to authorize a new survey of the nation's plants and animals, known as the National Biological Survey.

    The National Biological Survey was the brainchild of Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, who billed it as a way to avoid legal conflicts arising from implementation of the endangered species law. Conservatives said the survey would lead to more regulations and to decisions over wetlands that would favor environmentalists instead of farmers.

    To counter Babbitt's initiative, Charles H. Taylor, R-N.C., offered an amendment to the bill to require that the government obtain written permission from a landowner before entering private property to conduct the survey. It also required the government to disclose its findings to the landowner. Before passing the bill, House members overwhelmingly agreed to include Taylor's amendment, 309-115: R 171-3; D 138-111 (ND 72-95, SD 66-16); I 0-1.

    The House vote was particularly significant because it was usually the more conservative Senate that sided with landowners. In 1991 the Senate adopted by voice vote an amendment by then-senator Steve Symms, R-Idaho, that would have required the government to compensate landowners who could not use their property because of federal regulations.

    The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution required the government to provide “just compensation” when it took away private property for public use—to build a highway, for example. The Supreme Court also had embraced the concept that regulations themselves can effectively cause the government to take away private property.

    A driving force behind adoption of Taylor's amendment was conservative Democrats such as Reps. W. J. “Billy” Tauzin of Louisiana and Gary A. Condit of California, who represented a Central Valley farming district that was embroiled in a dispute over protecting the California smelt fish.

    The vote on Taylor's amendment dampened the hopes of many environmentalists that Congress would be able to reauthorize the Endangered Species Act in the 103rd Congress. Tauzin was gathering support for a reauthorization bill (HR 1490) that he said would strike a balance between species conservation and financial impact on property owners. But environmentalists contended that Tauzin was trying to gut the law, which had helped bring species such as the bald eagle back from the brink of extinction.

    “We won round one of a zillion rounds,” said Charles S. Cushman, executive director of the Battleground, Washington-based American Land Rights Association, an advocacy group for the rights of private property owners.

    Environmental lobbyists were bracing for a long fight on similar issues. “We will see property rights amendments on everything,” said Betsy Loyless, political director of the League of Conservation Voters. “The environmental community needs to focus on this.”

    10. Superconducting Supercollider

    Like a group of big-game hunters searching for a prize trophy in the name of deficit reduction, House lawmakers emerged in 1993 with a big kill: The $11 billion superconducting supercollider.

    The coup de grace for the giant atom smasher, an Energy Department project that sought to isolate the smallest atomic particles that are the building blocks of matter, followed a previous House vote to terminate the Energy Department project June 24 as part of the energy and water development spending bill (HR 2445) for fiscal 1994.

    But that was essentially a reprise of House votes in previous years. On those occasions, the Senate would subsequently restore funding for the supercollider, and the House, with members fearful of losing other pet projects in the energy-water bill, would ultimately cave in to the Senate position.

    The key 1993 vote on the project's future was cast Oct. 19, when the energy-water bill came back from a House-Senate conference, and House members were forced to choose between killing the supercollider or appeasing powerful appropriations conferees, who once again had restored the project to full funding.

    But the actual vote was not so simple as “yea” or “nay.” The two main opponents of the project, Jim Slattery, D-Kan., and Sherwood Boehlert, R-N.Y., had to battle arcane House rules that favored appropriators and made the choice for House members difficult to follow, at best. Their task was to convince lawmakers that a complex parliamentary maneuver amounted to a vote to reaffirm the House's desire to kill the supercollider.

    Before members voted on the final adoption of a conference report, House rules allowed the minority to offer one motion—and only one motion—to recommit the conference report to committee for further deliberation. Slattery and Boehlert were not allowed to offer that motion, however. House rules and customs gave the nod to John T. Myers, R-Ind., the ranking minority leader of the subcommittee that wrote the bill.

    Myers, a supporter of the supercollider, offered a motion to recommit that had no instructions. If it prevailed, the final version of the spending bill would bounce back to the House with supercollider funding intact. The only vote then would be up or down on the entire spending bill.

    The only way for Slattery and Boehlert to pick the procedural lock was to call for a vote on the “previous question”—a step that asked the House to shut off debate on Myers' recommital motion and vote on it. In this case, Slattery and Boehlert wanted House members to defeat the previous question so they could amend Myers' motion with new instructions to terminate the supercollider.

    Slattery and Boehlert handed out pink slips naming those who voted against the supercollider June 24 and urged them to vote “nay” on the previous question. Despite the pleas of appropriators and active support for the project from the Clinton administration, the “nays” prevailed, 159-264: R 61-111; D 98-152 (ND 47-121, SD 51-31); I 0-1.

    Only 18 House members switched their votes from June 24 to defend the supercollider project. In a rare show of class solidarity, 81 of the 113 voting House freshmen stood with opponents of the supercollider.

    The House then voted on the motion to recommit as amended by Slattery to kill the supercollider. At that point, supercollider opponents pulled out green leaflets that told the same lawmakers to vote “yea.” They prevailed again, by a vote of 282-143.

    After the vote, Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman J. Bennett Johnston, D-La., decided to give up the fight to save the supercollider. He complained that House lawmakers had been carried away by an “emotional tide” for spending cuts that took as its victim one of the premier U.S. science projects.

    In the end, the death of the supercollider served only as a symbolic nod to fiscal austerity. The project still received $640 million in the fiscal 1994 energy and water appropriations bill (HR 2445). Lawmakers instead put those funds toward the costs of shutting down the project, already 20 percent complete in Waxahachie, Texas.

    11. Somalia

    Even after promising to withdraw U.S. forces from Somalia, the Clinton administration had trouble disengaging from the political skirmishing that persisted on Capitol Hill.

    The administration escaped an embarrassing setback when the House endorsed the March 31 pullout date that President Clinton had previously accepted under strong Senate pressure. Yet the confusing, contradictory House actions of Nov. 9 underscored congressional opposition to an operation that, as of that date, had cost the lives of 35 U.S. troops.

    Divided along party lines, lawmakers narrowly backed Clinton's timetable. The key vote came on an amendment to a nonbinding resolution (H Con Res 170), which the House approved 226-201: R 2-170; D 224-30 (ND 150-21, SD 74-9); I 0-1.

    Just an hour earlier, the House had voted 224-203 to call on the president to withdraw U.S. forces by Jan. 31. But under the “king of the hill” procedures that the Rules Committee set for debate, the vote was superseded by the adoption of the latter amendment.

    The zigzagging votes had purely symbolic significance. The House had already signaled its support for a Senate-passed provision in the fiscal 1994 defense appropriations bill that put the force of law behind the March 31 date.

    But a defeat would have reinforced the perception that the administration's foreign policy lacked public and congressional support. The timing was critical because the administration was about to face a tougher vote—with much higher stakes—on the North American Free Trade Agreement.

    The administration strongly opposed the amendment backing the Jan. 31 pullout date that was offered by Benjamin A. Gilman, N.Y., the ranking Republican on the Foreign Affairs Committee. House Democratic leaders delayed the debate for several hours to allow the administration to lobby wavering members.

    Despite those efforts, 55 Democrats bucked the administration in backing Gilman's amendment. All but three of the 171 Republicans voting backed the proposal.

    It was clear that many of the Democrats—and even some Republicans—viewed Gilman's amendment as a low-cost opportunity to blast the administration's policy. The king-of-the-hill procedure afforded lawmakers the chance to reverse that vote by supporting the amendment by Lee H. Hamilton, D-Ind., chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, endorsing the March 31 deadline.

    After losing in the initial skirmishing, Democrats hauled out the heavy artillery in support of Hamilton's amendment. House Speaker Thomas S. Foley, D-Wash., delivered an impassioned plea not to undercut the president's plan for an “orderly withdrawal” from Somalia.

    “It would be a tragic moment for American resolve, American principle and the American position around the world,” Foley said. “Do not do this to the president of the United States. We should not do this to any president, Republican or Democrat.”

    Republicans, who had complained for weeks that Democratic leaders had denied them a debate on Somalia, argued vehemently in favor of a quick withdrawal. “Helping the authors of our failed policy in Somalia save face is not worth the life of one American soldier,” Gilman said.

    While the GOP remained solid in opposing the superseding amendment, 24 Democrats who backed the Jan. 31 deadline turned around and supported Clinton's pullout date as well, providing the margin of victory. The group included such senior lawmakers as Charles E. Schumer of New York and G. V. “Sonny” Montgomery of Mississippi.

    But the debate highlighted position shifts by members of both parties. Gilman had forced quick action on the issue by invoking a provision of the 1973 War Powers Resolution, which most Republicans believed was unconstitutional. (Senate key vote 12)

    12. Handgun Control

    Few members of Congress embraced the so-called Brady bill as an anticrime panacea, but advocates hoped the bill (HR 1025) to establish a five-day waiting period for handgun purchases would send a signal to constituents weary of crime that Congress was willing to take on gun violence and the lobbying clout of the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA).

    In fact, House passage of the measure Nov. 10 opened the way for the first major federal gun control legislation since 1968. The bill was first introduced in 1987, six years after an assassination attempt on then-president Ronald Reagan permanently disabled his press secretary (and the bill's namesake), James S. Brady. The House had passed a crime bill including Brady provisions in 1991, but that bill never became law.

    But in 1993, a self-standing Brady bill passed on a 238-189 vote: R 54-119; D 184-69 (ND 138-31, SD 46-38).

    The bill required would-be gun purchasers to wait five business days before purchasing a handgun, allowing local law enforcement officials to conduct a personal background check on them. The measure aimed to prevent the sale of handguns to convicted felons and other unqualified buyers, as well as to people making the purchase while they were angry. It also authorized $200 million per year toward creating an instant background checking system.

    The bill had experienced almost annual setbacks in its battle for passage, despite a steady increase of gun violence nationwide, the support of the nation's law enforcement officers and a persistent personal campaign by Brady and his wife, Sarah. Detractors argued that the bill would fail to reduce crime while imposing unfair restrictions on people who wanted to buy guns legally. Criminals, they said, would purchase guns on the black market, while state and local authorities spent time and money trying to institute a gun purchase tracking system.

    The biggest obstacle to passage was the NRA's enormous political clout. “It's a lobby that could put 15,000 letters in your district overnight,” bill advocate William J. Hughes, D-N.J., once said.

    Brady argued that he had endured far more than lawmakers were likely to suffer at the hands of the NRA, but politicians were reluctant to lend their support. It took four years from the bill's introduction before Reagan endorsed it. President George Bush had threatened to veto crime legislation that contained it.

    President Clinton, however, backed Brady.

    Lawmakers on both sides went into the House floor debate knowing there were almost certainly enough votes to pass some version of the bill—but which version was unclear. Neither side knew who would prevail on a series of Republican amendments that were endorsed by Judiciary Committee Chairman Jack Brooks, D-Texas, a Brady bill opponent.

    One successful amendment, by George W. Gekas, R-Pa., mandated the end of the five-day waiting period five years after enactment. Republican Bill McCollum of Florida was unsuccessful in offering an amendment that would have preempted state waiting periods once the instant-check system was in place. Clinton signed the bill Nov. 30, saying that “Americans are finally fed up with violence that cuts down another citizen with gunfire every 10 minutes.” (Senate key vote 15)

    13. NAFTA Implementation

    When the House passed implementing legislation for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on Nov. 17, it brought to an end one of the most emotional, divisive and momentous national debates in many years. Despite overwhelming opposition from within his own party, President Clinton pushed hard to win congressional approval for the agreement and snatched a victory from near defeat. In the process, he charted a course for U.S. trade policy.

    Never before had the United States been part of a trade agreement based on removing virtually all economic walls that guarded the nation from a country as poor and as different as Mexico. Bringing Mexico into a free-trade alliance along with Canada created a huge North American free trade zone with 358 million consumers and a $6.5 trillion market. Broadening that alliance to include other countries in Central and South America was widely viewed as the next step.

    Even more important, the vote in favor of NAFTA reaffirmed the position of the United States as the world's leading champion of an open trading system, and it boosted continuing U.S. efforts to dismantle trade barriers worldwide.

    But the debate and vote—especially in the House—also exposed deep anxiety about the pervasive job loss that had wracked the U.S. economy in preceding years. Organized labor and other NAFTA opponents charged that the agreement invited companies to relocate to Mexico and put U.S. workers out of their jobs. That charge struck a chord with many members, particularly Midwestern Democrats groping for a response to the upheaval in the industrial sector.

    Opposition to the agreement scrambled conventional political alliances. Former independent presidential candidate Ross Perot joined with conservative Republican Pat Buchanan and liberal crusader Ralph Nader in opposing the agreement. Some environmental groups attacked the agreement, and some endorsed it. Farmers in the Midwest were avidly for it, but growers in Florida, California and elsewhere feared an increase in imports of Mexican fruits and vegetables.

    NAFTA was one of the most explosive issues awaiting Clinton when he took office. He had endorsed the trade pact during the campaign but had finessed his position by insisting that “side agreements” with Mexico were needed to ensure enforcement of labor and environmental laws there. Clinton got the side deals, but they did nothing to mollify labor. Clinton could not remove the wedge that NAFTA drove through the Democratic Party.

    Clinton proceeded to seek congressional approval for NAFTA anyway. Beginning his lobbying effort in early September, he turned to Republicans for the first time during his administration, asking them to provide the majority of the votes needed to pass the bill implementing NAFTA (HR 3450). After some initial reluctance to back a Democratic president, House Republicans responded to his appeal, urged on by their leadership.

    In the dramatic House showdown, Republicans and Southern Democrats provided the victory margin. The measure passed 234-200: R 132-43; D 102-156 (ND 49-124, SD 53-32); I 0-1.

    Passage in the Senate followed three days later and was not in doubt. (Senate key vote 16)

    Though the victory demonstrated Clinton's ability to move beyond a traditional Democratic coalition on issues he considered important, it remained to be seen whether his success at putting together a centrist coalition would lead him to test similar bipartisan tactics in the future.

    But Clinton's forceful defense of free trade, at the expense of alienating a major constituency within his party, added credibility to his claim to be a new type of Democrat.

    Even more important, the House vote symbolized a new era in U.S.-Mexico relations, which for years had been characterized by suspicion on both sides of the border, particularly in Mexico. Most economists predicted that reducing or eliminating trade and other barriers with Mexico would have only slight benefits for the massive U.S. economy over the following several years. But it could help raise the anemic Mexican standard of living, providing a huge future market for U.S. goods.

    14. Mining Royalties

    Members had tried since 1987 to revamp the 1872 Mining Law, one of the last remaining “homesteading” measures enacted to entice development of the West. But as with other natural resource and public lands issues, western senators had long managed to outmuscle their House colleagues on mining disputes, so the 121-year-old law remained in a virtual stalemate.

    The House in 1993 gave a big boost to supporters of an overhaul by passing a tough mining bill (HR 322) on Nov. 18. The lopsided vote was expected to give the House much leverage in negotiations with the Senate, which had passed a much leaner version by voice vote on May 25.

    House passage came on a 316-108 vote: R 70-102; D 245-6 (ND 166-3, SD 79-3); I 1-0.

    The 1872 Mining Law required no royalties to be collected from miners who extracted valuable ores from federal lands. It also allowed miners to buy, or “patent,” claims on federal lands for as little as $2.50 an acre. The law required limited repair of abandoned hard-rock mines.

    Under the House-passed bill, sponsored by Nick J. Rahall II, D-W.Va., miners would be required to pay an 8 percent royalty on hard-rock minerals but would be allowed to deduct the costs of transportation. The bill would eliminate patenting and require miners to pay an annual lease fee of $100 on existing claims and $200 a year for new claims. The bill also would impose tough federal standards for the repair of federal land and require miners to be more environmentally sensitive.

    The House passed HR 322 despite strong objections from Republicans that the measure would lead to a loss of jobs in states where the mining of gold, silver, copper and other hard-rock minerals was a dominant industry.

    Only six Democrats voted against the measure, while nine Republicans from western, Rocky Mountain or Plains states voted for the measure, including New Mexico's Steven H. Schiff and Joe Skeen, who hailed from a state with large copper mines.

    The Senate's alternative bill (S 775), crafted by Larry E. Craig, R-Idaho, imposed a 2 percent royalty but would have allowed most exploration, mining and development costs to be deducted. Patenting still would be allowed, although miners would be required to purchase federal land at fair market prices. The bill balked at establishing new federal reclamation standards, choosing instead to allow state laws to govern the repair of damaged public lands.

    The House vote on mining overhaul was especially important because of the unusual “ticket to conference” strategy adopted by the Senate. At the behest of Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman J. Bennett Johnston, D-La., the Senate quickly moved Craig's bill through committee and the floor with no amendments and little debate. The Senate's leading mining reform advocate, Dale Bumpers, D-Ark., agreed to hold his fire until the House-Senate negotiations.

    The Senate's western coalition, usually in agreement on public lands issues, was expected to split on mining reform. Because the final bill was likely to be written in conference, the strength of the House vote gave House negotiators added leverage against divided Senate conferees.

    George Miller, D-Calif., chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, Rahall and Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee Chairman Richard H. Lehman, D-Calif., crafted HR 322 so it would leave no doubt about the House's position on mining while still appeasing House Democrats from states containing most of the nation's hard-rock minerals.

    “The House was not ambivalent on this issue,” said Philip M. Hocker, president of the conservationist Mineral Policy Center. “The House does not want an ambivalent conference.”

    15. Campaign Finance

    For most of 1993, House Democratic leaders resisted action on legislation to overhaul the campaign finance system. But in the waning days of the first session of the 103rd Congress, under pressure from the freshman class and editorial writers, they reversed course and used their clout to wrest a bill from defeat at the hands of an unusual bipartisan coalition.

    Early in the year, House leaders delayed completion of a joint administration-congressional Democratic plan by demanding that the existing $5,000 limit on political action committee (PAC) contributions be maintained for House candidates. Then—after the plan was presented May 7 and the Senate passed its version June 17—House leaders delayed further, saying they did not have the votes to pass a bill because of opposition to provisions calling for partial federal funding of campaigns.

    For years, Democrats had struggled with the Supreme Court mandate that spending limits must be voluntary and accompanied by direct federal subsidies to candidates. Most Democrats supported restrictions on spending, but many resisted providing public benefits. With concern about the deficit high, the funding question became particularly salient.

    Nearly all Republicans opposed any federal funding of congressional campaigns, and many objected to spending limits. Alone, they could do little to block a Democratic bill, but this time they were joined by an odd assortment of Democrats—some who resisted federal funding; some who said the spending and PAC limits were too high; and yet others who resisted change in the system that elected them. For months, Democratic leaders made little effort to unite their party on the issue.

    By early fall, however, they were under pressure from first-term members who said voters would not tolerate inaction. Although October—once dubbed “reform month”—came and went without public action, Democratic leaders did begin serious private negotiations to reach a consensus within the House Democratic Caucus.

    They cobbled together a funding mechanism that met with preliminary caucus approval. It relied heavily on voluntary taxpayer contributions and a new PAC registration fee. But when the Ways and Means Committee balked at waiving its right to review tax legislation, it was dropped from the plan, and an unfunded bill was readied for floor action.

    In that way, the 1993 bill was identical to a plan Congress approved in 1992 that was vetoed by President George Bush. The two bills were also similar in that both included spending limits with up to one-third coming in federal money; both also capped PAC and large individual contributions at one-third of a candidate's total funds.

    The 1993 spending limits, however, were potentially far higher than those in the 1992 bill. The new plan also permitted leadership PACs and allowed candidates to roll over substantial war chests from one election to the next, practices restricted in the earlier bill.

    Once the bill was formally presented, the coalition that had stymied action began to lose steam. Naysayers were more adamant behind closed doors than in public; many Democrats who had voted for or endorsed the 1992 bill when it was certain to be vetoed were reluctant to vote no now.

    The loose coalition had one last card to play: the vote on the rule bringing the bill to the floor. From the Republican bloc to the scattered Democrats, all had amendments they wanted to support, but the rule forbade them.

    To overcome their campaign to defeat the rule, Democratic leaders—even Speaker Thomas S. Foley, D-Wash.—worked the House floor for hours during an unusual Sunday session. The vote was delayed repeatedly as party whips counted and recounted their votes. Late in the day, Nov. 21, the House narrowly approved the rule, 220-207: R 3-168; D 216-39 (ND 156-15, SD 60-24); I 1-0.

    Passage of the bill the next day was anticlimactic. Many members who were willing to vote against the rule were unwilling to vote against the package. (Senate key vote 3)

    16. ‘Reinventing Government’/Spending Cuts

    When President Clinton eked out enough votes to pass his five-year deficit-reduction plan in August, the hard-fought victory came with a price: To win the votes of recalcitrant fiscal conservatives who thought the package of budget savings and tax increases did not cut enough, Clinton had to promise they would get another chance to glean more savings before the year's end.

    Clinton kept that promise and gave lawmakers another vote on spending cuts, in the form of a package of rescissions from just-passed appropriations for fiscal 1994, plus selected cost-saving proposals from Vice President Al Gore's “reinventing government” initiative. But when that package (HR 3400) came to the floor Nov. 22, it opened the door for a bipartisan group of aggressive “deficit hawks” to offer their own deficit-reduction package, forcing the administration once again to scramble for votes to protect the president's five-year budget plan.

    The showdown vote came on an amendment by Timothy J. Penny, D-Minn., and John R. Kasich, R-Ohio, who wanted to cut the budget by $90 billion over five years. It was Penny who had extracted the promise from Clinton and House Democratic leaders for a chance to offer a major deficit-cutting plan.

    The original Clinton proposal was a relatively modest package of about $11.5 billion in savings. When the Congressional Budget Office later declared that the package would save only $305 million, the White House beefed up its plan by adding language already proposed by the administration to trim the federal work force by 252,000 employees over five years, bringing total savings to $37.1 billion in outlays.

    By contrast, a large bulk of Penny-Kasich savings—$34.2 billion—would have come from cuts in the Medicare program, the health-care subsidy for the elderly and disabled. Clinton was planning his own revisions to the Medicare system to help pay for his proposed overhaul of the health-care system, while the Penny-Kasich amendment would have steered Medicare savings only toward reducing the deficit.

    The other feature of the Penny-Kasich bid that made the White House and Democratic leaders nervous was its mandate to lower ceilings on annual appropriations below levels ordered in the August deficit-reduction plan. Under that law, discretionary spending was capped for five years at fiscal 1993 levels. The Penny-Kasich amendment would have reduced those limits by another $43 billion through fiscal 1998.

    “We have just begun to look for places to reduce the deficit,” conceded Majority Leader Richard A. Gephardt, D-Mo., in a floor speech that paid homage to the spirit, if not the content, of the Penny-Kasich amendment. “But if we act on this amendment tonight, we act prematurely, because we not only cut, we take the caps down further.”

    Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman John P. Murtha, D-Pa., helped lead the charge against the amendment on grounds that the lower spending limits would endanger defense spending, because budget rules no longer put up protective “fire walls” to insulate defense from spending cuts.

    Other chairmen of appropriations subcommittees launched their own lobbying assaults. One tactic criticized by lawmakers was a form letter by Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Tom Bevill, D-Ala., and ranking Republican John T. Myers of Indiana threatening that specific water projects in members' districts might be at risk should the Penny-Kasich amendment pass.

    Before the vote, Clinton called wavering lawmakers and recruited Cabinet secretaries and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton to urge freshmen to vote against it. Clinton prevailed again as the House rejected Penny-Kasich, 213-219: R 156-18; D 57-200 (ND 33-139, SD 24-61); I 0-1.

    The vote was not only a late-session affirmation of Clinton's continued ability to thwart attempts by fiscal conservatives for more drastic deficit reduction; it also showed that he could still count on the votes of labor-oriented liberal Democrats just days after the fractious vote on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

    In contrast to the NAFTA vote of Nov. 17, Clinton enjoyed help from labor groups, which considered the cuts too draconian: 125 Democrats came back to Clinton on the Penny-Kasich amendment after opposing him on the free trade agreement vote. Lobbyists for the AFL-CIO and other unions were lined up outside the House, calling on lawmakers to kill the amendment, though some continued to speak bitterly about Clinton's treatment of labor during the NAFTA debate.

    1. Fiscal 1994 Budget Resolution/Adoption

    H Con Res 64 Adoption of the concurrent resolution to set binding budget levels for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 1994: budget authority, $1.505 trillion; outlays, $1.498 trillion; revenues, $1.251 trillion; deficit, $247.5 billion. Adopted 54-45: R 0-43; D 54-2 (ND 41-0, SD 13-2), March 25, 1993. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    2. Fiscal 1993 Supplemental Appropriations/Cloture

    HR 1335 Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the bill to provide $12.2 billion in new budget authority and $3.1 billion in trust fund spending to implement the administration's compromise stimulus package to help in the economic recovery. The funds would be designated as emergency spending, making them exempt from discretionary spending caps. Motion rejected 56-43: R 0-42; D 56-1 (ND 42-0, SD 14-1), April 21, 1993. Three-fifths of the total Senate (60) is required to invoke cloture. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    3. Campaign Finance/Passage

    S 3 Passage of the bill to encourage federal candidates to abide by voluntary spending limits by providing benefits such as reduced broadcast and mailing rates. Candidates who reject spending limits would be subject to a new federal tax on campaigns equal to the highest corporate rate, now 34 percent. Passed 60-38: R 7-35; D 53-3 (ND 42-0, SD 11-3), June 17, 1993. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    4. Fiscal 1994 Budget-Reconciliation/Passage

    HR 2264 Passage of the bill to raise taxes by $243 billion, cut spending by $256 billion and reduce the deficit by $499 billion over five years by tracking President Clinton's economic proposals. Passed 50-49: R 0-43; D 49-6 (ND 38-3, SD 11-3), with Vice President Al Gore casting a “yea” vote, June 25, 1993 (in the session that began and the Congressional Record dated June 24). A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    5. National Service/Passage

    HR 2010 Passage of the bill to authorize $300 million in fiscal 1994, $500 million in fiscal 1995 and $700 million in fiscal 1996 for the National Service program, which would provide people age 17 or older with $4,725 a year for up to two years in education awards in return for work in community service programs. Passed 58-41: R 7-37; D 51-4 (ND 38-3, SD 13-1), Aug. 3, 1993. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    6. Ginsburg Confirmation

    Confirmation of Ruth Bader Ginsburg as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, replacing retired Associate Justice Byron R. White. Confirmed 96-3: R 41-3; D 55-0 (ND 41-0, SD 14-0), Aug. 3, 1993. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    7. Fiscal 1994 Defense Authorization/Gay Ban

    S 1298 Boxer, D-Calif., amendment to strike language in the bill regarding homosexuals in the military and to express the sense of Congress that the policy regarding the subject should be determined by the president. Rejected 33-63: R 3-38; D 30-25 (ND 29-12, SD 1-13), Sept. 9, 1993.

    8. Fiscal 1994 Defense Authorization/Strategic Weapons

    S 1298 Sasser, D-Tenn., amendment to cut the Ballistic Missile Defense program from $3.4 billion to $3 billion. Adopted 50-48: R 6-36; D 44-12 (ND 36-6, SD 8-6), Sept. 9, 1993. A “nay” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    9. Fiscal 1994 Interior Appropriation/Grazing Fees

    HR 252 Domenici, R-N-M., amendment to prohibit the administration for one year from using funds in the bill to implement higher grazing fees and other public land-management reforms. Adopted 59-40: R 38-5; D 21-35 (ND 14-28, SD 7-7), Sept. 14, 1993. A “nay” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    10. Fiscal 1994 Foreign Aid Appropriations/Passage

    HR 2295 Passage of the bill to provide $12,526,854,047 in new budget authority for foreign assistance and related programs in fiscal 1994. The bill includes the $2.5 billion requested by the administration for the former Soviet Union. The administration requested $14,425,993,066. Passed 88-10: R 36-7; D 52-3 (ND 40-2, SD 12-1), Sept. 23, 1993. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    11. Fiscal 1994 Labor, HHS, Education Appropriations/Abortion

    HR 2518 Committee amendment to strike the Hyde amendment provisions included in the House bill that prohibit federal funds from covering abortions except in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the woman is endangered. Rejected 40-59: R 6-38; D 34-21 (ND 31-11, SD 3-10), Sept. 28, 1993. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    12. Fiscal 1994 Defense Appropriations/Somalia Policy

    HR 3116 Byrd, D-W.Va., amendment to prohibit funding of U.S. military operations in Somalia after March 31, 1994, unless the president requests and Congress authorizes an extension. The amendment would also limit the U.S. mission to protecting U.S. personnel and bases, sustaining relief supplies and giving logistical and security aid to U.N. forces, and would require that U.S. forces in Somalia be under the command and control of U.S. commanders. Adopted 76-23: R 24-20; D 52-3 (ND 38-3, SD 14-0), Oct. 15, 1993 (in the session that began and the Congressional Record dated Oct. 14).

    13. Packwood Diaries/Relevancy Requirement

    S Res 153 Simpson, R-Wyo., amendment to add that all materials requested in the Ethics Committee subpoena of the diaries of Sen. Bob Packwood, R-Ore., be relevant. Rejected 23-77: R 22-22; D 1-55 (ND 1-41, SD 0-14), Nov. 2, 1993.

    14. Omnibus Crime/Assault Weapons Ban

    S 1607 Feinstein, D-Calif., amendment to ban the manufacture, sale and future possession of 19 semiautomatic weapons and copycat guns. Adopted 56-43: R 10-34; D 46-9 (ND 38-3, SD 8-6), Nov. 17, 1993. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    15. Brady Bill/Passage

    HR 1025 Passage of the bill to require a five-business-day waiting period before an individual could purchase a handgun, to allow local officials to conduct a background check. A compromise provided that the waiting period would expire four years after enactment unless the attorney general extended the waiting period for a fifth year. Passed 63-36: R 16-28; D 47-8 (ND 38-3, SD 9-5), Nov. 20, 1993. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    16. NAFTA Implementation/Passage

    HR 3450 Passage of the bill to approve the North American Free Trade Agreement and make the necessary changes to U.S. statutory law to implement the trade agreement. Passed 61-38: R 34-10; D 27-28 (ND 18-23, SD 9-5), Nov. 20, 1993. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    1. Family and Medical Leave/Passage

    HR 1 Passage of the bill to require employers of more than 50 employees to provide 12 weeks of unpaid leave for an illness or to care for a new child or sick family member. Passed 265-163: R 40-134; D 224-29 (ND 162-8, SD 62-21); I 1-0, Feb. 3, 1993. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    2. Fiscal 1994 Budget Resolution/Adoption

    H Con Res 64 Adoption of the concurrent resolution to set binding budget levels for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 1994: budget authority, $1.506 trillion; outlays, $1.495 trillion; revenues, $1.242 trillion; deficit, $253.5 billion. Adopted 243-183: R 0-172; D 242-11 (ND 164-6, SD 78-5); I 1-0, March 18, 1993. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    3. Fiscal 1993 Supplemental Appropriations/Rule

    HR 1335 Adoption of the rule (H Res 132) to waive points of order against and provide for House floor consideration of the bill to provide $16.3 billion in new budget authority and approve $3.4 billion in trust fund spending to implement the administration's stimulus package to help the economy recover. The funds would be designated as emergency spending, making them exempt from discretionary spending caps. Adopted 240-185: R 0-172; D 239-13 (ND 165-4, SD 74-9); I 1-0, March 18, 1993. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    4. Fiscal 1994 Foreign Operations Appropriations/Aid to Russia

    HR 2295 Callahan, R-Ala., amendment to cut the $1.6 billion fiscal 1993 supplemental appropriation for aid to Russia. Rejected in the Committee of the Whole 140-289: R 93-79; D 46-210 (ND 30-143, SD 16-67); I 1-0, June 17, 1993. A “nay” was a vote in support of the president's position. (In the 103d Congress, 1993–1994, a rule in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives granted the resident commissioner from Puerto Rico and the delegates from American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Guam, and the Virgin Islands the right to vote on the floor when the House was considering bills for amendment in the Committee of the Whole, providing their votes were not decisive in the outcome. The vote tallies here and in the boxscore above differ in that the votes of the resident commissioner and delegates are excluded from the boxscore tally. This floor voting privilege was rescinded on January 4, 1995, shortly after the Republicans captured control of the House.)

    5. Fiscal 1994 Labor, HHS, Education Appropriations/Abortion Prohibition

    HR 2518 Hyde, R-Ill., amendment to prohibit funds in the bill from being spent for an abortion except when it is made known that it is a case of rape, incest or necessity to save the woman's life. Adopted in the Committee of the Whole 255-178: R 157-16; D 98-161 (ND 54-120, SD 44-41); I 0-1, June 30, 1993. (In the 103d Congress, 1993–1994, a rule in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives granted the resident commissioner from Puerto Rico and the delegates from American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Guam, and the Virgin Islands the right to vote on the floor when the House was considering bills for amendment in the Committee of the Whole, providing their votes were not decisive in the outcome. The vote tallies here and in the boxscore above differ in that the votes of the resident commissioner and delegates are excluded from the boxscore tally. This floor voting privilege was rescinded on January 4, 1995, shortly after the Republicans captured control of the House.)

    6. 1993 Budget-Reconciliation/Adoption

    HR 2264 Adoption of the conference report to reduce the deficit by an estimated $496 billion over five years through almost $241 billion in additional taxes and $255 billion in spending cuts by closely tracking President Clinton's economic proposals. Of the cuts in the bill, $102 billion would come through a freeze of discretionary spending at fiscal 1993 levels through fiscal 1998. Adopted 218-216: R 0-175; D 217-41 (ND 155-18, SD 62-23); I 1-0, Aug. 5, 1933. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    7. Resolution Trust Corporation/Passage

    HR 1340 Passage of the bill to provide $18.3 billion to resolve failed savings and loan institutions, authorize funds for the new Savings Association Insurance Fund for fiscal 1994–1998, direct new management reforms, expand the Resolution Trust Corporation's affordable housing program and impose new requirements for contracting with businesses owned by minorities and women. Passed 214-208: R 24-148; D 190-59 (ND 131-34, SD 59-25); I 0-1, Sept. 14, 1993. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    8. Fiscal 1994 Defense Authorization/Gay Ban

    HR 2401 Meehan, D-Mass., amendment to strike the provisions codifying a ban on homosexuals in the military and express the sense of Congress that the issue should be determined by the president and his advisers. Rejected in the Committee of the Whole 169-264: R 11-163; D 157-101 (ND 131-43, SD 26-58); I 1-0, Sept. 28, 1993. (In the 103d Congress, 1993–1994, a rule in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives granted the resident commissioner from Puerto Rico and the delegates from American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Guam, and the Virgin Islands the right to vote on the floor when the House was considering bills for amendment in the Committee of the Whole, providing their votes were not decisive in the outcome. The vote tallies here and in the boxscore above differ in that the votes of the resident commissioner and delegates are excluded from the boxscore tally. This floor voting privilege was rescinded on January 4, 1995, shortly after the Republicans captured control of the House.)

    9. National Biological Survey/Non-Federal Property

    HR 1845 Taylor, R-N.C., amendment to require the National Biological Survey to obtain written consent before going on nonfederal lands and to require reports describing the survey's activities on nonfederal lands. Adopted in the Committee of the Whole 309-115: R 171-3; D 138-111 (ND 72-95, SD 66-16); I 0-1, Oct. 6, 1993. (In the 103d Congress, 1993–1994, a rule in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives granted the resident commissioner from Puerto Rico and the delegates from American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Guam, and the Virgin Islands the right to vote on the floor when the House was considering bills for amendment in the Committee of the Whole, providing their votes were not decisive in the outcome. The vote tallies here and in the boxscore above differ in that the votes of the resident commissioner and delegates are excluded from the boxscore tally. This floor voting privilege was rescinded on January 4, 1995, shortly after the Republicans captured control of the House.)

    10. Fiscal 1994 Energy and Water Appropriations/Previous Question

    HR 2445 Motion to order the previous question (thus ending debate and the possibility of amendment) on the Myers, R-Ind., motion to recommit to conference the conference report to provide $22,215,382,000 for energy and water development for fiscal 1994. Motion rejected 159-264: R 61-111; D 98-152 (ND 47-121, SD 51-31); 1 0-1, Oct. 19, 1993. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    11. Somalia Troop Removal/March 31 Deadline

    H Con Res 170 Hamilton, D-Ind., substitute amendment to change the deadline for the removal of U.S. troops from Somalia back to March 31, 1994, from the Jan. 31, 1994, date substituted by the Gilman, R-N.Y., amendment. Adopted 226-201: R 2-170; D 224-30 (ND 150-21, SD 74-9); I 0-1, Nov. 9, 1993. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    12. Brady Bill/Passage

    HR 1025 Passage of the bill to require a five-business-day waiting period before an individual could purchase a handgun, to allow local officials to conduct a background check. Passed 238-189: R 54-119; D 184-69 (ND 138-31, SD 46-38); I 0-1, Nov. 10, 1993. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    13. NAFTA Implementation/Passage

    HR 3450 Passage of the bill to approve the North American Free Trade Agreement and make the necessary changes to U.S. statutory law to implement it. Passed 234-200: R 132-43; D 102-156 (ND 49-124, SD 53-32); I 0-1, Nov. 17, 1993. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    14. 1872 Mining Law Overhaul/Passage

    HR 322 Passage of the bill to require hard-rock mining companies to pay an 8 percent royalty on ores extracted from federal lands, with the money going toward cleanup of abandoned mines, and to require increased environmental regulation of such mining operations. Passed 316-108: R 70-102; D 245-6 (ND 166-3, SD 79-3); I 1-0, Nov. 18, 1993. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    15. Campaign Finance/Rule

    HR 3 Adoption of the rule (H Res 319) to provide for House floor consideration of the bill to give House candidates up to $200,000 in federal benefits if they agree to voluntary spending limits of $600,000. The sums would be indexed for inflation from 1992 forward. Adopted 220-207: R 3-168; D 216-39 (ND 156-15, SD 60-24); I 1-0, Nov. 21, 1993. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    16. Fiscal 1994 Spending Cuts and Government Restructuring/Penny-Kasich Amendment

    HR 3400 Penny, D-Minn., amendment to cut federal spending by $90 billion over five years through various proposals, including $34 billion in Medicare cuts, $52 billion in discretionary spending cuts and $4 billion in other entitlement cuts and user fee increases. Rejected in the Committee of the Whole 213-219: R 156-18; D 57-200 (ND 33-139, SD 24-61); I 0-1, Nov. 22, 1993. A “nay” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    Appendix

    1994 Key Votes

    Senate
    1. Vietnam Trade Embargo

    For nearly two decades, the U.S. trade embargo against Vietnam served as an enduring reminder of the decade-long Vietnam War. But the Senate opened a new chapter in relations between the United States and Vietnam on Jan. 27 when it voted overwhelmingly in favor of lifting the trade ban against Hanoi.

    Over the strong objections of some veterans groups and their congressional allies, the Senate voted to adopt an amendment to the biennial State Department authorization bill (S 1281) calling on President Clinton to scrap the long-standing economic embargo. The amendment had significant bipartisan support; it was adopted 62-38; R 20-24; D 42-14 (ND 31-11; SD 11-3).

    While the amendment was nonbinding, the vote proved to be one of the most important foreign policy votes of the year. Just one week after the Senate adopted the amendment, Clinton ordered an end to the 19-year-old trade embargo.

    The president did not need Congress's go-ahead to lift the Vietnam sanctions. He could have accomplished that with the stroke of a pen. Clinton, who avoided the draft during the Vietnam War, clearly was uncomfortable with the prospect of acting without the cover of a congressional vote. Equally important was the involvement of a pair of senators who served with distinction in Vietnam, John McCain, R-Ariz., and John Kerry, D-Mass. They led the movement to end the embargo.

    For years, the trade embargo had been linked to painful questions surrounding the fate of more than 2,000 American servicemen listed as missing in action (MIA) from the war. Many veterans groups argued that the embargo provided the United States with its only effective leverage in its talks with Hanoi over the MIAs.

    McCain and Kerry argued that ending the embargo would actually spur Vietnam to greater cooperation. “This is not a reward to Vietnam,” Kerry said. “It's not a question of taking away leverage, but of giving leverage to us.”

    Sen. Robert C. Smith, R-N.H., another Vietnam veteran who had devoted much of his career to investigating the fate of MIAs, led opposition to the amendment. Smith charged that lifting the embargo would be the equivalent of “getting down on your knees and hoping and praying that the Vietnamese will give us all this information.”

    But after nearly 20 years of a U.S. policy designed to isolate Vietnam economically, most senators wanted to put trade relations on more normal footing. In addition some U.S. oil companies and other business interests, which had been frozen out of a potentially lucrative market, conducted an effective lobbying campaign against the trade ban.

    2. “Goals 2000”

    In 1989 President George Bush, concerned about poor schools and the potential inability of U.S. workers to compete in a global economy, convened a two-day summit in Virginia with the nation's governors to produce an education reform plan. They reached an unprecedented agreement to set national performance goals by 1990.

    In 1991 Bush proposed “America 2000” legislation to establish voluntary national testing, create nontraditional schools and send limited federal aid to states and localities to fund model programs. The measure also included a controversial “school choice” voucher program that would have sent public funds to some private schools. Democrats fought school choice, and in the end, neither Democrats nor Republicans could muster much enthusiasm for the measure, which died in the Senate in a Republican filibuster.

    The political dynamic changed in 1993 after Bill Clinton was elected president. Democrats renewed the education reform debate, hoping to capitalize on control of the White House and both chambers of Congress for the first time since 1980.

    The Clinton administration introduced a $420 million “Goals 2000” bill (HR 1804—PL 103-227), using the Bush proposal as a basis. But Clinton removed the school choice provisions and added national standards and goals. These standards, although voluntary, opened the door for federal involvement in public schools and set markers that many local school districts would have difficulty ignoring. School districts seeking grants were required to strive for the national goals; they were given the flexibility to either adopt national content and performance standards, or to develop their own standards to reach the goals. The House easily passed the measure in 1993.

    The bill included such goals as improving high school graduation rates and making schools safer. It also included controversial “opportunity to learn” standards prescribing what a school needed—such as competent teachers and up-to-date textbooks—to give children the opportunity to meet the goals and standards.

    Liberal Democrats argued such standards were necessary to ensure that all students had access to high quality educational programs. Conservatives said they could leave school districts open to lawsuits from parents displeased about their child's school.

    In the end a majority of members decided that the opportunity to learn standards were acceptable because they were voluntary and states would be able to develop them locally.

    With major sticking points such as school choice and opportunity to learn out of the way, Senate Democrats and moderate Republicans found common ground on the school reform measure. Before passing the bill Feb. 8, senators waded through a series of amendments, including an unsuccessful last-ditch effort by conservatives to include a school choice demonstration project. The Senate subsequently passed the bill, 71-25: R 17-25; D 54-0 (ND 41-0, SD 13-0).

    After House-Senate conferees ironed out their differences, the House adopted the conference report March 23 and the Senate cleared the bill March 26.

    3. Budget Deficit

    Using an earthquake relief bill for Southern California as their vehicle, a bipartisan group of senators moved early in the 1994 session to test Congress's will to cut the budget deficit more deeply than it had in 1993.

    The bill (HR 3759—PL 103-211) combined $10 billion in emergency spending on disaster relief and military missions with $1 billion in routine supplemental appropriations and $3.26 billion in rescissions. On Feb. 9 the bipartisan group—led by Bob Kerrey, D-Neb., and Hank Brown, R-Colo.—offered an amendment to slash spending by $94 billion over five years.

    Their proposal was killed on a key tabling motion by Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert c. Byrd, D-W.Va. The vote was 65-31: R 23-19; D 42-12 (ND 31-9, SD 11-3).

    The defeat foreshadowed the difficulties that deficit hawks would have all year. Unlike in 1993, Congress rejected all the major spending cuts proposed in 1994.

    The Kerrey-Brown amendment also epitomized the changed politics of disaster relief. After years of routinely handing out millions to communities hit by natural disasters, Congress could not help victims of the devastating California earthquake without at least a nod in the direction of offsetting spending cuts.

    The first sign of this political shift had come the previous year, when Republicans and conservative Democrats in the House temporarily derailed an emergency flood-relief bill (HR 2667—PL 103-75) to protest its impact on the deficit. The bill passed only after the Democratic leadership promised to create a task force examining how Congress responds to disasters.

    Kerrey, Brown and four colleagues began work on their plan for spending cuts in November 1993. Their original target had been HR 3400, a bill containing numerous elements from Vice President Al Gore's “reinventing government” plan. That bill passed the House at the end of the 1993 session but never made it to the Senate floor.

    When the bipartisan group offered its amendment on the disaster-relief bill, it attracted 11 cosponsors. The amendment's main elements were cuts in spending on Medicare of $30.5 billion over five years through higher charges on selected participants; reductions of 252,000 in the federal work force, saving $26.7 billion; and limits on government administrative expenses, saving $21 billion.

    Other provisions of the amendment would have stopped the government from buying any more buildings, saving $2 billion; denied unemployment benefits to those who left the military voluntarily, saving $1.2 billion; limited cost of living increases for retired government employees, saving $1.2 billion; and cut the salaries of congressmen and senior government executives, saving $297 million.

    Byrd cast the savings as largely fictitious. Any Medicare savings would be consumed by health care reform, he said, and the personnel savings would be channeled to crime fighting programs. The Clinton administration, meanwhile, already had placed a lower limit on government expenses than the Kerrey-Brown amendment would have imposed.

    Byrd's hand was strengthened by the Senate Appropriations Committee, which increased the amount of rescissions to $3.41 billion from the House-passed level of $2.56 billion. This amount was enough to offset not only the routine supplemental spending proposals, but also the additional defense spending and some of the disaster aid.

    The Senate went on to clear the $11 billion package by voice vote Feb. 11.

    4. Balanced-Budget Amendment

    It took a furious lobbying effort by the administration and key Senate leaders, but in the end their efforts secured enough votes to defeat a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget (S J Res 41).

    With Democratic opponents uncertain of their ability to muster the 34 votes needed to kill the proposed amendment outright, Senate leaders put forward a less stringent alternative in a successful effort to siphon enough votes away from a bipartisan effort led by Sens. Paul Simon, D-III., and Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah.

    The original measure would have banned deficit spending unless three-fifths of the full House and Senate approved it. A separate three-fifths vote would have been required to raise the limit on the total public debt, and a majority vote would have been needed to raise taxes.

    In the end the tactics of amendment opponents paid off, and supporters fell four votes shy of the two-thirds required as the Senate rejected the amendment March 1 by a 63-37 vote: R 41-3; D 22-34 (ND 12-30, SD 10-4).

    After the painful debate in 1993 over the budget, congressional leaders and the administration wanted 1994 to be relatively calm on the budget front as the health care overhaul debate took precedence. Adoption of the amendment could have pressured Congress to deliberate over painful spending cuts in politically sensitive areas.

    But after failing to win approval in either the House or Senate in 1992 and falling even to get the proposal to the floor of either chamber in 1993, advocates won a pledge from Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell, D-Maine, to bring it to a vote early in 1994.

    Supporters of the amendment hoped that election year pressure would be enough to reverse earlier defeats. In 1986 the amendment fell just one vote short.

    The lobbying in the weeks leading up to the vote was intense. Mitchell and Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert c. Byrd, D-W.Va., led the opponents' charge. Only five of the 15 Democrats who served under Byrd on the committee defied the chairman and voted for the amendment.

    President Clinton also weighed in, saying that a provision in the Simon-Hatch amendment that would have required a three-fifths majority to approve an increase in the national debt limit provided too much power to a minority and amounted to “a recipe for total paralysis.”

    But supporters countered that Congress repeatedly had demonstrated that it lacked the political courage to make the painful budget cuts or politically risky tax increases to balance the budget and that a constitutional requirement was the only way to make it happen.

    Many of the opponents of the amendment said the 1993 deficit-reduction bill had brought the deficit under sufficient control and that further cuts might undermine the economy.

    At the same time, concern over Social Security played into the hands of opponents. The American Association of Retired Persons conducted an all-out drive against the amendment, saying it eventually would lead to cuts in Social Security.

    Only three Republicans, Nancy Landon Kassebaum, Kan., Mark O. Hatfield, Ore., and Ted Stevens, Alaska, voted against the amendment. Twenty-two Democrats voted for it; 34 were opposed. Ten Republicans voted against the amendment in 1986.

    Twenty-two senators voted for the milder alternative, offered by Harry Reid, D-Nev.; but seven of them, having gone on record as supporting Reid's effort, then voted against the tougher version.

    Supporters of the amendment said Reid's alternative was critical in providing political cover for opponents. Reid's version contained several provisions that would have made it more likely that Congress could continue to run a deficit, and it would have protected Social Security by keeping surplus Social Security receipts off-limits to deficit cutters. (House key vote 3)

    5. Abortion Clinic Access

    Legislation designed to safeguard access to abortion clinics found a receptive audience in the Senate, which traditionally had been more supportive of abortion rights than the House. But even in the Senate, supporters had to frame the issue narrowly—as a law-and-order matter rather than as a question of abortion rights—to gain passage. The bill's advocates fended off criticism that the legislation (S 636—PL 103-259) would infringe on the free speech rights of abortion opponents, but in the end, they had to make some concessions.

    The quest for legislation was prodded by a January 1993 Supreme Court decision barring clinic operators from using a 19th century civil rights law to obtain relief from blockaders. Advocates also pointed to a rash of violence at abortion clinics nationwide, including shootings, arson and massive blockades. They won support for the legislation from the new Democratic president, Bill Clinton, and from Attorney General Janet Reno, who gave the measure the administration's official endorsement at a hearing before the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee on May 12, 1993.

    The legislation made it a federal crime to intimidate abortion clinic workers or women seeking abortions, by force or threat of force. Violators faced criminal penalties of jail time and fines. The law also allowed affected individuals to sue for civil remedies, such as compensatory damages or court injunctions to restrain blockaders. (House key vote 6)

    Most Democratic senators and some Republicans supported the measure, condemning the violent behavior of radical antiabortion activists. But others thought the legislation would impinge on the free speech rights of protesters and sought to further narrow the bill's scope.

    These objections led the Senate to make some changes that ultimately prevented a quick agreement with the House in 1993. One provision, suggested by Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, extended the bill's protections to places of worship. Another, offered by Labor Committee Chairman Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., set lower maximum criminal penalties for nonviolent obstruction, such as lying down in front of a clinic door. House and Senate negotiators adopted these provisions when they reached a final accord April 26.

    Still, Senate opponents, unconvinced by assurances that the bill was modeled on civil rights laws to discourage violent conduct, warned that the legislation would have a chilling effect on those seeking to oppose abortion through nonviolent means. “To inflict harsher punishment on one group is discrimination against a particular political viewpoint,” said Don Nickles, R-Okla., during Senate consideration of the conference report.

    But supporters argued that local trespassing laws were inadequate and that national resources were needed to combat a national effort to disrupt clinic operations. They again concentrated on the law-and-order aspect of the bill. “We're reacting to violence, not words,” said Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. The final vote on May 12 to adopt the conference report, clearing the bill, was 69-30: R 17-27; D 52-3 (ND 41-1, SD 11-2).

    6. Budget Resolution

    Although it took weeks of bickering to reach an agreement, the Senate's final approval of the conference report on the 1995 budget resolution largely endorsed President Clinton's request that Congress take a year off from deep budget cuts, frustrating those lawmakers who had hoped to make additional reductions.

    On May 12 a largely Democratic majority approved the conference report of the 1995 budget resolution (H Con Res 218) 53-46: R 2-42; D 51-4 (ND 39-3, SD 12-1).

    The vote and debate were striking primarily for their low profile in contrast to the previous year's budget vote, which was Clinton's first major legislative victory, setting the course for some $433 billion in deficit reduction over five years.

    The fiscal 1995 budget resolution, an internal congressional document that did not need to be signed by the president, required just $13 billion in additional spending cuts over five years, all of it from appropriations outlays. That differed from the previous year's resolution, which was accompanied by controversial reconciliation instructions that required tax increases and spending cuts in both appropriated and entitlement programs in order to meet specific deficit reduction targets.

    The conference report to H Con Res 218 highlighted the intense frustration of Appropriations Committee members, who felt that their domestic spending budgets already were tight. The opposition to additional spending cuts came from a new coalition of liberals and conservatives who opposed deeper budget cuts—liberals because they did not want to make deeper cuts in social programs and conservatives because they wanted to avoid further cuts in defense spending.

    When the budget resolution was under consideration in the Senate, deficit hawks succeeded in cutting the appropriations budget by an additional $26.1 billion over five years. But they ran into trouble in conference, when, in a reversal of his previous stance, Senate Budget Committee ranking Republican Pete V. Domenici, N.M., surprised his colleagues by opposing the cuts because he was worried that they would fall mainly on defense spending.

    His turnaround put him on the same side as Clinton and Democratic leaders, who eschewed the cuts because of the potential impact on defense and other programs. The House budget did not contain the additional $26.1 billion in cuts. After a tortuous debate, conferees agreed to limit cuts to $13 billion. (House key vote 4)

    The extra cuts were phased in gradually, with just $500 million taking effect in 1995. That accelerated to an additional $5.4 billion in 1996 and the balance of $7.1 billion in 1997–1999.

    7. Safe Drinking Water

    A key Senate vote to require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to study the costs and benefits of new, major regulations underscored the Clinton administration's difficulty in trying to appease states that felt burdened by costly federal mandates without jeopardizing public health and safety. Known as risk assessment, the issue was a major element of a larger and potent backlash against federal regulations that became a recurrent theme during environmental debates in the 103rd Congress.

    The backlash eventually would derail key elements of President Clinton's ambitious environmental agenda, including an overhaul of the 1974 Safe Drinking Water Act and an ongoing effort to make the EPA the fifteenth Cabinet-level department.

    The key vote came May 18 on an amendment by J. Bennett Johnston, D-La., to a bill (S 2019) designed to make the Safe Drinking Water Act more flexible for states, local governments and small water system operators.

    A conservative Democrat, Johnston said he was concerned that federal environmental regulations were sometimes based on public opinion rather than on scientific facts. A commonly cited example was the rush to evacuate Times Beach, Mo., in the 1980s because of the presence of dioxin, believed to cause cancer.

    The Johnston amendment was considered one of the stumbling blocks for the drinking water bill, which eventually passed the Senate and House but died at the end of the legislative session.

    The Senate passed the cost-benefit amendment 90-8: R 413; D 49-5 (ND 36-5, SD 13-0). But the overwhelming margin belied the behind-the-scenes struggle of Johnston, Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., and the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

    Under existing law, the EPA conducted some cost-benefit studies for regulations, but not on a widespread basis.

    A chief concern of Baucus's and such environmental groups as the Natural Resources Defense Council was that an amendment requiring more studies would lead to “paralysis by analysis.” They also argued that the results of these studies could be used to weaken existing health or safety rules if it was determined that the regulation actually posed little benefit for its costs.

    Johnston sparked this politically explosive debate in 1993 with a much broader but little-noticed amendment to a bill to elevate the EPA to Cabinet-level status (S 171). That earlier amendment would have required cost-benefit studies of all federal agencies. It also would have required these studies to include comparisons to health risks more commonly understood by people, such as being hit by a car or struck by lightning.

    Eventually, the negotiators were able to persuade Johnston to limit the amendment on the drinking water bill to new EPA regulations that would have an economic impact of $100 million or more. He also agreed to restrict any risk studies to six comparisons: three regulated by the EPA or other federal agencies and three not regulated by the federal government.

    Sally Katzen, who oversaw regulatory affairs for OMB, said the compromise would affect about 20 to 25 EPA regulations—a fraction of the 600 to 900 reviewed annually by the EPA. The compromise was able to sway such environmentally minded Democrats as Baucus, Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell, D-Maine, and Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-N.Y., Moynihan had long argued that the EPA should prioritize regulations.

    But the deal did little to satisfy the concerns of eight senators, most of whom were close allies of the environmental movement, including John H. Chafee, R-R.I. It also eventually became a sticking point with the House.

    8. Product Liability

    After 17 years of lobbying and deal-making, advocates of limiting product liability thought that 1994 would be the year they finally pushed a bill through Congress. Instead, trial lawyers and consumer groups who opposed the effort demonstrated how adept they were at turning supporters into opponents.

    The fate of the bill (S 687) was decided June 29. That day, the Senate rejected a motion to limit debate, falling three votes short of the 60 necessary to end the opponents' filibuster. The motion to invoke cloture failed 57-41: R 38-6; D 19-35 (ND 13-27, SD 6-8).

    Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell, D-Maine, pulled the bill off the floor, and its supporters vowed to try again in 1995.

    Business groups and insurance companies had been trying to limit product liability suits since the mid-1970s, arguing that the suits stifled innovation and forced companies to devote significant resources to combating plaintiffs, many of whom had dubious claims. But their allies in Congress had never been able to bring any legislation to the House or Senate floors.

    Their primary goal had been to set tough new standards for awarding punitive damages—which were designed to punish a defendant for particularly gross and malicious negligence. Among the most important provisions in S 687 was language that would have required plaintiffs in personal injury cases to present “clear and convincing” evidence that their injuries stemmed from a defendant's flagrant disregard for safety. Also included was language that would have ended joint liability for noneconomic damages. With joint liability, one defendant was responsible for paying the share of a damage award owed by other defendants if they were unable to pay.

    To broaden the bill's appeal, a bipartisan group of sponsors, led by John D. Rockefeller IV, D-W.Va., added provisions aimed at benefiting victims of faulty products. For instance, they included language that would have extended the traditional two-year statute of limitations in cases where the nature or cause of an injury had not been discovered. They also removed the proposed penalties for victims who rejected out-of-court settlements, while proposing less protection from punitive damages for the manufacturers of drugs and medical devices.

    The changes seemed to bring a number of lawmakers into the supporters' camp. A narrower bill to protect light-plane manufacturers from liability lawsuits (S 1458—PL 103-298) easily passed the Senate on March 16, further encouraging Rockefeller's allies. As S 687 neared the floor, Rockefeller said he was confident he had the 60 votes needed to overcome the expected filibuster.

    Opponents of the measure, meanwhile, made an emotional pitch that focused on people maimed by faulty medicines and medical devices. They said the bill, which would have banned punitive damages against companies whose products had been approved by the Food and Drug Administration or the Federal Aviation Administration, would remove incentives for greedy corporations to act responsibly and not hurt people with their products.

    The opponents' Senate allies also threatened to bring up a number of amendments designed to force their colleagues to vote on tough, unrelated issues such as gun control and smoking.

    Rockefeller fell six votes short of breaking the filibuster June 28. In order to attract more support, he and cosponsor Slade Gorton, R-Wash., promised to remove the section prohibiting punitive damages against companies with federally approved products. These changes brought three more Democrats and two Republicans into the supporters' column. But the following day, supporters could only muster 57 votes, still three short of the needed 60. This was due to two defections among the supporters—Larry Pressler, R-S.D., and Donald W. Riegle Jr., D-Mich.—and the absence of Dennis DeConcini, D-Ariz., a bill supporter who missed the vote.

    9. Haiti

    As President Clinton moved inexorably toward ordering a military invasion of Haiti, the Senate rejected several Republican-led proposals to halt an intervention. But the defeat of those amendments hardly represented a sweeping endorsement of military action to oust Haiti's ruling dictators. Rather, it demonstrated the Senate's traditional reluctance to tie the president's hands on crucial national security issues.

    Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., tried to tap into the anti-invasion mood June 29 by offering an amendment to the fiscal 1995 foreign operations appropriations bill (HR 4426) that would have barred U.S. military intervention in Haiti unless the president first sought congressional approval or determined that intervention was necessary to protect U.S. citizens or security interests.

    The Senate rejected the amendment 34-65, with Democrats voting unanimously against it. Republicans supported the amendment 34-10, but some critics of an invasion were uneasy with an imposition of restraints on a president's ability to commit troops abroad.

    Gregg and other Republicans insisted that Clinton had an obligation to come to Congress before committing thousands of troops to an operation that was widely viewed as risky. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., bluntly warned the president against intervening in Haiti.

    “Surely they have not gone out of their minds entirely down there on Pennsylvania Avenue, because if the president does, in fact, do that, I suspect it will be a decision he will long regret,” Helms said.

    But Democrats countered that the Republicans were trying to embarrass the president for partisan reasons.

    Some conservatives, such as John McCain, R-Ariz., were concerned that the amendment would set a dangerous precedent. “I cannot support any resolution which prospectively limits the powers of the president as commander in chief,” he said.

    In the House, Clinton avoided a rebuke when members defeated an amendment harshly criticizing the deployment in Haiti. The House adopted a milder substitute requiring reports from the president on the operation. (House key vote 15)

    Congress's ambivalence over policy toward Haiti continued well after Clinton launched the military occupation of the Caribbean island nation Sept. 19. But as the mission proceeded with virtually no U.S. casualties, lawmakers adjourned without imposing significant restrictions.

    10. Bosnia Arms Embargo

    For more than two years, Congress had been torn by the question of whether the United States should level the military balance in the Bosnian war by providing weapons to the outgunned Muslims.

    Those deep divisions were on display July 1 when the Senate cast a key vote on an amendment that would have forced President Clinton to cease complying with the international arms embargo against the former Yugoslavia and begin arming the Muslims. The House had approved similar language June 9. (House key vote 7)

    The Senate was split down the middle as it rejected the proposal on a 50-50 tie. The vote came on an amendment offered by Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., and Joseph I. Lieberman, D-Conn. to the fiscal 1995 defense authorization bill (S 2182). Republicans supported the amendment 37-7, while Democrats opposed it 13-43 (ND 11-31; SD 2-12). The Senate's action proved crucial in the back-and-forth congressional battle over the embargo.

    In June the House had approved an amendment for a mandatory end to the embargo, but House and Senate negotiators on the defense authorization bill rejected that provision. The conference committee eventually agreed on a compromise that cut off U.S. funding for enforcement of the embargo Nov. 15.

    Senate proponents of the Dole-Lieberman amendment argued that the embargo favored the heavily armed Serbs, who were widely seen as the aggressors in the Bosnian conflict, by preserving their military advantage over the Muslims.

    But Clinton and his top aides weighed in with a strong lobbying campaign against the amendment. The president said taking unilateral action to break the U.N.-mandated arms ban would encourage other nations to violate international sanctions that the United States supports, such as the trade sanctions against Iraq. The president's personal touch may have been decisive. Several Democrats hailed the effectiveness of the president's lobbying effort.

    Democrats by and large supported an alternative nonbinding amendment, offered by Armed Services Committee Chairman Sam Nunn, D-Ga., which urged the president to seek a peaceful solution to the Bosnian conflict. That proposal was approved 52-48 on July 1.

    11. Ethanol Use

    A federal rule promoting the use of ethanol in reformulated gasoline engulfed the Senate in such a conflagration that it took Vice President Al Gore's tie-breaking vote to beat back a drive to kill the regulation. The vote came on an amendment to the fiscal 1995 appropriations bill for the departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development (HR 4624).

    The vote posed a classic conflict between two industry titans—agriculture and oil—each vying for a lucrative share of the domestic energy market. The skirmish breached party lines, and instead broke along regional ones. Each side boasted powerful Senate backers: Farm-state senators who favored ethanol, a derivative of agricultural products such as corn, lined up against oil-state senators who favored methanol, a derivative of natural gas.

    The issue stemmed from the 1990 rewrite of the Clean Air Act. The law required nine cities with poor air quality to begin in 1995 selling gasoline reformulated to increase its oxygen content, thereby decreasing its carbon monoxide pollution. The act had left it up to the marketplace to determine how to reformulate the gasoline.

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), however, proposed a rule in December 1993 requiring that at least 30 percent of the gasoline sold in certain markets contain a “renewable” oxygenate. The rule effectively required one-tenth of all gasoline sold in the United States to contain ethanol or its derivative. The EPA had concluded that the use of ethanol would cut dependence on foreign oil and lower vehicle emissions that could cause global warming.

    Agriculture groups such as the National Corn Growers Association hailed the decision and rallied corn-state senators to their side. But with billions of dollars of the U.S. gasoline market at stake, the oil industry decried the rule as a political ploy by the Clinton administration to win favor in the farm belt. Oil industry lobbyists solicited the help of senators with ties to their industry.

    Enter Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman J. Bennett Johnston, a Democrat from oil-rich Louisiana. Johnston spearheaded the charge against the regulation in committee, proposing an amendment to the VA-HUD bill to block its implementation. After fellow Democrats Bob Kerrey of Nebraska and Tom Harkin of Iowa, both corn-state senators, objected, Johnston allowed the amendment to be withdrawn at a full Appropriations Committee markup July 14.

    Johnston did not give up, though. He returned to the fray Aug. 3 as the full Senate considered the VA-HUD appropriations bill. He cosponsored another amendment with Democrat Bill Bradley, whose state of New Jersey was home to many oil refineries, to deny EPA funding to carry out the rule. Johnston assailed the administration's position as “a gigantic flimflam to the American public.”

    Midwestern farm-state senators mounted an impressive counter-attack, saying the rule would create jobs and help clean the air. They were backed by powerful agriculture companies, most notably the Archer-Daniels-Midland Corp.

    The vote broke down so strongly along regional lines that senators from just eight states split their votes, with those from the other 42 states voting the same way. Northeastern and Gulf Coast senators with petroleum interests supported Johnston's move, while senators from the nation's heartland opposed it unanimously. The division was so close that Gore had to cast his third deciding vote in the Senate since becoming vice president, killing the Johnston amendment on a tabling motion 51-50; R 19-25; D 31-25 (ND 26-16, SD 5-9).

    12. Crime Bill

    Given the crime bill's tortured six-year journey through Congress, it was not surprising that the last crucial votes clearing the measure Aug. 25 came after four days of partisan maneuvering and acrimonious debate.

    The action came on the heels of a GOP triumph in the House, where Republican leaders forced Democrats to trim more than $3 billion from the measure before agreeing Aug. 21 to support adoption of the conference report. (House key votes 12, 13)

    The omnibus bill (HR 3355—PL 103-322) represented an unprecedented federal venture into crime fighting designed to appeal to liberals, conservatives and voters fed up with crime. It included billions of dollars to hire more police officers, build more prisons and support crime-prevention programs. It also created dozens of new federal capital crimes and banned 19 types of semiautomatic assault weapons.

    Surprised and emboldened by the success of their upstart House counterparts, Minority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., and Senate Judiciary Committee ranking Republican Orrin G. Hatch, Utah, complained that their concerns had not been considered seriously during House negotiations on the bill. Dole threatened to use Senate procedure to stall the $30.2 billion measure unless Democrats agreed to vote on several amendments to further cut spending on prevention programs and stiffen sentencing provisions.

    But Democrats were in no mood to compromise. President Clinton insisted on the weapons ban, and Majority Leader George J. Mitchell, D-Maine, argued that House Democrats already had addressed GOP concerns. Other Senate Democrats accused Republicans of trying to deny Clinton a legislative victory before the November elections. “This has an awful lot to do with presidential politics,” said David Pryor, D-Ark.

    For the four days after the House adopted the conference report, both sides scrambled for votes to deal with a Republican plan to raise a point of order that would have blocked the bill on the grounds that it violated budget rules. Republicans said the bill's funding mechanism—a crime trust fund—had not been reviewed by the Senate Budget Committee. The GOP needed 41 votes to sustain the point of order.

    The vote to waive the budget rules determined the crime bill's fate. If the point of order had been sustained, the conference report would have been invalidated and the Senate would have been forced to take up the original House-passed bill because that was the vehicle that conferees worked from. The bill, which contained no assault weapons ban, would have been open for amendment. The legislative process effectively would have reverted to a much earlier stage, which most lawmakers agreed would have killed the crime bill for the year.

    Dole and Mitchell met several times in an effort to hammer out an agreement. Dole wanted up or down votes on 10 amendments, including provisions to impose mandatory minimum sentences for drug and gun offenses and to cut $5 billion in crime prevention programs. Mitchell offered to allow one vote on an amendment to cut spending on crime prevention. This amendment, which almost certainly would have been rejected, would have saved Senate Democrats from having to vote against tougher new sentences. GOP leaders rejected the offer.

    With no deal in sight, the measure's fate hung with a handful of Republican moderates torn between party loyalty and their inclination to support the bill. Mitchell had support from 55 of 56 Democrats. He needed five Republicans to cross party lines to waive the budget point of order.

    Dole had received 40 Republican signatures, not including his own, on a letter demanding changes in the bill. But GOP solidarity was never strong. Several of the 40 Republicans who signed the letter did so only to let Dole use it as a negotiating tool. When Mitchell offered to allow a vote on the spending-cut amendment, three moderate Republican letter-signers—John C. Danforth, Mo.; Nancy Landon Kassebaum, Kan.; and John H. Chafee, R.I.—decided that Mitchell had made a good faith effort and joined bill supporters.

    In the end the point of order was defeated 61-39: R 6-38; D 55-1 (ND 42-0, SD 13-1), with support from six Republicans: Kassebaum; Danforth; Chafee; Arlen Specter, Pa.; James M. Jeffords, Vt.; and William V. Roth Jr., Del.

    Later that day, Democrats invoked cloture, 61-38, leading to final adoption of the conference report, 61-38. William S. Cohen, R-Maine, who had voted to sustain the point of order, voted for final passage. Russell D. Feingold, D-Wis., who had supported Mitchell on the point of order, voted against the bill, saying he opposed its death penalty provisions. Malcolm Wallop, R-Wyo., who had voted to sustain the point of order, missed the final vote.

    13. Campaign Finance

    Reformers fighting to change the way congressional campaigns were financed thought they saw the light at the end of the tunnel after seven years.

    Efforts to change campaign finance laws in 1987 and 1989 died at the hands of a Senate Republican filibuster. A bill finally made it through the Senate in 1992, only to be vetoed by President George Bush. But the new occupant of the White House, Bill Clinton, had pledged to sign a bill. And when the Senate passed an overhaul bill (S 3) on June 17, 1993, and the House followed suit on Nov. 22 of that same year, the long battle appeared to be ending.

    It was not to be. Clinton turned his attention to other issues. Democrats in the House and Senate were badly divided. Democratic leaders spent almost 10 months trying to find a compromise. When they were ready to stitch one together at the last minute, it could not attract GOP votes and became one of several bills filibustered to death by Senate Republicans in the closing days of the regular session.

    Actually, the bill itself never got to the floor of the Senate in 1994. The GOP waged its war over an ordinarily routine motion to request a conference with the House on the legislation. Republican senators forced several cloture votes on procedural motions, each requiring 60 votes, and the Democrats never had a chance against a near-unanimous GOP. On the fourth such vote, on Sept. 30, only two Republicans joined with the Democratic majority to shut off debate, while six Democrats defected to the other side. That left campaign finance supporters eight votes short, 52-46: R 2-40; D 50-6 (ND 40-2, SD 10-4). Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell, D-Maine, said it was the first-ever cloture vote on a motion to go to conference.

    Following the vote, Democratic congressional leaders proclaimed the campaign finance effort dead. “The worst case of obstruction by filibuster by any party that I've ever seen in my 30 years in Congress,” declared House Speaker Thomas S. Foley, D-Wash.

    But the Democrats paved the way for the bill's defeat by taking so long to come up with a final bill. Most Republicans said the Democratic plan would hurt their party, and a small group of Senate Republicans who had voted for that chamber's bill had warned in 1993 that they would not support a bill that did not meet criteria such as tight limits on political action committees (PACs) and a single system for both chambers' campaigns.

    Nevertheless, the House and Senate remained deadlocked until September 1994, largely because House Democrats would not hear of PAC limits. Finally, as Congress prepared to adjourn for the fall elections, Foley agreed to restrict PAC contributions to $6,000 per election cycle instead of the existing $10,000 limit. Mitchell signed off on the compromise. But that was not enough for Senate Republicans, particularly since the bill would have set up separate rules for House and Senate campaigns. Republicans seized on the time crunch to prevent a conference from convening, and that scuttled the campaign finance effort for the fourth consecutive Congress.

    14. Lobbying

    The Democrats were seeing bill after bill on their agenda blocked when the Senate turned to consideration of the conference report on the lobbying disclosure and gift ban bill (S 349) in the last days of the regular session. They did not expect the same fate to befall the lobbying bill, but they were not prepared for an onslaught of opposition that stripped the already tenuous support for the bill.

    The measure never even came to a final vote in the Senate. It died Oct. 6 when the Senate failed to limit debate on the measure, permitting a GOP-led filibuster to continue. The cloture motion failed 52-46 (R 7-36; D 45-10: ND 38-4, SD 7-6), and Democratic leaders pulled the bill the next day after a last-ditch effort yielded only three additional votes for cloture, which required a two-thirds vote because it would change Senate rules.

    Defeat of the cloture motion ended an extraordinary odyssey for the bill. Efforts to stiffen lobbying disclosure laws had gone on for decades; restrictions on gifts to members were tagged to the bill in the Senate in 1993. Initially passed overwhelmingly by both chambers, the lobbying disclosure and gift bans were stalled for months in 1994 while House-Senate negotiators tried to work out a final bill.

    The conference agreement was completed in late September, and it seemed headed for easy passage until it ran into problems in the House and was turned back in the Senate. (House key vote 14)

    Opposition to the bill emerged in the days before the vote as trade organizations and lobbying groups, many of which would have had to disclose their contributors for the first time, voiced objections about the bill's scope.

    Expanding on a theme first heard in the House, Republicans seized on language that called for disclosure of the name, address and place of business of “any person or entity” who provided contributions to fund a lobbying campaign. They said that provision could be used to require grass-roots lobbying organizations to disclose information about their contributors that could chill citizen involvement in politics.

    Groups as diverse as the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Right to Life Committee came out against the bill. “They know that under this legislation, their members' names will be reported,” said Sen. Don Nickles, R-Okla.

    In a blistering floor speech before the vote, Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell, D-Maine, called that assertion “a fictional objection” that senators were using “to change their position.” Backing up Mitchell's assertion, several grass-roots organizations, including Public Citizen, Common Cause and United We Stand America, endorsed the bill, saying it would not infringe on their members' activities.

    The chief Senate sponsor, Carl Levin, D-Mich., said that the sudden opposition to the bill was part of a GOP strategy “to stop us from doing anything significant in the way of reform, trying to persuade the public that Congress can't reform itself.”

    15. California Desert

    After eight years of trying to protect a huge swath of California's fragile desert from developers, the Senate was faced with a crucial vote that carried serious implications for which political party would control the upper chamber after the 1994 elections.

    It also paved the way for passage of the only environmental bill in 1994. The vote came Oct. 8 on a motion to shut off debate on the conference report to a bill (S 21—PL 103-433) that kept about 7.5 million acres of California desert away from developers and designated it as wilderness. It passed, 68-23: R 14-23; D 54-0 (ND 41-0, SD 13-0).

    Republicans, led by Malcolm Wallop of Wyoming, argued that the bill would block access to the desert and that the federal government could not afford the bill's centerpiece of creating two national parks and a hunting preserve.

    But the debate over substance was overshadowed by political maneuverings.

    Bill sponsor Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who was facing a tough reelection challenge from GOP Rep. Michael Huffington, portrayed the issue as though her political future was at stake. With Republicans poised to wrest control of the Senate from the Democrats, members of both political parties agreed that the outcome of the California election could be a decisive factor in determining which political party would be in power.

    A last-minute deal between Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell, D-Maine, and Minority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., meant that the vote to invoke cloture would come on a Saturday morning—about 10 hours after the House had closed up shop for the regular legislative year.

    The Senate had passed the bill in April by a decisive 69-29 margin, breaking an eight-year deadlock by California Republicans on the measure. But Mitchell and Feinstein could afford to lose only nine votes to still have the necessary 60 votes to shut off debate.

    Mitchell, for instance, arranged for a private plane to carry back one Democratic senator from the campaign trail and cajoled others to change their schedules.

    “He made sure the fat lady never got to sing,” said Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.

    Feinstein persuaded colleagues such as William V. Roth Jr., R-Del.; Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J.; and James Sasser, D-Tenn., to suspend for a few hours their own reelection campaigning and come back to Washington for the vote. Joseph I. Lieberman, D-Conn., an Orthodox Jew, spent Friday night in a hotel near Capitol Hill so that he could observe the religious practice of not driving on Saturday, the Sabbath.

    Republicans, meanwhile, furiously lobbied their own with the notion of denying Feinstein a victory and damaging her reelection bid.

    Sources said a GOP caucus meeting Oct. 8 during the final hour of debate was tense with the idea that control of the Senate was hanging in the balance. But in the end, it was the balky garage door of Carol Moseley-Braun, D-III., that nearly thwarted the Democrats. With the voting clock ticking away and Feinstein just one vote short of the required 60, Moseley-Braun came running onto the Senate floor to cast an “aye” vote for her clearly worried friend.

    Moseley-Braun's vote provided political cover for several Republicans, such as Pete V. Domenici of New Mexico and Nancy Landon Kassebaum of Kansas, who were holding back as the votes were being tallied.

    Fourteen Republicans eventually voted for the bill, many of them either with moderate views on the environment or mindful of the Senate tradition of not opposing conservation measures pertaining to only one state that have the support of both senators from that state. (House key vote 10)

    16. GATT

    Following a 20-hour debate, the Senate on Dec. 1 gave overwhelming approval to a bill (HR 5110—PL 103-465) to implement the Uruguay Round pact strengthening the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). The United States signed the agreement April 15.

    The House had passed the GATT bill 288-146 on Nov. 29. At the heart of the GATT debate was a sharp philosophical difference on U.S. trade policy. The Clinton administration insisted that the continued reduction of trade barriers would greatly benefit U.S. businesses, spurring billions of dollars in economic growth and thousands of new jobs. But opponents, led by Sen. Ernest E Hollings, D-S.C., insisted that free-trade policies had over the years left U.S. industries vulnerable to foreign competition, destroying millions of jobs.

    Congress had a long-standing pattern of supporting the free-trade viewpoint. That gave supporters of HR 5110 confidence to predict passage before the planned early October congressional adjournment.

    However, it took the administration and lawmakers several months to fine-tune the GATT implementing bill, providing Hollings with an opportunity to delay action.

    The bill was submitted Sept. 27 under fast-track rules for trade legislation, which allowed each chamber only an up-or-down vote on the bill without amendments. But the rules also allowed every committee chairman with jurisdiction to take up to 45 days to review the bill. Hollings, chairman of the Commerce Committee, demanded this prerogative, forcing the Democratic Senate leadership to delay the debate and vote until a two-day postelection session that began Nov. 30.

    Hollings held eight Commerce Committee hearings to lay out his case against U.S. free-trade policy. He also raised other arguments against the agreement, including the claim that the new World Trade Organization (WTO)—created under the deal to arbitrate and strictly enforce multilateral trade agreements—would impinge on U.S. legal sovereignty.

    Hollings brought his critique to the Senate floor, leading the opposition during the lame-duck debate. He was parried by the GATT bill's managers, Finance Committee Chairman Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-N.Y., and ranking Republican Bob Packwood of Oregon.

    The supporters argued that the agreement would be a boon to U.S. exporters who had been hindered by other countries' trade barriers in such areas as agriculture, services and intellectual property. They rebutted the sovereignty issue, noting that the bill would require express congressional action to change any law even if the WTO had found it in violation of U.S. trade commitments.

    With the numbers running against them on the merits of the bill, the opponents hung their hopes on blocking a procedural motion that required 60 votes to pass.

    The Senate's pay-as-you-go budget rules required that new legislation fully offset any federal spending increases or revenue reductions over the first 10 years after enactment, an obligation that the GATT bill fell about $30 billion short of meeting.

    Contending that U.S. voters had made a strong call for fiscal responsibility when they elected Republican majorities in the House and Senate on Nov. 8, the GATT opponents rallied around a point of order raised by Sen. Robert c. Byrd, D-W.Va., that HR 5110 violated the Senate budget rules. GATT supporters trumped that claim by arguing that increased economic activity spurred by the new trade deal ultimately would result in increased revenues to the federal Treasury.

    A motion by Moynihan to waive the budget rules carried, 68-32: R 31-15; D 37-17 (ND 29-13, SD 8-4). The Senate then immediately voted to clear the implementing bill itself by a vote of 76-24. (House key vote 16)

    House
    1. EPA Cabinet

    A House vote Feb. 2 on a routine procedural motion sparked a politically explosive backlash against federal regulations that also proved disastrous to elements of President Clinton's environmental agenda in 1994. The issue would later form the basis for an antiregulatory proposal in the Republicans' “Contract with America.”

    At issue was whether the proposed Department of Environmental Protection should be required to study the costs and benefits of regulations before implementing new rules. These types of studies were just a small part of a scientific process, known as risk assessment, that tried to estimate the type and magnitude of risks to human health posed by the exposure to chemical substances.

    The Rules Committee did not allow first-term Florida Reps. John L. Mica, R, and Karen L. Thurman, D, to offer an amendment requiring cost-benefit studies to a bill (HR 3425) to elevate the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to Cabinet status. That made the rule for floor debate the key vote.

    At stake was more than Clinton's promise to quickly give the EPA a formal seat at the Cabinet table.

    Environmentalists contended that the Mica-Thurman amendment would have paralyzed the federal government through costly studies, whose results could then be used to weaken existing health and safety laws.

    But Mica and Thurman, with the help of the GOP leadership, argued that environmental regulations had become a financial burden on states and local governments. They said some regulations also provided little health benefit. The goal of the amendment, Mica and Thurman said, was to provide some common-sense and sound scientific reasoning to environmental rule-making.

    Vice President Al Gore heavily lobbied the large Democratic freshman class to vote for the rule (H Res 312), which banned all amendments except those pertaining to the structure of the proposed Department of Environmental Protection. Gore, a key environmental ally, and other supporters of the bill argued that it was the wrong measure through which to try to broadly rewrite environmental policy. The rule was rejected 191-227: R 5-167; D 185-60 (ND 140-28; SD 45-32); I 1-0. It was one of the rare occasions in the 103rd Congress in which a rule was defeated.

    Only five Republicans—Christopher Shays of Connecticut, Constance A. Morella of Maryland, John Edward Porter of Illinois and New York members Sherwood Boehlert and Benjamin A. Gilman—voted to adopt the rule. All five members had voting records that favored environmental policies.

    Gore's tactic of targeting freshmen also proved futile. Sixty-four freshmen, many of whom campaigned on a plank of less government and a new way of doing federal business, voted to reject the procedural motion.

    The vote was seen as a sign that the House favored cost-benefit studies and less government regulation. With no rule, the EPA Cabinet bill was never brought up again on the House floor, and Clinton was unable to fulfill his promise for speedy action on the measure.

    The subject of risk assessment also would scuttle an attempt to make the Safe Drinking Water Act more flexible for states, local governments and small water system operators and bog down an effort to reorganize the Agriculture Department. (Senate key vote 7)

    House Republicans promised a vote on an antiregulatory proposal, which included a cost-benefit provision similar to the Mica-Thurman amendment, as part of their “Contract with America” in the first 100 days of the 104th Congress.

    2. Defense Spending

    Early in the year, the House beat back an effort by liberals to make relatively minor cuts in defense spending to pay for new social programs, demonstrating that Congress would not tolerate raids on defense beyond reductions contained in President Clinton's budget.

    In his fiscal 1995 budget Clinton requested $263.7 billion to fund national defense programs. He said in his State of the Union address that his request “draws the line against further defense cuts…. We must not cut defense further.”

    Nevertheless, liberal activists in Congress believed that Clinton would not fight hard to fend off cuts in the defense request. That assumption was driven, in part, by the fact that cuts in the defense budget were virtually the only source from which Congress could squeeze funds to pay for new domestic initiatives. The liberals made their move on the budget resolution (H Con Res 218), with an amendment sponsored by Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass. to reduce defense budget authority in fiscal 1995 by $2.4 billion.

    However, Clinton, his top aides and the House Democratic leadership lobbied vigorously against the Frank amendment. It was defeated March 10 by a vote of 105-313: R 12-160; D 92-153 (ND 82-85, SD 10-68); I 1-0.

    After that, no other effort to significantly reduce the defense budget request came close to adoption in either the House or the Senate.

    During the 1992 presidential campaign, Clinton had vowed to cut $60 billion from the $1.4 trillion that President George Bush projected in total defense budgets for fiscal 1994–1997. But the defense program Clinton unveiled early in 1993 cut Bush's projected total by $123 billion—more than twice the promised amount.

    Administration officials insisted that changing economic circumstances accounted for the deeper cut and that Clinton's program would meet his goal of paying for a modernized and combat-ready force large enough to win two simultaneous regional wars. But Republican defense specialists and some centrist Democrats warned that Clinton's budgets were shortchanging the “two-war” force.

    The funding squeeze was exacerbated when Congress rejected out of hand Clinton's plan to restrain the annual cost of living raises for military personnel. The fiscal 1994 defense authorization and appropriations bills included a 2.2 percent military pay raise, rather than the freeze that Clinton proposed.

    To cover the future costs of only the fiscal 1994 congressionally mandated military raise, the administration agreed to boost Clinton's multiyear defense funding plan by $11.4 billion. Clinton's request for fiscal 1995 included $2.4 billion of that pay-raise add-on, the amount the liberals targeted for elimination with the Frank amendment.

    3. Balanced-Budget Amendment

    With the Senate having rejected the proposal only two weeks before, members of the House could have taken a free ride and cast a politically popular vote to adopt a proposed constitutional amendment to require a balanced federal budget.

    House Democratic leaders opposed to the balanced budget amendment worked the issue hard, and after they used subtle but effective procedural tactics and demanded discipline from the large class of Democratic freshmen, the proposed amendment fell 12 votes short of the two-thirds majority required to pass.

    The measure (H J Res 103) came to the floor only after chief sponsor Charles W. Stenholm, D-Texas, gathered more than the necessary 218 signatures from colleagues on a so-called discharge petition to force a floor vote without committee action.

    The fact that Stenholm was able to get the signatures in a single afternoon attested to the frustration many lawmakers felt over the inability of Congress to reduce the deficit. The constitutional amendment was a popular refuge for members to prove they were deficit hawks while not having to vote for the specific spending cuts or taxes needed to make a balanced budget a reality.

    Stenholm's amendment was identical to the version previously rejected by the Senate. It would have required a balanced budget by fiscal 2001 or the second year after ratification by the states, whichever came later. A three-fifths vote would have been required to approve deficit spending. (Senate key vote 4)

    Having won the right to get a vote on his proposal, Stenholm faced a difficult battle as House leaders opposed to the measure structured debate on several alternatives to siphon sufficient votes to derail Stenholm's version. The measure ultimately failed March 17, 271-153: R 171-1; D 99-151 (ND 47-122, SD 59-29); I 0-1. It needed 283 “yeas” to pass.

    During the debate, the House considered four alternative balanced-budget amendments. A significantly less stringent version, drafted by Bob Wise, D-W. Va., with the blessing of Democratic leaders, was soundly defeated on a 111-318 vote. Sixty-four Democrats who voted for Wise's alternative did not vote for Stenholm's.

    Another alternative, pushed by Reps. Joe L. Barton, R-Texas, and W. J. “Billy” Tauzin, D-La., was more stringent. Their version—which paralleled one outlined later in the House GOP's “Contract with America”—would have required Congress to muster a three-fifths supermajority for any tax increase.

    Needing only a simple majority for preliminary approval, the Barton-Tauzin version was adopted 211-204. But Stenholm's version was sent on for final consideration—and eventual defeat—after it was adopted later by voice vote.

    The constitutional amendment had returned to the House floor two years after the House defeated a similar measure on a 280-153 vote, after a late lobbying blitz by organized labor and senior citizens.

    Seniors, led by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), again pulled out all stops, blasting the proposal for threatening Social Security. Phones in the Capitol started ringing off the hook after the AARP sent out a huge overnight mailing to its members asking them to lobby against the amendment. Wise's version, which would have protected Social Security, gave members political cover, allowing them to vote in favor of the politically popular constitutional limitation while not alienating seniors.

    In light of the preceding action by the Senate, Democratic leaders urged rank-and-file members, especially freshmen, to avoid the temptation to consider support of the Stenholm version a free vote. To go on record supporting Stenholm would have given the proposal a better chance of passing in the future. In the end the critical voting bloc of 64 Democratic freshmen stayed with the leadership by a 2-1 ratio; only 20 Democratic freshmen voted for the Stenholm amendment, and 43 were opposed.

    4. Budget Resolution

    In contrast to the battle Congress went through in 1993, the budget resolution debate was almost a nonevent, in large part because President Clinton asked that Congress hold the line on further spending cuts. The request came as a relief to the Democratic Congress, which already had a full agenda wrestling with the mammoth task of trying to reshape the nation's health care system.

    Still, it took a barrage of last-minute lobbying by the administration to turn the tide April 14 when deficit hawks demanded a vote on a motion to instruct conferees (H Con Res 218) to increase the budget cuts in the fiscal 1995 budget resolution. Offered by Rep. John R. Kasich, R-Ohio, it was rejected on a largely party line vote of 202-216: R 159-6; D 43-209 (ND 29-141, SD 14-68); I 0-1. (Senate key vote 6)

    The motion would have required conferees to accept the Senate's proposal to cut an additional $26.1 billion in appropriations outlays over five years. The cuts would have gone beyond the $433 billion already in the five-year package Congress passed in 1993, which Clinton and Democratic leaders said provided sufficient deficit reduction for the next few years.

    The main argument that administration officials advanced against the Senate proposal was that it could result in cuts in defense which, Clinton said during his State of the Union speech, should not be cut any further. The administration made its case with the help of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who led the lobbying effort against the motion saying the cuts posed a serious threat to defense and had to be stopped.

    Kasich and Democratic budget cutters who joined him in support of the reductions rejected that argument, pointing out that the Senate's proposed cuts represented the only chance lawmakers would have to pursue serious deficit reduction. They said the administration's contention that the cuts were a threat to defense was a scare tactic.

    The House and Senate Appropriations committees had the authority to allocate the cuts in any way they saw fit when they divided up the discretionary budget among the 13 appropriations subcommittees—something they did once the budget resolution set their overall spending limit. The House's pattern had been to allocate about half the cuts to defense because defense made up half the budget's discretionary spending.

    The effort to make deeper cuts and its rejection was a familiar theme for House deficit hawks, who had tried before to promote spending cuts. In 1993 Kasich tried unsuccessfully to make an additional $90 billion in cuts in the budget resolution beyond the $433 billion already in it.

    5. Assault Weapons Ban

    Gun control advocates won their second major victory in less than a year when Congress, in late August 1994, passed a ban on certain semiautomatic assault weapons as part of its omnibus anticrime bill (HR 3355—PL 103-322). The pivotal vote came in the House, which approved the gun ban 216-214 on May 5. The Senate already had approved a similar proposal in 1993 as part of its sweeping crime bill, and the House action made it all but certain that the gun control measure would become law.

    Gun control groups knew their fortunes had changed when President Clinton took office in 1993. Clinton was the first president in recent years to actively support gun control. By the end of the year, gun control supporters had passed the Brady bill (HR 1025—PL 103-159), a nationwide waiting period and background check for handgun purchasers.

    Prospects for the assault weapons ban (HR 4296), however, were considered far slimmer. When the House voted on the issue in 1991, lawmakers defeated the ban by 70 votes. The National Rifle Association (NRA) had been a powerful lobby in the House, and Rep. Jack Brooks, D-Texas, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, which oversaw crime legislation, had long fought off gun control proposals. Even when the Senate passed the assault weapons ban in November 1993 as part of its crime bill, many observers predicted it would die in the House.

    Gun control advocates had new leverage: With crime at the top of voter concerns, lawmakers were eager to embrace anything seen as a tool for fighting violence. Moreover, many law enforcement groups lobbied for the ban and helped transform the issue from a “gun control” cause into a “tough on crime” issue.

    The proposed ban explicitly outlawed 19 assault-style weapons, as well as copycat models and other semiautomatic guns with two or more features identified with assault weapons. It also banned large-capacity ammunition clips. But the proposal specifically exempted more than 650 guns that presumably were used by hunters and other sportsmen, as well as any gun legally owned at the time of the law's passage.

    Gun control advocates and law enforcement groups pushed for the ban, saying assault weapons were the preferred weapons of criminals and were designed to kill humans rather than for sporting use. The NRA and its allies said the guns were no more lethal than other semiautomatic firearms and that banning them would do nothing to stop criminals from killing.

    As the floor vote approached, both sides mounted furious publicity and lobbying campaigns. The Clinton administration added its weight to the battle, with the president and several Cabinet members making phone calls to undecided lawmakers leading up to the vote May 5.

    House members began an emotional floor debate on the legislation with the outcome too close to call. Marge Roukema, R-N.J., a leading Republican supporter of the ban, invoked images of the gruesome carnage caused by the weapons. “Today our cities are war zones and our hospital emergency rooms are MASH units,” she said. Other supporters cited polls showing strong popular support for the ban.

    But opponents ridiculed the ban as ineffective and perhaps unconstitutional. They said the guns to be banned under the legislation were no more powerful than hundreds of others that would be exempt—just uglier.

    Once the roll call began, the two sides stayed closely matched. In the final minutes the tally hovered at 213-214, giving opponents the edge. But Rep. Andrew Jacobs Jr., D-Ind., shocked his colleagues by reversing his vote—drawing cheers from the bill's supporters as the vote total flipped to 214-213 in favor of passage. Three holdouts divided 2-1 in casting the final votes, bringing the final tally to 216-214: R 38-137; D 177-77 (ND 137-34, SD 40-43); I 1-0.

    The vote was a stunning setback for the NRA and its allies. They went on to fight the ban during House-Senate negotiations on the final crime bill. But with both chambers on record in favor of the ban, the stage was set for final passage. It was approved as part of the crime bill conference report in late August and signed into law by Clinton in September. (Senate key vote 12)

    6. Abortion Clinic Access

    Abortion rights supporters expected to make big gains in the 103rd Congress—even in the recalcitrant House—with the arrival of President Clinton, who supported their cause. But abortion remained a deeply controversial and complicated issue, and most initiatives to secure abortion rights stalled. The only significant legislation that emerged was one focused on safeguarding access to abortion clinics (S 636—PL 103-259), and even that had to overcome persistent opposition in both chambers.

    The bill's advocates were prodded by a January 1993 Supreme Court decision blocking clinic operators from using a 19th century civil rights law to obtain injunctions and other relief against blockaders. A rash of violence at abortion clinics nationwide, including shootings, arson and massive blockades, further fueled the quest for a federal solution. Supporters framed the measure not as a vote on abortion rights but as a law-and-order issue.

    Even so, abortion rights advocates were on the defensive from the time the House first considered the legislation in 1993. Many members—including several who opposed legal abortion—condemned the behavior of radical antiabortion activists, but they also expressed concern about approving a bill that might limit the First Amendment right to freedom of expression. From subcommittee action to House approval Nov. 18, 1993, the bill's opponents tried to limit its scope and leave the issue in the hands of local authorities.

    The legislation made it a federal crime to intimidate abortion clinic workers or women seeking abortions, by force or threat of force. Violators faced criminal penalties of jail time and fines. The law also allowed affected individuals to sue for civil remedies, such as compensatory damages or court injunctions to restrain blockaders. (Senate key vote 5)

    During House floor debate, much of the criticism centered on questions about the measure's constitutionality. Opponents charged that it singled out one point of view for censure. But the bill ultimately gained the support of several members who were ambivalent or even opposed to abortion rights but were disturbed enough by the violence to support legislation focused on that aspect of the problem.

    Both chambers had passed similar measures in 1993, and a conference committee met in 1994 to work out minor differences. Even getting to a conference took some doing, however, given the emotional nature of the issue. Opponents, led by Christopher H. Smith, R-N.J., forced a series of procedural votes March 17, using them to pound away at the bill.

    After conferees ironed out their differences, the House on May 5 considered adopting the conference report, setting off another wave of emotional debate. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., R-Wis., objected to a provision to allow plaintiffs but not defendants in clinic cases to recoup legal fees, and he tried to return the bill to conference. When that failed, opponents complained that the measure was too broad and its penalties excessive. “We're just looking for the punishment to be in sync with the crime,” Smith said.

    Supporters noted the increased violence at abortion clinics and maintained that local trespassing laws were insufficient or unenforced. “The right to choose is meaningless without the access to choose,” said Carolyn B. Maloney, D-N.Y. The vote to approve the conference report was 241-174: R 40-131; D 200-43 (ND 139-26, SD 61-17); I 1-0.

    7. Bosnia Arms Embargo

    For two years, lawmakers had expressed increasing frustration with the inability of successive administrations to halt Serbian aggression in Bosnia. But they always stopped short of actually trying to dictate policy toward the former Yugoslavian republic.

    That changed June 9, when the House voted overwhelmingly to require President Clinton to end compliance with the international arms embargo against the Bosnian Muslims. The House approved the measure, which was an amendment to the fiscal 1995 defense authorization bill, 244-178: R 127-45; D 117-132 (ND 84-87, SD 33-45); I 0-1. The Senate rejected a similar proposal July 1 on a 50-50 tie and approved a nonbinding amendment urging the president to look for a peaceful solution to the Bosnian conflict. (Senate key vote 10)

    Debate on the amendment highlighted the sharply conflicting views among House members over how to end the brutal conflict.

    Supporters of the amendment argued that the U.N. arms embargo, which was imposed on all the former Yugoslavia republics in 1991, had worked to the disadvantage of Bosnia's Muslim-led government forces. The Serbs, widely viewed as the aggressors in the conflict, had inherited heavy weaponry from the Yugoslavian army. The Muslims were relatively lightly armed.

    House Democratic Whip David E. Bonior, D-Mich., cast the issue in stark terms. “If we don't lift this embargo and at least let the people of Bosnia defend themselves,” he said, “then the blood of Bosnia isn't just on the hands of the Serbs—it's on all of us.”

    Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Lee H. Hamilton, D-Ind., argued that the amendment would eliminate chances for a peaceful resolution of the conflict. “If we lift this embargo, we are going to intensify the war, and by intensifying the war, that is another way of saying we are going to be killing a lot more people,” he said.

    The Clinton administration also worked to defeat the amendment, as senior officials warned lawmakers that ending the embargo would undermine the fragile multilateral peace negotiations.

    The administration labored under a tactical disadvantage. The vote on the amendment originally was scheduled to coincide with the president's trip to Europe. The White House, concerned that Clinton might be dealt a high-profile setback as he met with allied leaders, successfully won a delay of the vote.

    In return, administration officials promised not to personally lobby lawmakers on the embargo issue. In the end the administration lost many of its Democratic allies, including Bonior and Democratic Caucus Chairman Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland.

    8. Telecommunications

    Thanks largely to the work of two powerhouse committee chairmen, the House on June 28 overwhelmingly approved a major and contentious bill to rewrite the nation's 60-year-old communications law. The victory proved hollow, however, when lingering disagreements within the telecommunications industry scuttled the legislation in the Senate.

    Still, the House vote on the bill (HR 3626) demonstrated that it was possible to unite trust-busting Democrats and deregulatory Republicans in support of a move toward unfettered competition in telecommunications products and services. The tally was 423-5: R 173-1; D 249-4 (ND 168-3, SD 81-1); I 1-0.

    The bill would have superseded the 1982 court order that limited the regional Bell telephone monopolies mainly to the local telephone market and AT&T mainly to long distance and equipment manufacturing. Instead of having a federal judge decide when to remove those restrictions, the bill would have put the issue in the hands of the Federal Communications Commission, the Justice Department and state regulators.

    The Bells were eager to lift those restrictions, and they had a key ally in Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman John D. Dingell, D-Mich. But another House titan, Judiciary Committee Chairman Jack Brooks, D-Texas, argued for maintaining tough limits on what the Bells could do as long as they dominated the local phone markets.

    Through a series of compromises, Dingell and Brooks came up with a proposal for lifting the restrictions that had the unanimous support of their committees and the endorsement of almost every segment of the telecommunications industry. They whisked their bill to the House floor under a fast-track, no-amendment procedure usually reserved for minor bills—a stunning achievement for such a complex piece of legislation on a topic involving diverse, competing interests.

    A companion bill by Reps. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., and Jack Fields, R-Texas, that would have enabled competition in the local telephone and cable-television markets (HR 3636) passed the same day by a similar margin, 423-4. The House then folded HR 3636 into HR 3626. So broad was the support for the two bills that both Minority Whip Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., and Majority Whip David E. Bonior, D-Mich., took the floor to urge “yes” votes. The easy passage of the Brooks-Dingell bill disguised a major weakness in its legislative foundation, however: The $60 billion long-distance industry did not support it. Rather than trying to fight it out in the House, the long-distance carriers focused their attention on the Senate, where leaders of the Senate Commerce Committee had introduced a companion bill (S 1822) far more favorable to their interests.

    Thus, an important legislative battle was postponed until the Senate Commerce Committee tried to move S 1822 in July. Even though the leaders of the committee were able to broker a deal between the Bells and the long-distance carriers over the Bells' entry into the long-distance market, they could not unite the telecommunications industry behind the legislation. After several senators threatened end-of-session filibusters, Commerce Committee Chairman Ernest F. Hollings, D-S.C., pulled the plug on the bill.

    9. Space Station

    The year dawned ominously for NASA's space station. Congress had demonstrated in 1993 that big-science projects were not immune to budget-cutting fervor when it killed the superconducting super collider. The House served notice that the space station could be the next to go when members came within one vote of ending its authorization and within 24 votes of axing its fiscal 1994 appropriation.

    Then, in the spring, two key lawmakers said they were noncommittal about continuing the project in fiscal 1995. House Science Committee Chairman George E. Brown Jr., D-Calif., was concerned that the space station would siphon funds from other National Aeronautics and Space Administration science programs. House VA-HUD Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Louis Stokes, D-Ohio, warned that the space station might suffer if there was a shortage of money in the VA-HUD appropriations bill, which funded the departments of Veterans Affairs (VA), Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and independent agencies such as NASA.

    By June, Brown and Stokes had decided to support spending $2.1 billion in fiscal 1995 for the station, intended to be an orbiting space laboratory for research in biotechnology, chemistry and physics. After a closed-door subcommittee markup June 9, Stokes said he endorsed the project “because the president wanted it and felt that it was a vital part of his foreign policy.”

    Nevertheless, the space station's future was uncertain—as it had been for several years when it was the most controversial element of the VA-HUD spending bill. The federal government already had spent more than $11 billion on the space station, once known as Freedom, which it had envisioned in 1984 as an $8 billion project. The renamed Alpha project, a scaled-back version of the original, now carried a total price tag of about $30 billion.

    Leading the anti-station fight again were Tim Roemer, D-Ind., and Dick Zimmer, R-N.J. On June 29 they offered an amendment to the VA-HUD bill (HR 4624—PL 103-327) to bar using money to continue the project and redistributing the $2.1 billion to other NASA programs.

    Opponents blasted the project for being too expensive, unfocused in its mission, dependent on unreliable agreements with Russia and too reliant on job creation for its political support. “It's time for the Congress to do what it should have done years ago—cut our losses … and put an end to this budgetary black hole in space,” Zimmer said.

    Momentum had shifted in favor of funding the space station. The project's redesign, strong support from the Clinton administration and foreign policy implications through international agreements with Russia and other countries helped strengthen its support. “The 216-215 vote last year woke up a sleeping giant,” Roemer said of the lobbying blitz that preceded the 1994 vote. Roemer's amendment was defeated 155-278: R 40-136; D 114-142 (ND 101-72, SD 13-70); I 1-0.

    Afterward, Brown said one reason he had waffled earlier in the year was to prod the station's supporters to step up their efforts. Vice President Al Gore—who along with President Clinton and NASA administrator Daniel S. Goldin had personally lobbied members to support the project—expressed hope that the outcome would end the annual funding battle. “The strength of the House vote signals the end of doubt about America's commitment to space exploration,” Gore said in a statement.

    The Senate, traditionally a stronger supporter of the project, on Aug. 3 rejected an amendment to kill the space station, 36-64.

    10. California Desert

    The political muscle of environmentalists in the House proved to be no match for gun control opponents in a key vote July 12 on whether to permit hunting in an ecologically sensitive part of California's desert.

    Due largely to the support of the bipartisan Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, one of the largest membership-driven organizations on Capitol Hill, the gun control opponents won by a vote of 239-183: R 146-26; D 92-157 (ND 39-131, SD 53-26); I 1-0.

    The strength of the vote later persuaded Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and House Natural Resources Committee Chairman George Miller, D-Calif., to compromise on a crucial provision of a bill (S 21—PL 103-433) aimed at keeping a huge swath of California desert out of the hands of developers. (Senate key vote 15)

    The vote came on an amendment by Larry LaRocco, D-Idaho, to designate the East Mojave Scenic Area as a national preserve instead of the more coveted national park status preferred by Feinstein, Miller, the Clinton administration and a host of environmental groups.

    “Preserve” was a label rarely used by the National Park Service that allowed hunting, fishing and trapping to continue on protected federal land.

    The House easily approved a similar amendment in 1991. But environmentalists considered the California desert protection bill one of their legislative priorities for 1993–1994 and pressured lawmakers to give maximum protection to the land.

    The LaRocco amendment eventually became a crucial element in the floor strategy of Rep. Jerry Lewis and four other California Republicans to try to weaken the desert bill before it moved to a House-Senate conference committee. Lewis signed on as the amendment's chief cosponsor.

    LaRocco, a member of the sportsmen's caucus, initially lost to Miller when the Natural Resources Committee voted 17-25 on May 4 to reject the amendment. But LaRocco lobbied hard among the caucus's 182 House members and was supported on the floor by such groups as the National Rifle Association and the Safari Club.

    Although the sportsmen's caucus took no formal position on gun control, its members generally opposed such legislation. The caucus worked to preserve the interests of hunters, fishermen and people who shot for sport. A comparison of the votes for LaRocco's hunting amendment and the assault weapons ban in the 1994 crime bill showed that only 11 of the caucus's 182 House members voted against both measures.

    Several senior committee Democrats—LaRocco, Nick J. Rahall II of West Virginia, Austin J. Murphy of Pennsylvania and Pat Williams of Montana—voted for the hunting amendment. Miller downplayed the vote, saying Democrats were voting the wishes of their districts.

    11. Budget Process

    Deficit hawks generally pointed to entitlements such as Social Security, Medicare and food stamps, which made up roughly half the federal budget, as the place to look for serious deficit reduction.

    When a bill (HR 4604) to rein in entitlement spending came to the floor in July, there was more agreement on what not to cut than on anything else. The bill would have set limits on entitlement spending and required spending cuts or tax increases or both if the entitlement caps were breached.

    In a vote that stood as testament that Social Security remained the untouchable “third rail” of American politics, the House overwhelmingly rejected a substitute plan put forward by Charles W. Stenholm, D-Texas, that would have kept Social Security on the chopping block along with entitlements such as Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment insurance and others.

    Stenholm's plan would have forced real cuts. It would have set entitlement caps from 1996 through 2000 low enough to force as much as $150 billion in cuts from projected entitlement spending. His proposal would have capped entitlements at fiscal 1995 levels, with adjustments for the Consumer Price Index and demographic changes. If the Office of Management and Budget determined that the limits would be breached, the president would have had to propose legislation to close the gap or raise the caps. If Congress failed to agree on how to meet the targets, sequestration procedures would have kicked in.

    With Social Security making up 44 percent of all entitlements, members were loath to vote with Stenholm, especially since the underlying bill gave them a more politically palatable alternative. Stenholm's entitlement cutting plan was overwhelmingly defeated July 21, 37-392: R 9-165; D 28-226 (ND 15-157, SD 13-69); I 0-1.

    Instead, the House passed, 316-107, a plan that would have required the White House to set the entitlement targets. The final bill was virtually identical to the plan passed by the House (but not the Senate) during the 1993 debate over President Clinton's five-year deficit-reduction package and later implemented by executive order.

    With entitlement spending remaining below the targets set in 1993, neither the existing rules nor the House passed bill would have caused cuts in the near future. Along the way, the House rejected, 194-233, an alternative offered by John R. Kasich, R-Ohio, that would have required Congress and the White House each year to set caps on individual entitlement programs except Social Security.

    The action on entitlements came amid a growing sense that spiraling growth in such programs needed to be addressed if Congress was going to seriously attempt to cut the deficit. The 1993 budget deal put a major squeeze on money available to appropriators for discretionary spending but largely left entitlements alone.

    While the lopsidedness of the vote on Stenholm's amendment was attributable in part to the fact that members had politically palatable alternatives to vote for, the fact that it attracted so few votes highlighted one enduring truth: Congress might want to attack the deficit by curbing growth in entitlement spending, but not if it meant cutting Social Security, the biggest entitlement of them all.

    12. Crime Bill/Rule

    President Clinton and House Democratic leaders suffered one of their most embarrassing moments of the 103rd Congress on Aug. 11, when lawmakers blocked action on a major anticrime bill. Democratic leaders had pulled out all the stops to pass a procedural motion allowing the crime bill (HR 3355) to come to the House floor.

    Nearly 60 Democrats joined with almost all Republicans to defeat the rule (H Res 517). The vote highlighted divisions within the Democratic Caucus and severely imperiled passage of one of the president's key legislative priorities.

    Democrats had struggled from the beginning to write a crime bill that could win House approval. When the House passed its version of the crime bill in April, they thought they had succeeded. That bill cost about $28 billion. It included dozens of new death penalties and other criminal punishments, as well as billions of dollars for police hiring, prison construction and social programs designed to prevent crime. It was a balance that satisfied a majority of Democrats and some Republicans, and the bill passed by a comfortable 285-141 margin.

    The final, $33 billion crime bill that emerged from House-Senate negotiations generally followed the House bill with a notable exception—it added a ban on certain semiautomatic assault-style weapons. House lawmakers had approved a ban as separate legislation (HR 4296) in May, but without the votes of some of the lawmakers who had supported the crime bill. (House key vote 5)

    That presented House leaders with a difficult equation as they rounded up votes to bring the conference report to the floor. While numerous Republicans were expected to vote for the bill on final passage, GOP lawmakers routinely voted against proposed rules for floor debate because they saw such rules as a tool used by Democrats to suppress Republican views. Democratic leaders usually could count on solid party support for such votes.

    In this case, however, a large group of Democrats who opposed gun control insisted they could not cast a vote that would facilitate bringing the assault weapons ban to the House floor. Several members of the Congressional Black Caucus also withheld their support because of objections to the death penalty provisions in the measure.

    Clinton and the House leadership mounted a furious campaign to round up the necessary 218 votes. With little movement among the gun-rights Democrats, these leaders pinned their hopes on a group of Republican lawmakers who had voted for the House crime bill and also supported the assault weapons ban. These Republicans also felt pressure from their own party leadership, which insisted that GOP lawmakers hold together on the procedural vote.

    Republican leaders made procedural complaints about the crime legislation, saying Democratic leaders had ridden roughshod over GOP attempts to amend or influence the bill. They attacked the substance of the final product as weak on punishment and fiscally bloated, particularly with respect to crime prevention programs.

    Democrats defended the final bill as worthy and essential, and many charged that Republicans were simply trying to deny Clinton and his party a legislative success on an issue of great concern to voters. In the test of party allegiances, the Republicans prevailed. All but 11 GOP lawmakers voted against the rule while 58 Democrats broke with their party leadership on the issue. Most of those Democratic votes came from opponents of the gun ban, but 10 were from black lawmakers upset about the death penalty language and the decision to omit a provision aimed at combating alleged racial bias in death penalty sentencing.

    The final vote was 210-225: R 11-167; D 198-58 (ND 148-25, SD 50-33); I 1-0. In the aftermath, Republicans were jubilant about their show of power. Democratic leaders, badly shaken, began scrambling for ways to salvage the crime bill, which eventually cleared in late August (PL 103-322). (Senate key vote 12, House key vote 13)

    13. Crime Bill/Conference

    Public distress over violent crime proved stronger than congressional infighting Aug. 21, when House lawmakers overcame bitter disagreements to adopt the conference report on a massive, $30.2 billion anticrime bill (HR 3355). Just 10 days earlier, House Republicans and renegade Democrats had blocked action on the legislation. That vote was a stunning setback for President Clinton and the Democratic leadership, and it set up the possibility of lawmakers heading home empty-handed on an issue that many voters had identified as their top concern. (House key vote 12)

    Ultimately, that scenario was too threatening to numerous lawmakers in both parties. After a week of frantic and wearying negotiations, Democratic leaders agreed to revise the final bill to attract additional Republican votes. The new version trimmed $3.3 billion from the original bill and adjusted certain policy provisions.

    When the crime measure emerged from House-Senate negotiations in late July, most lawmakers and political analysts considered it unstoppable. Lawmakers in both parties were eager to take action on the issue of violent crime, and Democratic leaders appeared to have crafted an acceptable compromise: The final legislation included billions for prison construction sought by conservatives, social programs advocated by liberals and police hiring supported by almost everyone. To make sure the programs actually received promised funding, the legislation included a novel trust fund designed to devote the expected savings from federal layoffs to the anticrime programs.

    Even so, the measure foundered on two highly contentious issues: gun control and the death penalty. Almost 60 House Democrats opposed to either the assault weapons ban or the death penalty provisions in the bill joined forces with all but 11 Republicans to keep the legislation from the House floor Aug. 11. As the legislation lay wounded, lawmakers became more vocal about other complaints— some long-standing, some newly articulated. Republicans had complained that the bill was larded with wasteful social programs that they said would do little to reduce crime, while stinting on some of the penalties advocated by GOP lawmakers. They pressed these and other complaints in the days following the Aug. 11 vote.

    Democratic leaders defended the bill and complained that Republicans were simply seeking to deny Clinton and his party an important legislative success. Still, they had little choice but to negotiate. Although some House Democratic leaders advocated dropping the assault weapons ban to pick up support from Democrats opposed to gun control, Clinton insisted that the ban remain in the bill. That left key Democrats struggling to craft a package of modifications that could attract moderate Republican votes without jeopardizing any existing support within their own party.

    Some Republicans also had ample incentive to find a solution. Several dozen GOP lawmakers had supported the crime bill and assault weapons ban in earlier House votes and did not want to be seen as killing the legislation. Some Republican leaders also were skittish about appearing obstructionist on an issue of such concern to voters.

    After several days of tense, marathon negotiations, Democrats came up with a package that could pick up the needed extra votes from pro-gun control Republicans: cut $3.3 billion, most of it from crime prevention programs, and adjust certain penalties—agreeing, for example, to track convicted sex offenders after they were released from prison. House and Senate conferees convened shortly after 3 a.m. on Aug. 21 to adopt the changes. The new conference report went to the House floor later that day, where lawmakers voted 239-189 to take up the legislation. Forty-two Republicans were among those supporting the parliamentary motion. Shortly thereafter, the House approved the conference report, 235-195: R 46-131; D 188-64 (ND 141-31, SD 47-33); I 1-0.

    Although the legislation went on to face last-minute difficulties in the Senate, the House vote was a major victory for its supporters and one that renewed momentum toward final passage. It was a flawed but vital victory for Clinton and his party as they headed into the fall elections, particularly with the Democrats' goal of health care reform all but abandoned for the year. (Senate key vote 12)

    The vote also represented a watershed in Congress' crime fighting efforts; the legislation (PL 103-322) marked an unprecedented federal commitment on the issue of violent crime, which had been primarily a state and local responsibility, and some lawmakers predicted that Congress would find the responsibility hard to abandon in the future.

    14. Lobbying

    Considered a certainty earlier in the year, passage of a bill (S 349) to overhaul lobbying disclosure requirements and ban lobbyist gifts to members was nearly derailed in the House on a procedural vote Sept. 29. But House Democratic leaders saved the measure—a key element of their agenda of political reform—by leaving the vote open for several minutes while they twisted arms and persuaded several pliable Democrats to switch their votes.

    The closeness of the vote, however, presaged the bill's death at the hands of the Senate a week later. (Senate key vote 14)

    The vote was on whether to adopt the rule (H Res 550) accompanying the conference report on the lobbying disclosure bill—in effect, a vote on whether to bring the bill up for a final vote. Sponsors knew that few members would have the temerity to vote down the lobbying bill, and risk being tagged as antireform, on the final vote. So the rule vote was the opponents' last chance to stop the bill in the House.

    Ninety-three members who eventually voted for the bill tried to kill it by voting against the rule. Finally, the rule was approved 216-205 (R 5-170; D 210-35: ND 156-13, SD 54-22, I 1-0). Shortly afterward the conference report itself was approved 306-112.

    The vote was close for several reasons. House Republican leaders, emboldened by their success at frustrating President Clinton and the Democrats on many fronts, tried to kill the bill on the procedural vote, even though many of them had voted for it when the House passed its first version of the bill 315-110 on March 24.

    Some lawmakers from both parties privately disliked a provision in the bill that barred members from accepting most meals, gifts and entertainment from lobbyists. But the public debate centered on last-minute objections raised by GOP Whip Newt Gingrich of Georgia. He contended that the disclosure requirement on grass-roots organizations would force them to disclose contributors to grassroots efforts. He predicted that the Clinton administration would fill the directorship of the new office handling lobby registrations with a “secular, antireligious liberal” who could use his powers to squelch religious viewpoints.

    The bill's House sponsor, John Bryant, D-Texas, countered that the bill would specifically exempt religious groups from disclosure requirements unless they hired lobbyists to conduct the campaign. Gingrich's arguments failed in the House, but they bore fruit in the Senate.

    Democratic leaders not only had to contend with Republicans who wanted to deny them a legislative victory and with Democrats wanting to preserve privileges, they also had to woo normally loyal allies in the Congressional Black Caucus. Several members of the caucus decided to vote against the rule merely to remind Democratic leaders not to take their votes for granted. Caucus Chairman Kweisi Mfume, D-Md., switched his vote from no to yes in the waning moments of the vote. That helped save the bill from going down.

    15. Haiti

    Almost as soon as President Clinton dispatched thousands of troops to Haiti on Sept. 19, some lawmakers began discussing plans to bring them home. By the time the House took up a resolution (H J Res 16) providing limited authorization for the deployment of troops until March 1, 1995, however, any momentum for setting a hard and fast deadline was gone. The administration, with the strong backing of senior military officers, had convinced Congress that setting a date certain for withdrawal could endanger American forces.

    Republicans, who had been itching for an opportunity to debate Haiti policy, were determined to voice their objections. Minority Leader Robert H. Michel, R-III., and Benjamin A. Gilman, R-N.Y., offered a GOP alternative that blasted Clinton for dispatching troops to Haiti in the first place.

    The amendment called for a pullout of U.S. forces from the Caribbean island “as soon as possible in a manner consistent with the safety of those forces.” It provided expedited procedures for a vote to shut down the mission after the 104th Congress convened in January.

    During the hours of debate on the amendment, Republicans went to the well to warn their colleagues that the administration was on the way toward becoming trapped in a “quagmire” in Haiti.

    While the proposal would not have placed any binding restraints on the administration, it clearly had the potential to embarrass Clinton. Democrats, overcoming their own uneasiness with the operation, rallied behind the president. The Michel-Gilman amendment was rejected 205-225 in a vote that divided largely along partisan lines: R 173-1; D 32-223 (ND 21-153, SD 11-70); I 0-1.

    After the House defeated the Michel-Gilman amendment, it adopted a far milder substitute that did little more than require detailed reports from the president on the Haiti operation. It chided the president for failing to seek congressional assent before dispatching U.S. forces, but it included no withdrawal deadline. (Senate key vote 9)

    The vote on that amendment, which was offered by an unlikely alliance of pro-Pentagon lawmakers and liberal members of the Congressional Black Caucus, was 258-167.

    16. GATT

    Acting in a rare lame-duck session, the House on Nov. 29 and the Senate on Dec. 1 gave President Clinton a big legislative victory by passing the bill (HR 5110—PL 103-465) to implement the Uruguay Round pact strengthening the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).

    The GATT victory reaffirmed trade policy as the strong suit of Clinton's agenda in the 103rd Congress. It came almost exactly one year after the enactment of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) linking the United States, Canada and Mexico.

    However, the GATT victory came nearly a month too late to give the election-year political boost that Clinton had hoped the bill could provide for himself and his beleaguered fellow Democrats, who lost control of both chambers of Congress with the Nov. 8 elections.

    The trade pact sharply reduced tariffs and trade barriers around the world and brought such key industries as intellectual property, agriculture and services under worldwide trade disciplines.

    The administration promised it would result in billions of dollars in economic growth and thousands of new jobs for the United States.

    The same coalition of organized labor, environmentalists, political populists and “America First” conservatives who spearheaded the emotional fight against NAFTA tried again on GATT. They failed to arouse much interest. But the administration and congressional GATT supporters took several months to fine-tune the implementing bill, giving opponents an opportunity to delay action.

    The president finally submitted the bill to Congress on Sept. 27, under rules that gave each committee chairman with jurisdiction up to 45 days to review the bill. Sen. Ernest F. Hollings, D-S.C., who insisted that free-trade policies had damaged the U.S. economy, demanded his 45 days, forcing the Senate leadership to schedule a two-day lame-duck session beginning Nov. 30.

    Clinton asked for the House to press on and approve the bill before its October adjournment. Many members of both parties expressed anxiety about taking a stand on the complex legislation before the election, and Minority Whip Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., warned that he could not promise sufficient Republican votes to guarantee passage of the bill.

    The Democratic House leadership therefore delayed consideration of the legislation until the one-day session Nov. 29. The House returned on that date for a debate that was tepid compared with the previous one on NAFTA. Even the opponents recognized that supporters had more than enough votes to pass HR 5110 and reserved their stronger efforts for the Senate, where the bill first had to clear a key procedural hurdle.

    Voting under fast-track procedures for trade legislation, which allowed only for an up-or-down vote with no amendments, the House passed the GATT bill 288-146: R 121-56; D 167-89 (ND 107-66, SD 60-23); I 0-1. GATT supporters hailed the outcome as a sign that Clinton would find room for bipartisan cooperation with the incoming Republican majority. (Senate key vote 16)

    1. Fiscal 1994–1995 State Department Authorization/Relations with Vietnam

    S 1281 Kerry, D-Mass., amendment to express the sense of the Senate that in order to expand and maintain Vietnamese cooperation in resolving POW/MIA cases, the president should lift the U.S. trade embargo against Vietnam. Adopted 62-38: R 20-24; D 42-14 (ND 31-11, SD 11-3), Jan. 27, 1994.

    2. Goals 2000: Educate America/Passage

    HR 1804 Passage of the bill to authorize $422 million for competitive grants for schools seeking to improve their performance, write into law six national education goals and establish tests and standards for elementary and secondary students. Passed 71-25: R 17-25; D 54-0 (ND 41-0, SD 13-0), Feb. 8, 1994. (Before passage the Senate struck all after the enacting clause and inserted the text of S 1150 as amended.) A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    3. Fiscal 1994 Disaster Supplemental Appropriations/Rescissions

    HR 3759 Byrd, D-W.Va., motion to table (kill) the Kerrey, D-Neb., amendment to rescind $94 billion over five years from 54 programs. Motion agreed to 65-31: R 23-19; D 42-12 (ND 31-9, SD 11-3), Feb. 9, 1994. (The motion also killed a Hatfield, R-Ore., amendment to the Kerrey amendment, with $18.6 billion in defense rescissions.) A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    4. Balanced-Budget Amendment/Passage

    S J Res 41 Passage of the joint resolution to propose a constitutional amendment to require a balanced budget by 2001 or the second fiscal year after ratification by three-fourths of the states, whichever is later. Congress could waive the balanced-budget requirement if three-fifths of the House and Senate approved deficit spending, or by a simple majority when a declaration of war was in effect or when there was a threat to national security. The amendment would prohibit the courts from ordering tax increases or spending cuts unless specifically authorized by Congress. Rejected 63-37: R 41-3; D 22-34 (ND 12-30, SD 10-4), March 1, 1994. A two-thirds majority vote (67 in this case) is required to pass a joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution. A “nay” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    5. Abortion Clinic Access/Conference Report

    S 636 Adoption of the conference report to establish federal criminal and civil penalties for people who use force, the threat of force or physical obstruction to block access to abortion clinics. Adopted (thus cleared for the president) 69-30: R 17-27; D 52-3 (ND 41-1, SD 11-2), May 12, 1994. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    6. Fiscal 1995 Budget Resolution/Conference Report

    H Con Res 218 Adoption of the conference report to set budget levels for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 1995: budget authority, $1.541 trillion; outlays, $1.514 trillion; revenues, $1.338 trillion; and a deficit of $175.4 billion. The resolution calls for an additional $13 billion in cuts over five years below the spending caps established last year. Adopted (thus cleared) 53-46: R 2-42; D 51-4 (ND 39-3, SD 12-1), May 12, 1994.

    7. Safe Drinking Water Act Reauthorization/Risk Assessment

    S 2019 Johnston, D-La., amendment to require an analysis of risk, costs and benefits for regulations issued by the Environmental Protection Agency to enforce the bill that would have an impact of $100 million or more. Adopted 90-8: R 41-3; D 49-5 (ND 36-5, SD 13-0), May 18, 1994.

    8. Product Liability Reform/Cloture

    S 687 Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the bill to set standards for awarding punitive damages, encourage out-of-court settlements, bar product liability claims against most product sellers, set time limits for such lawsuits, end joint liability for noneconomic damages and hold injured parties responsible for their use of alcohol or drugs. Motion rejected 57-41: R 38-6; D 19-35 (ND 13-27, SD 6-8), June 29, 1994. Three-fifths of the total Senate (60) is required to invoke cloture.

    9. Fiscal 1995 Foreign Operations Appropriations/Congressional Approval for Action in Haiti

    HR 4426 Gregg, R-N.H., amendment to prohibit military action in Haiti unless the operations are authorized in advance by Congress or the action is necessary to protect U.S. citizens or national security interests. A “nay” was a vote in support of the president's position. Rejected 34-65: R 34-10; D 0-55 (ND 0-41, SD 0-14), June 29, 1994.

    10. Fiscal 1995 Defense Authorization/Unilateral Termination

    S 2182 Dole, R-Kan., amendment to require the president to terminate the U.S. arms embargo of Bosnia-Herzegovina upon receipt from that government of a request for assistance in its right of self-defense. Rejected 50-50: R 37-7; D 13-43 (ND 11-31, SD 2-12), July 1, 1994. A “nay” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    11. Fiscal 1995 VA-HUD Appropriations/Ethanol Mandate

    HR 4624 Mikulski, D-Md., motion to table (kill) the Johnston, D-La., amendment to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from implementing its renewable oxygenates rule for reformulated gasoline, which would require a minimum of 15 percent and eventually 30 percent of the oxygenates used in reformulated gasoline to come from renewable sources, such as ethanol. The amendment also would have cut NASA's procurement budget by $39.3 million. Motion agreed to 51-50: R 19-25; D 31-25 (ND 26-16, SD 5-9), with Vice President Gore casting a “yea” vote, Aug. 3, 1994. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    12. Omnibus Crime Bill/Budget Act Waiver

    HR 3355 Mitchell, D-Maine, motion to waive the budget act with respect to the Domenici, R-N.M., point of order against the crime conference report for violating Section 306 of the 1974 Congressional Budget Act and encroaching on the Budget Committee's jurisdiction by establishing a trust fund not considered by the committee. The conference report would authorize $30.2 billion over six years and require that all spending authorized by the bill come from a crime trust fund realized from eliminating 270,000 federal jobs. The bill would authorize $6.9 billion for crime prevention programs, $8.8 billion for community policing programs and the hiring of 100,000 new police officers, and a $7.9 billion grant program to build state and local prisons. The bill also would ban 19 specific assault weapons, expand the death penalty to dozens of new federal crimes, mandate life imprisonment without parole for three-time violent felons, provide for community notification of violent sex offenders, and allow prior sex offenses to be admitted in federal trials. Motion agreed to 61-39: R 6-38; D 55-1 (ND 42-0, SD 13-1), Aug. 25, 1994. A three-fifths majority vote (60) of the total Senate is required to waive the budget act. (Subsequently, the point of order fell.) A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    13. Campaign Finance/Cloture

    S 3 Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the motion to request a conference with the House on the bill to establish a system for voluntary spending caps on congressional campaigns. Motion rejected 52-46: R 2-40; D 50-6 (ND 40-2, SD 10-4), Sept. 30, 1994. Three-fifths of the total Senate (60) is required to invoke cloture. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    14. Lobbying Disclosure/Cloture

    S 349 Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the conference report to expand the disclosure of lobbying activities and impose new restrictions on gifts to members of Congress and their staffs. Motion rejected 52-46: R 7-36; D 45-10 (ND 38-4, SD 7-6), Oct. 6, 1994. Because the bill would change Senate rules, two-thirds of those present and voting (66 in this case) is required to invoke cloture.

    15. California Desert Protection/Cloture

    S 21 Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the conference report to designate about 7.5 million acres of California desert as wilderness and to establish the Death Valley and Joshua Tree national parks and the Mojave National Preserve. Motion agreed to 68-23: R 14-23; D 54-0 (ND 41-0, SD 13-0), Oct. 8, 1994. Three-fifths of the total Senate (60) is required to invoke cloture. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    16. General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade/Budget Waiver

    HR 5110 Moynihan, D-N.Y., motion to waive the budget act with respect to the Byrd, D-W.Va., point of order against the bill to implement the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) for violating the budget act. The bill would make statutory changes to implement the new world trade agreement negotiated under the Uruguay Round of GATT. Motion agreed to 68-32: R 31-15; D 37-17 (ND 29-13, SD 8-4), Dec. 1, 1994. A three-fifths majority vote (60) of the total Senate is required to waive the budget act. (Subsequently, the budget act was waived and the point of order fell.) A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    1. Department of Environmental Protection/Rule

    HR 3425 Adoption of the rule (H Res 312) to provide for House floor consideration of the bill to elevate the Environmental Protection Agency to cabinet-level status. Rejected 191-227: R 5-167; D 185-60 (ND 140-28, SD 45-32); I 1-0, Feb. 2, 1994.

    2. Fiscal 1995 Budget Resolution/Defense Cuts

    H Con Res 218 Frank, D-Mass., substitute amendment to reduce the $263.3 billion in defense budget authority in the resolution by $2.4 billion. Rejected in the Committee of the Whole 105-313: R 12-160; D 92-153 (ND 82-85, SD 10-68); I 1-0, March 10, 1994. A “nay” was a vote in support of the president's position. (In the 103d Congress, 1993–1994, a rule in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives granted the resident commissioner from Puerto Rico and the delegates from American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Guam, and the Virgin Islands the right to vote on the floor when the House was considering bills for amendment in the Committee of the Whole, providing their votes were not decisive in the outcome. The vote tallies here and in the boxscore above differ in that the votes of the resident commissioner and delegates are excluded from the boxscore tally. This floor voting privilege was rescinded on January 4, 1995, shortly after the Republicans captured control of the House.)

    3. Balanced-Budget Constitutional Amendment/Passage

    H J Res 103 Passage of the joint resolution to propose a constitutional amendment to require a balanced budget by 2001 or the second fiscal year after ratification by three-fourths of the states, whichever is later. Congress could waive the balanced-budget requirement if three-fifths of the House and Senate approve, or when a declaration of war was in effect or when there was a declared military threat to national security. Rejected 271-153: R 172-1; D 99-151 (ND 47-122, SD 52-29); I 0-1, March 17, 1994. A two-thirds majority vote of those present and voting (283 in this case) is required to pass a joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution. A “nay” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    4. Fiscal 1995 Budget Resolution/Instruct Conferees

    H Con Res 218 Kasich, R-Ohio, motion to instruct the House conferees to agree to the Senate amendment to provide an additional $26.1 billion in deficit reduction over the next five years and to protect defense spending from further cuts. Motion rejected 202-216: R 159-6; D 43-209 (ND 29-141, SD 14-68); I 0-1, April 14, 1994. A “nay” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    5. Assault Weapons Ban/Passage

    HR 4296 Passage of the bill to ban the manufacture and possession of 19 types of semiautomatic weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips but exempt existing guns and about 670 guns that are deemed to have a legitimate sporting purpose. Passed 216-214: R 38-137; D 177-77 (ND 137-34, SD 40-43); I 1-0, May 5, 1994. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    6. Abortion Clinic Access/Conference Report

    S 636 Adoption of the conference report to establish federal criminal and civil penalties for persons who use force, the threat of force or physical obstruction to block access to abortion clinics. Adopted 241-174: R 40-131; D 200-43 (ND 139-26, SD 61-17); I 1-0, May 5, 1994. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    7. Fiscal 1995 Defense Authorization/Bosnia Arms Embargo Unilateral Termination

    HR 4301 McCloskey, D-Ind., amendment to require the president to terminate unilaterally the arms embargo of Bosnia-Herzegovina upon receipt from that government of a request for assistance in its right of self-defense, authorizing the president to provide up to $200 million in defense articles and services. Adopted in the Committee of the Whole 244-178: R 127-45; D 117-132 (ND 84-87, SD 33-45); I 0-1, June 9, 1994. A “nay” was a vote in support of the president's position. (In the 103d Congress, 1993–1994, a rule in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives granted the resident commissioner from Puerto Rico and the delegates from American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Guam, and the Virgin Islands the right to vote on the floor when the House was considering bills for amendment in the Committee of the Whole, providing their votes were not decisive in the outcome. The vote tallies here and in the boxscore above differ in that the votes of the resident commissioner and delegates are excluded from the boxscore tally. This floor voting privilege was rescinded on January 4, 1995, shortly after the Republicans captured control of the House.)

    8. Revising Restrictions on the Regional Bell Companies/Passage

    HR 3626 Brooks, D-Texas, motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill to set conditions for the regional Bell telephone companies to enter the long-distance, telecommunications manufacturing, alarm service and electronic publishing markets. Motion agreed to 423-5: R 173-1; D 249-4 (ND 168-3, SD 81-1); I 1-0, June 28, 1994. A two-thirds majority of those present and voting (286 in this case) is required for passage under suspension of the rules. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    9. Fiscal 1995 VA, HUD Appropriations/Space Station

    HR 4624 Roemer, D-Ind., amendment to terminate the space station and reallocate the $2.1 billion to other NASA programs. Rejected in the Committee of the Whole 155-278: R 40-136; D 114-142 (ND 101-72, SD 13-70); I 1-0, June 29, 1994. A “nay” was a vote in support of the president's position. (In the 103d Congress, 1993–1994, a rule in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives granted the resident commissioner from Puerto Rico and the delegates from American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Guam, and the Virgin Islands the right to vote on the floor when the House was considering bills for amendment in the Committee of the Whole, providing their votes were not decisive in the outcome. The vote tallies here and in the boxscore above differ in that the votes of the resident commissioner and delegates are excluded from the boxscore tally. This floor voting privilege was rescinded on January 4, 1995, shortly after the Republicans captured control of the House.)

    10. California Desert Protection/Hunting Exception

    HR 518 LaRocco, D-Idaho, en bloc amendment to designate the East Mojave Scenic Area a national preserve rather than a national park, thus permitting hunting, fishing and trapping to continue in the area. Adopted in the Committee of the Whole 239-183: R 146-26: D 92-157 (ND 39-131, SD 53-26); I 1-0, July 12, 1994. (In the 103d Congress, 1993–1994, a rule in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives granted the resident commissioner from Puerto Rico and the delegates from American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Guam, and the Virgin Islands the right to vote on the floor when the House was considering bills for amendment in the Committee of the Whole, providing their votes were not decisive in the outcome. The vote tallies here and in the boxscore above differ in that the votes of the resident commissioner and delegates are excluded from the boxscore tally. This floor voting privilege was rescinded on January 4, 1995, shortly after the Republicans captured control of the House.)

    11. Entitlement Spending Control/Stenholm Substitute

    HR 4604 Stenholm, D-Texas, substitute amendment to set caps on all entitlement spending (including Social Security) for fiscal 1996–2000 that would result in some $150 billion in cuts below current projections; require automatic cuts in all programs (including Social Security) if Congress failed to pass reconciliation legislation to prevent spending from exceeding the caps; and prohibit the use of tax increases or cuts in discretionary spending to offset excess entitlement spending. Rejected in the Committee of the Whole 37-392: R 9-165; D 28-226 (ND 15-157, SD 13-69); I 0-1, July 21, 1994. (In the 103d Congress, 1993–1994, a rule in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives granted the resident commissioner from Puerto Rico and the delegates from American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Guam, and the Virgin Islands the right to vote on the floor when the House was considering bills for amendment in the Committee of the Whole, providing their votes were not decisive in the outcome. The vote tallies here and in the boxscore above differ in that the votes of the resident commissioner and delegates are excluded from the boxscore tally. This floor voting privilege was rescinded on January 4, 1995, shortly after the Republicans captured control of the House.)

    12. Omnibus Crime Bill/Rule

    HR 3355 Adoption of the rule (H Res 517) to waive points of order against and provide for House floor consideration of the $33 billion crime conference report to help hire 100,000 new police officers through an $8.8 billion community policing program, build state and local prisons through an $8.7 billion state grant program, provide $7.6 billion for crime prevention programs such as after-school sports leagues and job training programs, create a crime trust fund directing $30.2 billion over six years to combat crime, ban 19 specific assault weapons and expand the death penalty to dozens of federal crimes. Rejected 210-225: R 11-167; D 198-58 (ND 148-25, SD 50-33); I 1-0, Aug. 11, 1994. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    13. Omnibus Crime Bill/Conference Report

    HR 3355 Adoption of the conference report to authorize $30.2 billion over six years and to require that all spending authorized by the bill come from a six-year, $30.2 billion crime trust fund realized from eliminating 270,000 federal jobs. The bill would authorize $6.9 billion for crime prevention programs, such as after-school sports leagues and job training programs, $8.8 billion for community policing programs and the hiring of 100,000 new police officers, and a $7.9 billion grant program to build state and local prisons. The bill also would ban 19 specific assault weapons, expand the death penalty to dozens of new federal crimes, mandate life imprisonment without parole for three-time violent felons, provide for community notification of violent sex offenders, allow prior sex offenses to be admitted in federal trials and require HIV testing when requested in federal rape trials. Adopted (thus sent to the Senate) 235-195: R 46-131; D 188-64 (ND 141-31, SD 47-33); I 1-0, Aug. 21, 1994. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    14. Lobbying Disclosure/Rule

    S 349 Adoption of the rule (H Res 550) to provide for House floor consideration of the conference report to expand the disclosure of lobbying activities and impose new restrictions on gifts to members of Congress and their staffs. Adopted 216-205: R 5-170; D 210-35 (ND 156-13, SD 54-22); I 1-0, Sept. 29, 1994.

    15. U.S. Troops in Haiti/Immediate Withdrawal

    H J Res 416 Gilman, R-N.Y., substitute amendment to express the sense of Congress that the president should not have ordered U.S. troops to occupy Haiti and that the president should immediately commence “the safe and orderly withdrawal” of all U.S. forces from Haiti. The substitute also would provide for consideration of a joint resolution to be introduced Jan. 3, 1995, that if enacted would prohibit the continued use of U.S. troops in Haiti within 30 days. Rejected in the Committee of the Whole 205-225: R 173-1; D 32-223 (ND 21-153, SD 11-70); I 0-1, Oct. 6, 1994. A “nay” was a vote in support of the president's position. (In the 103d Congress, 1993–1994, a rule in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives granted the resident commissioner from Puerto Rico and the delegates from American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Guam, and the Virgin Islands the right to vote on the floor when the House was considering bills for amendment in the Committee of the Whole, providing their votes were not decisive in the outcome. The vote tallies here and in the boxscore above differ in that the votes of the resident commissioner and delegates are excluded from the boxscore tally. This floor voting privilege was rescinded on January 4, 1995, shortly after the Republicans captured control of the House.)

    16. General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade/Passage

    HR 5110 Passage of the bill to make statutory changes to implement the new world trade agreement negotiated under the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). The agreement would reduce tariffs and trade barriers, ensure stricter enforcement of world trade rules through the newly established World Trade Organization, and expand GATT rules to cover such economic sectors as agriculture, services and intellectual property. The bill also would accelerate tax payment schedules, change eligibility standards for certain federal programs, and make other changes to offset lost revenues from tariff reductions in order to comply with pay-as-you-go budget rules. Passed 288-146: R 121-56; D 167-89 (ND 107-66, SD 60-23); I 0-1, Nov. 29, 1994. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    Appendix

    1995 Key Votes

    Senate
    1. Balanced-Budget Amendment

    Six Democrats who voted in 1994 in favor of a constitutional amendment to require a balanced federal budget switched their votes less than a year later to sink a virtually identical measure.

    Senate floor debate on the proposed constitutional amendment (H J Res 1) consumed the month of February. The House had already passed the measure, and Senate passage would have sent it to the states for ratification.

    But the rhetoric was overshadowed by an ever-shifting vote count and a dramatic conclusion when Republicans fell one tantalizing vote short of the 67 (two-thirds majority) needed for passage. After Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., changed his vote to “no” to preserve his ability under Senate rules to call for a revote later, the measure failed 65-35: R 51-2; D 14-33 (ND 9-28, SD 5-5). (House key vote 1)

    Throughout the Senate debate, it was clear that the outcome would be close. A similar amendment had received 63 votes in 1994. The 1994 Republican landslide, while installing eight new GOP senators in seats previously held by Democrats, ended up providing a net gain of only four votes, since the other four GOP newcomers replaced pro-amendment Democrats. If all remaining senators had voted the way they previously had, the balanced-budget amendment would have passed with the bare minimum of 67 votes.

    Amending the Constitution to require that expected spending equal expected revenues had long been the top priority for deficit hawks who argued that, barring such a requirement, Congress and the president would not be able to muster the courage to balance the budget. Opinion polls showed overwhelming support for the amendment, though its popularity slipped once poll respondents were reminded that cuts in popular programs might be required.

    When the debate started Jan. 30, it appeared an uphill task for opponents. Two of the three Republicans who opposed the amendment in 1994 (Ted Stevens of Alaska and Nancy Landon Kassebaum of Kansas) soon signaled that they would come on board, leaving Appropriations Committee Chairman Mark O. Hatfield of Oregon as the only Republican in opposition.

    But several Democrats who voted for the amendment in 1994 quickly shifted into the undecided column. And some, including Dianne Feinstein of California and Ernest F. Hollings of South Carolina, declared that they would vote against the amendment unless it was broadened to protect Social Security. “We have some senators who have voted for it in the past, thinking it was a free vote, who are now shooting with real bullets,” said Dole.

    Still, these Democratic defections seemed to be offset by the conversions of three former Democratic opponents—Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, Tom Harkin of Iowa and Max Baucus of Montana—each of whom faced reelection in 1996.

    As the debate wound to a close, the focus turned to a handful of Democrats, including Sam Nunn of Georgia, and Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad, both of North Dakota. Dorgan and Nunn had voted for the amendment in 1994; Conrad had voted against it. If two of the three voted “yes,” the amendment would pass.

    After a delay that alarmed the amendment's floor managers, Nunn again supported the amendment but only after winning a belated change to block federal courts from enforcing its provisions.

    Meanwhile, it became clear that Dorgan and Conrad—top lieutenants to Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., who had himself earlier switched to oppose the amendment—were tilting against. They cited concerns over Social Security.

    Others pointed to their close relationship with Daschle and suggested the endgame was being carefully choreographed to ease political damage for Democrats while ensuring the amendment—which was opposed by President Clinton—went down to defeat.

    In the end, it came down to Conrad, whom Republicans tried to coax over during last-minute negotiations on the floor over Social Security. But the talks, while dramatic, proved fruitless, and the amendment went down to defeat.

    The loss represented a bitter defeat for Dole and his fellow Senate Republicans and served as a potent reminder that most of the House GOP's “Contract with America” would have a tough time in the Senate.

    2. Line-Item Veto

    By an unexpectedly large margin and with surprising speed, the Senate on March 23 passed a bill to give the president the functional equivalent of a line-item veto. The bill passed 69-29: R 50-2; D 19-27 (ND 13-23, SD 6-4).

    The measure proposed to dramatically shift power over spending decisions from Congress to the executive branch.

    For Republicans, especially Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., passage of the bill (S 4) represented a much-needed opportunity to prove that the Senate was not a graveyard for the House GOP's “Contract with America.” Promise of a line-item veto was a key plank in the contract. But to get the bill to the floor required Dole to dramatically rework the measure after serious rifts between supporters of competing bills threatened to shatter Republican unity and produce what one GOP aide called “Republican-on-Republican violence.”

    In the end, the Senate opted for an approach under which appropriations bills or other measures containing special interest tax breaks or new entitlement spending would be broken apart into hundreds of new bills. These “separately enrolled” bills would each then be subject to a presidential veto.

    By going for the separate enrollment idea, Dole headed off a confrontation between conservatives backing an “enhanced rescissions” measure (HR 2) that had passed the House and a smaller bloc of GOP moderates lined up behind a less stringent “expedited rescissions” bill (S 14) that proposed to shift far less power to the White House. The split had threatened to sink the entire effort.

    Ironically, the separate enrollment idea had its strongest backing from a handful of Democrats such as Ernest F. Hollings of South Carolina, Joseph P. Biden Jr. of Delaware and Bill Bradley of New Jersey.

    Contributing to the speedy passage of the bill in 1995 was the defeat of the balanced-budget constitutional amendment only three weeks earlier at the hands of Senate Democrats. That made it much more difficult for Democrats to oppose the line-item veto bill or even to slow it down. It sped through the Senate in four days, which seemed like warp speed after the protracted balanced-budget amendment battle.

    Also helping Republicans was a statement by Clinton urging the Senate “to pass the strongest possible line-item veto and to make it effective immediately.”

    Throughout the Senate debate, the bill drew heaps of scorn from opponents, who derided the separate enrollment idea as unworkable. Even supporters admitted the bill was less than perfect. But any opposition was swamped by widespread sentiment that something needed to be done to change the existing process, which allowed Congress to bury questionable spending items in appropriations bills that the president had little option but to sign.

    The bill did not make it to Clinton's desk, however. House and Senate Republicans made only halting efforts to reconcile the huge differences between their versions, clearly hesitant to give such sweeping new powers to a Democratic president.

    3. Product Liability

    Efforts to curb product liability damage awards had spanned more than a decade. In 1995 the Republican-controlled Congress gave proponents their best chance ever to break a Senate logjam.

    In March the House passed a broad product liability bill (HR 956) that included limits on medical malpractice and frivolous lawsuits as part of the Republicans' “Contract with America.” Attention then turned to the Senate, where Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., backed efforts to pass a bill that tracked the House proposal. Dole was under pressure to move legislation to shore up his support among conservatives as he sought the GOP presidential nomination.

    But Dole was bested by Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia, the chief Democratic sponsor of a much more narrowly drawn bill. Throughout Senate floor debate, Rockefeller warned that a broad bill could not command the 60 votes needed to end a certain filibuster. His prediction rang true after two back-to-back cloture votes May 4 failed to cut off debate. The second motion to cut off debate was rejected 47-52: R 45-9; D 2-43 (ND 2-33, SD 0-10).

    The setback forced Dole and his allies to regroup and back a narrow version of HR 956 that passed on a 61-37 vote May 10. Dropped from the final version were protections against liability for doctors and sanctions to limit frivolous lawsuits.

    In the days leading up to the defeat of the cloture motions, the Senate had taken a series of votes to broaden the bill, narrowly approving amendments to extend new protections to doctors, small and large businesses, and charitable organizations, as well as to manufacturers of faulty products.

    Proponents of the broad Senate bill argued that expanding the legislation could build grass-roots support beyond the relatively small coalition of manufacturers who were covered by the narrow bill. (The House had taken a similar tack with great success, overcoming initial unease that the strategy would undermine prospects for passage.)

    In the end, the Senate's retreat made reaching a compromise with the House more difficult. Even Senate advocates of a broad bill conceded that a final bill could not be much different than the Senate-passed version. At year's end, House and Senate conferees on HR 956 had failed to broker their differences.

    4. Telecommunications Overhaul

    In 1994 Congress's effort to rewrite the 60-year-old federal telecommunications law foundered in the Senate. In 1995 the Senate overcame its own internal divisions on telecommunications issues with such a convincing margin as to give the legislation early momentum and limit President Clinton's veto options.

    Several things had changed since the 103rd Congress. The Senate membership had become decidedly more Republican and more inclined to reduce regulation. And S 652, the 1995 bill, was drafted in a fashion much more favorable to the regional Bell operators, who were instrumental in the defeat of the Senate bill in late 1994.

    S 652 sought to rewrite decades of telecommunications laws considered out of date with rapidly evolving digital telecommunications technology. Its principal provisions included removing the barriers that separated local and long-distance telephone companies since the breakup of AT&T in 1982.

    From the outset, the main political fight was between interests allied with regional Bell companies and those allied with the long-distance carriers. The vote to pass S 652 was a resounding demonstration of the clout wielded by the Bells.

    It also represented an early, and controversial, entry by Congress into the business of regulating objectionable content on the Internet and private on-line computer services. The bill included an amendment by Sen. Jim Exon, D-Neb., to ban the on-line dissemination of indecent material. Once S 652 passed, there was little doubt the House would have to address that issue as well.

    The margin of the June 15 Senate vote on passage was impressive, especially given that the previous year's efforts went nowhere. The vote was 81-18: R 51-2; D 30-16 (ND 23-13, SD 7-3).

    That strong showing undermined Clinton's position early. He complained about some of the bill's provisions, but refrained from issuing a veto threat until later, just before the House bill passed by a narrower, but still veto-proof margin. (House key vote 9)

    The Senate vote had an effect on internal Democratic politics as well. Throughout the year, Ernest F. Hollings of South Carolina counseled White House officials to restrain from being too vigorous in its opposition. The big vote allowed him to argue that he—and not the White House—should assume the role of chief Democratic negotiator as the bill moved into a House-Senate conference.

    5. Highway Speed Limits

    S 440 was supposed to be a minor highway bill designating the routes of a new National Highway System that had been created in 1991. But when it was drafted to include the repeal of all federal speed limits, it quickly became a vehicle for states' rights and deregulation. With much of the GOP agenda blocked by interchamber divisions or presidential veto, the speed limit issue stood out as one of the few successful bids to give power held by the federal government back to the states.

    On many issues, the Senate had been more cautious than the House about devolving federal power. But on speed limits, the Senate embraced the concept enthusiastically—in part because rural states, where federally mandated speed limits were unpopular, held proportionately greater power.

    The speed limit provision was included from the outset in S 440 and remained unchallenged during consideration in the Environment and Public Works Committee in early May. But Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J., former chairman of the committee and a prime advocate of highway safety programs, vowed to kill it on the floor.

    Instead, it was Lautenberg's amendment to strike the provision that was killed June 20, in the form of a tabling motion offered by Don Nickles, R-Okla. The vote to table was 65-35: R 50-4; D 15-31(ND 10-26, SD 5-5). The bill itself passed by voice vote two days later.

    Repealing federal speed limits had long been a goal of Western states with long stretches of empty highways. Before the enactment of the 55 mph limit in 1974 (amended in 1987 to allow a 65 mph limit on rural portions of interstate highways), states had set their own limits. With the passage of S 440, speed limits once again went up Montana, for instance, returned to its pre-1974 policy of having no specific limits for cars at all on some highways during daylight hours.

    Speed limits were first intended to reduce oil consumption on the heels of the Arab oil embargo. But by the time S 440 came up for debate, the world had been awash in oil for more than a decade. The debate was framed as a safety issue by Lautenberg and as a states' rights issue by Republican and Western lawmakers. The states' rights side won handily.

    A similar provision was included in the House version of the National Highway System bill (HR 2274) passed Sept. 20, and a move to strike it was handily rejected 112-313. Despite the reluctance of committee leaders in both chambers to take steps that could be interpreted as weakening highway safety laws, the provision was included in the conference report on S 440 that cleared Nov. 18. President Clinton vigorously denounced the repealing of speed limits, but the strength of the Senate vote and the need to release highway money to the states led his advisers to conclude that he might not be able to sustain a veto. He signed the bill into law Nov. 28.

    6. Foster Nomination

    Antiabortion activists got an early indication of the impact of the 1994 elections when the Senate derailed the nomination of President Clinton's choice to become surgeon general. Although abortion was one catalyst in the fight over the nomination of Nashville obstetrician and gynecologist Henry W. Foster Jr., the politics of the 1996 presidential contest could not be discounted in the outcome.

    Almost as soon as Clinton nominated Foster to replace Joycelyn Elders (who had become controversial for her stands on sex education as well as abortion), antiabortion activists raised questions about the number of abortions Foster had performed and suggested that even one could be enough to disqualify him for the position as the nation's top health spokesman.

    Foster and the White House stumbled initially after the nomination was announced in February. White House officials announced that Foster had performed only one abortion; Foster then said he had done about a dozen. A further check indicated that Foster was the physician of record for 39 abortions.

    The confusion opened the door to further attacks on Foster's credibility, including his knowledge about an infamous syphilis study in Tuskegee, Ala., before it was disclosed in 1972. In that study, infected black men were left untreated so federal officials could study the disease. Foster was also questioned about the success of his highly touted program to discourage inner-city teen pregnancy.

    Further muddying the waters were the maneuvers of two Republican presidential hopefuls—Sens. Bob Dole of Kansas and Phil Gramm of Texas. Dole, the majority leader and considered the GOP front-runner, and Gramm, one of Dole's most serious challengers, both were looking for support from the party's conservative antiabortion activists, considered key to winning certain Republican primaries and caucuses. While Gramm threatened to filibuster, Dole countered that he might not bring the nomination to the floor.

    Meanwhile, Clinton, another player in the presidential sweepstakes, stood by his nominee throughout the grueling five-month process, amid accusations that he was trying to shore up his support among abortion-rights advocates by selecting Foster in the first place.

    Foster's strong performance at a hearing of the Labor and Human Resources Committee, which ultimately recommended that he be confirmed, left Dole with little choice but to move forward with the nomination. Easing his no-vote suggestion, Dole met with Foster and then agreed to bring up the nomination for a vote.

    But the controversy would not end. In a move that stole some of Gramm's thunder, Dole scheduled a cloture vote to see if there would be the 60 votes necessary to cut off Gramm's threatened filibuster. The move also prevented a straight up-or-down vote on Foster's nomination, which would have required only 51 votes for confirmation. Eventually two cloture votes were held a day apart, but the decisive vote turned out to be the first on June 21, which failed by three votes to cut off debate 57-43: R: 11-43; D: 46-0 (ND 36-0, SD 10-0). That ended Foster's chances; there was no change in the tally when the Senate failed again June 22 to invoke cloture.

    7. Regulatory Overhaul

    Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., made passage of an overhaul of federal regulations a top priority for 1995. To this end, he sponsored S 343, a tough bill that would have required cost-benefit analyses and risk assessment for many new regulations.

    The attack on federal regulations as burdensome and costly resonated with the party's conservative constituencies and, in particular, with small-business owners. Passage of S 343 was viewed as a test of Dole's ability to deliver. But Dole was forced to shelve the measure July 20 after an unyielding bloc of Democratic opponents narrowly rejected his motion to cut off their filibuster of the bill. The vote was 58-40: R 54-0; D 4-40 (ND 0-34, SD 4-6). It was Dole's third unsuccessful cloture effort the week of July 17 on a bill that had tied up the Senate floor for nearly two weeks.

    During the debate, Dole made several concessions to opponents, but he continued to insist that the Senate pass a tough measure that would require extensive cost-benefit and risk analysis for major regulations, expand opportunities for regulated parties to sue federal agencies over their adherence to administrative procedures and allow individuals to petition agencies to modify or revoke regulations.

    On July 18, when the Senate voted on a comprehensive and less restrictive substitute amendment, it became clear that support for Dole's approach was not overwhelming. The thinly bipartisan alternative, offered by John Glenn, D-Ohio, and John H. Chafee, R-R.I., was narrowly rejected 48-52. Unlike S 343, the Glenn-Chafee substitute would have given agency officials much greater latitude in carrying out cost-benefit tests, limited judicial review of agency procedures and disallowed individuals to petition agencies for regulatory review.

    By the final cloture vote, the battle drawn-out had been distilled to rhetorical shorthand: Are Senate Democrats defending the status quo and thwarting legislation to stem costly overregulation, or are they protecting the American people by preventing Republicans from tying federal agencies in procedural knots and allowing special interests to gut health, safety and environmental protections?

    8. Lobby Registration

    Having successfully staged a filibuster to kill legislation in the 103rd Congress to strengthen reporting requirements for lobbyists, some Senate Republicans were not eager to see the issue return. But once the matter came to a vote July 25, the Senate unanimously passed a bill (S 1060) to impose significant new reporting requirements. The vote was 98-0: R 53-0, D 45-0 (ND 36-0, SD 9-0).

    The vote was critical because bipartisan Senate support for the bill, sponsored by William S. Cohen, R-Maine, and Carl Levin, D-Mich., brought political pressure on House Republicans to bring an identical lobby registration measure to the floor of that chamber. House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, had said June 21 that he would not schedule a vote on lobby legislation until the Senate acted. Once House Republican leaders scheduled a vote, the House cleared the measure for President Clinton's signature. (House key vote 17)

    Still, the unanimous Senate vote belied the uncertainty that surrounded the bill up until it passed. First, bill supporters had a hard time getting Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., to agree to bring the bill to the floor. In June Levin and Paul Wellstone, D-Minn., threatened to try to attach the measure to the big telecommunications deregulation bill (S 652), a priority of the GOP leadership. It was only then that Dole said he would set aside time in July for the lobby bill.

    With the Republican takeover the previous fall fueling demands to change the way Congress operated, GOP leaders found themselves with a Hobson's choice of enacting tough lobby legislation or passing no bill at all. Inaction, though, carried steep political risks from a public demanding an end to business as usual.

    Mindful of that, Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., led the GOP efforts to come up with a bipartisan lobbying bill that would attract wide support. Dole and Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., appointed a bipartisan task force in late June to try to develop such a compromise. McConnell and Levin, both members of the task force, announced a breakthrough July 24, the same day debate began on the original bill, which had lacked broad bipartisan support.

    The Senate adopted the McConnell-Levin substitute by a 98-0 vote July 24 and with that vote all but assured final passage a day later.

    9. Bosnia Troop Deployment

    After four years of televised atrocities and horrific stories of “ethnic cleansing,” most senators knew that no bill or law could stop the war in Bosnia. But they also had come to the realization that the status quo was no longer tenable. With that sense of grim resignation, the Senate on July 26 voted overwhelmingly to unilaterally break the U.N. embargo that had barred arms shipments to Bosnia's beleaguered Muslims. It was a bipartisan demand for a change in U.S. policy toward the Balkans, even though that change risked a wider war and a deeper American military role in the conflict. But frustration with the largely diplomatic approach pursued by the Clinton administration and U.S. allies outweighed the risks.

    The die had been cast well before the vote. Having all but conceded defeat, the White House focused its lobbying efforts on keeping the vote below the two-thirds margin needed to override a threatened presidential veto.

    The administration did not even achieve that modest objective. The Senate passed the lift-the-embargo bill (S 21), sponsored by Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., and Connecticut Democrat Joseph I. Lieberman, by a vote of 69-29: R 48-5; D 21-24 (ND 19-17, SD 2-7).

    The Senate action set the stage for a momentous foreign policy clash between President Clinton and Congress. Less than a week later, on Aug. 1, the House easily passed the measure, 298-128, sending the legislation to the president. Again, the margin was sufficient to override a veto.

    The bill crafted by Dole and Lieberman included no direct military aid for the outgunned Bosnian Muslims, widely perceived to be the victims of Serb aggression. It merely ordered the president to break the arms embargo imposed on all of the former Yugoslavia in 1991. In order to produce a strong vote, Dole included waivers and conditions enabling the president to delay that action for months.

    Clinton, as promised, vetoed the legislation Aug. 11, calling it “the wrong step at the wrong time.” The president contended that ending the arms ban would shred allied unity, force the withdrawal of U.N. forces from Bosnia and ultimately drag the United States into the conflict.

    The votes in Congress, combined with a series of unrelated events on the ground in Bosnia, already were pushing the administration into a far more aggressive policy. Most significantly, the United States and its allies responded in a meaningful fashion to an act of Serb aggression. After an Aug. 28 Serb mortar attack on the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo, scores of U.S. and other NATO aircraft began pounding Serb positions. That changed the course of the war and Western diplomacy in the Balkans. Clinton signaled that the United States, after years of deferring to its allies in a failed policy of negotiations and pinprick air strikes, was finally prepared to lead.

    The administration's new assertiveness also reduced the temperature in the congressional debate over ending the embargo. Dole was still intent on arming the Bosnians, but he indicated he would postpone a showdown on overriding Clinton's veto to give the new policy time to work.

    Dole also maintained that the air strikes were necessitated, at least in part, by Congress's uncompromising stance. “The West knew what would happen if it didn't respond to the latest Serb atrocity,” he said Aug. 30. “Congress would override President Clinton's veto of the legislation lifting the U.S. embargo on Bosnia.”

    The votes on overriding the veto never took place, as a new, U.S. led diplomatic offensive produced a peace agreement among Bosnia's bitter enemies. Clinton received the grudging support of Congress, as he deployed 20,000 U.S. troops to help enforce that accord.

    10. Gift Ban

    Against a backdrop of widespread discontent with Congress, the Senate prepared in July to limit the gifts and trips that senators and their aides could accept from special interests. The real question, though, came down to how strict those limits should be.

    Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., William S. Cohen, R-Maine, and Carl Levin, D-Mich., were in one camp. They proposed a package of changes to Senate internal rules (S Res 158) that required senators to turn down any gift or meal valued at more than $50. Senators and their aides also would be limited to no more than an aggregate total value of $100 in gifts from any one source in a year. In a central provision, the proposal called for banning senators and their aides from accepting lobbyist-financed recreational trips to golf, ski and tennis resorts to raise money for charities.

    Frank H. Murkowski was in another camp. The Alaska Republican believed McCain's proposal went too far and threatened to stifle fund-raising for good causes. Murkowski offered an amendment that would have allowed senators to continue to accept free recreational trips for charitable events. “I think we have a clear choice,” Murkowski said.

    Do we want to establish the same lodging and transportation rules for charitable fund-raisers as we have for political fund-raising or do we want to make it harder, harder to raise money for worthy charities?

    Paul Wellstone, D-Minn., was solidly in McCain's camp. “It does not serve any of us as individual senators well when lobbyists pay for senators and their spouses or their family to go on weekend golf, tennis, skiing or fishing trips,” he said. “It is inappropriate. We ought not to be taking these gifts. People in the country do not think it is right.”

    In a critical test of politics as usual, the Senate rejected the Murkowski amendment July 28. The vote was 39-60: R 30-23, D 9-37 (ND 2-34, SD 7-3).

    The vote showed that there was a clear majority in the Senate for toughening gift rules. It also revealed support for ending lavish, lobbyist-paid recreational trips. Further, it sent a message to voters that the Senate was trying to change the way institutional Washington operated. The trips had become a point of particular public ire.

    The fact that a majority of senators rejected Murkowski's proposal in favor of tough gift rules helped Wellstone push through by voice vote an even tougher amendment that called for counting all gifts and meals of $10 or more toward the $100 aggregate limit.

    Murkowski's defeat also cleared the way for the Senate later the same day to adopt the final rules change package by a vote of 98-0. The new gift restrictions applied only to the Senate and went into effect Jan. 1. The unanimous vote reflected what Senate leaders had always known: Once the measure was on the floor, senators found it politically impossible to oppose tough gift restrictions. For this reason, there was considerable resistance initially to bringing up any gift rule proposals that had not first been vetted behind closed doors by all sides.

    In late 1994 Senate Republicans had staged a filibuster and killed similar provisions. A year later Wellstone and Levin forced the gift restrictions to the floor by threatening to attach the provisions along with those relating to new lobby registration requirements to a telecommunications deregulation bill (S 652), a legislative priority for the GOP leadership.

    The Senate action put pressure on the House GOP leadership to take up the issue as well. In fact, the House went even further than the Senate and voted to ban virtually all gifts, except those from family and friends. (House key vote 14)

    11. Packwood Hearings

    The nearly three-year-old sexual misconduct case against Sen. Bob Packwood, chairman of the powerful Finance Committee, eventually brought down a pivotal figure in the Republican drive to cut taxes and reduce federal spending. The case also threatened the reputation of the institution that the Oregon Republican had called home for almost 27 years.

    Stung by public revulsion to the televised hearings of sexual misconduct charges leveled in 1991 by Anita F. Hill against then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, most senators shuddered at the idea of dragging the institution through another spectacle.

    Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., was trying to build a presidential campaign on the strength of his work in the Senate, and one thing he did not need in mid-1995 was a parade of witnesses testifying against a key ally.

    It was one of the four Democratic women elected to the Senate in 1992 in the wake of voter outrage over the Thomas-Hill hearings who forced the critical issue of public hearings on Packwood to the Senate floor. The effort by Barbara Boxer of California opened old wounds and caused the Ethics Committee to bring its inquiry of Packwood to an abrupt halt for 10 days.

    Throughout July, a virtually unanimous Republican Party—including all three GOP members of the Ethics Committee—stood by their embattled colleague. On July 11, six days after Packwood declined to ask the committee to hold public hearings on his case, Boxer announced that she would try to force a floor vote to urge public hearings.

    Boxer's announcement put senators in an uncomfortable position. The choice: avert public hearings on sexual misconduct allegations and avoid a lengthy and steamy public spectacle; or confront political pressure from female members of Congress, women's organizations and even some conservative Christian groups—all of which had called for public hearings.

    Boxer's vow prompted Ethics Committee Chairman Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to threaten to hold public hearings on ethical allegations leveled against Democratic senators. McConnell then abruptly called off the committee's deliberations on Packwood from July 21-31. When the committee met again at the end of July, it voted along party lines, 3-3, against holding public hearings in the Packwood case. It was the first time the ethics panel decided not to hold public hearings in a case that had reached the final stage of committee deliberations.

    True to her word, Boxer on Aug. 2 then offered her amendment calling for public hearings to the defense authorization bill (S 1026). After a lengthy debate, in which the three Republican members of the Ethics Committee spoke against the amendment and the three Democratic members backed the measure, the Senate voted down Boxer's amendment, 48-52: R 3-51; D 45-1 (ND 35-1, SD 10-0). Only William S. Cohen, R-Maine; Olympia J. Snowe, R-Maine; Arlen Specter, R-Pa.; and Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-N.Y., crossed party lines. Packwood raised eyebrows when he voted against the amendment rather than abstain.

    The controversy behind them, members of the committee resumed their deliberations on the Packwood case the next day. Those talks were again put on hold after the committee announced that they would investigate two new allegations of sexual misconduct against Packwood, one involving a minor.

    Packwood lashed out at the committee for reopening the case and announced that he would fight back. On Aug. 25 Packwood both stunned and angered his allies in the Senate by reversing his position and calling for public hearings.

    On Sept. 6, without ever taking public testimony, the committee unanimously voted to expel Packwood on charges of sexual misconduct, abuse of office and obstruction of justice. A day later, after meeting with two close allies, Dole and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., Packwood announced his resignation on the floor of the Senate.

    12. Defense Spending

    The two types of raptors in the Senate's Republican aviary—deficit hawks whose top priority was slicing the federal budget and defense hawks intent on reversing a decade of inflation-adjusted decline in Pentagon spending—more or less split the difference to hammer out a defense appropriations bill for fiscal 1996. So, although the Senate was consumed in brutal fights over how deeply to cut nearly every other discretionary program in the federal budget, it approved a $7 billion addition to Clinton's defense request without much of a fight and by nearly a two-thirds majority.

    Two senior Republicans on the Armed Services Committee, Arizona's John McCain and Virginia's John W. Warner, opened the bidding in this curiously low-profile defense budget debate by calling for a fiscal 1996 budget that would provide the same purchasing power as the budget Congress had approved for fiscal 1995—in other words, provide the Pentagon with enough of an increase to cover the cost of inflation. This would have required adding $12 billion to $15 billion to Clinton's $258 billion request. That proposal ran afoul of other Republicans determined to reduce all federal spending.

    Senate Democrats were split three ways. Most liberals preferred a smaller defense budget than Clinton requested. Others, mostly from the political center, supported a boost in Clinton's budget, though favoring a smaller increase than McCain had proposed. Yet others had a strong stake in any bill that funded programs that were vital to constituents' jobs.

    The basic issue of how much to spend for defense was settled by the Congressional Budget Resolution (H Con Res 67), which presumed an increase of $7 billion. Although there was no evidence of broad support for such an increase, the entire issue of defense spending had little resonance with the public. Perhaps for that reason, Democratic heavyweights never mounted a serious effort to challenge the $7 billion increase.

    Money for military construction and for nuclear weapons programs conducted by the Energy Department was contained in separate legislation. The clearest test of Senate support for higher defense spending was passage of the defense appropriations bill (S 1087), which covered all Pentagon programs other than construction.

    The Senate passed the bill, which included $6.4 billion more than the administration requested, by a vote of 62-35: R 48-4; D 14-31 (ND 7-28, SD 7-3).

    13. Welfare Overhaul

    The Senate's passage of the welfare overhaul bill (HR 4) stood in stark contrast to the outcome in the House. While debate in the House was swift and raucous, leaving conservatives firmly in command, the Senate acted deliberately and in a more muted atmosphere, giving moderates from both parties the edge. The final product provided a road map for a bipartisan overhaul that was ultimately disdained.

    Republican Senators, like House Republicans, agreed to make block grants their principal instrument of change. The aim was to give states broad authority to run their own welfare programs, with lump sum federal payments to help offset costs. (House key vote 3)

    But Senate Republicans disagreed among themselves on many specifics. Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., tried to bring both sides together by postponing the Senate's August recess and getting members to focus on his own overhaul plan (S 1120), which revised legislation that had been approved by several committees.

    However, many Republicans were reluctant to embrace Dole's bill. Conservatives sought more restrictions on social services and more block grants to the states. Moderates wanted assurances that states would maintain their existing welfare funding and guarantees that welfare recipients who were required to work would have access to child care. With no easy resolution in sight, Dole pulled the bill off the floor after a day and a half of opening speeches.

    When Dole's bill, offered as an amendment to HR 4, returned to the floor after Labor Day, the most influential senators turned out to be a small group of moderate Republicans who occasionally formed a powerful coalition with the chamber's 46 Democrats. They reshaped the bill more to their liking, through negotiations with the leadership and victories on a few hotly contested amendments. Their efforts bolstered the bill's spending for child care and increased how much states would have to contribute to their welfare programs. They also blunted conservative attempts to impose more restrictions on welfare assistance.

    The split between moderate and conservative Republicans crystallized over whether to prohibit federal welfare assistance payments to children born to welfare recipients. The House bill had included this so-called family cap, and Dole added it to the Senate version when pressed to do so by conservatives. But moderates insisted that each state should decide whether to deny checks in those instances. They found overwhelming support for their position in the Senate, which voted 66-34 on Sept. 13 in favor of an amendment by Pete V. Domenici, R-N.M., to strike the provision.

    President Clinton, who had been at odds with House Republicans over their version of the bill, praised the Senate measure. It passed 87-12 on Sept. 19, with a strong, if fragile, majority from both parties: R 52-1; D 35-11 (ND 25-11, SD 10-0).

    Not everyone rejoiced. Liberals warned that the bill would destroy the social safety net, and they objected to ending the 60-year-old guarantee of providing welfare checks to eligible low-income mothers and children. Conservatives grumbled that the Senate version did not do enough to try to stem out-of-wedlock births.

    Both sides looked ahead warily to the House-Senate conference. When the conference produced a compromise that included some important elements of the House version, Democratic support largely vanished, and Clinton vetoed it.

    14. Budget Reconciliation

    For several months after the watershed November 1994 elections, the newly Republican Senate seemed much less inclined than the feisty new House GOP majority to find a way to reconcile the Republicans' campaign pledges to cut taxes and balance the budget while leaving more than half of federal spending (Social Security, defense, interest on the debt) off the table.

    Led by men who had witnessed the failures of the Reagan fiscal revolution of the 1980s, the Senate adopted a go-slow approach. Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., and Budget Committee Chairman Pete V. Domenici, R-N.M., both evinced much less interest in deep tax cuts than their House counterparts, and Domenici called early in 1995 for just a “down payment” on a balanced budget.

    But once the House charged ahead, the Senate had little choice but to follow. Domenici developed a seven-year plan to balance the budget by 2002, and he reluctantly made room for $170 billion in tax cuts—roughly half the House's $353 billion—that would kick in only after the Congressional Budget Office had certified that the detailed spending cuts in the budget-reconciliation bill would actually balance the budget.

    The Senate budget targeted for overhaul many of the same politically volatile programs the House went after. It proposed ending entitlement status for Medicaid and welfare, introducing more market forces into Medicare and slashing away at scores of long-standing domestic spending programs.

    The Senate handily adopted both its own fiscal 1996 budget resolution (S Con Res 13) May 25 and a compromise House-Senate version (H Con Res 67) on June 29. In that June compromise, the House came a little more than halfway toward the Senate on tax cuts, reducing the figure to $245 billion. But the budget still called for spending cuts tougher than a small but powerful group of Senate GOP moderates wanted.

    Heading into the key showdown over the budget reconciliation bill (HR 2491), which translated the budget resolution into actual spending cuts, leaders worked hard to find ways to keep the moderates on board. In the end, it took two floor amendments to keep a swing group of six GOP moderates behind the reconciliation bill.

    One rider added nearly $6 billion for education programs, mostly in the form of subsidies for college loans. The other added back some $12 billion for Medicare and Medicaid. Centrist Republicans, whom Democrats had hoped might blow up the reconciliation bill, instead voted for it in a big showdown Oct. 28, as the Senate passed the measure, 52-47: R 52-1; D 0-46 (ND 0-36, SD 0-10).

    Said moderate Republican John H. Chafee of Rhode Island, “You've got to remember one driving force that is pushing this: We've got to get these deficits under control. So we've been able to swallow a lot of things to achieve that goal.”

    15. Late-Term Abortions

    Following the House lead, the Senate in late 1995 stepped deeper into antiabortion territory and passed a bill to ban a certain type of late-term abortion. The bill proposed to make it a federal crime, punishable by fines and imprisonment, to perform a controversial type of late-term abortion that sponsors called a “partial birth abortion.” The term appeared to apply to a procedure in which the doctor partially extracted the fetus from the womb and might collapse the head before completing the abortion. Abortion foes said the procedure was needlessly brutal, while many abortion rights advocates said it was a rare but potentially important option for doctors handling certain problem pregnancies.

    The Senate was closely divided on abortion and had often served to brake antiabortion initiatives generated in the House. After the House on Nov. 1 passed a bill (HR 1833) to ban certain abortions, it appeared that pattern might be repeated. Senators first voted to delay action on the bill and then appeared poised to blunt its impact significantly.

    Ultimately, however, senators on Dec. 7 adopted a version of the bill substantially similar to the House measure. As in the House, it marked the first time the Senate had voted to outlaw a type of abortion. The vote was 54-44: R 45-8; D 9-36 (ND 5-30, SD 4-6). (House key vote 12)

    Yet senators acted knowing that the bill would probably not become law. President Clinton had promised to veto the legislation as written, and there was little prospect of gathering the votes needed for an override.

    Abortion rights advocates had only limited hopes of defeating the bill outright. Instead, when senators took up the legislation the week of Dec. 4, the key fight was over whether to allow the disputed abortion procedure if the doctor believed it was necessary to safeguard the life or health of the woman.

    Many senators were prepared to support an exemption to protect the life of the pregnant woman. The House bill already provided some legal protection from prosecution in cases in which the woman's life was at risk. Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., offered an amendment to strengthen that language, and it was adopted 98-0 on Dec. 7.

    Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., tried to go further, offering an amendment to extend that exemption to cases affecting the woman's health as well as her life. Abortion rights advocates said that broader exemption was necessary to make the bill constitutional and, according to administration statements, to win Clinton's signature. Despite those admonishments, Boxer's amendment failed, 47-51.

    Abortion opponents had insisted the Boxer proposal would all but destroy the bill. Senators went on to narrowly endorse the overall bill, which went no further in 1995.

    16. Flag Desecration

    The debate over protecting the U.S. flag had raged since 1990, when the Supreme Court struck down a 1989 federal law banning mistreatment of the flag, saying it violated First Amendment rights to free expression. With newly empowered Republicans controlling Congress in 1995, the House easily passed a bill in June seeking a constitutional amendment to allow the government to pass laws banning physical desecration of the flag. Proponents and opponents knew that the measure's fate would be decided in the Senate.

    Supporters of the bill (S J Res 31) seemed to have the momentum on their side going into the vote. The House version (H J Res 79) passed by a vote of 312-120, a comfortable 24 votes more than the two-thirds needed to send a constitutional amendment to the states for ratification. Moreover, polls indicated that about 80 percent of Americans supported an amendment to protect the flag, and 49 state legislatures had passed resolutions calling on Congress to pass the amendment.

    In the Senate, supporters struggled to come up with the two-thirds majority. Throughout the year, the number of firm supporters hovered around 60, well below the number needed if all senators voted. The Senate measure proposed a constitutional amendment allowing Congress to pass laws banning flag desecration. The House version also would have allowed states to enact such laws.

    Proponents argued that the flag, as the ultimate symbol of the United States, deserved special protection. Opponents said the price of liberty included protecting forms of expression that many people found offensive.

    Proponents jockeyed for support in the weeks before the Dec. 12 vote. In the end, they could not win over the last three fence-sitting Democrats—Bill Bradley of New Jersey, Barbara A. Mikulski of Maryland and Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut—who ultimately decided that they were more uncomfortable amending the Constitution than tolerating flag burners.

    Bradley called flag burners “lowlifes” but said, “The question now is whether protecting the flag merits amending the Bill of Rights.” The bill failed to get the necessary majority, falling on a vote of 63-36: R 49-4; D 14-32 (ND 7-29, SD 7-3).

    17. Shareholder Lawsuits

    Personal pleas from President Clinton failed to sway a single Democrat supporting a controversial securities litigation bill (HR 1058) to sustain his veto of the measure. Instead, following the House's similar action, the Senate on Dec. 22 quickly overrode Clinton's veto by a vote of 68-30: R 48-4; D 20-26 (ND 17-19, SD 3-7). It was the only one of Clinton's 11 vetoes in 1995 that the GOP-dominated 104th Congress was able to reverse. (House key vote 18)

    The brief override battle was unusual in that it pitted Clinton against Christopher J. Dodd, D-Conn., a loyal supporter of the president and titular head of the Democratic Party. Dodd, who played a prominent role in lining up veto-proof margins on two prior floor votes on the bill, prevailed easily.

    The bill, which became law with the Senate's vote, was intended to make it more difficult for investors to win securities fraud lawsuits against corporations that issue erroneous predictions of company performance, against securities firms that underwrote and sold stock issues and against accountants who audited corporate books.

    Clinton's veto came unexpectedly and literally at the 11th hour of Dec. 19, the last day he had to act on the bill. By the time the House overrode the veto the next afternoon, Dodd had already started lining up commitments from most of the 20 Democrats who had previously voted for it. When Clinton started lobbying in earnest that night and the following day, he hit a brick wall. “I told the president that when I give my word, I keep it,” said Jim Exon, D-Neb., who gave a commitment to Dodd before receiving a late-night call from Clinton.

    Most senators, aides and lobbyists closely following the bill agreed that if the administration had objections to the conference report, they should have been raised when the Senate debated the measure earlier in the month. Instead, the administration was silent; the president had not yet focused on the issue, and a split existed among his top advisers over whether he should sign the bill.

    By the time the veto came, members already had voted twice on the measure—first on the bill itself, then on the conference report. Both had earlier passed by veto-proof margins. Having twice gone on record, members had little incentive to change their votes on the arcane but intensely lobbied bill.

    It did not help the president's cause that his principal objection was to a fairly technical legal nuance that required plaintiffs to provide a greater level of proof in the early stages of a lawsuit. The administration had not raised the issue previously, adding to a sense of exasperation among members supporting the bill.

    Dodd had repeatedly expressed confidence that Clinton would sign the bill. He met with Clinton on Dec. 18, the night before the president's decision was due, and emerged from the White House believing Clinton would probably sign it.

    House
    1. Balanced-Budget Amendment

    The historic House vote in favor of amending the Constitution to require a balanced federal budget gave House Republicans their first significant victory in 1995. Even though the constitutional amendment died in the Senate a month later, the debate set the stage for the House and Senate to craft and pass their own seven-year plans to balance the budget.

    The House passed the amendment (H J Res 1) on Jan. 26, by a vote of 300-132: R 228-2; D 72-129 (ND 34-105, SD 38-24); I 0-1. (Senate key vote 1)

    Although public opinion—and an overwhelming majority of the House—appeared strongly in favor of the idea, House leaders had to perform a political high-wire act to assemble the two-thirds majority required to send a constitutional amendment to the states for ratification. Passage ultimately required an impressive display of Republican discipline as well as support from a minority of moderate-to-conservative Democrats.

    What gave the Republican leadership difficulty was the decision to try to pass a version of the amendment that included a provision requiring three-fifths majorities in each chamber to pass future tax increases. This “tax limitation” provision had been included in the House GOP's “Contract with America.” But the controversy over its inclusion threatened to scuttle the amendment because it was supported by only about half the approximately 60 Democrats whose votes were needed. Opponents said it would be a guarantee of future gridlock and would give too much power to a minority in Congress.

    The task facing House leaders was to construct a floor procedure that would maximize votes for the contract bill, but also pave the way for passage of an alternative offered by Charles W. Stenholm, D-Texas, and Dan Schaefer, R-Colo. The Stenholm-Schaefer amendment required a balanced-budget by 2002 or two years after ratification, whichever came later. A three-fifths majority would be required to approve budgets that projected deficit spending, but there was no similar requirement for tax increases.

    Deficit hawks from both parties had rallied around that version of the amendment for years, and even supporters of the stricter resolution acknowledged that it was the only one with a chance to garner the necessary two-thirds majority.

    House leaders decided to let the House take preliminary votes on both the contract version, sponsored by Joe L. Barton, R-Texas, and Stenholm's version. Whichever measure received the most votes would be presented for a final vote.

    A small but potentially pivotal group of conservatives was unhappy with the approach and complained that GOP leaders were not doing enough to fight for passage of the contract version. When the leadership began to send signals in the weeks before the vote that the freshmen would eventually have to vote for the weaker Stenholm alternative, it touched off a mini-revolt among GOP freshmen, some of whom threatened to vote against Stenholm on final passage. Had they followed through, they could have sunk the bill.

    The House voted first on Barton's version, which received only 253 votes, well short of the two-thirds that would be required for passage. After a variety of other Democratic alternatives were rejected, Stenholm's version received 293 votes and was awarded a final vote.

    “We all saw clearly at the end of this day we had to have a balanced-budget amendment,” said House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas. By that time, the GOP whip organization had brought the reluctant freshmen into line.

    2. Regulatory Overhaul

    Overhauling federal regulations and extending new rights to property owners were top priorities for House Republicans, who devoted a plank in their “Contract with America” to the issues.

    During the week of Feb. 27, the House easily passed three landmark bills, all derived from the contract, to make it more difficult for federal agencies to issue health, safety and environmental rules.

    The push was stoked by a coalition of Republicans and some conservative Democrats itching to overhaul what they view as a burdensome and heavy-handed federal bureaucracy.

    Bills that passed with wide margins of support were a risk-assessment measure (HR 1022) that outlined a procedure for highly detailed scientific and economic analyses, a cost-benefit bill (HR 926), and a bill (HR 925) to make it easier for private property owners to be compensated for government limits on the use of their land.

    In the end, the House merged the three bills into HR 9, along with a paperwork reduction bill (HR 830) that had passed Feb. 22. On March 3, the House passed HR 9, the original contract vehicle for the regulatory measures, by a vote of 277-141; R 219-8; D 58-132 (ND 23-110, SD 35-22); I 0-1. However, the Senate was stymied in its effort to move a companion bill (S 343). (Senate key vote 7)

    In pursuing such a far-reaching agenda, House Republican leaders gambled. While they contended that the 1994 elections gave them a broad mandate to shrink the federal government, the changes in the regulatory process drew criticism that they were trying to undercut popular laws that protected health and the environment. Opponents of the measure portrayed the effort as a backdoor attempt, promoted by corporate interests, to block enforcement of health, safety and environmental laws that protected average Americans.

    Supporters of the bureaucracy-bridling legislation, however, argued that unnecessary federal regulations imposed a $500 billion burden on the economy. They illustrated their position with numerous “horror story” anecdotes about poorly designed, overly expensive rules and excessive enforcement. They said federal agencies freely imposed new rules without producing sufficient scientific evidence that such rules were necessary to prevent significant hazards to human health and the environment.

    3. Welfare Overhaul

    House Republicans gained passage of a critical element of their “Contract with America” when the House voted March 24 to overhaul 60 years of federally controlled welfare and related social service programs. But the vote was so partisan and so bitterly contested that it became clear that the bill (HR 4) would have to be modified before the Senate would pass it. (Senate key vote 13)

    The legislation had evolved from the contract version through alterations by House leaders and in committee, with conservatives holding the upper hand throughout.

    The bill that reached the floor proposed to give states unprecedented authority over cash welfare, child protection programs such as foster care and adoption assistance, child care, school meals, and special nutrition assistance for pregnant women and their young children. It also proposed to deny cash benefits to certain low-income alcoholics, drug addicts and disabled children, as well as a wide array of social services to legal immigrants.

    Perhaps most significantly, the legislation proposed to eliminate the 60-year-old guarantee of providing welfare checks to low-income mothers and their children. Instead, states would generally be permitted to determine eligibility.

    Republicans hailed the legislation as historic, enabling states to experiment freely with their welfare programs and allowing welfare recipients to wrest themselves from government dependency.

    But the bill won few converts. Democrats bitterly accused Republicans of proposing harsh cuts in antipoverty aid to finance tax breaks for the wealthy. President Clinton, who had proposed a less sweeping welfare overhaul plan in 1994, denounced the bill as “weak on work and tough on children”

    Republican leaders also faced dissent from within their own party. They were confident that the bill would pass, but they nonetheless spent a few weeks leading up to the vote trying to assuage concerns of party moderates. In one concession, they added provisions designed to improve child-support enforcement.

    The leadership ultimately faced a stronger revolt on the floor from the House's most fervent antiabortion members, who worried that denying cash to unwed teenage mothers could encourage more abortions. These members also said that rewarding states for reducing out-of-wedlock births could prompt more abortions.

    The rule for floor debate denied votes on most substantive amendments, including two of the four amendments sought by the antiabortion critics. The rule was adopted, 217-211, largely along party lines.

    Many Democrats, who were incensed that they had virtually no role in writing the bill, objected to having relatively few opportunities to amend it on the floor. They claimed that the measure would not provide enough resources, especially child care, to help welfare recipients get jobs. They were especially critical of plans to eliminate the popular school lunch program. Republicans responded that they were simply letting states control school lunch programs while limiting federal assistance.

    In the end, relatively few Republicans dissented from the party line. Most of those who were critical of parts of the bill still voted for it as an improvement over the status quo that would be further modified in the Senate. The vote for passage was 234-199: R 225-5; D 9-193 (ND 3-135, SD 6-58); I 0-1.

    4. Term Limits

    The one item in the House GOP's “Contract with America” that most affected the lives of members of Congress was defeated in the House. A proposed constitutional amendment limiting the number of years lawmakers could serve did not come close to attracting the necessary two-thirds majority for passage. It was the only one of the 10 planks of the House GOP's contract to fail in the House.

    The House could not muster the necessary two-thirds majority for a bill (H J Res 73) that would have sent to the states for ratification a constitutional amendment imposing a 12-year term limit on members of each chamber. The vote on March 29 was 227-204: R 189-40; D 38-163 (ND 22-117, SD 16-46); I 0-1. That was 61 votes short of the 288 votes needed for House passage. Three other alternative versions considered on the same day failed even to attract simple majorities.

    Although House Republicans blamed Democrats for the failure of the term limits measure, the GOP had ample problems of its own. The Republican conference was fractured over the issue, with newly elected members who supported term limits at odds with veteran lawmakers who opposed them.

    Members of the leadership, including Majority Whip Tom DeLay of Texas, also opposed the amendment. DeLay said he could not in good faith line up votes for the proposal so he turned that duty over to his chief deputy, Dennis Hastert of Illinois. Party discipline, which led to a string of victories on other contract items, was nowhere to be seen on term limits.

    During Judiciary Committee consideration of the measure, seven-term Rep. George W. Gekas, R-Pa., won adoption of an amendment to apply the 12-year limit only to consecutive terms, on a 21-13 vote. The change would have meant that members could sit out a term after hitting the limit and then run again. Term-limit backers said the change “emasculated” the effect of adopting term limits. But six Republicans joined committee Democrats in voting for the Gekas amendment.

    The committee then sent the term limits measure to the floor without recommendation, on a 21-14 vote.

    Faced with potentially humiliating defeat on the floor in mid-March, House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, delayed action until the end of the month. He vowed that the leadership, which had shown little enthusiasm for the proposal despite its inclusion in the contract, would aggressively try to whip up support for it.

    Armey's strategy was aimed not so much at winning sufficient votes for passage, which was considered a long shot, but at soothing Republican divisions and mollifying term limit fans outside Congress. Many key Republican constituencies supported the amendment, including the Christian Coalition, the National Federation of Independent Business, United We Stand America, the National Tax-payers Union and the American Conservative Union.

    On the day of the vote, Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry J. Hyde, R-Ill., won a standing ovation for a speech condemning the idea. He noted that many amendment supporters would not go so far as to call for term limits to apply retroactively. “I am reminded of the famous prayer of St. Augustine, who said, ‘Dear God, make me pure, but not now.’”

    5. Tax Cuts

    Hailed by Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., as the “crowning jewel” of the House GOP's “Contract with America,” a bill (HR 1215) to reduce taxes by $189 billion over five years sailed easily through the House on April 5. All but a handful of Republicans voted for it, and 27 Democrats crossed party lines to join the bill's supporters. On final passage, the vote was 246-188: R 219-11; D 27-176 (ND 9-130, SD 18-46); I 0-1.

    The approval of the tax cut bill raised the price tag for zeroing out the deficit and handed Democrats fodder for one of their most piercing attacks against future Republican efforts to balance the federal budget. Democrats charged that the GOP was cutting programs for the elderly and poor in order to pay for a tax cut for the rich.

    Republicans viewed tax relief as a political key to winning support for budget efforts. The tax cut bill was to be folded later into the budget-balancing reconciliation bill (HR 2491), providing a sweetener that would help win support for the bitter medicine of spending cuts.

    The tax relief package was carefully constructed to help a wide array of interest groups: families, investors, Wall Street and Main Street. It included a $500-per-child tax credit for people earning adjusted gross incomes of up to $200,000 a year, the elimination of the alternative minimum tax paid by corporations, a reduction in the effective capital gains tax rate for individuals from 28 percent to 19.8 percent and the creation of a new form of individual retirement accounts. The lost revenue was to be offset by $100 billion in cuts from unspecified domestic discretionary spending programs, by increasing federal employees' pension contributions and by freezing reimbursement rates in certain Medicare programs.

    There was little discussion on the House floor of the bill's long-term costs because the House did not request estimates of the seven-year and 10-year costs of the bill. When estimates were later done by the Treasury Department, the numbers showed that the $189 billion price tag over five years would balloon into a cost of more than $600 billion over 10 years as the tax cuts took hold.

    In retrospect, the vote looked like an easy win, but the House leadership was anxious in the days leading up to it. Three groups of GOP rank-and-file members raised objections to the bill. One was a group of deficit hawks worried that the tax cut would undermine efforts to balance the budget. The second was a handful of members who had large numbers of federal employees in their districts and who objected to the increased pension fund contributions. A third group of more than 100 members—led by freshman GOP member Greg Ganske, R-Iowa—wanted at least a vote on reducing to $95,000 a year the family income eligibility for the per-child tax credit.

    The concerns of deficit hawks were assuaged by the addition of a clause guaranteeing that the tax cuts would not be enacted until a budget-reconciliation bill had put the deficit on a path to zero. The large group of members militating for a lower threshold on the per-child tax credit melted away under pressure from the leadership. The only group that remained opposed to the bill were members with large numbers of federal employees in their districts.

    Two efforts by Democrats to reduce the size of the tax cut and require specific spending cuts to pay for the tax reductions were rejected overwhelmingly. Indeed, a substitute tax cut bill offered by Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt, D-Mo., which would have cut taxes by $31.6 billion over five years, won just 119 votes, with Democrats who wanted a large tax cut joining Republicans in opposing the Gephardt alternative and some liberal Democrats voting against it because they opposed all tax cuts when Congress was aiming to reduce the deficit.

    6. Clean Water Act Rewrite

    During the first 100 days of the 104th Congress, House Republicans easily pushed through legislation to overhaul health, safety and, most importantly, environmental regulations. So when the House took up a major rewrite of the clean water act (HR 961), the leadership did not anticipate significant opposition. Indeed, the bill easily passed May 16.

    Supporters, led by Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bud Shuster, R-Pa., said the bill would maintain the goal of cleaning up the nation's waterways. They said it would reverse what they called excessive federal regulations that had caused undue hardship for industry, states and local governments. The vote to pass the bill was 240-185: R 195-34; D 45-150 (ND 19-114, SD 26-36); I 0-1.

    After the House vote, it became increasingly clear that passage of the measure had helped expose a weakness for the Republican Party that rippled through the appropriations and budget processes and was likely to continue into the 1996 election year. During the debate, opponents hammered away at the clean water bill, calling it a sweetheart deal for polluters. Many Republicans who voted for the bill had to contend with angry environmentalists in their home districts afterward. That reaction helped soften further GOP antiregulatory efforts and, according to moderates such as Sherwood Boehlert, R-N.Y., laid the foundation for future victories on other environmental issues.

    A typical carryover effect was an amendment adopted, 212-206, on July 28 that dropped a provision in the spending bill for the departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development (HR 2099). That provision would have prevented the Environmental Protection Agency from enforcing some environmental laws, including sections of the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act. (House key vote 8)

    7. ABM Treaty Compliance

    House Republicans backed up their commitment to early deployment of antimissile defenses—the most concrete element of their defense program—by rejecting legislation that would have required the GOP's missile defense effort to comply with the 1972 treaty limiting antiballistic missile (ABM) defenses.

    Republicans were generally united in complaining that President Clinton's defense budget request was too anemic. They insisted that the Pentagon's hardware accounts, funding research and procurement, were particularly in need of additional dollars. But when it came to parceling out the added money, the party was all over the lot, with prominent Republican defense mavens locked in vehement debates over the B-2 bomber, the navy's next class of nuclear-powered submarines and other weapons systems.

    The only really controversial weapons issue on which the GOP fell into line was on a commitment to quickly deploy an ABM system that would protect U.S. territory. Contending that Libya, North Korea and other hostile Third World states might acquire ballistic missiles armed with nuclear, chemical or biological warheads, Republicans pressed not only for accelerating the deployment of national antimissile defenses, but also for a commitment to deploy as soon as possible a defense that could block a relatively small number of warheads.

    Virtually all Democrats—including some centrists who supported developing a missile defense option that might be exercised at some later date—contended that a decision to begin deploying such defenses would be premature. At best, they warned, it would lock the Pentagon into existing technologies that might shortly be overtaken. Much worse, they argued, any defense that could cover all 50 states against even a handful of missiles would have to violate the ABM Treaty, which allowed only a single U.S. missile defense site.

    The Clinton administration likewise opposed any provisions that might trespass on the ABM Treaty. Because of tactical miscues, the House Republicans fumbled their missile defense initiative in HR 7, the bill embodying defense-related provisions of the “Contract with America.”

    GOP defense specialists allowed Democrats to drape the proposed program in the flamboyant rhetoric—and hefty price tag—of President Ronald Reagan's far more elaborate Strategic Defense Initiative, which critics had derided as “star wars.” So, by a vote of 218-212, the House agreed to drop from HR 7 a provision that would have declared an antimissile defense for U.S. territory to be a national goal.

    However, by the time Republicans brought the fiscal 1996 defense authorization bill (HR 1530) to the House floor, they had regained their footing. When the House turned to the missile defense issue on June 14, it rejected nearly along party lines an amendment that would have deleted $628 million of the $763 million the bill would add to Clinton's $3 billion missile defense request.

    The House divided along nearly the same lines on a key amendment offered by John M. Spratt Jr., D-S.C., which stipulated that none of the bill's provisions would violate the ABM Treaty. The amendment was rejected 185-242: R 7-221; D 177-21 (ND 126-10; SD 51-11); I 1-0. The missile defense language was ultimately dropped in conference with the Senate.

    8. Environmental Regulations

    Moderate Republicans bucked their party's leadership and handed the environmental movement an important victory July 28 by voting to strike legislative language in an appropriations bill that would have limited the regulatory authority of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Although the House reversed its vote three days later, environmentalists eventually prevailed, and nearly all the language died.

    The votes occurred on the fiscal 1996 appropriations bill (HR 2099) for Veterans Affairs (VA), Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and independent agencies. The EPA, slated for a 32 percent spending cut, was the hardest hit among the major agencies funded by the measure.

    A series of 17 legislative riders concerning the EPA, not the proposed spending cut, drew the most controversy. These provisions sought to restrict the EPA's ability to regulate, among other things, emissions from industrial facilities and from oil and gas refineries, raw sewage overflows, arsenic and radon in drinking water and traces of cancer-causing substances in processed foods.

    The riders were pushed by conservatives who believed that the EPA had been overzealously enforcing regulations and discouraging business development. These conservatives were emboldened after the House voted May 16 for a bill (HR 961) to relax many regulations in the clean water act. (House key vote 6)

    Several authorizing committee chairmen supported the provisions in the VA-HUD bill, saying they would reinforce some changes that the House had already approved in other environment-related bills. But moderate Republicans, led by Sherwood Boehlert of New York, joined with many Democrats in describing these provisions as breaks for polluters. During a two-hour floor debate, they warned of an environmental disaster if Congress prevented the EPA from enforcing key regulations. They also said that such sweeping policy changes should be debated by authorizing committees after a series of public hearings, rather than being added to an appropriations bill.

    There was little expectation that the environmentalists would prevail. But they did, 212-206: R 51-175; D 160-31 (ND 122-10, SD 38-21); I 1-0. The Republicans who broke party ranks to vote to strike the riders were mostly from Northeastern and Great Lakes states and from Florida. They more than canceled out the opposing votes of 31 Democrats, many of whom were conservatives from the South and Midwest.

    John A. Boehner of Ohio, chairman of the Republican Conference, attributed the moderates' successful uprising less to policy considerations than to “a bursting out of a lot of frustration.” But Boehlert, who cosponsored with Louis Stokes, D-Ohio, the amendment to strike the riders, said Republicans had started to come under fire for moving to weaken environmental regulations.

    Regardless, the moderates' unexpected victory left GOP leaders scrambling for a new strategy. When angry conservatives threatened to vote against the entire appropriations bill, Republican leaders abruptly moved to postpone further consideration of the bill.

    The leadership called for another vote when the House reconvened July 31 and barely prevailed when the amendment to strike fell on a tie vote, 210-210. That kept the legislative provisions in the bill.

    The Senate generally disdained the House-passed EPA riders in its version of the bill. When the House formally voted Nov. 2 to convene a conference committee, members approved nonbinding instructions urging conferees to drop the riders. In the end, six Senate EPA riders, one of which was in the House bill, were retained in the version of the VA-HUD bill that President Clinton vetoed Dec. 18.

    9. Telecommunications Overhaul

    When the House passed its landmark telecommunications overhaul bill, it did not do so with as strong a showing as did the Senate. But it demonstrated that both chambers could pass a bill with a veto-proof margin.

    The House vote Aug. 4 was all the more significant because it came just days after President Clinton issued a veto threat. Clinton's threats were enough to give him a one-vote majority of Democrats, but that was not nearly enough to stop the avalanche of support for the sweeping measure. HR 1555 passed 305-117: R 208-18; D 97-98 (ND 52-84; SD 45-14); I 0-1. (Senate key vote 4)

    If the vote represented a setback for Clinton, it was an advance for bipartisanship. In a year when virtually all other major issues were settled on largely party-line votes, this was perhaps the exception that proved the rule. Not until HR 1555 reached conference committee did partisan rhetoric and posturing begin.

    Both the House and Senate bills aimed to rewrite existing telecommunications laws, in large part by removing the barriers that separated local and long-distance telephone companies. The House bill, however, went further in curtailing regulation than the Senate's. It required less from the regional Bell companies hoping to enter the long-distance business, and it did not include the Senate's extensive language requiring telecommunications providers to offer their services in remote areas.

    The House vote represented a resounding defeat for long-distance companies, which were considerably happier with the version of the bill approved by the House Commerce Committee May 25. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., had reworked the bill to the advantage of the regional Bells and put his changes in the form of a manager's amendment agreed to before final passage.

    The measure was stalled in conference at year's end, with House Republicans arguing that the House-Senate compromise did not reduce regulations enough.

    10. Medicare Revisions

    Months of behind-the-scenes work paid off for the Republican leadership in October when the House voted to make the biggest changes in the Medicare program since its inception in 1965.

    As part of their plan to balance the budget in seven years, Republican leaders knew they would have to address the huge and growing costs of Medicare, the federal health insurance program for the elderly, which had been held sacrosanct for years by the Democratic majority. Buoyed by an April report from Medicare's trustees that, without action, the program faced bankruptcy, Republicans saw their chance.

    Responding to Democratic charges that they were trying to use the reduced spending in Medicare to offset the cost of a promised multibillion-dollar tax cut, Republicans separated their Medicare overhaul plan—at least initially—from the broad deficit-reduction package. A separate Medicare bill (HR 2425) went to the floor before its provisions were rolled into the broader package (HR 2491).

    The Medicare plan, carefully crafted by Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., and a select GOP health care team working in consultation with key lobbying groups, called for cuts of $270 billion from projected spending over seven years. The savings were to come mostly from limiting payments to doctors, hospitals and other providers; the proposals also urged seniors to choose care options besides the traditional fee-for-service structure and froze the payment of the optional Part B health insurance at 31.5 percent of the program's costs rather than permitting a scheduled drop in payments.

    Unaccustomed to having their hands tied on the 30-year-old program, Democrats howled about their lack of input in the process and in the final bill, which was presented only a few days before the Ways and Means Committee began its markup. They contended that the Republican changes would force many seniors into low-quality managed care options and that the cuts would cripple providers' abilities to care for their patients.

    After a swift markup resulting in party-line approval of the Republican plan, the measure moved to the floor. Democrats, by this time well aware that they did not have the votes to stop the Republican march, continued to snipe at the plan, hoping it would collapse under public scrutiny or a promised presidential veto.

    Gingrich and company, however, had appeased many of the critics with an amendment worked out shortly before the critical vote Oct. 19. Most of the interest groups got enough—or were relieved that they were not hit harder—to keep their guns holstered. Still, the Speaker had to work furiously right up until the final vote to mollify Republicans with specific complaints about portions of the bill.

    After all the shouting ended, the Republican leadership lost only six members—four from New Jersey and one from Massachusetts—who were concerned about hospital payments, and one Iowan who was concerned about rural payment formulas. The losses, however, were almost offset by the defection of four conservative Southern Democrats, who voted with the Republican majority. The vote was 231-201: R 227-6; D 4-194 (ND 0-137, SD 4-57); I 0-1.

    11. Budget Reconciliation

    Conventional wisdom said Republicans could never make good on their seemingly contradictory campaign promises to cut taxes and balance the budget, while leaving most federal spending (Social Security, defense, interest on the debt) off the table.

    President Ronald Reagan had fumbled the same set of pledges, carrying through on taxes and defense but utterly failing to balance the budget during his eight years in office in the 1980s.

    So when the House easily adopted a budget resolution (H Con Res 67) in May (and a House-Senate compromise budget in June) that made good on those promises, skeptics scoffed that that was the easy part. They predicted Republicans would choke when it came to approving the real thing: a budget-balancing reconciliation bill that filled in the budget resolution's broad outlines with detailed spending cuts.

    Just two years earlier, President Clinton had breezed through the then-Democratic House with a controversial deficit-reducing budget resolution, only to encounter what one House Democrat called a “near-death experience” when the follow-up reconciliation bill was nearly defeated on a 219-213 vote.

    But with the huge new class of fiscally radical GOP freshmen leading the way and House Republican leaders enforcing much stricter party discipline than their Democratic predecessors, Republicans lost just 10 of their members on the showdown vote Oct. 26, handily passing the House's version of the reconciliation bill (HR 2491). The vote was 227-203: R 223-10; D 4-192 (ND 0-137, SD 4-55); I 0-1. (Senate key vote 14)

    Although the size of the House vote and the seemingly inevitable momentum Republicans had developed earlier on the budget made it all look easy, it was not. GOP leaders faced brush-fire revolts from rank-and-file members, including moderates who objected to some of the more extreme cuts, farm-state members unhappy with agriculture provisions and numerous members from states that would lose funding under the new, block-grant Medicaid system.

    House GOP leaders worked frantically during the final days before the vote to shore up support, bargaining with individual members and entire state delegations, giving ground in some areas and drawing the line in others. Leaders refused to strip a provision to open up wilderness in Alaska for oil and gas exploration, for example, but they added money back to the Medicaid program. In some cases they told members to defer their concerns to the House-Senate conference that would produce the final bill.

    In the end, leaders appealed to Republicans to swallow their objections on individual matters and take a broad view, arguing that the budget plan was the single most important thing the new Republican Congress would do all year. That had an impact. “There's a bigger picture out there, and that bigger picture is balancing the budget,” said Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga.

    Having cleared this hurdle, both the House and Senate went on to pass a compromise reconciliation bill in November. Clinton vetoed the measure, starting budget summit talks that sputtered inconclusively into the new year.

    12. Late-Term Abortion Fight

    House lawmakers made a dramatic new assault on abortion rights in 1995, voting for the first time to criminalize a particular type of abortion procedure. The vote signaled the new-found strength of abortion opponents in Congress.

    The fight came over a bill (HR 1833) to ban so-called partial birth abortions, a term critics used to describe a procedure for late-term abortions in which the doctor partially extracts the fetus from the womb and sometimes collapses the head before completing the abortion.

    Critics characterized it as an unnecessarily brutal act that no one should tolerate. “You wouldn't treat an animal this way,” Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry J. Hyde, R-Ill., one of the House's foremost abortion opponents, said during floor debate on the bill. Charles T. Canady, R-Fla., the bill's chief sponsor, said the procedure was perilously close to homicide.

    Although the procedure accounted for a tiny fraction of the hundreds of thousands of abortions performed in the United States each year, both sides said the stakes surrounding the legislation were far higher—ultimately threatening the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision establishing a woman's right to abortion.

    Given those claims, the vote might well have been fairly close. Yet when the bill came to the floor Nov. 1, lawmakers were moved more by the grisly depictions of the disputed procedure than by arguments of constitutional law or medical discretion. Members voted 2-to-1 in favor of the ban, 288-139: R 215-15; D 73-123 (ND 46-90, SD 27-33); I 0-1. House passage was by a far wider margin than a subsequent Senate vote to pass a similar version of the bill. (Senate key vote 15)

    In the past, most congressional abortion battles had focused on money, for example, whether the federal government should finance abortions for poor women or family planning clinics that discussed abortion. Abortion opponents had continued to wage those battles and, on the strength of electoral gains in 1994, had made headway toward rolling back some of the victories that abortion rights advocates achieved under President Clinton and the majority Democratic 103rd Congress.

    But in 1995 they also took the innovative and effective new tack of singling out a particularly controversial form of abortion and targeting it for criminalization. Their graphic accounts of the details proved more powerful than opponents' arguments that the ban would deter doctors from performing any type of late-term abortion, or would force women to carry fatally deformed fetuses to term.

    As the bill came to the floor, even some abortion rights lawmakers were inclined to support it, or at least unwilling to oppose it publicly.

    Critics wanted to clearly exempt from the ban those late-term abortions performed to safeguard the life or health of the woman. They said the controversial procedure was usually used because of complications involving severe fetal abnormalities or the woman's health. That dispute threatened to become the legislation's defining issue.

    The sponsors stood their ground against such a change, insisting that a broader provision would effectively destroy the bill. The GOP leadership took the sponsors' side, bringing the bill to the floor under a rule that allowed no floor amendments. That irked some Republicans, 39 of whom voted against the rule. But they were more than offset by 47 Democrats, and the rule passed, 237-190.

    Once the bill was on the floor, members were faced with an up or down judgment and voted overwhelmingly to ban the procedure.

    13. Defense Spending

    Republican deficit hawks reined in the party's defense hawks when it came to deciding how much money to add to President Clinton's defense budget request. Even so, the Republican-led House and Senate added nearly $7 billion to Clinton's defense appropriations bill—making defense the only discretionary category to get more money for fiscal 1996 than Clinton requested, and more than Congress had appropriated for fiscal 1995.

    In the weeks after the November 1994 election, the Republican Party's defense hawks came out swinging, warning that Clinton was starving the defense establishment at the same time he was burdening it with new peacekeeping missions around the globe. In particular, GOP defense specialists insisted that the Pentagon needed more money for weapons procurement—a portion of its budget that had declined more than 60 percent in inflation-adjusted terms since defense budgets topped out in 1985.

    Even before the new Congress convened, Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., called for adding $24 billion to Clinton's projected defense request, raising it to the level projected by President George Bush. But domestic and budgetary issues loomed larger for most Republicans, whose top priorities were cutting both taxes and deficits.

    Democrats, too, were split on defense spending. Wisconsin's David R. Obey, the senior Democrat on the Appropriations Committee, clearly spoke for a majority of his party's House members when he argued that Clinton's $258 billion defense request was excessive in light of the end of the Cold War. On the other hand, a significant number of centrist Democrats—most from Southern and border states—concurred in the GOP critique. Others supported a larger package because of its potential effect on defense-related jobs back home.

    Defense Secretary William J. Perry insisted that Clinton's request was tight and that future defense budgets would have to increase to allow procurement spending to rise. In the main, however, House Democratic leaders backed Clinton's request.

    For practical purposes, the size of the fiscal 1996 defense budget was settled by the congressional budget resolution. The House had proposed adding $10 billion to Clinton's request; the compromise resolution set the defense ceiling at $265 billion, $7 billion more than requested.

    The most remarkable thing about that outcome was that, despite the wrenching battles over practically every other component of the budget, there was no concerted effort to eliminate the proposed increase to Clinton's defense request. Amendments to defense bills that would have reduced overall spending were debated in a largely perfunctory manner and then rejected. For 1995, at least, the potential alliance between liberal Democrats and GOP deficit hawks went unrealized.

    While other appropriations bills provided funding for military construction and for defense-related projects of the Energy Department, the basic test of sentiment on the defense budget was the defense appropriations bill, which financed all Pentagon activities other than the construction of facilities. For this bill (HR 2126), Clinton requested $236.3 billion, but House-Senate conferees approved a final version that provided $243.3 billion.

    Initially, the House rejected that conference report because antiabortion Republicans, unhappy with an abortion-related provision, joined Democrats to kill the measure. But after the contentious abortion provision was revised, the bill sailed through.

    The key test of House sentiment on boosting the defense budget was this second vote on approving the defense appropriations conference report. It was adopted 270-158: R 195-37; D 75-120 (ND 35-102; SD 40-18); I 0-1.

    14. Gift Ban

    It took a revolt by key Republican freshmen and a near-unanimous Democratic Caucus to persuade reluctant House Republican leaders to hold a floor vote on proposed new rules to restrict gifts to members (H Res 250).

    Months earlier, the Senate had adopted tough new restrictions of its own (S Res 158), which barred senators and their aides from accepting all-expense-paid recreational trips and limiting to $50 the value of gifts and meals that senators and their aides could accept from lobbyists, with a maximum of $100 from any one source. (Senate key vote 10)

    Gift ban supporters in the House wanted to pass the same rules as the Senate, fearing that any attempt to revise the provisions would weaken the restrictions. Opponents included Dan Burton, R-Ind., who wanted to avoid the Senate approach and merely require more disclosure of the source of gifts. Burton and his fellow Conservative Action Team members said that rules such as those approved by the Senate would stifle worthy fundraising efforts for charity causes, lead to an avalanche of inadvertent violations, and set off a flood of ethics complaints that could unfairly sully the reputations of House members.

    At a closed-door meeting of all House Republicans on Nov. 8, Burton and his allies were so vociferous in their opposition that the GOP leadership agreed to allow them to offer a far weaker package of gift restrictions during floor debate. Under Burton's proposal, House members would retain their ability to attend most lobbyist-funded golf, tennis and ski trips to help raise money for charities and could continue accepting gifts of up to $250. Members would have to disclose gifts of $50 or more.

    Under the deal, proposed by Rules Committee Chairman Gerald B. H. Solomon, R-N.Y., the House would vote first on Burton's amendment. If it failed, Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., who agreed that the Senate rules were too complicated, would propose a different solution: a complete ban on most gifts. Only if members rejected the complete ban would they vote on the underlying resolution, which reflected the Senate language.

    The plan seemed to strengthen Burton's chances of prevailing. But a coalition of GOP freshmen, veteran House Republicans and House Democrats held firm. For the Republican freshmen, banning gifts was a key element of their election platform to change the way Congress operated. For veteran Republicans, in the majority for the first time in 40 years, as well as for the group of House Democratic proponents, banning gifts was something they had long sought.

    On Nov. 16, the coalition defeated the Burton substitute by a vote of 154-276: R 108-125; D 46-150 (ND 21-116, SD 25-34); I 0-1. The House then went on to adopt Gingrich's amendment, 422-8. The new restrictions went into effect Jan. 1, 1996.

    15. Bosnia Troop Deployment

    House Republicans paused in their budgetary battles with President Clinton to launch a furious assault against the administration's major foreign policy initiative: a plan to send U.S. forces to Bosnia to help enforce a peace accord.

    For the Republicans, it mattered little that U.S.-brokered peace talks among Bosnia's warring parties, being held at the unlikely venue of Dayton, Ohio, were at a crucial stage. Or that Clinton's pledge of 20,000 U.S. troops to back a viable peace accord was a significant element in bringing the negotiations to the brink of success.

    Instead, GOP lawmakers focused on the dangers lurking for U.S. soldiers in a region whose thirst for violence seemed insatiable. California Republican Dana Rohrabacher, a leading opponent of the deployment, asked: “Whose nutty idea is this to send American troops into a meat grinder in Bosnia?”

    Colorado Republican Joel Hefley, urged on by the aggressive GOP freshman class and more senior conservatives like Rohrabacher, introduced legislation (HR 2606) to block Clinton's plan to deploy U.S. forces to Bosnia unless Congress approved funds for the deployment. The House on Nov. 17 easily passed Hefley's bill on a largely partisan vote of 243-171: R 214-12; D 28-159 (ND 19-110, SD 9-49); I 1-0.

    The vote represented a sharp rebuke of the president's Bosnia policy and reflected deep public skepticism of the proposed peace mission. It also showed that the GOP freshmen and their allies, in contrast to many of their elders in both parties, were unafraid to challenge the president in his role as commander in chief.

    But the practical significance of the House action was limited, because Senate GOP leaders had all but ruled out an early vote on Hefley's bill. That knowledge may have made it easier for House members to take a strong public stand against the unpopular operation. (Congress had previously voted to overturn the U.N. embargo on selling arms to the states of the former Yugoslavia, but none had been enacted into law.)

    The administration was clearly concerned by the House vote, which came just as the Dayton talks appeared to be bearing fruit. “I can't believe the House would do this,” State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns said.

    Ultimately, however, the House Republicans failed in their quest to derail the Bosnia peacekeeping operation. The Dayton talks reached their climax Nov. 21, with a laboriously negotiated peace accord.

    By the time Congress cast showdown votes on the deployment Dec. 13, momentum for cutting off funds for the mission had slowed. The first U.S. military units were already setting up shop in Bosnia, and the president was making headway with his argument that the nation's credibility would suffer inestimable damage if Congress scrapped the mission.

    Those arguments carried the day in the Senate. Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., and Arizona Republican John McCain—both decorated veterans—led efforts to oppose a measure modeled on Hefley's bill. (Senate key vote 9)

    House GOP opponents of military involvement in Bosnia would not go quietly. They fought on, even as many of their own leaders echoed the prevailing view of Senate Republicans that nothing could be done to stop the mission. A new proposal (HR 2770) aimed at denying funding for troops in Bosnia was rejected, but by the surprisingly narrow margin of 210-218.

    16. Continuing Appropriations

    The government-closing “train wreck” that Republicans threatened from early in the year if they did not get their way on plans to cut taxes and balance the budget happened well ahead of schedule, before Congress had even cleared the Republican's huge, budget-balancing reconciliation bill. When temporary appropriations to keep the government open ran out at midnight Nov. 13 and President Clinton refused to agree to GOP terms for another extension, federal departments and agencies whose appropriations bills had not been enacted began to shut down.

    The government had closed nine times previously, but never for more than three days. By Nov. 17, the shutdown had lasted four days, putting about 800,000 federal employees on involuntary furlough. The political stakes rose rapidly. By the weekend of Nov. 18–19, both the White House and Republicans were looking for a way out.

    Republicans were determined to bring Clinton to the table to negotiate on balancing the budget in seven years, using numbers approved by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Clinton had moved a long way since the days when he said he would do no more deficit reduction than he had done in his big 1993 budget package. But the president was still insisting on a nine-year plan that used the somewhat more optimistic deficit projections developed by the White House's Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Those projections allowed the administration to claim it could balance the budget with shallower spending cuts than Republicans said were necessary. Republicans argued that the OMB numbers were phony, and both sides seemed immovable.

    Public disgust was running high, however. Polls showed that voters blamed congressional Republicans roughly two-to-one over Clinton for the shutdown, but the episode was contributing to a generalized frustration with Washington that seemed likely to hurt both parties.

    It was lawyerly writing that finally offered a temporary way out. With both sides exhibiting a little give, negotiators worked out a compromise that seemingly allowed each to claim victory. The government would reopen until Dec. 15 to give budget talks a chance to proceed. Clinton would agree to enact a budget-balancing deal by early January that would get the deficit to zero in seven years using CBO numbers and would also include tax cuts. Republicans would agree to protect Clinton's priorities in Medicare, Medicaid, education, the environment and other areas.

    Triumphant Republicans bragged that Clinton had finally come to terms with them, promising to balance the budget in seven years with CBO scoring. But Democrats had written in some fine print that gave them reason to celebrate as well: The deal would be scored only after CBO had consulted with OMB and other budget experts, and the notion that any balanced-budget deal would protect Clinton's favorite programs gave him wide latitude to object to GOP proposals to cut spending deeper than he liked.

    For the moment, however, this provided everyone a face-saving retreat from the shutdown. The Senate passed the continuing resolution (H J Res 122) by voice vote Nov. 19, taking up a measure it had passed earlier, substituting new language and sending it back to the House. The House cleared the bill for the president Nov. 20, agreeing to a motion to concur in the Senate amendment. The vote was 421-4: R 227-2; D 193-2 (ND 134-2, SD 59-0); I 1-0.

    The measure ended the shutdown after six days and provided temporary appropriations for almost another month, giving programs no less than 75 percent of the money they had received in fiscal 1995 (which had ended Sept. 30).

    It was to be a short-term reprieve from chaos. After a break for the Thanksgiving holiday, budget negotiators got down to work at the Capitol, but the talks went nowhere. With neither side inclined to give further ground, the government entered another partial shutdown Dec. 16 that lasted into January.

    17. Lobby Registration

    A key test of whether the House would follow the Senate's lead and pass (thus clearing for the president) legislation imposing new reporting requirements on lobbyists came in the form of an amendment offered by William F. Clinger, R-Pa., chairman of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee. Clinger sought to prevent federal agencies, controlled by appointees of Democratic President Clinton, from spending money to drum up grass-roots support or opposition to the GOP agenda in the House.

    Clinger's amendment to the lobby registration bill (HR 2564) was backed by House GOP leaders and should have had little trouble in the Republican-controlled House. But, the lobby bill's supporters, many of them freshman Republicans, said it would sound a death knell for the lobby legislation and threaten a key election-year pledge many freshmen had made to voters to change the way Washington operated. GOP freshmen had joined with members of the Democratic minority to force the reluctant House Republican leadership to bring the lobby registration bill to the floor and were not eager to see the bill die after getting so far.

    They feared that House adoption of Clinger's amendment would invite other changes in the Senate-passed bill. Any changes would have extended the bill's legislative journey, requiring it to be hashed out by a House-Senate conference committee and then to be sent back to the Senate floor, where its fate was far from certain. It was in the Senate that Republicans had staged a filibuster against the final version of a similar attempt to overhaul the lobbying laws in the 103rd Congress, killing the bill in 1994.

    Another factor: Many of the proposed House changes, including the Clinger amendment, were expected to draw a veto threat from President Clinton, who was prepared to sign the Senate version of the bill.

    Clinger's amendment was debated on Nov. 16 as members prepared to leave town for the Thanksgiving holiday. But the vote did not occur for another 12 days, at the request of bill sponsors, who wanted to ensure that lawmakers would not back the amendment hastily, without reflecting on the fact that any change could doom the underlying effort.

    When the vote came, a coalition of GOP freshmen, Democrats and senior Republicans who had worked long to change the way Congress operated, provided enough votes to defeat the amendment, overcoming efforts by DeLay's whip organization to get the amendment adopted.

    Bill supporters won their critical test vote Nov. 28 when lawmakers rejected the Clinger amendment. The vote was 190-238: R 176-56; D 14-181 (ND 5-131, SD 9-50); I 0-1.

    The defeat of Clinger's amendment made it clear to those hoping to alter the bill that there was a firm majority against changes. Indeed, after the House rejected the amendment, two other proposed alterations were quashed, leading other lawmakers to withdraw amendments they had planned to offer.

    The success in staving off amendments to the bill came despite a concerted effort by House Republican leaders to lay the bill open to as many amendments as possible. The lobby bill had few supporters among House leaders: Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., had helped whip up the opposition that encouraged Senate Republicans to filibuster the similar bill in the 103rd Congress, and Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, and Majority Whip Tom DeLay, R-Texas, also opposed the 1995 bill. In the end, Armey and DeLay both voted for final passage. (Senate key vote 8)

    The next day, Nov. 29, the House passed, 421-0, a lobbying bill identical to the Senate version, clearing it for Clinton.

    18. Shareholder Lawsuits

    A bipartisan House coalition supporting a measure to overhaul laws governing securities fraud lawsuits quickly overrode an unexpected and last-minute veto of the bill by President Clinton.

    The Dec. 20 vote came barely 13 hours after Clinton sent the bill back to Congress. Clinton's veto was announced shortly before the midnight Dec. 19 deadline for him to act on the bill or watch it become law without his signature. It was the first successful override of a Clinton veto, but since it came on an arcane and highly technical bill that was vetoed on narrow grounds, most members did not appear to view it as a major blow to the president.

    The bill (HR 1058) sought to make it more difficult for investors to win securities lawsuits against corporations that issued erroneous predictions of company performance, securities firms that underwrote and sold such stock issues and accounting firms that verified corporate books. Supporters said the existing system permitted class-action attorneys to extort settlements from innocent companies.

    Driving the measure into law was a powerful business coalition, especially high-technology companies and accounting firms. Many Democrats from states with a considerable presence of high-tech firms, such as California, strongly supported the bill.

    The veto genuinely stunned bill supporters, but it was the White House and bill opponents who were caught flat-footed the next morning. Opponents got only 15 minutes' warning before the brief debate on the override began, and the White House had barely any time to lobby members. The earlier House votes had carried by impressive veto-proof margins.

    The veto was easily overridden, 319-100: R 230-0; D 89-99 (ND 56-76, SD 33-23); I 0-1. (The Senate subsequently followed suit, enacting the bill.) (Senate key vote 17)

    Less than a handful of votes changed from the 320-102 previous vote to adopt the conference agreement on the bill.

    Members on both sides of the question agreed that Clinton had fumbled. His veto came after members had twice before voted on the bill. The administration was silent during the debate on the conference report when its objections might have been more effective.

    Clinton's main objection to the bill—on a provision to make it easier for defendants to get disputes thrown out of court before investors got a chance to prove their case—had not been raised by the White House during previous legislative rounds.

    The mishandling of the issue by the White House appeared to make it easy for Democrats to vote against Clinton. In addition, the top Senate supporter of the bill, Democrat Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut, came over to the House floor to rally support for the veto override. Dodd was the general chairman of the Democratic National Committee and normally a Clinton loyalist.

    1. Balanced-Budget Amendment/Passage

    H J Res 1 Passage of the joint resolution to propose a constitutional amendment to balance the budget by 2002 or two years after ratification by three-fourths of the states, whichever is later. Three-fifths of the entire House and Senate would be required to approve deficit spending or an increase in the public debt limit. A simple majority could waive the requirement in times of war or in the face of a serious military threat. The courts would be prohibited from raising taxes or cutting spending unless specifically authorized by Congress. Rejected 65-35: R 51-2; D 14-33 (ND 9-28, SD 5-5), March 2, 1995. A two-thirds majority vote of those present and voting—67 in this case—is required to pass a joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution. A “nay” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    2. Line-Item Veto/Passage

    S 4 Passage of the bill to provide for the separate enrollment of each individual spending item in an appropriations bill, targeted tax breaks in a revenue bill, or new entitlement spending, thus allowing the president to veto each item and require Congress to muster a two-thirds vote of each House to override the veto. Passed 69-29: R 50-2; D 19-27 (ND 13-23, SD 6-4), March 23, 1995. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    3. Product Liability Overhaul/Cloture

    HR 956 Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the Gorton, R-Wash., substitute amendment to cap punitive damages in product liability cases, medical malpractice cases, and all civil cases at the state and federal level at two times compensatory damages. Motion rejected 47-52: R 45-9; D 2-43 (ND 2-33, SD 0-10), May 4, 1995. Three-fifths of the entire Senate (60) is required to invoke cloture. A “nay” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    4. Telecommunications/Passage

    S 652 Passage of the bill to promote competition and deregulation in the broadcasting, cable and telephone industries by requiring local phone companies to open their networks to competitors, allowing those companies to offer cable service, permitting the regional Bell telephone companies to enter the long-distance and manufacturing markets under certain conditions, easing ownership and licensing restrictions on broadcasters and reducing price controls on cable companies. Passed 81-18: R 51-2; D 30-16 (ND 23-13, SD 7-3), June 15, 1995.

    5. National Highway System/Speed Limits

    S 440 Nickles, R-Okla., motion to table (kill) the Lautenberg, D-N.J., amendment to maintain the current requirements that states post a maximum speed limit of 55 mph in metropolitan areas and 65 mph in rural areas but repeal the federal sanctions on states that fail to report on the enforcement of speed limits. Motion agreed to 65-35: R 50-4; D 15-31 (ND 10-26, SD 5-5), June 20, 1995. A “nay” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    6. Foster Nomination/Cloture

    Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the confirmation of Dr. Henry W. Foster Jr. to be surgeon general. Motion rejected 57-43: R 11-43; D 46-0 (ND 36-0, SD 10-0), June 21, 1995. Three-fifths of the total Senate (60) is required to invoke cloture. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    7. Regulatory Overhaul/Cloture

    S 343 Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the Dole, R-Kan., substitute amendment to require federal agencies to conduct risk-assessment and cost-benefit analyses on new regulations with an expected annual economic impact of $100 million or more. Motion rejected 58-40: R 54-0; D 4-40 (ND 0-34, SD 4-6), July 20, 1995. A three-fifths majority (60) of the total Senate is required to invoke cloture.

    8. Lobbying Disclosure/Passage

    S 1060 Passage of the bill to require lobbyists who are paid at least $5,000 over a six-month period or organizations with lobbying expenses of at least $20,000 over a six-month period to register with the Clerk of the House and the Secretary of the Senate within 45 days. The bill specifically exempts grass-roots lobbying activity. Passed 98-0: R 53-0; D 45-0 (ND 36-0, SD 9-0), July 25, 1995.

    9. Bosnian Arms Embargo/Passage

    S 21 Passage of the bill to require the president to end the participation of the United States in the international arms embargo on Bosnia after the 25,000-person United Nations Protection Force is withdrawn or 12 weeks after Bosnia requests such a withdrawal. Passed 69-29: R 48-5; D 21-24 (ND 19-17, SD 2-7), July 26, 1995. A “nay” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    10. Congressional Gift Ban/Travel, Lodging Exemption

    S 1061 Murkowski, R-Alaska, amendment to exclude travel, lodging and meals related to charity fundraising events from the ban on gifts. Rejected 39-60: R 30-23; D 9-37 (ND 2-34, SD 7-3), July 28, 1995.

    11. Fiscal 1996 Defense Authorization/Packwood Hearings

    S 1026 Boxer, D-Calif., amendment to require the Senate Ethics Committee to hold public hearings on the allegations of sexual misconduct against Sen. Bob Packwood, R-Ore., as well as in any future case where the committee finds substantial credible evidence of violations and has undertaken an investigation. The committee may waive this requirement by a recorded majority vote. Rejected 48-52: R 3-51; D 45-1 (ND 35-1, SD 10-0), Aug. 2, 1995.

    12. Fiscal 1996 Defense Appropriations/Passage

    S 1087 Passage of the bill to provide $242.7 billion in new budget authority for the Department of Defense in fiscal 1996. The bill would provide $2.3 billion less than the fiscal 1995 level of $245 billion and $6.4 billion more than the administration's request of $236.4 billion. Passed 62-35: R 48-4; D 14-31 (ND 7-28, SD 7-3), Sept. 5, 1995. A “nay” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    13. Welfare Overhaul/Passage

    HR 4 Passage of the bill to save about $65.8 billion over seven years; end the entitlement status of welfare programs; replace Aid to Families with Dependent Children with a block grant giving states wide flexibility to design their own programs; require welfare recipients to work after receiving benefits for two years and limit lifetime benefits to five years; allow states to deny cash assistance to unwed teenage mothers and for children born to welfare recipients; and for other purposes. Passed 87-12: R 52-1; D 35-11 (ND 25-11, SD 10-0), Sept. 19, 1995.

    14. Fiscal 1996 Budget Reconciliation/Passage

    HR 2491 Passage of the bill to cut spending by about $900 billion and taxes by $245 billion in order to balance the budget by 2002. The bill would reduce spending on Medicare by $270 billion, Medicaid by $182 billion, welfare by $65 billion, the earned-income tax credit by $43.2 billion, and agriculture programs by $13.6 billion. The bill allows oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, scales back the capital gains tax, and expands Individual Retirement Accounts. Passed 52-47: R 52-1; D 0-46 (ND 0-36, SD 0-10), Oct. 28, 1995 (in the legislative day and the Congressional Record dated Oct. 27). Before passage, the Senate struck all after the enacting clause and inserted the text of S 1357 as amended. A “nay” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    15. Abortion Procedures/Passage

    HR 1833 Passage of the bill to impose penalties on doctors who perform certain late-term abortions, in which the person performing the abortion partially delivers the fetus before completing the abortion. Passed 54-44: R 45-8; D 9-36 (ND 5-30, SD 4-6), Dec. 7, 1995. A “nay” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    16. Flag Desecration/Passage

    S J Res 31 Passage of the joint resolution to propose a constitutional amendment to grant Congress the power to prohibit the physical desecration of the U.S. flag. Rejected 63-36: R 49-4; D 14-32 (ND 7-29, SD 7-3), Dec. 12, 1995. A two-thirds majority vote of those present and voting, 66 in this case, is required to pass a joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution. A “nay” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    17. Shareholder Lawsuits/Veto Override

    Passage, over President Clinton's Dec. 19 veto, of the bill to curb class-action securities lawsuits. The bill includes provisions to allow judges to sanction attorneys and plaintiffs who file frivolous lawsuits, give plaintiffs greater control over a lawsuit, modify the system for paying attorneys' fees, and establish a system of “proportionate liability” for defendants who do not knowingly engage in securities fraud. It would create a “safe harbor” for companies that make predictions of future performance that are accompanied by cautionary statements. Passed (thus enacted into law) 68-30: R 48-4; D 20-26 (ND 17-19, SD 3-7), Dec. 22, 1995. A two-thirds majority of those present and voting (66 in this case) of both houses is required to override a veto. A “nay” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    1. Balanced-Budget Amendment/Passage

    H J Res 1 Passage of the joint resolution to propose a constitutional amendment to balance the budget by the year 2002 or two years after ratification by three-fourths of the states, whichever is later. Under the proposal three-fifths of the entire House and Senate would be required to approve deficit spending or an increase in the public debt limit. A simple majority could waive the requirement in times of war or in the face of a serious military threat. Passed 300-132: R 228-2; D 72-129 (ND 34-105, SD 38-24); I 0-1, Jan. 26, 1995. A two-thirds majority vote of those present and voting—288 in this case—is required to pass a joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution. A “nay” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    2. Omnibus Regulatory Overhaul/Passage

    HR 9 Passage of the bill incorporating into one omnibus bill the text of four bills concerning the federal regulatory process: HR 830 (paperwork reduction), HR 925 (private property rights), HR 926 (regulatory overhaul) and HR 1022 (risk assessment). Passed 277-141: R 219-8; D 58-132 (ND 23-110, SD 35-22); I 0-1, March 3, 1995. A “nay” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    3. Welfare Overhaul/Passage

    HR 4 Passage of the bill to end the entitlement status of welfare programs by replacing dozens of social service programs with five predetermined block grants to states encompassing cash welfare, child welfare programs such as foster care, child care, school meals and nutrition programs for pregnant women and infants; to give states wide flexibility to design their own programs; to require welfare recipients to engage in work activities after receiving cash benefits for two years and limit benefits to five years; to deny cash benefits to unwed mothers under age 18 but provide them with vouchers for infant care; to deny most benefits to legal and illegal immigrants; to limit federal spending on the food stamp program; to reduce federal spending and eligibility for Supplemental Security Income; to require states to withhold driver's licenses, professional and occupational licenses, and recreational licenses of parents who fail to pay child support; and for other purposes. Passed 234-199: R 225-5; D 9-193 (ND 3-135, SD 6-58); I 0-1, March 24, 1995. A “nay” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    4. Term Limit Constitutional Amendment/Passage

    H J Res 73 Passage of the joint resolution to propose a constitutional amendment to impose a 12-year lifetime limit on congressional service in each chamber. Rejected 227-204: R 189-40; D 38-163 (ND 22-117, SD 16-46); I 0-1, March 29, 1995. A two-thirds majority vote of those present and voting (288 in this case) is required to pass a joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution.

    5. Tax and Spending Cuts/Passage

    HR 1215 Passage of the bill to cut taxes by $189 billion over five years through a variety of proposals, including a $500-per-child tax credit for families earning up to $200,000 a year; the elimination of the corporate alternative minimum tax; a lowering of the capital gains tax rate from 28 percent to 19.8 percent; the easing of the “marriage penalty” in the tax code; the establishment of “back loaded” individual retirement accounts; and the repeal of the 1993 tax increase on Social Security benefits. The cost of the bill would be offset through various proposals, including cutting discretionary spending by $100 billion over five years; increasing federal employees' pension contribution; and freezing reimbursement rates in certain Medicare programs. Passed 246-188: R 219-11; D 27-176 (ND 9-130, SD 18-46); I 0-1, April 5, 1995. A “nay” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    6. Clean Water Act Revisions/Passage

    HR 961 Passage of the bill to authorize $2.3 billion a year for five years for state revolving loan funds that provide money for clean water projects under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972; ease or waive numerous federal water pollution control regulations and subject them to cost-benefit analysis; allow states to continue to rely on voluntary measures to deal with unmet water pollution problems; restrict the ability of federal agencies to declare wetlands off-limits to development; require the federal government to reimburse landowners if wetlands regulations cause a 20 percent decrease in land value; and for other purposes. Passed 240-185: R 195-34; D 45-150 (ND 19-114, SD 26-36); I 0-1, May 16, 1995. A “nay” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    7. Fiscal 1996 Defense Authorization/1972 ABM Treaty Compliance

    HR 1530 Spratt, D-S.C., amendment to stipulate that the bill's provisions calling for development and deployment of a national missile defense system do not violate the 1972 U.S.-Soviet Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty. Rejected 185-242: R 7-221; D 177-21 (ND 126-10, SD 51-11); I 1-0, June 14, 1995. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    8. Fiscal 1996 VA, HUD Appropriations/Environmental Enforcement

    HR 2099 Stokes, D-Ohio, amendment to strike the bill's provisions prohibiting the Environmental Protection Agency from enforcing environmental laws, including sections of the clean water act and the Clean Air Act and the Delaney Clause of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act regarding pesticides on food. Adopted 212-206: R 51-175; D 160-31 (ND 122-10, SD 38-21); I 1-0, July 28, 1995. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    9. Telecommunications/Passage

    HR 1555 Passage of the bill to promote competition and deregulation in the broadcasting, cable, and telephone industries by requiring local phone companies to open their networks to competitors, allowing those companies to offer cable service, permitting the regional Bell Operating Companies to enter the long-distance and manufacturing markets under certain conditions, easing ownership and licensing requirements on broadcasters, and eliminating many of the price controls on cable companies. Passed 305-117: R 208-18; D 97-98 (ND 52-84, SD 45-14); I 0-1, Aug. 4, 1995. A “nay” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    10. Medicare Revisions/Passage

    HR 2425 Passage of the bill to cut $270 billion over seven years from Medicare, the federal health insurance program for the elderly. The bill would make all health care fraud federal crimes, limit increases in payments to hospitals and other providers to keep solvent the Medicare Part A trust fund until fiscal 2010, and freeze the Part B Medicare premium at 31.5 percent of program costs. Passed 231-201: R 227-6; D 4-194 (ND 0-137, SD 4-57); I 0-1, Oct. 19, 1995. A “nay” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    11. 1995 Budget-Reconciliation/Passage

    HR 2491 Passage of the bill to cut spending by about $900 billion and taxes by $245 billion over the next seven years in order to provide for a balanced budget by fiscal 2002. Over seven years the bill would reduce spending on Medicare by $270 billion, Medicaid by $170 billion, welfare programs by $102 billion, the earned-income tax credit by $23.2 billion, agriculture programs by $13.4 billion, student loans by $10.2 billion and federal employee retirement programs by $9.9 billion. The bill abolishes the Commerce Department; allows oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska; and increases the debt limit from $4.9 trillion to $5.5 trillion. Passed 227-203: R 223-10; D 4-192 (ND 0-137, SD 4-55); I 0-1, Oct. 26, 1995. A “nay” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    12. Abortion Procedures/Passage

    HR 1833 Passage of the bill to ban partial birth abortions. Passed 288-139: R 215-15; D 73-123 (ND 46-90, SD 27-33); I 0-1, Nov. 1, 1995. A “nay” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    13. Fiscal 1996 Defense Appropriations/Conference Report

    HR 2126 Adoption of the conference report on the bill to provide $243,251,297,000 in new budget authority for the Department of Defense in fiscal 1996. The bill provides $1,698,226,000 more than the $241,553,071,000 provided in fiscal 1995 and $6,907,280,000 more than the $236,344,017,000 requested by the administration. Adopted (thus cleared for the president) 270-158: R 195-37; D 75-120 (ND 35-102, SD 40-18); I 0-1, Nov. 16, 1995. A “nay” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    14. Gift Rules/Full Disclosure Alternative

    H Res 250 Burton, R-Ind., amendment to require House members to fully disclose trips, meals, and gifts worth more than $50, with an annual limit of $250 from one source. The original resolution would ban gifts over $50 and prohibit lawmakers from accepting more than $100 in gifts from any one source annually. Gifts of $10 or more would count against the $100 limit. The amendment would also allow lawmakers to attend certain all-expenses-paid recreational events that raise money for charity. Rejected 154-276: R 108-125; D 46-150 (ND 21-116, SD 25-34); I 0-1, Nov. 16, 1995.

    15. Bosnia Troop Deployment Prohibition/Passage

    HR 2606 Passage of the bill to prohibit the use of federal money for the deployment of U.S. ground troops in Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of any peacekeeping operation unless specifically appropriated. Passed 243-171: R 214-12; D 28-159 (ND 19-110, SD 9-49); I 1-0, Nov. 17, 1995. A “nay” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    16. Fiscal 1996 Continuing Resolution/Senate Amendment

    H J Res 122 Livingston, R-La., motion to concur in the Senate amendments to the joint resolution to provide continuing appropriations through Dec. 15 for those fiscal 1996 spending bills not yet enacted. The resolution would set spending levels at the lowest level of the fiscal 1995 bill, the House-passed 1996 bill, or the Senate-passed 1996 bill. Programs could continue at a maximum of 75 percent of their 1995 spending levels, if either House has voted to cut them more deeply, unless such a reduction would require the furlough of federal employees. The joint resolution commits the president and Congress to enact a balanced budget by fiscal 2002 based on the most current assumptions of the Congressional Budget Office in consultation with the Office of Management and Budget and private economists. Motion agreed to (thus cleared for the president) 421-4: R 227-2; D 193-2 (ND 134-2, SD 59-0); I 1-0, Nov. 20, 1995. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    17. Lobby Restrictions/Federal Agency Lobbying

    HR 2564 Clinger, R-Pa., amendment to prohibit federal agencies from using public funds on any activity intended to promote public support or opposition to any legislative proposal. Rejected 190-238: R 176-56; D 14-181 (ND 5-131, SD 9-50); I 0-1, 28, 1995.

    18. Shareholder Lawsuits/Veto Override

    HR 1058 Passage, over President Clinton's Dec. 19 veto, of the bill to curb class-action securities lawsuits. The bill includes provisions to allow judges to sanction attorneys and plaintiffs who file frivolous lawsuits, give plaintiffs greater control over a lawsuit, modify the system for paying attorneys' fees and establish a system of “proportionate liability” for defendants who do not knowingly engage in securities fraud. It would create a “safe harbor” for companies that make predictions of future performance that are accompanied by cautionary statements. Passed 319-100: R 230-0; D 89-99 (ND 56-76, SD 33-23); I 0-1, Dec. 20, 1995. A two-thirds majority of those present and voting (280 in this case) of both houses is required to override a veto. A “nay” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    Appendix

    1996 Key Votes

    Senate
    1. Telecommunications

    Like the House, the Senate adopted the conference report on a sweeping overhaul of the nation's telecommunications regulations (S 652) by an overwhelming margin. The Senate vote on Feb. 1 was 91-5; R 51-1; D 40-4 (ND 30-4, SD 10-0). (House key vote 3)

    Yet the vote almost did not happen, as the Senate struggled to complete a years-long process of building the complicated legislation. The bill's purpose was to tear down regulatory barriers that separated global telecommunications into several discrete industries—long distance carriers, local telephone companies, cable and broadcast.

    As 1996 began, the measure was stalled in conference, as it had been for five months, and its problems seemed to be growing, not shrinking.

    A deal negotiated between the White House and key lawmakers in late December had been halted by restive House Republicans, who complained that GOP negotiators had given up too much on issues being pushed by Democrats, such as limits on foreign ownership of U.S. telecommunications companies and on the number of broadcast stations a single company could own.

    Before those issues were resolved, Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., clouded the picture further. Dole had long complained that television broadcasters were slated to receive free access to spectrum frequencies—allowing them to set up new channels worth billions of dollars. He noted that other telecommunication businesses, such as cellular phone and satellite television services, had to pay top dollar for their portions of the airwaves.

    In January, Dole stepped up his opposition, insisting he would not allow a vote on the telecommunications conference report until the bill explicitly prohibited what he called a giveaway of electromagnetic spectrum to the television broadcasters. In doing so, however, Dole was going against clear majorities in both chambers that favored the free spectrum allocations.

    It seemed briefly that the bill might face the same fate as a telecommunications overhaul bill that foundered at the end of the 103rd Congress. But that possibility acted as a wake-up call to the bickering parties, who decided they were too close to allow the bill to sink.

    The House Republicans dropped their opposition to proceeding on the bill. Dole, whose focus had turned almost completely to his presidential campaign, said he would be happy to deal with the spectrum issue separately. (Hearings on the issue were held, but separate legislation never moved.)

    Once it got the green light to come to the Senate floor, the telecommunications bill received almost universal praise. The opposition was limited to a few isolated pockets. John McCain, R-Ariz., for instance, argued that the bill did not go far enough in deregulating telecommunications. Paul Wellstone, D-Minn., believed it went too far. Democrats Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, Paul Simon of Illinois and Russell D. Feingold of Wisconsin all expressed deep reservations about the constitutionality of the bill's provision restricting obscene material on computer on-line services, or “cyberpornography.”

    President Clinton pulled out all the stops when he signed the bill into law (PL 104-104) on Feb. 8, holding a signing ceremony at the Library of Congress and using a high-tech pen to write his name.

    2. Farm Subsidies

    The sweeping Republican proposal to overhaul federal farm subsidy programs received a major boost Feb. 7, when the Senate passed its version of the seven-year farm bill (S 1541) by a two-to-one ratio despite intense opposition from Midwestern Democrats.

    The so-called Freedom to Farm bill was a top priority of many Republicans, who wanted to break the historic link between government subsidies and commodity prices. The measure aimed to move the nation's agricultural production toward the free market, giving farmers broad planting flexibility and setting up a system of fixed, declining subsidies that could be phased out after 2002.

    The proposal was derided by many Democrats, including Minority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota. They said it would give farmers too much money in times of high market prices and too little when prices dropped, thereby unraveling the government's historic safety net for farmers.

    In the days leading up to the Senate vote, Daschle appeared to have the edge. His Democratic allies successfully tied up the Senate with a filibuster. Frustrated Republicans tried to invoke cloture and cut off debate, but fell seven votes short Feb. 1.

    Two key Republicans, Majority Leader Bob Dole of Kansas and Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee Chairman Richard G. Lugar of Indiana, appeared to concede defeat. Both men were seeking the GOP presidential nomination, and under pressure to hit the campaign trail, they quickly offered to let the Democrats dictate terms, as long as the resulting bill was passed by the evening of Feb. 1.

    Eager Democrats began discussing a proposal to keep at least some of the traditional subsidies, while reauthorizing nutrition and conservation programs administered by the Agriculture Department. Yet, as the evening of Feb. 1 wore on, the Democrats fumbled away the initiative. Either because of unresolved technical issues, or because of a split in the caucus, they asked for a delay of several days.

    Republicans accused Democrats of stalling. In the days that followed, GOP leaders withdrew their offer and focused instead on a divide-and-conquer strategy to lure Democrats from the Daschle camp.

    They picked up several northeastern lawmakers by promising to back food stamps, conservation programs and dairy supports. They also enticed the two Louisiana Democrats, J. Bennett Johnston and John B. Breaux, with higher rice subsidies, and swayed Carol Moseley-Braun of Illinois with higher soybean loan rates.

    Overwhelmed, Daschle dropped his filibuster and fell back instead on trying to amend the bill on the floor. In a last-ditch effort to blunt the GOP measure, Democratic leaders tried to rally their troops behind an amendment by Byron L. Dorgan, D-N.D., that would have required farmers to plant a government-subsidized crop in order to receive the fixed payments. But the amendment failed on a tie vote, 48-48.

    With 20 Democrats abandoning Daschle to vote for the farm bill, the measure passed by a vote of 64-32: R 44-6; D 20-26 (ND 13-23, SD 7-3).

    Although Daschle and other Midwestern Democrats continued to hammer away at the farm bill's provisions, they never again got a chance to make substantial changes in the legislation, which was signed into law April 4 (PL 104-127).

    3. Cuba Sanctions

    At the end of the first session, congressional opponents of the Cuban regime of Fidel Castro had grown bitter and frustrated. Facing a Senate filibuster, they had been forced to scale back a package of harsh economic sanctions (HR 927) aimed at punishing foreign companies that invested in Cuba. On Feb. 24, 1996, the bill received a tremendous boost from an unlikely source: That day, Cuban MiG fighters shot down a pair of U.S.-registered Cessna civilian aircraft, killing four Americans from an anti-Castro group.

    After the incident, most opposition to the measure melted away. When House and Senate negotiators sat down to reconcile differing versions of the bill Feb. 28, they agreed to include a controversial section that had provoked the filibuster in 1995.

    That provision permitted U.S. firms to file suit in U.S. District Court against foreign companies that acquired or otherwise “trafficked” in properties that had been confiscated by Castro's government and were claimed by a U.S. citizen.

    On March 5, the Senate, which had blocked the sanctions bill just four months earlier, easily adopted the conference report. The vote was 74-22: R 47-4; D 27-18 (ND 19-17, SD 8-1). Token opposition came from a handful of moderates and liberals.

    There was no real mystery behind the Senate's turnaround. Anger at Castro was running so high that President Clinton, who had opposed the bill in its earlier form, had little choice but to go along with the conference report. Although U.S. allies that traded with Cuba issued strong objections to the bill, there was a bipartisan desire to punish Castro.

    “Farewell Fidel, that's the message of this bill,” said Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jesse Helms, R-N.C., who sponsored the legislation along with Indiana Republican Rep. Dan Burton.

    At the administration's behest, conferees on the bill agreed to allow the president to delay implementation of the “right of action” indefinitely. But otherwise, the final bill was stronger than either the House or the Senate versions. It barred executives from companies found to be trafficking in expropriated property claimed by U.S. citizens, along with their families, from entering the United States. The legislation also codified the 34-year-old U.S. trade embargo against Cuba, which meant that the president could not lift the trade ban without the approval of Congress.

    Given the supercharged atmosphere for Cuban issues and Clinton's desire to court conservative Cuban-American voters in advance of November's election, a presidential veto was out of the question. The House adopted the conference report March 6. Clinton signed the measure into law (PL 104-114) on March 12.

    4. Product Liability

    Senate adoption of the conference report on the product liability bill (HR 956) marked a striking, if short-lived, triumph for proponents of the sweeping legislation after years of failure.

    For more than a decade, advocates of overhauling the nation's laws on faulty or dangerous products had pushed for new national limits on legal damages that could be awarded to consumers. Manufacturers said that costly litigation stifled innovation and prevented them from bringing to market safe products that would benefit consumers.

    When Democrats controlled Congress, all such measures had been bottled up by Democratic House committee chairmen or had run into filibusters led by Ernest F. Hollings, D-S.C., and other opponents. In the 104th Congress, with the GOP in charge of both chambers and public awareness of the issue growing, proponents believed their time had come.

    Their efforts were rewarded March 21, when the Senate adopted the conference report on the bill, which for the first time would have set a single national standard for faulty product lawsuits. The vote was 59-40: R 47-6; D 12-34 (ND 9-27, SD 3-7). The path had been cleared the day before, when the Senate voted, 60-40, to end a filibuster of the conference report.

    On final passage, Republican Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania was the only senator who voted to end the filibuster but voted against adoption of the conference report. Democrat Bob Kerrey of Nebraska voted against ending the filibuster but did not vote on adoption.

    The House easily cleared the bill March 29.

    The proponents' victory was only temporary. President Clinton vetoed the bill May 2, saying it would go too far in restricting legal redress for damages caused by faulty products, and the House upheld the veto. (House key vote 10)

    Trial lawyers and consumer groups said the bill would have barred the courthouse door to consumers with legitimate claims against manufacturers and would have taken away a deterrent to marketing faulty products.

    5. Line-Item Veto

    A historic bill to give the president the equivalent of the line-item veto was among the most significant new laws produced by the 104th Congress—and among the few upon which hard-line deficit-cutting Republicans and President Clinton could wholeheartedly agree.

    Yet when the Senate prepared to vote on the conference report on the line-item veto bill (S 4—PL 104-130) in March, senators were preoccupied by other, more immediate, concerns, chiefly a critical bill (HR 3136) to raise the federal government's borrowing authority.

    As a result, the line-item veto measure became a pawn in a legislative chess match that seemed to drain the debate of much of its drama. That was extraordinary, considering that Congress was giving away a piece of its cherished power over the purse and handing Clinton enormous leverage in his dealings with Capitol Hill, should he choose to wield it.

    Starting Jan. 1, 1997, the bill gave the president the power to automatically rescind individual items in spending bills, certain targeted tax breaks and new entitlement programs included in bills that he had signed into law. It would, in effect, take a two-thirds vote in both houses to reverse such a presidential “veto”.

    House leaders wanted to link the line-item measure to the essential but very unpopular bill to raise the debt ceiling as a way to build support for the latter measure among conservatives. But Senate leaders wanted to bring the conference report on the line-item veto to the floor on its own, both for procedural protection and because of the importance of the measure.

    The solution was a complicated House rule that attached the line-item veto to the debt-limit bill until the Senate officially notified the House that it had adopted the line-item veto conference report. At that point, the line-item veto language was dropped from the debt-limit bill and automatically cleared for the president. (House key vote 9)

    On March 27, the Senate adopted the line-item veto conference report on a vote of 69-31: R 50-3; D 19-28 (ND 16-21, SD 3-7). The debate was brief and devoid of suspense. The bill had considerable Democratic support and backing from Clinton, so it was clear that any potential filibuster by opponents such as Robert c. Byrd, D-W.Va., would have been easily quashed.

    The maneuvering ended a difficult path into law for the bill, and the saga required some creative leadership from Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan. The final version of the measure followed the “enhanced rescissions” framework favored by the House and by Senate supporters such as John McCain, R-Ariz.

    When the Senate first acted on the measure in March 1995, that framework had been dropped because of opposition from key Republicans such as Pete V. Domenici of New Mexico and Ted Stevens of Alaska. Instead, the Senate originally passed a line-item veto bill that would have required each appropriations bill to be broken into hundreds or thousands of mini-bills that the president could veto—an unwieldy and probably unworkable procedure.

    It took grudging acquiescence by Domenici and Stevens to adopt the House's approach, and that came only after it was beginning to prove embarrassing to Republicans in general—and presidential candidate Dole in particular—that GOP foot-dragging was holding up the bill, a key plank of the House Republicans' “Contract with America.”

    6. Health Insurance

    Congress cleared a health insurance bill (HR 3103—PL 104-191), after the Senate narrowly agreed to exclude controversial medical savings accounts from the legislation. Had the Senate vote gone the other way, the health bill likely would have died.

    President Clinton had made the health insurance portability bill a high priority. By itself, the measure—which generally guaranteed that workers could maintain insurance coverage if they left or lost their jobs—had unanimous support. But Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole of Kansas and other Republicans wanted to add medical savings accounts, allowing individuals with high-deductible health plans to accrue tax-deductible savings to be used for medical expenses.

    Dole introduced an amendment to add the accounts—as well as other provisions—to the underlying bill. With the tally expected to be close, Clinton dispatched Vice President Al Gore to the Senate to break a tie if necessary. Besides deciding the fate of the bill, the vote also tested the leadership skills of Dole, who by then was the presumed GOP presidential nominee.

    The procedurally complicated vote came on the question of whether to strip the medical savings accounts from the Dole amendment to the underlying bill.

    The bill's sponsors, Labor and Human Resources Committee Chairwoman Nancy Landon Kassebaum, R-Kan., and the panel's ranking Democrat, Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, strongly opposed including the controversial accounts. Kassebaum feared they would kill the health bill, and Kennedy contended that such accounts would favor the healthy and wealthy at the expense of the poor and sick.

    The Senate backed Clinton, Kassebaum and Kennedy, defying Dole. Senators voted April 18 to strip the medical savings accounts 52-46: R 5-46; D 47-0 (ND 37-0, SD 10-0).

    Gore, sitting in the president's chair, allowed Dole to hold the vote open well past the standard 15 minutes while the majority leader worked to bring straying Republicans over to his side. Dole swayed William S. Cohen of Maine, who switched his vote, as well as Bill Frist of Tennessee, who withheld his vote until the end.

    But Dole finally gave up, realizing that none of the five remaining Republicans who had voted to strip the savings accounts would switch to support him. The Dole amendment—which included an increase in the deductibility of health insurance for the self-employed and provisions to make long-term care insurance and expenses tax deductible—was then adopted by a vote of 98-0.

    The vote was a clear defeat for Dole and a victory for Clinton. If the Senate had not voted to strip the special accounts from the Dole amendment, opponents appeared ready to mount a filibuster, possibly dooming the overall bill.

    The final version of the legislation did include medical savings accounts, but only a small demonstration project. Dole, who resigned from the Senate to run for president full time before Congress cleared the bill, received little credit for the popular health insurance legislation.

    7. Budget Resolution

    Although the Senate rejected a bipartisan budget plan proposed by a centrist coalition, the vote marked the coalition's strongest showing yet. The group fell four votes short of winning a majority for its budget proposal—which sought to eliminate the deficit in seven years without deep cuts in social programs. That was closer than even the coalition's leaders expected and amounted to more support than the group had ever received for its legislation.

    The budget plan was offered May 23 as an alternative to the Republican budget resolution (S Con Res 57). The GOP plan aimed to produce a balanced budget in a shorter period—six years—but it relied on deeper cuts in social programs such as Medicare, the government's health insurance for the elderly, and Medicaid, the government's health plan for the poor and disabled.

    The final vote on the coalition's plan was 46-53: R 22-30; D 24-23 (ND 18-19, SD 6-4). While the core of the centrist support came from liberal Republicans and conservative Democrats, the plan drew a surprising amount of support from GOP conservatives and backing from several Democrats generally considered liberals.

    Among the more conservative Republicans who voted for the plan were Daniel R. Coats and Richard G. Lugar of Indiana, Lauch Faircloth of North Carolina, Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Mike DeWine of Ohio, Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Orrin G. Hatch of Utah. Among the more liberal Democrats who voted for it were Daniel K. Akaka and Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii, Barbara Boxer of California, Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, Patty Murray of Washington and Claiborne Pell of Rhode Island.

    The bipartisan coalition decided that the key to getting support from both parties was to target at least some of the proposed spending cuts toward programs that benefited the wealthy and to provide the bulk of the tax cuts to middle-income taxpayers. To do that, they proposed to increase the amount the wealthy paid for Medicare and reduce the income-eligibility threshold for a $500-per-child tax credit that both parties were proposing.

    The centrist plan would have reduced projected spending on Medicare by $154 billion, on Medicaid by $62 billion and on discretionary spending by $268 billion. It would have given a net tax cut of $105 billion.

    Another essential element of the bipartisan budget was a controversial proposal to change the way the government used the Consumer Price Index to calculate annual cost of living adjustments in Social Security payments. The centrist budget would have saved $126 billion primarily by reducing the annual Social Security benefit increases and allowing tax brackets, indexed for inflation, to rise more slowly. The tax bracket change would have had the effect of pushing more taxpayers into higher brackets.

    The centrists' budget resolution was the result of months of discussions by a core group of fewer than a dozen members led by John H. Chafee, R-R.I., and John B. Breaux, D-La. Once the proposal was complete, both recruited other senators to join the group but neither anticipated that they would get support from nearly half the Senate. The strong showing for their budget resolution presaged the success the group would have later in 1996 in getting portions of its welfare overhaul proposal accepted as compromise language in place of GOP provisions.

    8. Balanced-Budget Amendment

    As one of his last acts before leaving the Senate to run full time for president, Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., held a revote on a constitutional amendment to require a balanced federal budget.

    In sharp contrast to the initial debate—the outcome of which gave the Kansas Republican perhaps his greatest disappointment in the 104th Congress—the second time around had a perfunctory, going-through-the-motions feel.

    In March 1995, with the amendment (H J Res 1) falling one vote short, Dole had switched his “aye” to “nay,” so he could call for another vote. At the time, supporters had real hopes of finding the 67th vote they needed to win adoption of the amendment and send it to the states for ratification.

    When Dole called the revote June 6, he lost ground. The Senate killed the amendment, 64-35: R 52-1; D 12-34 (ND 7-29, SD 5-5).

    In 1995 Dole had assembled 66 votes. Since then, however, Rep. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., an opponent of the amendment, had succeeded GOP supporter Bob Packwood in the Senate. And supporter Jim Exon, D-Neb., had angrily announced he was switching his vote in response to Republican efforts to repeal the 4.3-cents-per-gallon gasoline tax increase enacted by Democrats in 1993.

    In the weeks before the 1996 vote proponents such as Larry E. Craig, R-Idaho, reached out to Democrats, such as Wyden and Ernest F. Hollings of South Carolina, who said they could support the amendment if it were modified to exempt Social Security taxes and payments from deficit calculations. (The Democrats wanted a “firewall” blocking Social Security surpluses from being used, in effect, to finance general government operations.)

    Republican negotiators offered to meet Democrats halfway and segregate Social Security from the rest of the budget beginning in 2006, instead of 2002, as Democrats sought. But that was not enough to bring Wyden and Hollings on board.

    Republicans had hoped to get a political boost from the second defeat, but the issue came and went with little fanfare, in part because the Senate was tied up in knots over politically resonant issues such as whether to increase the minimum wage. During the presidential campaign, Dole tried to blame President Clinton for killing the amendment, but the issue had little impact.

    9. Campaign Finance

    Failure to cut off a Senate filibuster finished off a bill to overhaul campaign finance, reflecting the shared ambivalence of Congress and President Clinton toward rewriting Watergate-era laws in an election year.

    Despite the nearly universal view that the existing system was out of control, the bipartisan campaign finance bill (S 1219), sponsored by John McCain, R-Ariz., and Russell D. Feingold, D-Wis., was doomed from the start. It languished for months in the Senate despite the sponsors' threats to attach it to other legislation. Finally in June, the new Senate majority leader, Republican Trent Lott of Mississippi, mollified the sponsors by allotting time for the Senate to consider the issue. Election-year pressures and a crowded legislative schedule made it obvious to senators before the vote that campaign finance reform would not happen in 1996. Clinton's eleventh-hour endorsement failed to sway a single senator.

    Prospects for the bill grew worse as the National Right to Life Committee and the Christian Coalition lobbied for its defeat, contending that the bill's definition of advocacy and its proposed limits on the practice would threaten their voting guides and education activities. The final blow was administered by Lott, who opposed the bill and pressured GOP senators to do the same in a test of their loyalty.

    On June 25, after three days of debate, the Senate rejected a motion to invoke cloture and thus limit debate on the bill, by a vote of 54-46: R 8-45; D 46-1 (ND 37-0, SD 9-1). Three-fifths of the total Senate (60) was required to invoke cloture.

    After the vote, Lott immediately withdrew the bill from the Senate floor.

    The new GOP majority in Congress had hoped to succeed where Democrats had failed, but the increased spoils for the victors had quickly dampened any enthusiasm for change.

    The bill would have banned political action committees and provided incentives, such as free broadcast time and reduced postage rates, to candidates who complied with spending limits. It also would have banned “soft money,” the unlimited funds that national political parties raise from corporations, unions and other sources to spend on party-building activities.

    Leading the opposition to the bill was Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who cast the legislation as an infringement on the constitutional right of free speech. He dismissed the notion that the bill would put challengers on a par with incumbents in the money chase created by political campaigns. “You cannot create a level playing field; it is impossible,” McConnell said.

    10. Minimum Wage

    By the time legislation (HR 3448) to raise the minimum wage reached the floor of the Senate, its passage should have been a cinch.

    GOP leaders were eager to end four months of Democratic attacks and legislative guerrilla warfare that had tied the Senate in knots. The battle over the minimum wage had slowed work on fiscal 1997 spending bills to a crawl. The wage raise—bitter to conservative Republicans, who said it would reduce employment—had been sweetened considerably by a package of business tax cuts likely to be the only significant tax legislation to pass the 104th Congress.

    Senate Democrats said that an increase in the wage, which had not been changed since 1991, was overdue; enough moderate Republicans, primarily from the Northeast, sided with the Democrats to ensure passage.

    With all that going for it, the minimum wage increase—which the House had approved as part of HR 1227 on May 23—still faced a major hurdle when it reached the Senate floor July 9. Republicans planned to attach a conservative amendment that had been denounced by Democrats as a poison pill. (House key vote 11)

    The amendment, by Christopher S. Bond, R-Mo., would have exempted businesses with less than $500,000 in annual sales from the wage increase. It also would have delayed the bill's effective date until Jan. 1, 1997, and allowed employers to pay all new employees a subminimum training wage of $4.25 an hour for the first six months, twice as long as the 90 days stipulated in the House version of the bill.

    Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., made it clear that liberal Democrats would vote against any wage increase that included the Bond provisions. Their defections, coupled with “no” votes from conservative Republicans adamantly opposed to raising the minimum wage, would have ensured its defeat—and a resumption of Democratic warfare. President Clinton had also issued a veto threat.

    Bond's amendment ultimately failed, 46-52: R 46-5; D 0-47 (ND 0-37, SD 0-10). The five Republicans who crossed the aisle to vote with a united Democratic front against the amendment were Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado, Alfonse M. D'Amato of New York, Mark O. Hatfield of Oregon, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and James M. Jeffords of Vermont.

    When a subsequent amendment by Kennedy failed by the same margin, the bill's passage was assured. Kennedy's amendment would have shortened by half the time that teenage workers could be paid a subminimum training wage and extended wage increases to waiters and other tip-earners. Had the amendment been adopted, it could have discouraged moderate Republicans from supporting final passage. The vote on final passage was 74-24.

    The final version of the minimum wage legislation (PL 104-188) raised the hourly minimum wage to $4.75 on Oct. 1, 1996, and to $5.15 on Sept. 1, 1997.

    11. Nuclear Waste Storage

    A Senate vote on July 31 to establish a temporary nuclear waste dump in the Nevada desert appeared to be a blow to the bill's most fervent opponents: the state's Democratic senators, Richard H. Bryan and Harry Reid. The passage of S 1936 came after a dogged three-month filibuster mounted by the Silver State's senators.

    Bryan and Reid were able to claim victory in defeat. President Clinton was on their side, and the Senate vote to pass S 1936 was short of the two-thirds that supporters would need to override a threatened veto. That fact alone was enough to dissuade House Republican leaders from even taking up the bill for consideration during the session.

    The Senate vote breakdown was 63-37: R 50-3; D 13-34 (ND 7-30, SD 6-4).

    The bill was the latest chapter in Congress' effort to find a repository for the highly hazardous waste products that had been piling up in temporary holding areas at the nation's nuclear facilities. The measure would have instructed the Department of Energy to begin taking possession of some of the nation's spent nuclear reactor fuel within six months of enactment. Electric utilities would have begun shipping up to 60,000 metric tons of waste to a temporary dump at Nevada's Yucca Mountain site, 100 miles outside Las Vegas, before the end of the century.

    Supporters—including utilities, other elements of the nuclear power industry and most congressional Republicans—said the legislation was vital if the federal government was to live up to a 1982 law requiring it to take responsibility for civilian nuclear waste by 1998.

    But the nuclear waste threat was not enough. Along with 34 Democratic senators, three Republicans—John H. Chafee of Rhode Island, Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado and Daniel R. Coats of Indiana—provided crucial votes to keep the waste out of Nevada.

    Chafee's vote swung on the environmental issue. Environmental groups said the bill would set too low a safety standard for the Nevada waste site and expose the nation to potential disasters during transportation of nuclear waste. Coats' vote was more personal. He was trying to win passage of legislation to permit state and local governments to bar the dumping of garbage from other states. Under the circumstances, he could hardly vote to foist nuclear waste on Nevada.

    Democratic unity was maintained in part because of presidential politics. Clinton—who was influenced on the issue by Nevada's Democratic governor, Bob Miller—said he opposed the bill because Yucca Mountain was the only location under consideration for a permanent nuclear waste repository; the siting of a temporary storage facility there, he said, would compromise ongoing scientific studies of the site's long term suitability.

    Clinton also wanted to win Nevada's four electoral college votes. A threatened veto of a bill considered public enemy No. 1 by Nevada residents could only help. Clinton went on to carry the state by a narrow margin.

    Generally, Democrats who voted for the temporary dump—such as Carol Moseley-Braun and Paul Simon of Illinois, Carl Levin of Michigan, Patty Murray of Washington and Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont—had serious nuclear waste problems in their states. Many faced strong pressure from their home-state utilities. But the nuclear power industry failed to make the waste disposal issue resonate beyond those states in which it was most pressing.

    12. Welfare Overhaul

    The Senate on Aug. 1 cleared a bill that replaced six decades of federal welfare policy with a new reliance on the states, ending the government's guarantee of providing welfare checks to all eligible low-income mothers and children. The lopsided vote came only after previous attempts to enact similar measures went down amid partisan disagreements.

    President Clinton had announced the day before that he would sign the bill (HR 3734) despite his reservations, and the House easily adopted the conference report shortly thereafter. (House key vote 14)

    The Senate, which had lurched to and from bipartisanship on the issue in the 104th Congress, concluded its action with Republicans unanimously favoring the legislation and Democrats split. The vote to adopt the conference report was 78-21: R 53-0; D 25-21 (ND 17-20, SD 8-1).

    The Senate's bipartisan interest in enacting welfare legislation had been thwarted earlier in the session. After House Republicans passed a bitterly contested welfare bill (HR 4) in March 1995, a Senate coalition of moderate Republicans and Democrats trimmed some of the more radical elements from it, picking up significant Democratic support. But that support largely vanished when GOP conferees ignored Democrats while working out differences between the House and Senate versions.

    As a result, Clinton twice vetoed GOP welfare plans—on Dec. 6, 1995, as part of the deficit-reducing budget reconciliation bill (HR 2491), then on Jan. 9, as a free-standing welfare bill (HR 4). He complained that the measures were too harsh, more likely to hurt children than to help welfare recipients get jobs.

    Efforts to revive the legislation gained some support in February, when the National Governors' Association endorsed recommendations to overhaul both welfare and Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program for the poor.

    But Clinton was unwilling to end the entitlement for Medicaid, and Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., insisted on keeping the Medicaid provisions in the bill.

    When Dole left the Senate in June to campaign for the presidency full time, however, GOP leaders succumbed to pressure from their own ranks and dropped the Medicaid portion of the bill. Once again, a coalition of moderate Republicans and Democrats massaged the welfare bill a bit in the Senate. Their biggest victories were making sure that welfare recipients would remain eligible for Medicaid and ensuring that states could not gain control over their food stamp programs by choosing to receive their federal money in a block grant.

    Even so, some Democratic opponents spoke in almost apocalyptic terms when describing the measure's potential impact on poor children. As the Senate vote began, about 10 protesters shouted, “Shame! Shame!” and blew whistles from the visitors' gallery until they were removed by police.

    Republicans placed less emphasis on the bill's savings—$54.6 billion through fiscal 2002, mainly from cutting food stamps and aid to legal immigrants—than on their revolutionary attempt to end welfare as an entitlement and push welfare recipients into the workforce.

    13. Gay Rights

    The socially conservative 104th Congress cast a surprisingly close vote on a civil rights bill for homosexuals. On Sept. 10, the Senate narrowly defeated a bill (S 2056) that would have outlawed workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation. The vote likely would have gone the other way if David Pryor, D-Ark., had been in town. Pryor's vote for the bill would have allowed Vice President Al Gore to cast the tie-breaking vote in favor of it.

    However, House leaders had shown no interest in the bill, and House rules did not give members of the minority party the leverage they had in the Senate to bring things to the floor.

    Also, the vote was taken at the end of the Congress when it was clear the bill would go no further than the Senate. The chance for a vote had been offered as a quid pro quo for bringing another bill (HR 3396—PL 104-199), to the Senate floor. That bill, which restricted same-sex marriages, had overwhelming support and passed easily. Its opponents, led by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., could not block the measure, but did get a chance for a separate vote on the workplace bill.

    Nevertheless, the near-win in one chamber, particularly in a conservative Congress, was hailed by gay rights organizations as a significant victory. The vote was 49-50: R 8-45; D 41-5 (ND 35-2, SD 6-3).

    The workplace vote, in conjunction with HR 3396, served several functions. It suggested that while lawmakers opposed sanctioning marriage—and all the rights and privileges that came with it—for gay couples, they were more divided on how civil rights issues should apply to gay individuals.

    The vote gave gay rights groups something to cheer about in what for them was a clearly unfriendly Congress. It saved President Clinton from some of the heat he would have taken from gay Democrats for his support of the same-sex marriage bill. The workplace bill gave Clinton a gay rights bill to champion and provided an escape valve for gay rights groups that did not want to start a fight with Clinton.

    14. Abortion

    By sustaining President Clinton's veto of legislation to ban so-called partial-birth abortions, the Senate blocked what would have been the first law barring a specific abortion procedure.

    The Senate was the last barrier to enactment of the controversial legislation. Both chambers had passed the bill, and the House on Sept. 19 had overridden the president's April 10 veto. The Senate on Sept. 26 rejected the override attempt 57-41: R 45-6; D 12-35 (ND 7-30, SD 5-5) (House key vote 8)

    Antiabortion lobbyists mounted an extensive nationwide campaign—using graphic descriptions—to pressure lawmakers to support the ban. They contended that the procedure was abhorrent, with some saying it amounted to killing babies. They used direct mail, advertising and church leaflets, and enlisted religious leaders, including key Roman Catholic clerics and other high-profile public figures.

    Opponents of the ban called upon women who had had the procedure to explain why it was necessary, as Clinton had done when he vetoed the bill. They said it was relatively rare, and was used to protect the life or health of the woman—sometimes to protect her ability to have a child later.

    However, the vote lacked suspense because the initial Senate vote to pass the bill had not drawn enough support to override a threatened presidential veto. On Dec. 7, 1995, the Senate passed the legislation 54-44, many votes short of the two-thirds majority needed for an override.

    The measure would have made it a federal crime for a doctor to perform a type of late-term abortion known in the legislation as a partial-birth abortion, except to save the woman's life. In vetoing the bill, Clinton said the exemption should have been broadened to allow the procedure to protect the woman's health, as well as her life. The bill defined the partial-birth procedure as taking place when a doctor partially “vaginally delivers a living fetus before killing the fetus and completing delivery.”

    Under the bill, doctors who performed these late-term abortions would have faced fines and up to two years in prison. Other provisions would have exempted the woman from criminal penalties and allowed the woman's parents and the prospective father to sue the doctor for damages if the woman was a minor.

    Though the bill was not enacted, abortion opponents declared victory in the debate, satisfied that they had trained public attention on the discomfiting specifics of abortion and away from the more philosophical question of the right to have one.

    In the past, congressional votes on abortion-related issues typically had involved a variation on the broader question of a woman's right to have one, as guaranteed by the Supreme Court in the landmark 1973 case, Roe v. Wade.

    House
    1. Defense Authorization

    The Republicans' central challenge to President Clinton's defense program stalled on the first day of the 1996 session when the House sustained Clinton's veto of a bill that would have accelerated the deployment of a nationwide defense against ballistic missiles.

    The $265 billion authorization bill (HR 1530) covered all defense-related programs for fiscal 1996, including $7 billion more for defense programs than Clinton requested. But in his veto message, Clinton singled out as particularly objectionable a provision that, he said, would put the country on a collision course with the 1972 treaty limiting the use of antiballistic missile (ABM) weapons.

    The key provision would have required the deployment by 2003 of an ABM system that could protect all 50 states against attack by a small number of missiles.

    The administration said that, to cover the western-most parts of Alaska and Hawaii, missile defenses likely would have to be deployed at several locations, thus violating the 1972 ABM Treaty, which permitted their deployment at only a single site. For that reason, administration officials warned, enactment of the disputed provisions might induce Russia to stop decommissioning thousands of nuclear warheads as required by the START I arms reduction treaty. Moreover, they said, the bill might induce Russia not to ratify the pending START II treaty, which required even deeper cuts in U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals.

    Republicans called the Clinton team's argument a red herring intended to cover up the administration's lack of enthusiasm for deploying antimissile defenses in any case. GOP missile-defense advocates pointed out that Army and Air Force agencies each had drawn up proposals intended to protect all 50 states with a treaty-compliant, single-site defense. As for the two START treaties, they pointed out that those pacts faced strong political opposition in Moscow for a variety of reasons that had nothing to do with the ABM Treaty.

    Besides using the omnibus bill to boost defense funding above the amount Clinton requested, Senate and House Republicans had loaded it up with various other policy initiatives that were anathema to the president. But in the prolonged Senate-House conference on the bill, most of the contentious provisions other than the antimissile deployment requirement had dropped off.

    Some Republican strategists contended that it would be hard for Democrats to vote against defending the country against rogue states, such as North Korea, which might acquire long-range missiles. But 139 House Democrats did join virtually all the Republicans in voting Jan. 3 to override the president's decision. However, the motion still fell short of the required two-thirds majority. The motion failed on a vote of 240-156: R 206-16; D 34-139 (ND 12-109; SD 22-30); I 0-1. With that number of members voting, 264 “ayes” would have been needed to override the veto.

    2. Government Shutdown

    When lawmakers returned to Washington to begin the second session, nine Cabinet departments and dozens of agencies were shut down—their fiscal 1996 appropriations bills either vetoed by the president or unfinished by Congress. Republicans had vowed to continue the closure, which began Dec. 16, 1995, until President Clinton accepted their plans for balancing the budget in seven years. Until then, they said, there would be no temporary appropriations bill to put federal workers back on the job.

    The tactic backfired. Clinton refused to back down, instead vetoing the budget reconciliation bill that contained much of the Republican's agenda, along with several appropriations bills that he felt provided too little money or imposed unacceptable policy changes. While the public seemed disgusted with both sides, the GOP was getting the brunt of the blame for the mess in Washington.

    Republicans were frustrated and angry. House GOP leaders insisted they would continue to play hardball. “If the president wants to end this shutdown,” said House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, “then he can get serious and come to agreement on a balanced budget.”

    But the House firebrands were quickly losing support. On Jan. 2 Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., declared, “Enough is enough.” Dole, at the time the leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination, pushed a government-reopening stopgap spending bill (HR 1643) through the Senate. On Jan. 3 more than 50 House Republicans voted in a closed-door meeting of the entire House GOP to consider a compromise.

    On Jan. 5 Republican leaders threw in the towel. Facing down those who still wanted to hang tough, Gingrich told members to vote to put federal employees back to work and fund high-profile programs such as Meals on Wheels, child welfare and national parks. “If you don't like the way we're doing it, run for the leadership yourself,” Gingrich said.

    In the end, only 15 Republicans defied the Speaker as the motion to accept a modified version of the Senate bill passed overwhelmingly, 401-17: R 214-15; D 186-2 (ND 133-0, SD 53-2); I 1-0, Jan. 5, 1996.

    Though the budget battle was not over, the bill was the first of a series of measures that kept the government open while the two sides slowly reached agreement on the rest of the fiscal 1996 appropriations bills. The broader GOP plan to balance the budget in seven years was ultimately abandoned.

    3. Telecommunications

    The overwhelming margin by which the House adopted the conference report on the sweeping telecommunications bill (S 652—PL 104-104) belied how hard it had been to balance the high-stakes political and industry interests involved.

    Proponents had contended for years that an overhaul was needed to bring U.S. law in line with technological advances, but efforts to make far-reaching changes had collapsed in previous Congresses.

    The House and Senate had passed separate versions of an overhaul in 1995, and after months of negotiations, conferees had seemingly settled all of their differences. Vice President Al Gore and the chairmen and ranking members of the two Commerce committees announced Dec. 20 that they had a deal.

    But the conference report did not go as far in deregulating telecommunications as many House Republicans wanted. They complained bitterly that Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Larry Pressler, R-S.D., had given away too much to the White House and his committee's ranking Democrat, Ernest F. Hollings of South Carolina.

    At the end of 1995, House Republicans—led by Jack Fields of Texas, chairman of the Commerce Telecommunications Subcommittee—blocked the conference agreement. One of the group's members, Michael G. Oxley, R-Ohio, called the bill as “dead as Elvis.”

    Rumors of the telecommunications bill's demise turned out to be exaggerated. Gore and Hollings simply bided their time, as they pushed for greater consumer protections and a generally less deregulatory bill. As the issue persisted into the election year, the Republican group realized that further delay could threaten passage of the entire bill.

    Once agreement was reached, final passage was assured. The House adopted the conference report on the bill Feb. 1 by a 414-16 vote: R 236-0; D 178-15 (ND 123-14, SD 55-1); I 0-1. The Senate cleared the bill the same day. (Senate key vote 1)

    Fields roundly praised the measure, which was virtually identical to the one he and other Republicans had derided just a few weeks earlier. “I believe this means American companies will dominate the field of global telecommunications,” he said of the bill.

    The new law was designed to break down barriers between different types of telecommunications services. It aimed to create one giant telecommunications marketplace, for everything from phone services to movies-on-demand, from what had been segmented industries.

    The bill mainly avoided the partisan gridlock that affected most important measures in the 104th Congress. It provided an early lesson to some House Republicans that they could get much of what they wanted if they let President Clinton share the credit. With telecommunications, both the GOP and Clinton got ample bragging rights to the first major bill enacted in the 104th Congress.

    4. Farm Subsidies

    By passing the seven-year farm bill (HR 2854) on Feb. 29 by a wide margin, the House swept away the last remaining resistance to the Republican-led drive to move heavily subsidized U.S. agricultural production toward greater reliance on the free market. The Senate had easily passed a similar version of the bill (S 1541) early in the month. (Senate key vote 2)

    The historic legislation was guided through the House by its author, Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan. Often called “Freedom to Farm,” the measure aimed to do away with traditional federal farm subsidies, replacing them with a system of fixed, declining payments that could be phased out altogether after 2002. Instead of planting specified crops and idling land, farmers would have broad flexibility to plant for growing domestic and foreign markets.

    Before the bill could pass, GOP leaders had to overcome powerful efforts to end sugar and peanut price-support programs, staged by a bipartisan coalition of Democrats from nonfarm districts and Republican fiscal hawks. Without the price supports, the broad coalition backing the farm bill might have unraveled, exposing the measure to possible defeat on the floor.

    As a result, rural lawmakers focused their attention on blocking amendments to do away with the price supports, rather than the vote on the overall bill.

    Leading the charge against the price supports were suburban lawmakers, who contended the programs inflated consumer prices and interfered with the free market. Backing their efforts was a broad coalition of user groups, such as candy and soft drink manufacturers, who wanted to lower the costs of the commodities.

    Rural lawmakers fought back, contending that the underlying farm bill already scaled back the price-support programs. Further changes could devastate peanut and sugar growers, they warned. Roberts privately exhorted his colleagues to preserve the programs, lest some rural districts face economic devastation.

    The showdown took place Feb. 28, as the House took up an amendment by Christopher Shays, R-Conn., and others to phase out the peanut program by 2002. In a dramatic vote that split along regional rather than party lines, the House defeated the amendment, 209-212.

    The close vote appeared to portend trouble for the sugar program, which faced more organized opposition. But the well-heeled sugar lobby scored a big victory that day, as an amendment to phase out sugar price supports, sponsored by Dan Miller, R-Fla., and Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., was rejected, 208-217.

    By more decisive margins, lawmakers rejected amendments that would have phased out all subsidy programs and eliminated a key cotton loan program. With such divisive issues out of the way, the House easily passed the overall measure the next day, 270-155: R 216-19; D 54-135 (ND 21-112, SD 33-23); I 0-1.

    As farm organizations generally rallied behind the bill, lawmakers quickly wrapped up the conference and cleared the measure. President Clinton signed the farm bill into law (PL 104-127) on April 4, despite his concerns that the fixed payments would be insufficient to help farmers if market prices fell.

    The sugar and peanut programs came under assault again during consideration of the fiscal 1997 agriculture appropriations bill (HR 3603—PL 104-180). But again they survived, as rural lawmakers reminded their colleagues that many of the arguments had already been aired during the farm bill debate.

    5. Antiterrorism Bill

    The House passed a long-stalled antiterrorism bill (HR 2703) on March 14, but only after stripping the measure of what its supporters saw as its most potent law enforcement tools—including provisions that would have expanded federal surveillance capabilities and eased restrictions on deporting noncitizens suspected of terrorism.

    President Clinton had requested the bill in the wake of the April 19, 1995, bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City, which killed 168 people. GOP leaders, eager to show their toughness against terrorism, used his proposal as a platform for their own measure, which included get-tough provisions such as limiting appeals by death-row prisoners. (House key vote 6)

    When freshman Republican Bob Barr of Georgia garnered enough votes to prevail on an amendment that removed the committee-approved provisions to fight terrorism, it smacked of an insurgency against his party. The vote stood out because Barr formed an unusual alliance between a conservative group of Republicans and a predominantly liberal group of Democrats. The Republicans contended that federal agents had overstepped their bounds in a bloody battle with the Branch Davidian cult in Waco, Texas, and a standoff with an antigovernment group in Ruby Ridge, Idaho.

    While some conservative Democrats agreed, most of the 67 Democrats who supported Barr were concerned about infringing upon civil liberties in other ways, including giving law enforcement officials enhanced wiretapping authority in terrorism cases.

    The House approved the amendment on March 13 by a vote of 246-171: R 178-54; D 67-117 (ND 39-91, SD 28-26); I 1-0.

    The next day the House passed the bill 229-191, sending it to a difficult conference with a broader Senate measure. Some of the provisions that Barr stripped from the bill were put back in at conference, but most of Barr's targets remained dead.

    The vote on the Barr amendment showed how the freshman Republicans, when they decided to exercise their power, could throw a monkey wrench into the plans of even the most senior GOP leaders. Overall, the freshman class voted 72 to 14 in favor of the amendment, with Republicans making up the bulk of the majority, with 68 votes.

    The amendment was an affront to Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry J. Hyde, R-Ill., and other Republicans who had spent months hammering out the bill's provisions with Barr and other conservative freshmen. When Barr introduced his amendment, Hyde said it would “eviscerate the bill.” During the floor debate, Hyde dueled with Barr, saying the amendment was a “frail representation of what started out as a robust answer to the terrorist menace.”

    Barr won, however, by appealing to a majority of Republicans and Democrats who were worried about entrusting the government with more power. Among the provisions removed by Barr's amendment were proposals to allow the administration to designate certain foreign groups as terrorist and then deny their members entry visas and bar them from fund raising in the United States, allow authorities to use illegally obtained wiretap evidence in terrorism cases, expedite the deportation of aliens linked to terrorism and lower the standard of proof to prosecute those who provided the guns used in violent crimes.

    Behind the scenes, the amendment had backing from the National Rifle Association and other gun-rights groups upset about making it easier to prosecute people linked to gun crimes. Barr's amendment also appealed to them by exempting black and smokeless powder from a proposed government study of explosives and by altering a proposed study on armor-piercing bullets.

    6. Death-Row Appeals

    Placing restrictions on death-row appeals was a Republican goal that had been debated since President Ronald Reagan's administration. Then, in the 104th Congress, a perfect vehicle for achieving that goal appeared: a bill to fight terrorism (HR 2703). With the memory of the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995, still fresh, the bill was a fast-moving piece of legislation that had a strong chance of passage in both chambers. (House key vote 5)

    Although many Democrats argued that federal death-row appeals—known as habeas corpus petitions—had little to do with terrorism, the provision became the cornerstone of the terrorism bill. Even a bipartisan amendment from Melvin Watt, D-N.C., and Helen Chenoweth, R-Idaho—opposites on the political spectrum—could not muster enough votes to remove the habeas corpus section.

    The House rejected the Watt-Chenoweth amendment March 14, by a vote of 135-283: R 12-218; D 122-65 (ND 96-35, SD 26-30); I 1-0. Later the same day, members passed the terrorism bill, which GOP leaders advertised as the “The Effective Death Penalty and Public Safety Act of 1996,” by a vote of 229-191.

    In rejecting the Watt-Chenoweth amendment, the House was agreeing to impose the most severe limitations on the constitutional right to seek federal review of convictions since the Civil War. Habeas corpus was the only legal avenue for state inmates to obtain a federal review of their cases.

    Ultimately enacted as S 735—PL 104-132, the new law set a deadline on when petitions could be filed by state prisoners—generally one year after exhausting all appeals in state court—and made it extremely difficult for prisoners to file more than one appeal. The limit for death-row inmates was even stricter. They were given six months to file an appeal assuming the state had provided a competent lawyer for their appeals.

    Death-row inmates had used the appeals process to delay executions and, in some cases, win a new trial. “Sometimes the government makes mistakes,” said Watt in an impassioned floor speech to gain support for his amendment. “We can't sacrifice our constitutional principles because we're angry at people for bombing,” he said. Individual citizens, Watt said, ought to have the ability to petition the judicial branch to have government mistakes redressed.

    Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry J. Hyde, R-Ill., and a majority of Republicans argued that changes were needed to stop prisoners from abusing the appeals system. “We seek closure and finality for the judgment that has been rendered and some compassion for the families of the victims who wait years and years,” Hyde said.

    The House had passed a free-standing bill to limit death-row appeals (HR 729—H Rept 104-23) on Feb. 8, 1995, by 297-132. The bill, sponsored by Bill McCollum, R-Fla., never made it to the Senate floor.

    While some Democrats agreed that changes to the appeals process were needed, most said the changes were too restrictive and could send innocent people to their deaths.

    7. Immigration

    In 1996 Congress decided to take a stern—critics called it hostile—approach toward immigrants. The new welfare law (HR 3734—PL 104-193) restricted benefits to legal immigrants. The House version of the immigration bill (HR 2202) went further, including a provision aimed at allowing states to deny free public schooling to children of illegal immigrants.

    While that language was removed during conference negotiations in the face of a threatened presidential veto and Senate filibuster, its adoption by the House underscored how far House Republicans were willing to go to get tough on illegal immigration.

    Approval of the so-called Gallegly amendment on March 20 came after an emotional debate and heavy lobbying by the Republican leadership. The vote was 257-163: R 213-20; D 44-142 (ND 25-104, SD 19-38); I 0-1.

    The benefits cuts in the welfare bill, equally controversial, did become law. They were embedded in the larger bill, and necessary to meet its budgetary target. The education issue, in contrast, was a straight up-or-down vote on something that did not affect the rest of the immigration measure. The rest of the bill focused on increasing border controls and otherwise stemming illegal immigration.

    Proponents argued that the Gallegly amendment would help reduce the flow of illegal immigrant families into the United States. Its author, Elton Gallegly, R-Calif., was one of many members from the California delegation and among freshman Republicans who enthusiastically supported the proposal. California's Republican governor, Pete Wilson, made it a priority as well.

    The amendment exposed fissures on the issue elsewhere in the GOP, however. Its detractors said it was unworkable and would lead to cities full of juveniles unprepared for the life ahead of them.

    Both of Texas's Republican senators, Phil Gramm and Kay Bailey Hutchison, opposed it, as did the state's GOP governor, George W. Bush. Had the amendment survived the conference, as many as 10 Republican senators would have helped sustain a Democratic filibuster.

    As the November presidential election approached, the Gallegly amendment became an overtly political issue. Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole sent his campaign director, Scott Reed, to Capitol Hill to argue that keeping the language was the most effective way to kill the overall bill. The Dole camp would have been happy to have the bill die and deny President Clinton another legislative victory.

    A debate broke out among GOP lawmakers as to whether they wanted to pass a bill or have a good election issue. In the end, Republican supporters of the Gallegly language concluded they would rather have a bill than an issue, and the amendment was dropped in conference.

    The provisions of the immigration bill were ultimately passed as part of the omnibus fiscal 1997 appropriations package (HR 3610—PL 104-208).

    8. Abortion

    A House vote March 27 to pass a bill (HR 1833) banning certain late-term abortions marked the first time Congress had cleared legislation to outlaw a specific abortion procedure. Although the measure ultimately fell in the face of a presidential veto, abortion opponents arguably emerged victorious.

    The bill represented a shift in the perennial abortion debate. Many previous votes had offered variations on the underlying question of whether women had the right to an abortion. The vote on HR 1833 reframed the question, forcing members to decide about a specific procedure rather than general abortion rights.

    The House vote followed Senate passage of the same measure in 1995 and was the closest that abortion opponents had come to enacting a partial rollback of the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, which guaranteed the right to have an abortion. Members voted to ban the so-called partial-birth abortion procedure, 286-129: R 214-15; D 72-113 (ND 47-83, SD 25-30); I 0-1.

    The vote was also significant because the margin of support was unusually high—nine votes over what would be needed to override the president's promised veto. Indeed, the House voted Sept. 19 to override the veto, but the Senate sustained it Sept. 26. (Senate key vote 14)

    The measure would have made it a federal crime for a physician to perform a type of late-term abortion known in the bill as a “partial-birth” abortion, unless the procedure was needed to save the woman's life. Clinton argued that the bill should have included an exemption to protect the woman's health, as well. The bill defined the partial-birth procedure as taking place when a doctor partially “vaginally delivers a living fetus before killing the fetus and completing delivery.”

    If enacted, doctors who performed these late-term abortions would have faced fines and up to two years in prison. The measure exempted the woman from criminal penalties and would have allowed the woman's parents and the prospective father to sue the doctor for damages if the woman was a minor.

    Proponents of the ban argued that the procedure was inhumane, amounting to the extermination of “a defenseless little life,” as Henry J. Hyde, R-Ill., described it. Opponents argued that the procedure was used only in extreme circumstances and that the legislation would “prevent women from getting the medical care they need,” in the words of Nita M. Lowey, D-N.Y.

    In making the partial-birth procedure their highest priority, abortion foes forced members to decide whether to protect the practice of a type of abortion much of the public found unacceptable. Although they could not prevail in the final Senate vote, even clearing a bill to undercut Roe v. Wade was a victory for them.

    9. Debt Limit

    Republican congressional leaders pushed the government closer to default than at any other time in recent history. An increase in the cap on the Treasury's borrowing authority became a weapon in their battle with President Clinton over their plan to balance the budget in seven years.

    The trouble with the debt limit started in 1995, when Republicans decided they would increase it only as part of their deficit-reducing, budget reconciliation bill (HR 2491). GOP leaders said they did not want to increase the debt unless they also guaranteed that the budget would be balanced. But the reconciliation bill was vetoed by Clinton, killing the debt-limit increase as well.

    By that point, the government had all but exhausted the amount it could borrow under the existing $4.9 trillion statutory debt ceiling. Nonetheless, the Republicans dug in their heels and refused to raise the limit, forcing Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin to juggle accounts for nearly five months and rely on stopgap measures to pay the government's bills.

    Rubin repeatedly warned that a default was imminent, that unless Congress raised the limit, the government would be unable to meet its obligations to foreign and domestic bond holders, Social Security recipients and creditors such as hospitals reimbursed through the Medicare system.

    Only after heavy lobbying by Wall Street bankers fearful of default and a series of delicate negotiations between Rubin and the House GOP leadership did Congress agree to increase the debt limit. At first there was no consensus on how to craft a long-term debt-limit increase, and on March 7, Congress passed a temporary increase (HR 3021) that expired March 29.

    Different factions argued about which measures should be added to the debt-limit bill to make it more palatable to Republicans. Among the suggestions were a version of the welfare system overhaul, spending cuts that would amount to a down payment on balancing the budget and legislation giving the president the equivalent of a budgetary line-item veto.

    The separate line-item veto legislation was agreeable to a majority in both chambers, but the final version had gotten hung up in conference on details. The urgent need to pass the debt-limit increase, combined with the possibility of attaching the line-item veto to it, mobilized the Senate and House negotiators.

    Spurred by Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., they struck a deal on the line-item veto language. The final agreement allowed the House to attach the veto to the bill increasing the debt limit to $5.5 trillion, but then detach the veto provisions when the bill moved to the Senate. That allowed the Senate to vote on the line-item veto as a stand-alone piece of legislation. (Senate key vote 5)

    Attaching the debt-limit increase to the veto in the House gave cover to conservatives who wanted to say they were voting to help balance the budget. On March 28 the debt-limit bill (HR 3136) passed 328-91: R 201-30; D 127-60 (ND 82-48, SD 45-12); I 0-1.

    Two other “sweeteners” contributed to passage of the debt-limit increase: an increase in the Social Security earnings limit long sought by senior citizens, and a loosening of the rules that limited the ability of small businesses to go to court to challenge government regulations.

    10. Product Liability

    Overhauling the nation's laws on faulty or dangerous products was a major goal of the House GOP's “Contract with America.” Republicans and their business allies said costly litigation stifled innovation and discouraged businesses from developing products.

    When the House cleared a product liability bill (HR 956) March 29 after months of fitful negotiations with the Senate, proponents faced a political showdown with President Clinton and lost: They were unable to override his veto. Clinton had been widely expected to veto the legislation, but he had hedged his public comments, suggesting some flexibility. Some of his closest supporters had predicted he could be persuaded to sign a bill.

    In fact, Clinton's own veto message on May 2 suggested that he was hewing to a fine political line, stating his general support for product liability legislation but opposing HR 956 as too restrictive. He said that while he could have signed legislation “appropriately limited in scope,” HR 956 would go too far in restricting legal redress for damage caused to consumers by faulty products.

    The bill sought to rewrite the rules governing product liability lawsuits in state and federal courts and place limits on damage awards intended to punish negligent behavior.

    The Republican leadership charged that the president's real reason for opposing the bill was loyalty to the nation's trial lawyers, who were major supporters of the Democrats. Trial lawyers and other opponents contended that the bill would bar lawsuits by consumers with legitimate claims against manufacturers.

    Though it was clear in advance that the effort would fail, Republicans sought to override the president's veto on May 9 to press their political case. The veto was sustained 258-163: R 225-5; D 33-157 (ND 15-118, SD 18-39); I 0-1. A two-thirds majority of those present and voting (281 in this case) was required to override a veto.

    Republicans vowed to push the issue in the presidential election race, but product liability hardly came up in the campaign.

    11. Minimum Wage

    Democrats turned two months of political guerrilla warfare into their biggest triumph of the Republican 104th Congress on May 23, when an increase in the federal minimum wage sailed through the House. But the lopsided vote on an amendment to raise the mandatory minimum wage from $4.25 to $5.15 an hour belied a House more divided than that margin indicated. Support for raising the minimum wage was wide, but among Republicans it was not particularly strong.

    Opponents, on the other hand, were resolute. The GOP leadership, knowing it did not have the votes to block a wage raise outright, had tried for months to avoid bringing the issue to the floor. The defection of about two dozen Republican moderates—many of whom had confronted intense pressure from organized labor in their districts—forced House leaders to go forward with a minimum wage vote. They also hoped to defuse a potent Democratic campaign issue.

    GOP leaders chose a relatively noncontroversial vehicle for the wage raise, a bill (HR 1227), favored mainly by Republicans, clarifying that employees could commute to and from work in company cars without being compensated for their driving time. Unions and labor Democrats opposed the commuter bill, but GOP leaders figured correctly that the probusiness measure would not poison the process.

    Frank Riggs, R-Calif., a moderate facing a tough reelection bid, was selected to amend the commuting bill with a provision to raise the hourly minimum wage to $4.75 on July 1 and to $5.15 a year later. Two controversial amendments by Bill Goodling, R-Pa., both designed to insulate some employers from the effects of the wage increase, would follow. Whatever passed that day would be married to a popular package of business tax breaks (HR 3448), then sent to the Senate. (Senate key vote 10)

    The leadership carefully orchestrated the floor action to ensure that conservatives could vote for the tax cut—the most significant tax legislation of the 104th Congress—without having to throw in their lot for a minimum wage increase they found loathsome.

    Riggs' amendment was the only pure vote on the minimum wage increase. The final vote was influenced by a Republican desire to see the attached tax package through to passage.

    Debate over Riggs's wage raise was passionate. Conservative Republicans portrayed the increase as a politically motivated job killer that would hurt the low-wage workers it was ostensibly meant to help. Democrats and moderate Republicans said raising the minimum wage for the first time since 1991 was a simple matter of fairness. They pointed out that the buying power of the minimum wage had slipped to nearly a 40-year low in inflation-adjusted dollars. The Riggs amendment was adopted 266-162: R 77-156; D 188-6 (ND 136-0, SD 52-6); I 1-0.

    Even that comfortable margin displayed an increasing resolve by GOP conservatives to take politically unpopular stands. If getting the wage raise to the floor was a testament to the power of labor unions and popular opinion, resolute Republican opposition reflected the remaining strength of a conservative tide.

    In 1989, the previous time the House voted to raise the minimum wage, 135 Republicans joined 247 Democrats to pass a two-tiered, 90-cent increase, 382-37. This time, 37 Republicans who voted for a minimum wage increase in 1989 voted against an almost identical measure.

    12. Defense Appropriations

    The facade of unity behind which House Republicans had increased President Clinton's defense budget dropped away briefly June 13. The occasion was an amendment to the fiscal 1997 defense appropriations bill (HR 3610) that energized GOP deficit hawks who saw the Pentagon budget as a large part of the overall budget problem.

    In the early weeks of 1995 House Republicans eager to cut the deficit and those anxious to boost defense spending had reached a rough compromise on how much to add to Clinton's Pentagon funding request. GOP deficit hawks and defense specialists agreed on a budget increase that was lower than the $15 billion to $25 billion rise the defense specialists had been pushing.

    Under this plan, embodied in slightly modified form in the fiscal 1997 budget resolution (H Con Res 178), Congress would slightly increase Clinton's projected defense budgets for fiscal 1997–2002, which together would total $1.62 trillion. The Republican plan was to add several billion dollars annually to Clinton's projected requests for most of that period, then spend less on defense than Clinton planned in the last year.

    Proponents of the spending increase insisted that the additional funding was needed because Clinton's budgets were starving the armed services at the same time that the president was burdening the military with new peacekeeping and humanitarian missions around the globe. In particular, they argued, the Pentagon needed more for weapons procurement, which had declined about 70 percent in inflation-adjusted terms since 1985, the peak year of the Reagan administration defense buildup.

    Though they had signed on to the compromise, many Republican deficit cutters agreed with liberal Democrats that defense hard-liners had overstated the need for additional Pentagon spending. The deficit hawks also warned that if Republicans were lenient with the Defense Department, they would have a harder time cutting other parts of the federal bureaucracy.

    The issue came to a head when GOP deficit hawk Christopher Shays of Connecticut joined with liberal Democrat Barney Frank of Massachusetts to sponsor an amendment that would have trimmed about $1.9 billion from the $245.2 billion defense funding bill. Had it been adopted, the amendment would have frozen the bill at the amount passed for fiscal 1996, which still would have been $8.7 billion more than Clinton requested for fiscal 1997.

    Although the amendment was rejected, it won support from several dozen GOP deficit hawks, including Budget Committee Chairman John R. Kasich, R-Ohio. The vote was 194-219: R 60-161; D 133-58 (ND 113-23; SD 20-35); I 1-0.

    13. Pesticides

    For nearly two decades, lawmakers had run into one impasse after another over proposals to overhaul federal pesticide regulations. Potential compromises foundered in the face of deep divisions over health standards, with pesticide makers and users squaring off against environmentalists and consumer activists.

    So it came as something of a shock when the House not only passed a sweeping pesticide bill (HR 1627) on July 23, but did so without any dissent. The vote was 417-0: R 229-0; D 187-0 (ND 132-0, SD 55-0); I 1-0.

    “It's amazing to me,” said Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., who helped write the bill. “All the stars in the heavens were in the right places.”

    Nor were House members the only elected officials who liked the compromise measure, which established a uniform health standard for pesticide residues in both raw and processed foods. The Senate cleared the bill by voice vote July 24, and President Clinton signed it into law Aug. 3 (PL 104-170).

    Much of the impetus that freed the pesticide legislation from deadlock came from the federal judiciary. Recent court rulings had interpreted pesticide regulations barring potentially cancer-causing agents so strictly that the Environmental Protection Agency had begun to cancel the use of some common agricultural chemicals. Farm-state members warned of crop losses and economic dislocation.

    Election-year politics also contributed to the bill's sudden progress. After being branded as “anti-environment” for pursuing a deregulatory agenda early in the 104th Congress, GOP leaders were hungry for an environmental achievement. Lobbyists on all sides of the issue, tired of waging the same battle year after year, were ready to settle for a compromise.

    Movement toward a consensus bill began in the House Agriculture Committee, which marked up less-controversial sections of HR 1627 on June 19. The legislation hit a snag in the Commerce Committee, with Republicans and Democrats divided over how to change the so-called Delaney Clause of the 1958 Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. The Delaney Clause barred processed food from containing even minute amounts of cancer-causing chemicals.

    Republicans, spurred by farmers and chemical companies, urged a more flexible approach that would allow processed foods, like raw foods, to contain small amounts of some carcinogens. But Democrats, voicing the concerns of environmentalists and public health advocates, insisted on retaining strict health standards.

    Finding a solution fell to the leaders of the opposing camps on pesticide law: Commerce Committee Chairman Thomas J. Bliley Jr., R-Va., and veteran committee liberal Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif. The two had been bitter adversaries, but to the amazement of many, they emerged with a deal after about five days of closed-door meetings.

    Their compromise allowed residues of cancer-causing chemicals in both raw and processed foods—a major victory for the agriculture industry. But those residues had to be in such small amounts as to pose no reasonable risk of harm, meaning that consumption of the food product would cause only about a one-in-a-million risk of cancer. In addition, the compromise contained strict standards to safeguard the health of infants and children.

    Despite some grumbling, lobbyists on all sides signed off on the measure. In the eight days following the deal, the legislation swept through one subcommittee markup, two committee markups and the House and Senate floors, without a single dissenting vote.

    14. Welfare Overhaul

    House approval of a sweeping welfare overhaul bill (HR 3734) brought an element of bipartisanship to an issue that had been contentious throughout the 104th Congress. The vote also topped a tumultuous day in which Democrats and Republicans alike waited eagerly to hear whether President Clinton would sign the bill.

    It was a foregone conclusion that Republicans could pass practically any welfare bill they liked, as they had in 1995. The question was whether Clinton and a significant number of congressional Democrats would fall into line despite liberal opposition to the measure. They did, and the House adopted the conference report on July 31, 328-101: R 230-2; D 98-98 (ND 62-76, SD 36-22); I 0-1. The Senate cleared the bill the next day. (Senate key vote 12)

    Clinton had twice vetoed GOP welfare plans—on Dec. 6, 1995, as part of the deficit-reducing budget reconciliation bill (HR 2491), then on Jan. 9, as a free-standing welfare bill (HR 4). He branded the measures as too harsh, more likely to hurt children than to help welfare recipients get jobs.

    The push to revisit the legislation began Feb. 6 when the National Governors' Association endorsed recommendations to overhaul both welfare and Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program for the poor. The centerpiece of the welfare provisions remained unchanged: The federal government would end its 61-year-old guarantee of providing welfare checks to all eligible low-income mothers and children. Federal funding would be sent to states in predetermined lump-sum payments known as block grants, giving states almost complete control over eligibility and benefits.

    While Clinton seemed willing to end an individual's entitlement to welfare, he was unalterably opposed to ending the entitlement for Medicaid. On the other side, Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., insisted the Medicaid provisions remain in the bill.

    However, once Dole left the Senate in June to campaign for president full time, GOP leaders succumbed to pressure from their own ranks and dropped the Medicaid provisions. A growing number of Republicans wanted to give Clinton a clean shot at the welfare bill and were prepared to either share credit with him for having overhauled the system or blast him for defending an unpopular status quo.

    For days, Clinton seemed to be leaning toward signing the bill, but he did not make a final decision until after a dramatic meeting with top advisers the morning of July 31. House Democrats used procedural maneuvers to stall action for a few hours that day, waiting for a signal from the White House and for details of the conference report that had been filed late the night before. Many Democrats wanted to make sure they were on the same side as the president. Like Clinton, they did not want to be seen as supporting the existing system but had concerns about the bill's potential effect on the poor.

    Although Clinton's announcement that he would sign the bill made the subsequent debate anticlimactic, it also underscored the historic nature of the effort, which would directly affect millions of low-income people.

    Many Democrats who opposed the legislation spoke fervently against it. Only two of the party's 34 black members, two of its 12 Hispanic members and nine of its 31 women voted for the conference report.

    Democrats who supported the bill, some of whom were swayed by Clinton, typically explained that they were willing to take a chance with a new, untested approach. Among Republicans, many members said they were motivated by compassion to help the poor. They did not focus on the $54.6 billion in savings through fiscal 2002 that would come mainly from cutting food stamps and aid to legal immigrants. Only two Republicans opposed the measure—Reps. Lincoln Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, both Cuban-Americans from South Florida, who objected to provisions cutting benefits for legal immigrants.

    15. Appropriations

    For months it was a mystery: How would a Republican Congress bent on cutting domestic discretionary spending simultaneously satisfy President Clinton, who wanted more money for his favorite programs, and its own hard-core budget-cutters, who wanted less?

    It had taken Republicans almost seven months past the Oct. 1, 1995, start of fiscal 1996 to work out their disputes with Clinton and finish all the spending bills. They would not have that luxury this time.

    Leaders and most rank-and-file members were desperate to go home to campaign in what was shaping up to be a make-or-break election for the GOP Congress. To get out of Washington by the early October target adjournment date, they would have to finish all 13 appropriations bills (or pass a continuing resolution) by Oct. 1.

    That gave the president huge leverage. By vetoing almost any bill he deemed too frugal, he could freeze Republicans in place while they worked to craft another one.

    In the end, it was that burning desire to go home that persuaded most Republicans not to make a fight of it. Even many hard-line GOP deficit hawks looked the other way as leaders gave Clinton an additional $6.5 billion he had demanded as the price of his signature. Republican leaders even added money Clinton had not asked for, responding to rank-and-file concerns that GOP candidates were being hurt by accusations that they wanted to gut education and environmental programs.

    The leaders insisted the extra spending was paid for by cuts elsewhere, but when the Congressional Budget Office got through scrubbing the numbers later, only about half turned out to have been legitimately offset.

    In the final analysis, Republicans could rightly claim that they held appropriations sharply below the levels Democrats would have spent had they continued to control Congress in 1995–1996. But the Republicans had retreated from the ambitious goal they had set in early 1995, when they fixed a $487.4 billion limit for discretionary spending in fiscal 1997. The final number was about $503 billion.

    The final appropriations vote came Sept. 28 on a package that wrapped up six bills embodying the final deal between Clinton and GOP leaders. Republican fiscal hawks had a stark choice: Stand on principle, vote no, kill the deal and hang around Washington hoping for a better one or swallow hard, vote yes, go home to campaign and come back to fight another day. Most opted to head home as the measure (HR 3610) passed easily, 370-37: R 202-24; D 167-13 (ND 113-11, SD 54-2); I 1-0.

    1. Telecommunications Overhaul/Conference Report

    S 652 Adoption of the conference report to promote competition and deregulation in the broadcasting, cable and telephone industries by requiring local phone companies to open their networks to competitors, allowing those companies to offer cable service, permitting the regional Bell operating companies to enter the long-distance and manufacturing markets, easing ownership requirements on broadcasters, and deregulating cable rates for small cable TV systems. The bill also would require most televisions sold in the United States to be equipped with a device that would allow parents to block TV shows rated inappropriate for children and would bar the dissemination of “indecent” material on the Internet and online computer services. Adopted (thus cleared for the president) 91-5: R 51-1; D 40-4 (ND 30-4, SD 10-0), Feb. 1, 1996. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    2. Farm Bill/Passage

    S 1541 Passage of the bill to reauthorize for seven years, through 2002, all major federal farm programs, overhauling certain programs to give farmers a fixed, declining payment regardless of market conditions rather than traditional subsidies and to give farmers more flexibility in deciding what to plant. The bill reauthorizes the food stamp program for seven years and expands conservation and rural development programs. Passed 64-32: R 44-6; D 20-26 (ND 13-23, SD 7-3), Feb. 7, 1996.

    3. Cuba Sanctions/Conference Report

    HR 927 Adoption of the conference report on the bill to strengthen the trade embargo against Cuba, to discourage foreign investment in Cuba and to direct the president to prepare to support a transition to democracy in Cuba. The bill would allow U.S. nationals to bring lawsuits against entities that traffic in confiscated Cuban property; it would codify all existing Cuban economic sanctions dating back to 1962; it would deny entry into the United States to foreigners who traffic in confiscated Cuban property; and it would proportionally reduce U.S. foreign aid to countries that support Cuba. Adopted (thus sent to the House) 74-22: R 47-4; D 27-18 (ND 19-17, SD 8-1), March 5, 1996. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    4. Product Liability/Conference Report

    HR 956 Adoption of the conference report to limit punitive damages in product liability cases to two times compensatory damages or $250,000, whichever is greater, with lower limits for small businesses. Under the bill, a plaintiff could bring a lawsuit up to two years after discovering both the cause and the injury itself. The bill would limit the time to file a suit to 15 years after the delivery of a product, but the limit would apply only to some types of products. The bill also would abolish joint and several liability for noneconomic damages. Adopted (thus sent to the House) 59-40: R 47-6; D 12-34 (ND 9-27, SD 3-7), March 21, 1996. A “nay” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    5. Line-Item Veto/Conference Report

    S 4 Adoption of the conference report to the bill to grant the president on or after Jan. 1, 1997, the authority to cancel individual spending items, limited tax breaks or new entitlement programs from larger bills already signed into law. The proposed cancellations would take effect unless both chambers pass a bill (itself subject to veto) to reverse them. The provisions of the bill would expire on Jan. 1, 2005. Adopted (thus sent to the House) 69-31: R 50-3; D 19-28 (ND 16-21, SD 3-7), March 27, 1996. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    6. Health Insurance Revisions/Medical Savings Accounts

    S 1028 Kassebaum, R-Kan., amendment to strike the provisions in the Dole, R-Kan., amendment that establish medical savings accounts, which allow individuals to make tax deductible contributions to special accounts set up to pay medical expenses. Adopted 52-46: R 5-46; D 47-0 (ND 37-0, SD 10-0), April 18, 1996. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    7. Fiscal 1997 Budget Resolution/Centrist Coalition Alternative

    S Con Res 57 Chafee, R-R.I., substitute amendment to save $679 billion over seven years and provide for a balanced budget by 2003. The substitute would reduce projected spending over seven years for Medicare by $154 billion, Medicaid by $62 billion, welfare by $58 billion and discretionary spending by $268 billion. The substitute includes a net $105 billion in tax cuts, would save $126 billion by adjusting the Consumer Price Index and would save $25 billion by eliminating certain tax preferences. Rejected 46-53: R 22-30; D 24-23 (ND 18-19, SD 6-4), May 23, 1996.

    8. Balanced-Budget Amendment/Passage

    H J Res 1 Passage of the joint resolution to propose a constitutional amendment to balance the budget by the year 2002 or two years after ratification by three-fourths of the states, whichever is later. Three-fifths of the entire House and Senate would be required to approve deficit spending or an increase in the public debt limit. A simple majority could waive the requirement in times of war or in the face of a serious military threat. The courts would be prohibited from raising taxes or cutting spending unless specifically authorized by Congress. Rejected 64-35: R 52-1; D 12-34 (ND 7-29, SD 5-5), June 6, 1996. A two-thirds majority vote of those present and voting (66 in this case) is required to pass a joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution. On June 4 the Senate had by voice vote agreed to reconsider a vote on March 2, 1995, by which the Senate had rejected passage of H J Res 1 by 65-35. A “nay” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    9. Campaign Finance Overhaul/Cloture

    S 1219 Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the bill to institute voluntary campaign spending limits with reduced broadcast and postal rates, to outlaw political action committees and to ban unlimited contributions to political parties (so-called soft money). Motion rejected 54-46: R 8-45; D 46-1 (ND 37-0, SD 9-1), June 25, 1996. Three-fifths of the total Senate (60) is required to invoke cloture.

    10. Small Business Tax Package-Minimum Wage Increase/Wage Delay and Exemptions

    HR 3448 Bond, R-Mo., amendment to delay by six months a 90-cent increase in the minimum wage, to exempt employees of businesses with annual gross sales under $500,000 from the minimum wage increase and to deny any new employees the minimum wage increase for the first six months of employment. Rejected 46-52: R 46-5; D 0-47 (ND 0-37, SD 0-10), July 9, 1996. A “nay” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    11. Nuclear Waste Storage/Passage

    S 1936 Passage of the bill to establish a temporary nuclear waste storage site at Yucca Mountain, 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas, Nev. Passed 63-37: R 50-3; D 13-34 (ND 7-30, SD 6-4), July 31, 1996. A “nay” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    12. Budget Reconciliation-Welfare Overhaul/Conference Report

    HR 3734 Adoption of the conference report on the bill to reduce spending over six years by about $54.1 billion, mostly by cutting aid to legal immigrants and scaling back food stamp and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) spending. The bill ends the federal guarantee of welfare benefits, gives states broad discretion over their own programs through block grants, generally requires welfare recipients to work within two years of receiving benefits and limits recipients to five years of welfare benefits. The bill also imposes tighter eligibility standards on low-income children seeking SSI benefits due to disability and denies most legal immigrants SSI and food stamp benefits. Adopted (thus cleared for the president) 78-21: R 53-0; D 25-21 (ND 17-20, SD 8-1), Aug. 1, 1996. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    13. Sexual Orientation Nondiscrimination/Passage

    S 2056 Passage of the bill to prohibit job discrimination based on sexual orientation by extending the remedies of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to sexual orientation. Rejected 49-50: R 8-45; D 41-5 (ND 35-2, SD 6-3), Sept. 10, 1996. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    14. Abortion Procedure Ban/Veto Override

    HR 1833 Passage, over President Clinton's April 10 veto, of the bill banning a late-term abortion procedure, where the physician partially delivers the fetus before completing the abortion. Anyone convicted of performing such an abortion would be subject to a fine and up to two years in prison. An exception would be granted when the procedure is necessary to save the life of the woman, provided no other medical procedure can be used. Rejected 57-41: R 45-6; D 12-35 (ND 7-30, SD 5-5), Sept. 26, 1996. A two-thirds majority of those present and voting (66 in this case) of both houses is required to override a veto. A “nay” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    1. Fiscal 1996 Defense Authorization/Veto Override

    HR 1530 Passage, over President Clinton's Dec. 28 veto, of the bill to authorize $265.3 billion for fiscal 1996 for military activities of the Department of Defense, military construction and defense activities of the Department of Energy; and to prescribe personnel strengths for the armed forces. The bill authorizes $7.1 billion more than requested by the administration, and it would require the Pentagon to make plans to deploy a missile defense system by 2003. Rejected 240-156: R 206-16; D 34-139 (ND 12-109, SD 22-30); I 0-1, Jan. 3, 1996. A two-thirds majority of those present and voting (264 in this case) of both houses is required to override a veto. A “nay” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    2. Fiscal 1996 Targeted Appropriations/Continue Funding

    HR 1643 Livingston, R-La., motion that the House concur in the Senate amendment with an amendment to substitute language to provide appropriations for selected government functions and to enable federal employees to return to work until Jan. 26. Motion agreed to 401-17: R 214-15; D 186-2 (ND 133-0, SD 53-2); I 1-0, Jan. 5, 1996.

    3. Telecommunications Overhaul/Conference Report

    S 652 Adoption of the conference report on the bill to promote competition and deregulation in the broadcasting, cable and telephone industries by requiring local phone companies to open their networks to competitors, allowing those companies to offer cable service, permitting the regional Bell operating companies to enter the long-distance and manufacturing markets, easing ownership requirements on broadcasters and deregulating cable rates for small cable TV systems. The bill would require televisions sold in the United States to be equipped with a device that would allow parents to block TV shows rated as inappropriate for children and would bar the dissemination of “indecent” material on the Internet and on-line computer services. Adopted 414-16: R 236-0; D 178-15 (ND 123-14, SD 55-1); I 0-1, Feb. 1, 1996. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    4. Farm Bill/Passage

    HR 2854 Passage of the bill to reauthorize through 2002 all major federal farm programs, replacing current price-support programs with a system of fixed annual payments to farmers that would decline over the next seven years. The bill gives farmers more flexibility in deciding what to plant, extends the sugar and peanut support programs with some modifications and phases out price supports for butter and dry milk. Passed 270-155: R 216-19; D 54-135 (ND 21-112, SD 33-23); I 0-1, Feb. 29, 1996.

    5. Antiterrorism and Death Penalty Enforcement/Law Enforcement Authority

    HR 2703 Barr, R-Ga., amendment to eliminate many of the bill's antiterrorism provisions that expand the authority of law enforcement officials, including the bill's authorization for the State Department and attorney general to label organizations as terrorist, and language allowing evidence gathered by wiretaps that violated constitutional protections to be admitted in court. The amendment also would strike provisions allowing aliens to be excluded or denied asylum in the United States, based on their membership in a suspected or known terrorist organization, and would delete provisions that impose mandatory penalties on a person who transfers a firearm and has reasonable cause to believe that the weapon will be used in violent crime activity. Adopted 246-171: R 178-54; D 67-117 (ND 39-91, SD 28-26); I 1-0, March 13, 1996. A “nay” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    6. Antiterrorism and Death Penalty Enforcement/Habeas Corpus Appeals

    HR 2703 Watt, D-N.C., amendment to strike the bill's habeas corpus provisions that place strict limits on the ability of state death-row and other prisoners to challenge in federal court the constitutionality of their sentence. Rejected 135-283: R 12-218; D 122-65 (ND 96-35, SD 26-30); I 1-0, March 14, 1996.

    7. Immigration Restrictions/Public Education

    HR 2202 Gallegly, R-Calif., amendment to give states the option to deny public education to illegal aliens. The amendment allows parents to challenge the state's decision by proving that they are citizens or lawfully present in the United States. Adopted 257-163: R 213-20; D 44-142 (ND 25-104, SD 19-38); I 0-1, March 20, 1996. A “nay” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    8. Abortion Procedure Ban/Agreeing to the Senate Amendments

    HR 1833 Canady, R-Fla., motion to agree to the Senate amendments to shift the burden of proof from the defendant to the prosecution to show beyond a reasonable doubt that the abortion procedure was not necessary to save the life of the woman, to clarify who can be held liable for performing the procedure and to allow a prospective father to sue for civil damages only if he was married to the woman at the time of the abortion. The bill would impose penalties in the case of certain late-term abortions, in which the person performing the abortion partially delivers the fetus before completing the abortion. An exception would be granted where the procedure was necessary to save the life of the woman. Motion agreed to (thus clearing the bill for the president) 286-129: R 214-15; D 72-113 (ND 47-83, SD 25-30); I 0-1, March 27, 1996. A “nay” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    9. Debt Limit Extension/Passage

    HR 3136 Passage of the bill to increase the federal debt limit from $4.9 trillion to $5.5 trillion, to allow Social Security beneficiaries to earn more outside income without losing their benefits, to expand the ability of small businesses to challenge government regulations in court and to give the president line-item veto authority beginning in 1997. Under the rule for the bill (H Res 391), because the Senate had previously adopted the conference report on the bill (S 4) giving the president line-item veto authority, the line-item veto provision was to be stripped from HR 3136 and the House was to be deemed to have adopted the conference report on S 4, thus clearing it for the president. Passed 328-91: R 201-30; D 127-60 (ND 82-48, SD 45-12); I 0-1, March 28, 1996. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    10. Product Liability/Veto Override

    HR 956 Passage, over President Clinton's May 2 veto, of the bill to limit punitive damages in product liability cases to two times compensatory damages or $250,000, whichever is greater, with lower limits for small businesses. Under the bill, a plaintiff could bring a lawsuit up to two years after discovering both the cause and the injury itself. The bill would limit the time to file a suit to 15 years after the delivery of a product, but the limit would apply only to some types of products. The bill also would abolish joint and several liability for noneconomic damages. Rejected 258-163: R 225-5; D 33-157 (ND 15-118, SD 18-39); I 0-1, May 9, 1996. A two-thirds majority of those present and voting (281 in this case) of both houses is required to override a veto. A “nay” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    11. Employee Commuting Act/Minimum Wage Increase

    HR 1227 Riggs, R-Calif., amendment to increase the minimum wage by 90 cents per hour over two years, thereby raising the minimum wage from its current level of $4.25 per hour to $4.75 per hour on July 1, 1996, and to $5.15 per hour on July 1, 1997. Adopted 266-162: R 77-156; D 188-6 (ND 136-0, SD 52-6); I 1-0, May 23, 1996. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    12. Fiscal 1997 Defense Appropriations/Spending Freeze

    HR 3610 Shays, R-Conn., amendment to reduce the bill's total appropriation to the amount provided by the fiscal 1996 Defense Appropriations Act, approximately $243 billion. Rejected 194-219: R 60-161; D 133-58 (ND 113-23, SD 20-35); I 1-0, June 13, 1996.

    13. Pesticide Regulations/Passage

    HR 1627 Roberts, R-Kan., motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill to repeal the Delaney Clause of the 1958 Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, which imposes a zero tolerance standard for cancer-causing pesticide residues on food. In its place, the bill would impose a single health-based standard for chemical residues on both raw and processed foods. Motion agreed to 417-0: R 229-0; D 187-0 (ND 132-0, SD 55-0); I 1-0, July 23, 1996. A two-thirds majority of those present and voting (278 in this case) is required for passage under suspension of the rules. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    14. Budget Reconciliation-Welfare Overhaul/Conference Report

    HR 3734 Adoption of the conference report on the bill to reduce spending over six years by about $54.1 billion, mostly by cutting aid to legal immigrants and scaling back food stamp and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) spending. The bill would end the federal guarantee of welfare benefits, give states broad discretion over their own programs through block grants, generally require welfare recipients to work within two years of receiving benefits and limit recipients to five years of welfare benefits. The bill also would impose tighter eligibility standards on low-income children seeking SSI benefits due to disability and deny most legal immigrants SSI and food stamp benefits. Adopted (thus sent to the Senate) 328-101: R 230-2; D 98-98 (ND 62-76, SD 36-22); I 0-1, July 31, 1996. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    15. Fiscal 1997 Omnibus Appropriations/Conference Report

    HR 3610 Adoption of the conference report on the bill to appropriate more than $600 billion in new budget authority, including $382.6 billion in discretionary spending, for those Cabinet departments and federal agencies whose fiscal 1997 appropriations bills were never enacted. The measure incorporates all of the six previously separate bills: Defense, Labor-HHS-Education, Interior, Treasury-Postal, Foreign Operations, and Commerce-Justice-State. The measure also includes a modified version of the conference report to restrict illegal immigration. Adopted (thus sent to the Senate) 370-37: R 202-24; D 167-13 (ND 113-11, SD 54-2); I 1-0, Sept. 28, 1996. A “yea” was a vote in support of the president's position.

    Appendix

    Congress and Its Members

    Senate Membership in the 103rd Congress
    Lineup as of Jan. 5, 1993: Democrats 57, Republicans 43

    Alabama
    • Howell Heflin (D)
    • Richard C. Shelby (D) 1
    Alaska
    • Ted Stevens (R)
    • Frank H. Murkowski (R)
    Arizona
    • Dennis DeConcini (D)
    • John McCain (R)
    Arkansas
    • Dale Bumpers (D)
    • David Pryor (D)
    California
    • Dianne Feinstein (D)
    • Barbara Boxer (D)
    Colorado
    • Hank Brown (R)
    • Ben Nighthorse Campbell (D)
    Connecticut
    • Christopher J. Dodd (D)
    • Joseph I. Lieberman (D)
    Delaware
    • William V. Roth Jr. (R)
    • Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D)
    Florida
    • Bob Graham (D)
    • Connie Mack (R)
    Georgia
    • Sam Nunn (D)
    • Paul Coverdell (R)
    Hawaii
    • Daniel K. Inouye (D)
    • Daniel K. Akaka (D)
    Idaho
    • Larry E. Craig (R)
    • Dirk Kempthorne (R)
    Illinois
    • Paul Simon (D)
    • Carol Moseley-Braun (D)
    Indiana
    • Richard G. Lugar (R)
    • Daniel R. Coats (R)
    Iowa
    • Charles E. Grassley (R)
    • Tom Harkin (D)
    Kansas
    • Bob Dole (R)
    • Nancy Landon Kassebaum (R)
    Kentucky
    • Wendell H. Ford (D)
    • Mitch McConnell (R)
    Louisiana
    • J. Bennett Johnston (D)
    • John B. Breaux (D)
    Maine
    • William S. Cohen (R)
    • George J. Mitchell (D)
    Maryland
    • Paul S. Sarbanes (D)
    • Barbara A. Mikulski (D)
    Massachusetts
    • Edward M. Kennedy (D)
    • John Kerry (D)
    Michigan
    • Donald W. Riegle Jr. (D)
    • Carl Levin (D)
    Minnesota
    • Dave Durenberger (R)
    • Paul Wellstone (D)
    Mississippi
    • Thad Cochran (R)
    • Trent Lott (R)
    Missouri
    • John C. Danforth (R)
    • Christopher S. Bond (R)
    Montana
    • Max Baucus (D)
    • Conrad Burns (R)
    Nebraska
    • Jim Exon (D)
    • Bob Kerrey (D)
    Nevada
    • Harry Reid (D)
    • Richard H. Bryan (D)
    New Hampshire
    • Robert C. Smith (R)
    • Judd Gregg (R)
    New Jersey
    • Bill Bradley (D)
    • Frank R. Lautenberg (D)
    New Mexico
    • Pete V. Domenici (R)
    • Jeff Bingaman (D)
    New York
    • Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D)
    • Alfonse M. D'Amato (R)
    North Carolina
    • Jesse Helms (R)
    • Lauch Faircloth (R)
    North Dakota
    • Kent Conrad (D)
    • Byron L. Dorgan (D)
    Ohio
    • John Glenn (D)
    • Howard M. Metzenbaum (D)
    Oklahoma
    • Don Nickles (R)
    • David L. Boren (D) (resigned Nov. 15, 1994)
    • James M. Inhofe (R) (sworn in Nov. 17, 1994)
    Oregon
    • Mark O. Hatfield (R)
    • Bob Packwood (R)
    Pennsylvania
    • Arlen Specter (R)
    • Harris Wofford (D)
    Rhode Island
    • Claiborne Pell (D)
    • John H. Chafee (R)
    South Carolina
    • Ernest F. Hollings (D)
    • Strom Thurmond (R)
    South Dakota
    • Larry Pressler (R)
    • Tom Daschle (D)
    Tennessee
    • Jim Sasser (D)
    • Harlan Mathews (D) 1 (resigned Dec. 1, 1994)
    • Fred Thompson (R) (sworn in Dec. 9, 1994)
    Texas
    • Phil Gramm (R)
    • Lloyd Bentsen (D) (resigned Jan. 20, 1993)
    • Bob Krueger (D) 1 (sworn in Jan. 21, 1993; resigned June 5, 1993)
    • Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R) (sworn in June 14, 1993)
    Utah
    • Orrin G. Hatch (R)
    • Robert F. Bennett (R)
    Vermont
    • Patrick J. Leahy (D)
    • James M. Jeffords (R)
    Virginia
    • John W. Warner (R)
    • Charles S. Robb (D)
    Washington
    • Slade Gorton (R)
    • Patty Murray (D)
    West Virginia
    • Robert C. Byrd (D)
    • John D. Rockefeller IV (D)
    Wisconsin
    • Herb Kohl (D)
    • Russell D. Feingold (D)
    Wyoming
    • Malcolm Wallop (R)
    • Alan K. Simpson (R)

    Richard C. Shelby switched to the Republican Party on Nov. 9, 1994.Appointed Jan. 5, 1993, to fill the seat vacated by Al Gore, who resigned Jan. 2, 1993 to become vice president; Mathews's term expired Dec. 1, 1994, when the Tennessee secretary of state certified the Nov. 8, 1994, election of Thompson.Krueger was appointed Jan. 5, 1993, to fill the seat vacated by Bentsen when he resigned to become Treasury secretary. The interim appointment was until the remainder of the term was filled by special election. Krueger was then defeated in a June 5, 1993, runoff election.

    House Membership in the 103rd Congress
    Lineup as of Jan. 5, 1993: Democrats 258, Republicans 176, Independent 1

    Alabama
    • 1. Sonny Callahan (R)
    • 2. Terry Everett (R)
    • 3. Glen Browder (D)
    • 4. Tom Bevill (D)
    • 5. Robert E.
      Bud
      Cramer (D)
    • 6. Spencer Bachus (R)
    • 7. Earl F. Hilliard (D)
    Alaska
    • AL Don Young (R)
    Arizona
    • 1. Sam Coppersmith (D)
    • 2. Ed Pastor (D)
    • 3. Bob Stump (R)
    • 4. Jon Kyl (R)
    • 5. Jim Kolbe (R)
    • 6. Karan English (D)
    Arkansas
    • 1. Blanche Lambert (D)
    • 2. Ray Thornton (D)
    • 3. Tim Hutchinson (R)
    • 4. Jay Dickey (R)
    California
    • 1. Dan Hamburg (D)
    • 2. Wally Herger (R)
    • 3. Vic Fazio (D)
    • 4. John T. Doolittle (R)
    • 5. Robert T. Matsui (D)
    • 6. Lynn Woolsey (D)
    • 7. George Miller (D)
    • 8. Nancy Pelosi (D)
    • 9. Ronald V. Dellums (D)
    • 10. Bill Baker (R)
    • 11. Richard W. Pombo (R)
    • 12. Tom Lantos (D)
    • 13. Pete Stark (D)
    • 14. Anna G. Eshoo (D)
    • 15. Norman Y. Mineta (D)
    • 16. Don Edwards (D)
    • 17. Leon E. Panetta (D) (resigned Jan. 21, 1993)
    • Sam Farr (D) (sworn in June 16, 1993)
    • 18. Gary A. Condit (D)
    • 19. Richard H. Lehman (D)
    • 20. Cal Dooley (D)
    • 21. Bill Thomas (R)
    • 22. Michael Huffington (R)
    • 23. Elton Gallegly (R)
    • 24. Anthony C. Beilenson (D)
    • 25. Howard P.
      Buck
      McKeon (R)
    • 26. Howard L. Berman (D)
    • 27. Carlos J. Moorhead (R)
    • 28. David Dreier (R)
    • 29. Henry A. Waxman (D)
    • 30. Xavier Becerra (D)
    • 31. Matthew G. Martinez (D)
    • 32. Julian C. Dixon (D)
    • 33. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D)
    • 34. Esteban E. Torres (D)
    • 35. Maxine Waters (D)
    • 36. Jane Harman (D)
    • 37. Walter R. Tucker III (D)
    • 38. Steve Horn (R)
    • 39. Ed Royce (R)
    • 40. Jerry Lewis (R)
    • 41. Jay C. Kim (R)
    • 42. George E. Brown Jr. (D)
    • 43. Ken Calvert (R)
    • 44. Al McCandless (R)
    • 45. Dana Rohrabacher (R)
    • 46. Robert K. Dornan (R)
    • 47. Christopher Cox (R)
    • 48. Ron Packard (R)
    • 49. Lynn Schenk (D)
    • 50. Bob Filner (D)
    • 51. Randy
      Duke
      Cunningham (R)
    • 52. Duncan Hunter (R)
    Colorado
    • 1. Patricia Schroeder (D)
    • 2. David E. Skaggs (D)
    • 3. Scott McInnis (R)
    • 4. Wayne Allard (R)
    • 5. Joel Hefley (R)
    • 6. Dan Schaefer (R)
    Connecticut
    • 1. Barbara B. Kennelly (D)
    • 2. Sam Gejdenson (D)
    • 3. Rosa DeLauro (D)
    • 4. Christopher Shays (R)
    • 5. Gary A. Franks (R)
    • 6. Nancy L. Johnson (R)
    Delaware
    • AL Michael N. Castle (R)
    Florida
    • 1. Earl Hutto (D)
    • 2. Pete Peterson (D)
    • 3. Corrine Brown (D)
    • 4. Tillie Fowler (R)
    • 5. Karen L. Thurman (D)
    • 6. Cliff Stearns (R)
    • 7. John L. Mica (R)
    • 8. Bill McCollum (R)
    • 9. Michael Bilirakis (R)
    • 10. C. W. Bill Young (R)
    • 11. Sam M. Gibbons (D)
    • 12. Charles T. Canady (R)
    • 13. Dan Miller (R)
    • 14. Porter J. Goss (R)
    • 15. Jim Bacchus (D)
    • 16. Tom Lewis (R)
    • 17. Carrie P. Meek (D)
    • 18. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R)
    • 19. Harry A. Johnston (D)
    • 20. Peter Deutsch (D)
    • 21. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R)
    • 22. E. Clay Shaw Jr. (R)
    • 23. Alcee L. Hastings (D)
    Georgia
    • 1. Jack Kingston (R)
    • 2. Sanford D. Bishop Jr. (D)
    • 3. Mac Collins (R)
    • 4. John Linder (R)
    • 5. John Lewis (D)
    • 6. Newt Gingrich (R)
    • 7. George
      Buddy
      Darden (D)
    • 8. J. Roy Rowland (D)
    • 9. Nathan Deal (D)
    • 10. Don Johnson (D)
    • 11. Cynthia A. McKinney (D)
    Hawaii
    • 1. Neil Abercrombie (D)
    • 2. Patsy T. Mink (D)
    Idaho
    • 1. Larry LaRocco (D)
    • 2. Michael D. Crapo (R)
    Illinois
    • 1. Bobby L. Rush (D)
    • 2. Mel Reynolds (D)
    • 3. William O. Lipinski (D)
    • 4. Luis V. Gutierrez (D)
    • 5. Dan Rostenkowski (D)
    • 6. Henry J. Hyde (R)
    • 7. Cardiss Collins (D)
    • 8. Philip M. Crane (R)
    • 9. Sidney R. Yates (D)
    • 10. John Edward Porter (R)
    • 11. George E. Sangmeister (D)
    • 12. Jerry F. Costello (D)
    • 13. Harris W. Fawell (R)
    • 14. Dennis Hastert (R)
    • 15. Thomas W. Ewing (R)
    • 16. Donald Manzullo (R)
    • 17. Lane Evans (D)
    • 18. Robert H. Michel (R)
    • 19. Glenn Poshard (D)
    • 20. Richard J. Durbin (D)
    Indiana
    • 1. Peter J. Visclosky (D)
    • 2. Philip R. Sharp (D)
    • 3. Tim Roemer (D)
    • 4. Jill L. Long (D)
    • 5. Steve Buyer (R)
    • 6. Dan Burton (R)
    • 7. John T. Myers (R)
    • 8. Frank McCloskey (D)
    • 9. Lee H. Hamilton (D)
    • 10. Andrew Jacobs Jr. (D)
    Iowa
    • 1. Jim Leach (R)
    • 2. Jim Nussle (R)
    • 3. Jim Ross Lightfoot (R)
    • 4. Neal Smith (D)
    • 5. Fred Grandy (R)
    Kansas
    • 1. Pat Roberts (R)
    • 2. Jim Slattery (D)
    • 3. Jan Meyers (R)
    • 4. Dan Glickman (D)
    Kentucky
    • 1. Tom Barlow (D)
    • 2.William H. Natcher (D) (died March 29, 1994)
    • Ron Lewis (R) (sworn in May 26, 1994)
    • 3. Romano L. Mazzoli (D)
    • 4. Jim Bunning (R)
    • 5. Harold Rogers (R)
    • 6. Scotty Baesler (D)
    Louisiana
    • 1. Robert L. Livingston (R)
    • 2. William J. Jefferson (D)
    • 3. W. J.
      Billy
      Tauzin (D)
    • 4. Cleo Fields (D)
    • 5. Jim McCrery (R)
    • 6. Richard H. Baker (R)
    • 7. Jimmy Hayes (D)
    Maine
    • 1. Thomas H. Andrews (D)
    • 2. Olympia J. Snowe (R)
    Maryland
    • 1. Wayne T. Gilchrest (R)
    • 2. Helen Delich Bentley (R)
    • 3. Benjamin L. Cardin (D)
    • 4. Albert R. Wynn (D)
    • 5. Steny H. Hoyer (D)
    • 6. Roscoe G. Bartlett (R)
    • 7. Kweisi Mfume (D)
    • 8. Constance A. Morella (R)
    Massachusetts
    • 1. John W. Olver (D)
    • 2. Richard E. Neal (D)
    • 3. Peter I. Blute (R)
    • 4. Barney Frank (D)
    • 5. Martin T. Meehan (D)
    • 6. Peter G. Torkildsen (R)
    • 7. Edward J. Markey (D)
    • 8. Joseph P. Kennedy II (D)
    • 9. Joe Moakley (D)
    • 10. Gerry E. Studds (D)
    Michigan
    • 1. Bart Stupak (D)
    • 2. Peter Hoekstra (R)
    • 3. Paul B. Henry (R) (died June 22, 1993)
    • Vernon J. Ehlers (R) (sworn in Jan. 1, 1994)
    • 4.Dave Camp (R)
    • 5. James A. Barcia (D)
    • 6. Fred Upton (R)
    • 7. Nick Smith (R)
    • 8. Bob Carr (D)
    • 9. Dale E. Kildee (D)
    • 10. David E. Bonior (D)
    • 11. Joe Knollenberg (R)
    • 12. Sander M. Levin (D)
    • 13. William D Ford (D)
    • 14. John Conyers Jr. (D)
    • 15. Barbara-Rose Collins (D)
    • 16. John D. Dingell (D)
    Minnesota
    • 1. Timothy J. Penny (D)
    • 2. David Minge (D)
    • 3. Jim Ramstad (R)
    • 4. Bruce F. Vento (D)
    • 5. Martin Olav Sabo (D)
    • 6. Rod Grams (R)
    • 7. Collin C. Peterson (D)
    • 8. James L. Oberstar (D)
    Mississippi
    • 1. Jamie L. Whitten (D)
    • 2. Mike Espy (D) (resigned Jan. 22, 1993)
    • Bennie Thompson (D) (sworn in April 20, 1993)
    • 3. G. V.
      Sonny
      Montgomery (D)
    • 4. Mike Parker (D)
    • 5. Gene Taylor (D)
    Missouri
    • 1. William L. Clay (D)
    • 2. James M. Talent (R)
    • 3. Richard A. Gephardt (D)
    • 4. Ike Skelton (D)
    • 5. Alan Wheat (D)
    • 6. Pat Danner (D)
    • 7. Mel Hancock (R)
    • 8. Bill Emerson (R)
    • 9. Harold L. Volkmer (D)
    Montana
    • AL Pat Williams (D)
    Nebraska
    • 1. Doug Bereuter (R)
    • 2. Peter Hoagland (D)
    • 3. Bill Barrett (R)
    Nevada
    • 1. James Bilbray (D)
    • 2. Barbara F. Vucanovich (R)
    New Hampshire
    • 1. Bill Zeliff (R)
    • 2. Dick Swett (D)
    New Jersey
    • 1. Robert E. Andrews (D)
    • 2. William J. Hughes (D)
    • 3. H. James Saxton (R)
    • 4. Christopher H. Smith (R)
    • 5. Marge Roukema (R)
    • 6. Frank Pallone Jr. (D)
    • 7. Bob Franks (R)
    • 8. Herb Klein (D)
    • 9. Robert G. Torricelli (D)
    • 10. Donald M. Payne (D)
    • 11. Dean A. Gallo (R) (died June 22, 1996)
    • 12. Dick Zimmer (R)
    • 13. Robert Menendez (D)
    New Mexico
    • 1. Steven H. Schiff (R)
    • 2. Joe Skeen (R)
    • 3. Bill Richardson (D)
    New York
    • 1. George J. Hochbrueckner (D)
    • 2. Rick A. Lazio (R)
    • 3. Peter T. King (R)
    • 4. David A. Levy (R)
    • 5. Gary L. Ackerman (D)
    • 6. Floyd H. Flake (D)
    • 7. Thomas J. Manton (D)
    • 8. Jerrold Nadler (D)
    • 9. Charles E. Schumer (D)
    • 10. Edolphus Towns (D)
    • 11. Major R. Owens (D)
    • 12. Nydia M. Velázquez (D)
    • 13. Susan Molinari (R)
    • 14. Carolyn B. Maloney (D)
    • 15. Charles B. Rangel (D)
    • 16. Jose E. Serrano (D)
    • 17. Eliot L. Engel (D)
    • 18. Nita M. Lowey (D)
    • 19. Hamilton Fish Jr. (R)
    • 20. Benjamin A. Gilman (R)
    • 21. Michael R. McNulty (D)
    • 22. Gerald B. H. Solomon (R)
    • 23. Sherwood Boehlert (R)
    • 24. John M. McHugh (R)
    • 25. James T. Walsh (R)
    • 26. Maurice D. Hinchey (D)
    • 27. Bill Paxon (R)
    • 28. Louise M. Slaughter (D)
    • 29. John J. LaFalce (D)
    • 30. Jack Quinn (R)
    • 31. Amo Houghton (R)
    North Carolina
    • 1. Eva Clayton (D)
    • 2. Tim Valentine (D)
    • 3. H. Martin Lancaster (D)
    • 4. David Price (D)
    • 5. Stephen L. Neal (D)
    • 6. Howard Coble (R)
    • 7. Charlie Rose (D)
    • 8. W. G.
      Bill
      Hefner (D)
    • 9. Alex McMillan (R)
    • 10. Cass Ballenger (R)
    • 11. Charles H. Taylor (R)
    • 12. Melvin Watt (D)
    North Dakota
    • AL Earl Pomeroy (D)
    Ohio
    • 1. David Mann (D)
    • 2. Bill Gradison (R) (resigned Jan. 31, 1993)
    • Rob Portman (R) (sworn in May 3, 1993)
    • 3. Tony P. Hall (D)
    • 4. Michael G. Oxley (R)
    • 5. Paul E. Gillmor (R)
    • 6. Ted Strickland (D)
    • 7. David L. Hobson (R)
    • 8. John A. Boehner (R)
    • 9. Marcy Kaptur (D)
    • 10. Martin R. Hoke (R)
    • 11. Louis Stokes (D)
    • 12. John R. Kasich (R)
    • 13. Sherrod Brown (D)
    • 14. Tom Sawyer (D)
    • 15. Deborah Pryce (R)
    • 16. Ralph Regula (R)
    • 17. James A. Traficant Jr. (D)
    • 18. Douglas Applegate (D)
    • 19. Eric D. Fingerhut (D)
    Oklahoma
    • 1.James M. Inhofe (R) (resigned Nov. 15, 1994)
    • Steve Largent (R) 1 (sworn in Nov. 29, 1994)
    • 2. Mike Synar (R)
    • 3. Bill Brewster (D)
    • 4. Dave McCurdy (D)
    • 5. Ernest Jim Istook Jr. (R)
    • 6. Glenn English (R) (died Jan. 7, 1994)
    • Frank D. Lucas (R) (sworn in May 17, 1994)
    Oregon
    • 1. Elizabeth Furse (D)
    • 2. Bob Smith (R)
    • 3. Ron Wyden (D)
    • 4. Peter A. DeFazio (D)
    • 5. Mike Kopetski (D)
    Pennsylvania
    • 1. Thomas M. Foglietta (D)
    • 2. Lucien E. Blackwell (D)
    • 3. Robert A. Borski (D)
    • 4. Ron Klink (D)
    • 5. William F. Clinger (R)
    • 6. Tim Holden (D)
    • 7. Curt Weldon (R)
    • 8. James C. Greenwood (R)
    • 9. Bud Shuster (R)
    • 10. Joseph M. McDade (R)
    • 11. Paul E. Kanjorski (D)
    • 12. John P. Murtha (D)
    • 13. Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky (D)
    • 14. William J. Coyne (D)
    • 15. Paul McHale (D)
    • 16. Robert S. Walker (R)
    • 17. George W. Gekas (R)
    • 18. Rick Santorum (R)
    • 19. Bill Goodling (R)
    • 20. Austin J. Murphy (D)
    • 21. Tom Ridge (R)
    Rhode Island
    • 1. Ronald K. Machtley (R)
    • 2. Jack Reed (D)
    South Carolina
    • 1. Arthur Ravenel Jr. (R)
    • 2. Floyd D. Spence (R)
    • 3. Butler Derrick (R)
    • 4. Bob Inglis (R)
    • 5. John M. Spratt Jr. (D)
    • 6. James E. Clyburn (D)
    South Dakota
    • AL Tim Johnson (D)
    Tennessee
    • 1. James H. Quillen (R)
    • 2. John J.
      Jimmy
      Duncan Jr. (R)
    • 3. Marilyn Lloyd (D)
    • 4. Jim Cooper (D)
    • 5. Bob Clement (D)
    • 6. Bart Gordon (D)
    • 7. Don Sundquist (R)
    • 8. John Tanner (D)
    • 9. Harold E. Ford (D)
    Texas
    • 1. Jim Chapman (D)
    • 2. Charles Wilson (D)
    • 3. Sam Johnson (R)
    • 4. Ralph M. Hall (D)
    • 5. John Bryant (D)
    • 6. Joe L. Barton (R)
    • 7. Bill Archer (R)
    • 8. Jack Fields (R)
    • 9. Jack Brooks (D)
    • 10. J. J. Pickle (D)
    • 11. Chet Edwards (D)
    • 12. Pete Geren (D)
    • 13. Bill Sarpalius (D)
    • 14. Greg Laughlin (D)
    • 15. E.
      Kika
      de la Garza (D)
    • 16. Ronald D. Coleman (D)
    • 17. Charles W. Stenholm (D)
    • 18. Craig Washington (D)
    • 19. Larry Combest (R)
    • 20. Henry B. Gonzalez (D)
    • 21. Lamar Smith (R)
    • 22. Tom DeLay (R)
    • 23. Henry Bonilla (R)
    • 24. Martin Frost (D)
    • 25. Michael A. Andrews (D)
    • 26. Dick Armey (R)
    • 27. Solomon P. Ortiz (D)
    • 28. Frank Tejeda (D)
    • 29. Gene Green (D)
    • 30. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D)
    Utah
    • 1. James V. Hansen (R)
    • 2. Karen Shepherd (D)
    • 3. Bill Orton (D)
    Vermont
    • AL Bernard Sanders (I)
    Virginia
    • 1. Herbert H. Bateman (R)
    • 2. Owen B. Pickett (D)
    • 3. Robert C. Scott (D)
    • 4. Norman Sisisky (D)
    • 5. Lewis F. Payne Jr. (D)
    • 6. Robert W. Goodlatte (R)
    • 7. Thomas J. Bliley Jr. (R)
    • 8. James P. Moran (D)
    • 9. Rick Boucher (D)
    • 10. Frank R. Wolf (R)
    • 11. Leslie L. Byrne (D)
    Washington
    • 1. Maria Cantwell (D)
    • 2. Al Smith (D)
    • 3. Jolene Unsoeld (D)
    • 4. Jay Inslee (D)
    • 5. Thomas S. Foley (D)
    • 6. Norm Dicks (D)
    • 7. Jim McDermott (D)
    • 8. Jennifer Dunn (R)
    • 9. Mike Kreidler (D)
    West Virginia
    • 1. Alan B. Mollohan (D)
    • 2. Bob Wise (D)
    • 3. Nick J. Rahall II (D)
    Wisconsin
    • 1. Les Aspin (D) (resigned Jan. 20, 1993)
    • Peter W. Barca (D) (sworn in June 8, 1993)
    • 2. Scott L. Klug (R)
    • 3. Steve Gunderson (R)
    • 4. Gerald D. Kleczka (D)
    • 5. Thomas M. Barrett (D)
    • 6. Tom Petri (R)
    • 7. David R. Obey (D)
    • 8. Toby Roth (R)
    • 9. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R)
    Wyoming
    • AL Craig Thomas (R)
    NOTE

    Members of the 103rd Congress also included delegates Ron de Lugo, D-Virgin Islands; Eni F. H. Faleomavaega, D-American Samoa; Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C.; Robert Underwood, D-Guam; and resident commissioner Carlos Romero-Barcelo, D-Puerto Rico.

    Largent was elected Nov. 8, 1994, to complete the remainder of Inhofe's term and to the 104th Congress.

    Membership Changes, 103rd and 104th Congresses

    Senate Membership in the 104th Congress
    Lineup as of Jan. 4, 1995: Republicans 53, Democrats 47

    Alabama
    • Howell Heflin (D)
    • Richard C. Shelby (R)
    Alaska
    • Ted Stevens (R)
    • Frank H. Murkowski (R)
    Arizona
    • John McCain (R)
    • Jon Kyl (R)
    Arkansas
    • Dale Bumpers (D)
    • David Pryor (D)
    California
    • Dianne Feinstein (D)
    • Barbara Boxer (D)
    Colorado
    • Hank Brown (R)
    • Ben Nighthorse Campbell (D) 1
    Connecticut
    • Christopher J. Dodd (D)
    • Joseph I. Lieberman (D)
    Delaware
    • William V. Roth Jr. (R)
    • Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D)
    Florida
    • Bob Graham (D)
    • Connie Mack (R)
    Georgia
    • Sam Nunn (D)
    • Paul Coverdell (R)
    Hawaii
    • Daniel K. Inouye (D)
    • Daniel K. Akaka (D)
    Idaho
    • Larry E. Craig (R)
    • Dirk Kempthorne (R)
    Illinois
    • Paul Simon (D)
    • Carol Moseley-Braun (D)
    Indiana
    • Richard G. Lugar (R)
    • Daniel R. Coats (R)
    Iowa
    • Charles E. Grassley (R)
    • Tom Harkin (D)
    Kansas
    • Nancy Landon Kassebaum (R)
    • Bob Dole (R) (resigned June 11, 1996)
    • Sheila Frahm (R) 1 (sworn in June 11, 1996; resigned Nov. 27, 1996)
    • Sam Brownback (R) (sworn in Nov. 27, 1996)
    Kentucky
    • Wendell H. Ford (D)
    • Mitch McConnell (R)
    Louisiana
    • J. Bennett Johnston (D)
    • John B. Breaux (D)
    Maine
    • William S. Cohen (R)
    • Olympia J. Snowe (R)
    Maryland
    • Paul S. Sarbanes (D)
    • Barbara A. Mikulski (D)
    Massachusetts
    • Edward M. Kennedy (D)
    • John Kerry (D)
    Michigan
    • Carl Levin (D)
    • Spencer Abraham (R)
    Minnesota
    • Paul Wellstone (D)
    • Rod Grams (R)
    Mississippi
    • Thad Cochran (R)
    • Trent Lott (R)
    Missouri
    • Christopher S. Bond (R)
    • John Ashcroft (R)
    Montana
    • Max Baucus (D)
    • Conrad Burns (R)
    Nebraska
    • Jim Exon (D)
    • Bob Kerrey (D)
    Nevada
    • Harry Reid (D)
    • Richard H. Bryan (D)
    New Hampshire
    • Robert C. Smith (R)
    • Judd Gregg (R)
    New Jersey
    • Bill Bradley (D)
    • Frank R. Lautenberg (D)
    New Mexico
    • Pete V. Domenici (R)
    • Jeff Bingaman (D)
    New York
    • Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D)
    • Alfonse M. D'Amato (R)
    North Carolina
    • Jesse Helms (R)
    • Lauch Faircloth (R)
    North Dakota
    • Kent Conrad (D)
    • Byron L. Dorgan (D)
    Ohio
    • John Glenn (D)
    • Mike DeWine (R)
    Oklahoma
    • Don Nickles (R)
    • James M. Inhofe (R)
    Oregon
    • Mark O. Hatfield (R)
    • Bob Packwood (R) (resigned Oct. 1, 1995)
    • Ron Wyden (D) (sworn in Feb. 6, 1996)
    Pennsylvania
    • Arlen Specter (R)
    • Rick Santorum (R)
    Rhode Island
    • Claiborne Pell (D)
    • John H. Chafee (R)
    South Carolina
    • Strom Thurmond (R)
    • Ernest F. Hollings (D)
    South Dakota
    • Larry Pressler (R)
    • Tom Daschle (D)
    Tennessee
    • Fred Thompson (R)
    • Bill Frist (R)
    Texas
    • Phil Gramm (R)
    • Kay Bailey Hutchison (R)
    Utah
    • Orrin G. Hatch (R)
    • Robert F. Bennett (R)
    Vermont
    • Patrick J. Leahy (D)
    • James M. Jeffords (R)
    Virginia
    • John W. Warner (R)
    • Charles S. Robb (D)
    Washington
    • Slade Gorton (R)
    • Patty Murray (D)
    West Virginia
    • Robert C. Byrd (D)
    • John D. Rockefeller IV (D)
    Wisconsin
    • Herb Kohl (D)
    • Russell D. Feingold (D)
    Wyoming
    • Alan K. Simpson (R)
    • Craig Thomas (R)

    Campbell switched to the Republican Party on March 3, 1995.Frahm was appointed to the seat vacated by Dole when he resigned. Frahm was then defeated in the Republican primary in Kansas on Aug. 6, 1996. She resigned Nov. 27, 1996, to allow Brownback to be sworn in early.

    House Membership in the 104th Congress
    Lineup as of Jan. 4, 1995: Republicans 230, Democrats 204, Independent 1

    Alabama
    • 1. Sonny Callahan (R)
    • 2. Terry Everett (R)
    • 3. Glen Browder (D)
    • 4. Tom Bevill (D)
    • 5. Robert E.
      Bud
      Cramer (D)
    • 6. Spencer Bachus (R)
    • 7. Earl F. Hilliard (D)
    Alaska
    • AL Don Young (R)
    Arizona
    • 1. Matt Salmon (R)
    • 2. Ed Pastor (D)
    • 3. Bob Stump (R)
    • 4. John Shadegg (R)
    • 5. Jim Kolbe (R)
    • 6. J. D. Hayworth (R)
    Arkansas
    • 1. Blanche Lambert Lincoln (D)
    • 2. Ray Thornton (D)
    • 3. Tim Hutchinson (R)
    • 4. Jay Dickey (R)
    California
    • 1. Frank Riggs (R)
    • 2. Wally Herger (R)
    • 3. Vic Fazio (D)
    • 4. John T. Doolittle (R)
    • 5. Robert T. Matsui (D)
    • 6. Lynn Woolsey (D)
    • 7. George Miller (D)
    • 8. Nancy Pelosi (D)
    • 9. Ronald V. Dellums (D)
    • 10. Bill Baker (R)
    • 11. Richard W. Pombo (R)
    • 12. Tom Lantos (D)
    • 13. Pete Stark (D)
    • 14. Anna G. Eshoo (D)
    • 15. Norman Y. Mineta (D) (resigned Oct. 10, 1995)
    • Tom Campbell (R) (sworn in Dec. 15, 1995)
    • 16. Zoe Lofgren (D)
    • 17. Sam Farr (D)
    • 18. Gary A. Condit (D)
    • 19. George P. Radanovich (R)
    • 20. Cal Dooley (D)
    • 21. Bill Thomas (R)
    • 22. Andrea Seastrand (R)
    • 23. Elton Gallegly (R)
    • 24. Anthony C. Beilenson (D)
    • 25. Howard P.
      Buck
      McKeon (R)
    • 26. Howard L. Berman (D)
    • 27. Carlos J. Moorhead (R)
    • 28. David Dreier (R)
    • 29. Henry A. Waxman (D)
    • 30. Xavier Becerra (D)
    • 31. Matthew G. Martinez (D)
    • 32. Julian C. Dixon (D)
    • 33. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D)
    • 34. Esteban E. Torres (D)
    • 35. Maxine Waters (D)
    • 36. Jane Harman (D)
    • 37. Walter R. Tucker III (D) (resigned Dec. 15, 1995)
    • Juanita Millender-McDonald (D) (sworn in April 16, 1996)
    • 38. Steve Horn (R)
    • 39. Ed Royce (R)
    • 40. Jerry Lewis (R)
    • 41. Jay C. Kim (R)
    • 42. George E. Brown Jr. (D)
    • 43. Ken Calvert (R)
    • 44. Sonny Bono (R)
    • 45. Dana Rohrabacher (R)
    • 46. Robert K. Dornan (R)
    • 47. Christopher Cox (R)
    • 48. Ron Packard (R)
    • 49. Brian P. Bilbray (R)
    • 50. Bob Filner (D)
    • 51. Randy
      Duke
      Cunningham (R)
    • 52. Duncan Hunter (R)
    Colorado
    • 1. Patricia Schroeder (D)
    • 2. David E. Skaggs (D)
    • 3. Scott McInnis (R)
    • 4. Wayne Allard (R)
    • 5. Joel Hefley (R)
    • 6. Dan Schaefer (R)
    Connecticut
    • 1. Barbara B. Kennelly (D)
    • 2. Sam Gejdenson (D)
    • 3. Rosa DeLauro (D)
    • 4. Christopher Shays (R)
    • 5. Gary A. Franks (R)
    • 6. Nancy L. Johnson (R)
    Delaware
    • AL Michael N. Castle (R)
    Florida
    • 1. Joe Scarborough (R)
    • 2. Pete Peterson (D)
    • 3. Corrine Brown (D)
    • 4. Tillie Fowler (R)
    • 5. Karen L. Thurman (D)
    • 6. Cliff Stearns (R)
    • 7. John L. Mica (R)
    • 8. Bill McCollum (R)
    • 9. Michael Bilirakis (R)
    • 10. C. W. Bill Young (R)
    • 11. Sam M. Gibbons (D)
    • 12. Charles T. Canady (R)
    • 13. Dan Miller (R)
    • 14. Porter J. Goss (R)
    • 15. Dave Weldon (R)
    • 16. Mark Foley (R)
    • 17. Carrie P. Meek (D)
    • 18. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R)
    • 19. Harry A. Johnston (D)
    • 20. Peter Deutsch (D)
    • 21. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R)
    • 22. E. Clay Shaw Jr. (R)
    • 23. Alcee L. Hastings (D)
    Georgia
    • 1. Jack Kingston (R)
    • 2. Sanford D. Bishop Jr. (D)
    • 3. Mac Collins (R)
    • 4. John Linder (R)
    • 5. John Lewis (D)
    • 6. Newt Gingrich (R)
    • 7. Bob Barr (R)
    • 8. Saxby Chambliss (R)
    • 9. Nathan Deal (D) 1
    • 10. Charlie Norwood (R)
    • 11. Cynthia A. McKinney (D)
    Hawaii
    • 1. Neil Abercrombie (D)
    • 2. Patsy T. Mink (D)
    Idaho
    • 1. Helen Chenoweth (R)
    • 2. Michael D. Crapo (R)
    Illinois
    • 1. Bobby L. Rush (D)
    • 2.Mel Reynolds (D) (resigned Oct. 1, 1995)
    • Jesse L. Jackson Jr. (sworn in Dec. 14, 1995)
    • 3. William O. Lipinski (D)
    • 4. Luis V. Gutierrez (D)
    • 5. Michael Patrick Flanagan (R)
    • 6. Henry J. Hyde (R)
    • 7. Cardiss Collins (D)
    • 8. Philip M. Crane (R)
    • 9. Sidney R. Yates (D)
    • 10. John Edward Porter (R)
    • 11. Jerry Weller (R)
    • 12. Jerry F. Costello (D)
    • 13. Harris W. Fawell (R)
    • 14. Dennis Hastert (R)
    • 15. Thomas W. Ewing (R)
    • 16. Donald Manzullo (R)
    • 17. Lane Evans (D)
    • 18. Ray LaHood (R)
    • 19. Glenn Poshard (D)
    • 20. Richard J. Durbin (D)
    Indiana
    • 1. Peter J. Visclosky (D)
    • 2. David M. McIntosh (R)
    • 3. Tim Roemer (D)
    • 4. Mark E. Souder (R)
    • 5. Steve Buyer (R)
    • 6. Dan Burton (R)
    • 7. John T. Myers (R)
    • 8. John Hostettler (R)
    • 9. Lee H. Hamilton (D)
    • 10. Andrew Jacobs Jr. (D)
    Iowa
    • 1. Jim Leach (R)
    • 2. Jim Nussle (R)
    • 3. Jim Ross Lightfoot (R)
    • 4. Greg Ganske (R)
    • 5. Tom Latham (R)
    Kansas
    • 1. Pat Roberts (R)
    • 2. Sam Brownback (R) (resigned Nov. 6, 1996)
    • Jim Ryun (sworn in Nov. 27, 1996)
    • 3. Jan Meyers (R)
    • 4. Todd Tiahrt (R)
    Kentucky
    • 1. Edward Whitfield (R)
    • 2. Ron Lewis (R)
    • 3. Mike Ward (D)
    • 4. Jim Bunning (R)
    • 5. Harold Rogers (R)
    • 6. Scotty Baesler (D)
    Louisiana
    • 1. Robert L. Livingston (R)
    • 2. William J. Jefferson (D)
    • 3. W. J.
      Billy
      Tauzin (D) 1
    • 4. Cleo Fields (D)
    • 5. Jim McCrery (R)
    • 6. Richard H. Baker (R)
    • 7. Jimmy Hayes (D) 1
    Maine
    • 1. James B. Longley Jr. (R)
    • 2. John Baldacci (D)
    Maryland
    • 1. Wayne T. Gilchrest (R)
    • 2. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R)
    • 3. Benjamin L. Cardin (D)
    • 4. Albert R. Wynn (D)
    • 5. Steny H. Hoyer (D)
    • 6. Roscoe G. Bartlett (R)
    • 7. Kweisi Mfume (D) (resigned Feb. 18, 1996)
    • Elijah E. Cummings (D) (sworn in April 25, 1996)
    • 8. Constance A. Morella (R)
    Massachusetts
    • 1. John W. Olver (D)
    • 2. Richard E. Neal (D)
    • 3. Peter I. Blute (R)
    • 4. Barney Frank (D)
    • 5. Martin T. Meehan (D)
    • 6. Peter G. Torkildsen (R)
    • 7. Edward J. Markey (D)
    • 8. Joseph P. Kennedy II (D)
    • 9. Joe Moakley (D)
    • 10. Gerry E. Studds (D)
    Michigan
    • 1. Bart Stupak (D)
    • 2. Peter Hoekstra (R)
    • 3. Vernon J. Ehlers (R)
    • 4. Dave Camp (R)
    • 5. James A. Barcia (D)
    • 6. Fred Upton (R)
    • 7. Nick Smith (R)
    • 8. Dick Chrysler (R)
    • 9. Dale E. Kildee (D)
    • 10. David E. Bonior (D)
    • 11. Joe Knollenberg (R)
    • 12. Sander M. Levin (D)
    • 13. Lynn Rivers (D)
    • 14. John Conyers Jr. (D)
    • 15. Barbara-Rose Collins (D)
    • 16. John D. Dingell (D)
    Minnesota
    • 1. Gil Gutknecht (R)
    • 2. David Minge (D)
    • 3. Jim Ramstad (R)
    • 4. Bruce F. Vento (D)
    • 5. Martin Olav Sabo (D)
    • 6. William P.
      Bill
      Luther (D)
    • 7. Collin C. Peterson (D)
    • 8. James L. Oberstar (D)
    Mississippi
    • 1. Roger Wicker (R)
    • 2. Bennie Thompson (D)
    • 3. G. V.
      Sonny
      Montgomery (D)
    • 4. Mike Parker (D) 1
    • 5. Gene Taylor (D)
    Missouri
    • 1. William L. Clay (D)
    • 2. James M. Talent (R)
    • 3. Richard A. Gephardt (D)
    • 4. Ike Skelton (D)
    • 5. Karen McCarthy (D)
    • 6. Pat Danner (D)
    • 7. Mel Hancock (R)
    • 8. Bill Emerson (R) 1 (died June 22, 1996)
    • 9. Harold L. Volkmer (D)
    Montana
    • AL Pat Williams (D)
    Nebraska
    • 1. Doug Bereuter (R)
    • 2. Jon Christensen (R)
    • 3. Bill Barrett (R)
    Nevada
    • 1. John Ensign (R)
    • 2. Barbara F. Vucanovich (R)
    New Hampshire
    • 1. Bill Zeliff (R)
    • 2. Charles Bass (R)
    New Jersey
    • 1. Robert E. Andrews (D)
    • 2. Frank A. LoBiondo (R)
    • 3. H. James Saxton (R)
    • 4. Christopher H. Smith (R)
    • 5. Marge Roukema (R)
    • 6. Frank Pallone Jr. (D)
    • 7. Bob Franks (R)
    • 8. Bill Martini (R)
    • 9. Robert G. Torricelli (D)
    • 10. Donald M. Payne (D)
    • 11. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R)
    • 12. Dick Zimmer (R)
    • 13. Robert Menendez (D)
    New Mexico
    • 1. Steven H. Schiff (R)
    • 2. Joe Skeen (R)
    • 3. Bill Richardson (D)
    New York
    • 1. Michael P. Forbes (R)
    • 2. Rick A. Lazio (R)
    • 3. Peter T. King (R)
    • 4. Daniel Frisa (R)
    • 5. Gary L. Ackerman (D)
    • 6. Floyd H. Flake (D)
    • 7. Thomas J. Manton (D)
    • 8. Jerrold Nadler (D)
    • 9. Charles E. Schumer (D)
    • 10. Edolphus Towns (D)
    • 11. Major R. Owens (D)
    • 12. Nydia M. Velázquez (D)
    • 13. Susan Molinari (R)
    • 14. Carolyn B. Maloney (D)
    • 15. Charles B. Rangel (D)
    • 16. Jose E. Serrano (D)
    • 17. Eliot L. Engel (D)
    • 18. Nita M. Lowey (D)
    • 19. Sue W. Kelly (R)
    • 20. Benjamin A. Gilman (R)
    • 21. Michael R. McNulty (D)
    • 22. Gerald B. H. Solomon (R)
    • 23. Sherwood Boehlert (R)
    • 24. John M. McHugh (R)
    • 25. James T. Walsh (R)
    • 26. Maurice D. Hinchey (D)
    • 27. Bill Paxon (R)
    • 28. Louise M. Slaughter (D)
    • 29. John J. LaFalce (D)
    • 30. Jack Quinn (R)
    • 31. Amo Houghton (R)
    North Carolina
    • 1. Eva Clayton (D)
    • 2. David Funderburk (R)
    • 3. Walter B. Jones Jr. (R)
    • 4. Fred Heineman (R)
    • 5. Richard M. Burr (R)
    • 6. Howard Coble (R)
    • 7. Charlie Rose (D)
    • 8. W. G.
      Bill
      Hefner (D)
    • 9. Sue Myrick (R)
    • 10. Cass Ballenger (R)
    • 11. Charles H. Taylor (R)
    • 12. Melvin Watt (D)
    North Dakota
    • AL Earl Pomeroy (D)
    Ohio
    • 1. Steve Chabot (R)
    • 2. Rob Portman (R)
    • 3. Tony P. Hall (D)
    • 4. Michael G. Oxley (R)
    • 5. Paul E. Gillmor (R)
    • 6. Frank A. Cremeans (R)
    • 7. David L. Hobson (R)
    • 8. John A. Boehner (R)
    • 9. Marcy Kaptur (D)
    • 10. Martin R. Hoke (R)
    • 11. Louis Stokes (D)
    • 12. John R. Kasich (R)
    • 13. Sherrod Brown (D)
    • 14. Tom Sawyer (D)
    • 15. Deborah Pryce (R)
    • 16. Ralph Regula (R)
    • 17. James A. Traficant Jr. (D)
    • 18. Bob Ney (R)
    • 19. Steven C. LaTourette (R)
    Oklahoma
    • 1. Steve Largent (R)
    • 2. Tom Coburn (R)
    • 3. Bill Brewster (D)
    • 4. J.C. Watts (R)
    • 5. Ernest Jim Istook Jr. (R)
    • 6. Frank D. Lucas (R)
    Oregon
    • 1. Elizabeth Furse (D)
    • 2. Wes Cooley (R)
    • 3. Ron Wyden (D) (resigned Feb. 5, 1996)
    • Earl Blumenauer (D) (sworn in May 30, 1996)
    • 4. Peter A. DeFazio (D)
    • 5. Jim Bunn (R)
    Pennsylvania
    • 1. Thomas M. Foglietta (D)
    • 2. Chaka Fattah (D)
    • 3. Robert A. Borski (D)
    • 4. Ron Klink (D)
    • 5. William F. Clinger (R)
    • 6. Tim Holden (D)
    • 7. Curt Weldon (R)
    • 8. James C. Greenwood (R)
    • 9. Bud Shuster (R)
    • 10. Joseph M. McDade (R)
    • 11. Paul E. Kanjorski (D)
    • 12. John P. Murtha (D)
    • 13. Jon D. Fox (R)
    • 14. William J. Coyne (D)
    • 15. Paul McHale (D)
    • 16. Robert S. Walker (R)
    • 17. George W. Gekas (R)
    • 18. Mike Doyle (D)
    • 19. Bill Goodling (R)
    • 20. Frank R. Mascara (D)
    • 21. Phil English (R)
    Rhode Island
    • 1. Patrick J. Kennedy (D)
    • 2. Jack Reed (D)
    South Carolina
    • 1. Mark Sanford (R)
    • 2. Floyd D. Spence (R)
    • 3. Lindsey Graham (R)
    • 4. Bob Inglis (R)
    • 5. John M. Spratt Jr. (D)
    • 6. James E. Clyburn (D)
    South Dakota
    • AL Tim Johnson (D)
    Tennessee
    • 1. James H. Quillen (R)
    • 2. John J.
      Jimmy
      Duncan Jr. (R)
    • 3. Zach Wamp (R)
    • 4. Van Hilleary (R)
    • 5. Bob Clement (D)
    • 6. Bart Gordon (D)
    • 7. Ed Bryant (R)
    • 8. John Tanner (D)
    • 9. Harold E. Ford (D)
    Texas
    • 1. Jim Chapman (D)
    • 2. Charles Wilson (D) (resigned Oct. 8, 1996)
    • 3. Sam Johnson (R)
    • 4. Ralph M. Hall (D)
    • 5. John Bryant (D)
    • 6. Joe L. Barton (R)
    • 7. Bill Archer (R)
    • 8. Jack Fields (R)
    • 9. Steve Stockman (R)
    • 10. Lloyd Doggett (D)
    • 11. Chet Edwards (D)
    • 12. Pete Geren (D)
    • 13. William M.
      Mac
      Thornberry (R)
    • 14. Greg Laughlin (D) 1
    • 15. E.
      Kika
      de la Garza (D)
    • 16. Ronald D. Coleman (D)
    • 17. Charles W. Stenholm (D)
    • 18. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D)
    • 19. Larry Combest (R)
    • 20. Henry B. Gonzalez (D)
    • 21. Lamar Smith (R)
    • 22. Tom DeLay (R)
    • 23. Henry Bonilla (R)
    • 24. Martin Frost (D)
    • 25. Ken Bentsen (D)
    • 26. Dick Armey (R)
    • 27. Solomon P. Ortiz (D)
    • 28. Frank Tejeda (D)
    • 29. Gene Green (D)
    • 30. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D)
    Utah
    • 1. James V. Hansen (R)
    • 2. Enid Greene Waldholtz (R)
    • 3. Bill Orton (D)
    Vermont
    • AL Bernard Sanders (I)
    Virginia
    • 1. Herbert H. Bateman (R)
    • 2. Owen B. Pickett (D)
    • 3. Robert C. Scott (D)
    • 4. Norman Sisisky (D)
    • 5. L. F. Payne Jr. (D)
    • 6. Robert W. Goodlatte (R)
    • 7. Thomas J. Bliley Jr. (R)
    • 8. James P. Moran (D)
    • 9. Rick Boucher (D)
    • 10. Frank R. Wolf (R)
    • 11. Thomas M. Davis III (R)
    Washington
    • 1. Rick White (R)
    • 2. Jack Metcalf (R)
    • 3. Linda Smith (R)
    • 4. Richard
      Doc
      Hastings (R)
    • 5. George Nethercutt (R)
    • 6. Norm Dicks (D)
    • 7. Jim McDermott (D)
    • 8. Jennifer Dunn (R)
    • 9. Randy Tate (R)
    West Virginia
    • 1. Alan B. Mollohan (D)
    • 2. Bob Wise (D)
    • 3. Nick J. Rahall II (D)
    Wisconsin
    • 1. Mark W. Neumann (R)
    • 2. Scott L. Klug (R)
    • 3. Steve Gunderson (R)
    • 4. Gerald D. Kleczka (D)
    • 5. Thomas M. Barrett (D)
    • 6. Tom Petri (R)
    • 7. David R. Obey (D)
    • 8. Toby Roth (R)
    • 9. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R)
    Wyoming
    • AL Barbara Cubin (R)
    NOTE

    Members of the 104th Congress also included delegates Eni F. H. Faleomavaega, D-American Samoa; Victor O. Frazer, I-Virgin Islands; Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C.; Robert Underwood, D-Guam; and resident commissioner Carlos Romero-Barcelo, D-Puerto Rico.

    Deal switched to the Republican Party on April 10, 1995.Tauzin switched to the Republican Party on Aug. 6, 1995.Hayes switched to the Republican Party on Dec. 1, 1995.Parker switched to the Republican Party on Nov. 10, 1995.Jo Ann Emerson was elected Nov. 5, 1996, to complete the remainder of her husband's term and to the 105th Congress.Laughlin switched to the Republican Party on June 26, 1995.

    Members of Congress, 1993-1996

    The names in this list include, alphabetically, all senators, representatives, resident commissioners and territorial delegates who served in the 103rd and 104th Congresses—from 1993 to 1996.

    The material is organized as follows: name; relationship to other members and presidents and vice presidents; party, state (of service); date of birth; date of death (if applicable); congressional service; service as president, vice president, member of the Cabinet or Supreme Court, governor, Speaker of the House, president pro tempore of the Senate, majority leader, minority leader and chairman of the Democratic or Republican National Committee.

    If the member changed parties during his or her congressional service, the party designation appearing after the member's name is that which applied at the end of such service and further breakdown is included after the dates of congressional service. Where the service date is left open, the member was still serving in the 105th Congress (as of January 1997).

    Dates of service are inclusive, starting in year of service and ending when service ends. Under the Constitution, terms of service since 1934 have been from Jan. 3 to Jan. 3. In actual practice, members have been sworn in on other dates at the beginning of a Congress. The exact date is shown (where available) if a member began or ended his or her service in midterm.

    The major sources for the following list were Congressional Quarterly's Biographical Directory of the American Congress 1774-1996; Almanac; American Leaders 1789-1994: A Biographical Summary; Weekly Report; and the Washington Alert on-line database.

    In the list, D stands for Democrat; I, Independent; and R, Republican.

    A
    Abercrombie, Neil

    (D-Hawaii) June 26, 1938-; House Sept. 23, 1986-1987, 1991-.

    Abraham, Spencer

    (R-Mich.) June 12, 1952-; Senate 1995-.

    Ackerman, Gary L

    (D-N.Y.) Nov. 19, 1942-; House March 1, 1983-.

    Akaka, Daniel K

    (D-Hawaii) Sept. 11, 1924-; House 1977-May 16, 1990; Senate May 16, 1990-.

    Allard

    Wayne (R-Colo.) Dec. 2, 1943-; House 1991-1997; Senate 1997-.

    Andrews, Michael A

    (D-Texas) Feb. 7, 1944-; House 1983-.

    Andrews, Robert E

    (D-N.J.) Aug. 4, 1957-; House 1990-.

    Andrews, Thomas H

    (D-Maine) March 22, 1953-; House 1991-.

    Applegate, Douglas

    (D-Ohio) March 27, 1928-; House 1977-.

    Archer, Bill

    (R-Texas) March 22, 1928-; House 1971-.

    Armey, Dick

    (R-Texas) July 7, 1940-; House 1985-; House majority leader 1995-.

    Ashcroft, John

    (R-Mo.) May 9, 1942-; Senate 1995-.

    Aspin, Les

    (D-Wis.) July 21, 1938-May 21, 1995; House 1971-Jan. 20, 1993; Secy. of Defense Jan. 22, 1993-Feb. 2, 1994.

    B
    Bacchus, Jim

    (D-Fla.) June 21, 1949-; House 1991-.

    Bachus, Spencer

    (R-Ala.) Dec. 28, 1947-; House 1993-.

    Baesler, Scotty

    (D-Ky.) July 9, 1941-; House 1993-.

    Baker, Bill

    (R-Calif.) June 14, 1940-; House 1993-1997.

    Baker, Richard H

    (R-La.) May 22, 1948-; House 1987-.

    Baldacci, John

    (D-Maine) Jan. 30, 1955-; House 1995-.

    Ballenger, Cass

    (great-great grandson of Lewis Cass) (R-N.C.) Dec. 6, 1926-; House 1986-.

    Barca, Peter W

    (D-Wis.) Aug. 7, 1955-; House June 8, 1993-1995.

    Barcia, James A

    (D-Mich.) Feb. 25, 1952-; House 1993-.

    Barlow, Tom

    (D-Ky.) Aug. 7, 1940-; House 1993-1995.

    Barr, Bob

    (R-Ga.) Nov. 5, 1948-; House 1995-.

    Barrett, Bill

    (R-Neb.) Feb. 9, 1929-; House 1991-.

    Barrett, Thomas M

    (D-Wis.) Dec. 8, 1953-; House 1993-.

    Bartlett, Roscoe G

    (R-Md.) June 3, 1926-; House 1993-.

    Barton, Joe L

    (R-Texas) Sept. 15, 1949-; House 1985-.

    Bass, Charles

    (son of Perkins Bass) (R-N.H.) Jan. 8, 1952-; House 1995-.

    Bateman, Herbert H

    (R-Va.) Aug. 7, 1928-; House 1983-.

    Baucus, Max

    (D-Mont.) Dec. 11, 1941-; House 1975-Dec. 14, 1978; Senate Dec. 15, 1978-.

    Becerra, Xavier

    (D-Calif.) Jan. 26, 1958-; House 1993-.

    Beilenson, Anthony C

    (D-Calif.) Oct. 26, 1932-; House 1977-1997.

    Bennett, Robert F

    (R-Utah) Sept. 18, 1933-; Senate 1993-.

    Bentley, Helen Delich

    (R-Md.) Nov. 28, 1923-; House 1985-1995.

    Bentsen, Ken

    (nephew of Lloyd Bentsen) (DTexas) June 3, 1959-; House 1995-.

    Bentsen, Lloyd

    (uncle of Ken Bentsen) (D-Texas) Feb. 11, 1921-; Senate 1971-Jan. 20, 1993; Secy. of the Treasury Jan. 22, 1993-Dec. 22, 1994.

    Bereuter, Doug

    (R-Neb.) Oct. 6, 1939-; House 1979-.

    Berman, Howard L

    (D-Calif.) April 15, 1941-; House 1983-.

    Bevill, Tom

    (D-Ala.) March 27, 1921-; House 1967-1997.

    Biden, Joseph R. Jr

    (D-Del.) Nov. 20, 1942-; Senate 1973-.

    Bilbray, Brian P

    (nephew of James Bilbray) (RCalif.) Jan. 28, 1951-; House 1995-.

    Bilbray, James

    (uncle of Brian P. Bilbray) (D-Nev.) May 19, 1938-; House 1987-1995.

    Bilirakis, Michael

    (R-Fla.) July 16, 1930-; House 1983-.

    Bingaman, Jeff

    (D-N.M.) Oct. 3, 1943-; Senate 1983-.

    Bishop, Sanford D. Jr

    (D-Ga.) Feb. 4, 1947-; House 1993-.

    Blackwell, Lucien E

    (D-Pa.) Aug. 1, 1931-; House 1991-1995.

    Bliley, Thomas J. Jr

    (R-Va.) Jan. 28, 1932-; House 1981-.

    Blumenauer, Earl

    (D-Ore.) Aug. 16, 1949-; House May 30, 1996-.

    Blute, Peter I

    (R-Mass.) Jan. 28, 1956-; House 1993-1997.

    Boehlert, Sherwood

    (R-N.Y.) Sept. 28, 1936-; House 1983-.

    Boehner, John A

    (R-Ohio) Nov. 17, 1949-; House 1991-.

    Bond, Christopher S

    (R-Mo.) March 6, 1939-; Senate 1987-.

    Bonilla, Henry

    (R-Texas) Jan. 2, 1954-; House 1993-.

    Bonior, David E

    D-Mich.) June 6, 1945-; House 1977-.

    Bono, Sonny

    (R-Calif.) Feb. 16, 1935-; House 1995-.

    Boren, David L

    (son of Lyle H. Boren) (D-Okla.) April 21, 1941-; Senate 1979-Nov. 15, 1994; Gov. 1975-1979.

    Borski, Robert A

    (D-Pa.) Oct. 20, 1948-; House 1983-.

    Boucher, Rick

    (D-Va.) Aug. 1, 1946-; House 1983-.

    Boxer, Barbara

    (D-Calif.) Nov. 11, 1940-; House 1983-1993; Senate 1993-.

    Bradley, Bill

    (D-N.J.) July 28, 1943-; Senate 1979-1997.

    Breaux, John B

    (D-La.) March 1, 1944-; House Sept. 30, 1972-1987; Senate 1987-.

    Brewster, Bill

    (D-Okla.) Nov. 8, 1941-; House 1991-1997.

    Brooks, Jack

    (D-Texas) Dec. 18, 1922-; House 1953-1995.

    Browder, Glen

    (D-Ala.) Jan. 15, 1943-; House April 18, 1989-1997.

    Brown, Corrine

    (D-Fla.) Nov. 11, 1946-; House 1993-.

    Brown, George E. Jr

    (D-Calif.) March 6, 1920-; House 1963-1971, 1973-.

    Brown, Hank

    (R-Colo.) Feb. 12, 1940-; House 1981-1991; Senate 1991-1997.

    Brown, Sherrod

    (D-Ohio) Nov. 9, 1952-; House 1993-1997.

    Brownback, Sam

    (R-Kan.) Sept. 12, 1956-; House 1995-Nov. 6, 1996; Senate Nov. 27, 1996-.

    Bryan, Richard H

    (D-Nev.) July 16, 1937-; Senate 1989-; Gov. 1983-1989.

    Bryant, Ed

    (R-Tenn.) Sept. 7, 1948-; House 1995-.

    Bryant, John

    (D-Texas) Feb. 22, 1947-; House 1983-1997.

    Bumpers, Dale

    (D-Ark.) Aug. 12, 1925-; Senate 1975-.

    Bunn, Jim

    (R-Ore.) Dec. 12, 1956-; House 1995-1997.

    Bunning, Jim

    (R-Ky.) Oct. 23, 1931-; House 1987-.

    Burns, Conrad

    (R-Mont.) Jan. 25, 1935-; Senate 1989-.

    Burr, Richard M

    (R-N.C.) Nov. 30, 1955-; House 1995-.

    Burton, Dan

    (R-Ind.) June 21, 1938-; House 1983-.

    Buyer, Steve

    (R-Ind.) Nov. 26, 1958-; House 1993-; Gov. 1971-1975.

    Byrd, Robert C

    (D-W.Va.) Nov. 20, 1917-; House 1953-1959; Senate 1959-; Senate minority leader, 1981-1987; Senate majority leader 1977-1981, 1987-1989; Pres. pro tempore 1989-1995.

    Byrne, Leslie L

    (D-Va.) Oct. 27, 1946-; House 1993-1995.

    C
    Callahan, Sonny

    (R-Ala.) Sept. 11, 1932-; House 1985-.

    Calvert, Ken

    (R-Calif.) June 8, 1953-; House 1993-.

    Camp, Dave

    (R-Mich.) July 9, 1953-; House 1991-.

    Campbell, Ben Nighthorse

    (R-Colo.) April 13, 1933-; House 1987-1993; Senate 1993-(1987-March 3, 1995, Democrat).

    Campbell, Tom

    (R-Calif.) Aug. 14, 1952-; House 1989-1993: Dec. 15, 1995-.

    Canady, Charles T

    (R-Fla.) June 22, 1954-; House 1993-.

    Cantwell, Maria

    (D-Wash.) Oct. 13, 1958-; House 1993-1995.

    Cardin, Benjamin L

    (D-Md.) Oct. 5, 1943-; House 1987-.

    Carr, Bob

    (D-Mich.) March 27, 1943-; House 1975-1981, 1983-1995.

    Castle, Michael N

    (R-Del.) July 2, 1939-; House 1993-.

    Chabot, Steve

    (R-Ohio) Jan. 22, 1953-; House 1995-.

    Chafee, John H

    (R-R.I.) Oct. 22, 1922-; Senate 1976-; Gov. 1963-1969.

    Chambliss, Saxby

    (R-Ga.) Nov. 10, 1943-; House 1995-.

    Chapman, Jim

    (D-Texas) March 8, 1945-; House 1985-1997.

    Chenoweth, Helen

    (R-Idaho) Jan. 27, 1938-; House 1995-.

    Christensen, Jon

    (R-Neb.) Feb. 20, 1963-; House 1995-.

    Chrysler, Dick

    (R-Mich.) April 29, 1942-; House 1995-1997.

    Clay, William L

    (D-Mo.) April 30, 1931-; House 1969-.

    Clayton, Eva

    (D-N.C.) Sept. 16, 1934-; House Nov. 4, 1992-.

    Clement, Bob

    (D-Tenn.) Sept. 23, 1943-; House 1988-.

    Clinger, William F

    (R-Pa.) April 4, 1929-; House 1979-1997.

    Clyburn, James E

    (D-S.C.) July 21, 1940-; House 1993-.

    Coats, Daniel R

    (R-Ind.) May 16, 1943-; House 1981-Jan. 1, 1989; Senate Jan. 3, 1989-.

    Coble, Howard

    (R-N.C.) March 18, 1931-; House 1985-.

    Coburn, Tom

    (R-Okla.) March 14, 1948-; House 1995-.

    Cochran, Thad

    (R-Miss.) Dec. 7, 1937-; House 1973-Dec. 26, 1978; Senate Dec. 27, 1978-.

    Cohen, William S

    (R-Maine) Aug. 28, 1940-; House 1973-1979; Senate 1979-1997.

    Coleman, Ronald D

    (D-Texas) Nov. 29, 1941-; House 1983-1997.

    Collins, Barbara-Rose

    (D-Mich.) April 13, 1939-; House 1991-1997.

    Collins, Cardiss

    (widow of George Washington Collins) (D-Ill.) Sept. 24, 1931-; House June 5, 1973-1997.

    Collins, Mac

    (R-Ga.) Oct. 15, 1944-; House 1993-.

    Combest, Larry

    (R-Texas) March 20, 1945-; House 1985-.

    Condit, Gary A

    (D-Calif.) April 21, 1948-; House Sept. 20, 1989-.

    Conrad, Kent

    (D-N.D.) March 12, 1948-; Senate 1987-Dec. 14, 1992, Dec. 14, 1992-.

    Conyers, John Jr

    (D-Mich.) May 16, 1929-; House 1965-.

    Cooley, Wes

    (R-Ore.) March 28, 1932-; House 1995-1997.

    Cooper, Jim

    (D-Tenn.) June 19, 1954-; House 1983-.

    Coppersmith, Sam

    (D-Ariz.) May 22, 1955-; House 1993-.

    Costello, Jerry F

    (D-Ill.) Sept. 25, 1949-; House Aug. 11, 1988-.

    Coverdell, Paul

    (R-Ga.) Jan. 20, 1939-; Senate 1993-.

    Cox, Christopher

    (R-Calif.) Oct. 16, 1952-; House 1989-.

    Coyne, William J

    (D-Pa.) Aug. 24, 1936-; House 1981-.

    Craig, Larry E

    (R-Idaho) July 20, 1945-; House 1981-1991; Senate 1991-.

    Cramer, Robert E.
    Bud

    (D-Ala.) Aug. 22, 1947-; House 1991-.

    Crane, Philip M

    (brother of Daniel Bever Crane) (R-Ill.) Nov. 3, 1930-; House 1969-.

    Crapo, Michael D

    (R-Idaho) May 20, 1951-; House 1993-.

    Cremeans, Frank A

    (R-Ohio) April 5, 1943-; House 1995-1997.

    Cubin, Barbara

    (R-Wyo.) Nov. 30, 1946-; House 1995-.

    Cummings, Elijah E

    (D-Md.) Jan. 18, 1951-; House April 25, 1996-.

    Cunningham, Randy
    Duke

    (R-Calif.) Dec. 8, 1941-; House 1991-.

    D
    D'Amato, Alfonse M

    (R-N.Y.) Aug. 1, 1937-; Senate 1981-.

    Danforth, John C

    (R-Mo.) Sept. 5, 1936-; Senate Dec. 27, 1976-1995.

    Danner, Pat

    (D-Mo.) Jan. 13, 1934-; House 1993-.

    Darden, George
    Buddy

    (D-Ga.) Nov. 22, 1943-; House Nov. 8, 1983-1995.

    Daschle, Tom

    (D-S.D.) Dec. 9, 1947-; House 1979-1987; Senate 1987-; Senate minority leader 1995-.

    Davis, Thomas M. III

    (R-Va.) Jan. 5, 1949-; House 1995-.

    de la Garza, E.
    Kika

    (D-Texas) Sept. 22, 1927-; House 1965-1997.

    de Lugo, Ron

    (D-V.I.) Aug. 2, 1930-; House (Delegate) 1981-1995.

    Deal, Nathan

    (R-Ga.) Aug. 25, 1942-; House 1993-(1993-April 10, 1995, Democrat).

    DeConcini, Dennis

    (D-Ariz.) May 8, 1937-; Senate 1977-1995.

    DeFazio, Peter A

    (D-Ore.) May 27, 1947-; House 1987-.

    DeLauro, Rosa

    (D-Conn.) March 2, 1943-; House 1991-.

    DeLay, Tom

    (R-Texas) April 8, 1947-; House 1985-.

    Dellums, Ronald V

    (D-Calif.) Nov. 24, 1935-; House 1971-.

    Derrick, Butler

    (D-S.C.) Sept. 30, 1936-; House 1975-.

    Deutsch, Peter

    (D-Fla.) April 1, 1957-; House 1993-.

    DeWine, Mike

    (R-Ohio) Jan. 5, 1947-; House 1983-1991; Senate 1995-.

    Diaz-Balart, Lincoln

    (R-Fla.) Aug. 13, 1954-; House 1993-.

    Dickey, Jay

    (R-Ark.) Dec. 14, 1939-; House 1993-.

    Dicks, Norm

    (D-Wash.) Dec. 16, 1940-; House 1977-.

    Dingell, John D

    (son of John David Dingell) (DMich.) July 8, 1926-; House Dec. 13, 1955-.

    Dixon, Julian C

    (D-Calif.) Aug. 8, 1934-; House 1979-.

    Dodd, Christopher J

    (son of Thomas Joseph Dodd) (D-Conn.) May 27, 1944-; House 1975-1981; Senate 1981-.

    Doggett, Lloyd

    (D-Texas) Oct. 6, 1946-; House 1995-.

    Dole, Bob

    (R-Kan.) July 22, 1923-; House 1961-1969; Senate 1969-June 11, 1996; Chrmn. Rep. Nat. Comm. 1971-1973; Senate majority leader 1985-1987, 1995-June 11, 1996; Senate minority leader 1987-1995.

    Domenici, Pete V

    (R-N.M.) May 7, 1932-; Senate 1973-.

    Dooley, Cal

    (D-Calif.) Jan. 11, 1954-; House 1991-.

    Doolittle, John T

    (R-Calif.) Oct. 30, 1950-; House 1991-.

    Dorgan, Byron L

    (D-N.D.) May 14, 1942-; House 1981-Dec. 14, 1992; Senate Dec. 15, 1992-.

    Dornan, Robert K

    (R-Calif.) April 3, 1933-; House 1977-1983, 1985-1997.

    Doyle, Mike

    (D-Pa.) Aug. 5, 1953-; House 1995-.

    Dreier, David

    (R-Calif.) July 5, 1952-; House 1981-.

    Duncan, John J.
    Jimmy
    Jr

    (son of John J. Duncan) (R-Tenn.) July 21, 1947-; House 1988-.

    Dunn, Jennifer

    (R-Wash.) July 29, 1941-; House 1993-.

    Durbin, Richard J

    (D-Ill.) Nov. 21, 1944-; House 1983-1997; Senate 1997-.

    Durenberger, Dave

    (R-Minn.) Aug. 19, 1934-; Senate Nov. 8, 1978-1995.

    E
    Edwards, Chet

    (D-Texas) Nov. 24, 1951-; House 1991-.

    Edwards, Don

    (D-Calif.) Jan. 6, 1915-; House 1963-.

    Ehlers, Vernon J

    (R-Mich.) Feb. 6, 1934-; House Jan. 25, 1994-.

    Ehrlich, Robert Jr

    (R-Md.) Nov. 25, 1957-; House 1995-.

    Emerson, Bill

    (husband of Jo Ann Emerson) (RMo.) Jan. 1, 1938-June 22, 1996; House 1981-June 22, 1996.

    Emerson, Jo Ann

    (widow of Bill Emerson) (R-Mo.) Sept. 16, 1950-; House 1997-.

    Engel, Eliot L

    (D-N.Y.) Feb. 18, 1947-; House 1989-.

    English, Glenn

    (D-Okla.) Nov. 30, 1940-; House 1975-Jan. 7, 1994.

    English, Karan

    (D-Ariz.) March 23, 1949-; House 1993-1995.

    English, Phil

    (R-Pa.) June 20, 1956-; House 1995-.

    Ensign, John

    (R-Nev.) March 25, 1958-; House 1995-.

    Eshoo, Anna G

    (D-Calif.) Dec. 13, 1942-; House 1993-.

    Espy, Mike

    (D-Miss.) Nov. 30, 1953-; House 1987-Jan. 22, 1993; Secy. of Agriculture Jan. 22, 1993-Dec. 31, 1994.

    Evans, Lane

    (D-Ill.) Aug. 4, 1951-; House 1983-.

    Everett, Terry

    (R-Ala.) Feb. 15, 1937-; House 1993-.

    Ewing, Thomas W

    (R-Ill.) Sept. 19, 1935-; House July 10, 1991-.

    Exon, Jim

    (D-Neb.) Aug. 9, 1921-; Senate 1979-1997; Gov. 1971-1979.

    F
    Faircloth, Lauch

    (R-N.C.) Jan. 14, 1928-; Senate 1993-.

    Faleomavaega, Eni F. H

    (D-Am. Samoa) Aug. 15, 1943-; House (Delegate) 1989-.

    Farr, Sam

    (D-Calif.) July 4, 1941-; House June 16, 1993-.

    Fattah, Chaka

    (D-Pa.) Nov. 21, 1956-; House 1995-.

    Fawell, Harris W

    (R-Ill.) March 25, 1929-; House 1985-.

    Fazio, Vic

    (D-Calif.) Oct. 11, 1942-; House 1979-.

    Feingold, Russell D

    (D-Wis.) March 2, 1953-; Senate 1993-.

    Feinstein, Dianne

    (D-Calif.) June 22, 1933-; Senate Nov. 10, 1992-.

    Fields, Cleo

    (D-La.) Nov. 22, 1962-; House 1993-1997.

    Fields, Jack

    (R-Texas) Feb. 3, 1952-; House 1981-1997.

    Filner, Bob

    (D-Calif.) Sept. 4, 1942-; House 1993-.

    Fingerhut, Eric D

    (D-Ohio) May 6, 1959-; House 1993-1995.

    Fish, Hamilton Jr

    (son of Hamilton Fish born in 1888, grandson of Hamilton Fish born in 1849, great grandson of Hamilton Fish born in 1808) (R-N.Y.) June 3, 1926-July 23, 1996; House 1969-1995.

    Flake, Floyd H

    (D-N.Y.) Jan. 30, 1945-; House 1987-.

    Flanagan, Michael Patrick

    (R-Ill.) Nov. 9, 1962-; House 1995-1997.

    Foglietta, Thomas M

    (D-Pa.) Dec. 3, 1928-; House 1981-(1981-1982, Independent).

    Foley, Mark

    (R-Fla.) Sept. 8, 1954-; House 1995-.

    Foley, Thomas S

    (D-Wash.) March 6, 1929-; House 1965-1995; House majority leader 1987-June 6, 1989; Speaker June 6, 1989-1995.

    Forbes, Michael P

    (R-N.Y.) July 16, 1952-; House 1995-.

    Ford, Harold E

    (D-Tenn.) May 20, 1945-; House 1975-1997.

    Ford, Wendell H

    (D-Ky.) Sept. 8, 1924-; Senate Dec. 28, 1974-; Gov. 1971-1974.

    Ford, William D

    (D-Mich.) Aug. 6, 1927-; House 1965-.

    Fowler, Tillie

    (R-Fla.) Dec. 23, 1942-; House 1993-.

    Fox, Jon D

    (R-Pa.) April 22, 1947-; House 1995-.

    Frahm, Sheila

    (R-Kan.) March 22, 1945-; Senate June 11, 1996-Nov. 27, 1996.

    Frank, Barney

    (D-Mass.) March 31, 1940-; House 1981-.

    Franks, Bob

    (R-N.J.) Sept. 21, 1951-; House 1993-.

    Franks, Gary A

    (R-Conn.) Feb. 9, 1953-; House 1991-1997.

    Frazer, Victor O

    (I-Virgin Is.) May 24, 1943-; House (Delegate) 1995-.

    Frelinghuysen, Rodney

    (son of Peter Hood Ballentine Frelinghuysen) (R-N.J.) April 29, 1946-; House 1995-.

    Frisa, Daniel

    (R-N.Y.) April 27, 1955-; House 1995-1997.

    Frist, Bill

    (R-Tenn.) Feb. 22, 1952-; Senate 1995-.

    Frost, Martin

    (D-Texas) Jan. 1, 1942-; House 1979-.

    Funderburk, David

    (R-N.C.) April 28, 1944-; House 1995-1997.

    Furse, Elizabeth

    (D-Ore.) Oct. 13, 1936-; House 1993-.

    G
    Gallegly, Elton

    (R-Calif.) March 7, 1944-; House 1987-.

    Gallo, Dean A

    (R-N.J.) Nov. 23, 1935-Nov. 6, 1994; House 1985-Nov. 6, 1994.

    Ganske, Greg

    (R-Iowa) March 31, 1949-; House 1995-.

    Gejdenson, Sam

    (D-Conn.) May 20, 1948-; House 1981-.

    Gekas, George W

    (R-Pa.) April 14, 1930-; House 1983-.

    Gephardt, Richard A

    (D-Mo.) Jan. 31, 1941-; House 1977-; House majority leader June 14, 1989-1995; House minority leader 1995-.

    Geren, Pete

    (D-Texas) Jan. 29, 1952-; House Sept. 20, 1989-1997.

    Gibbons, Sam M

    (D-Fla.) Jan. 20, 1920-; House 1963-1997.

    Gilchrest, Wayne T

    (R-Md.) April 15, 1946-; House 1991-.

    Gillmor, Paul E

    (R-Ohio) Feb. 1, 1939-; House 1989-.

    Gilman, Benjamin A

    (R-N.Y.) Dec. 6, 1922-; House 1973-.

    Gingrich, Newt

    (R-Ga.) June 17, 1943-; House 1979-; Speaker 1995-.

    Glenn, John

    (D-Ohio) July 18, 1921-; Senate 1974-.

    Glickman, Dan

    (D-Kan.) Nov. 24, 1944-; House 1977-1995.

    Gonzalez, Henry B

    (D-Texas) May 3, 1916-; House 1961-.

    Goodlatte, Robert W

    (R-Va.) Sept. 22, 1952-; House 1993-.

    Goodling, Bill

    (son of George Atlee Goodling) (RPa.) Dec. 5, 1927-; House 1975-.

    Gordon, Bart

    (D-Tenn.) Jan. 24, 1949-; House 1985-.

    Gorton, Slade

    (R-Wash.) Jan. 8, 1928-; Senate 1989-.

    Goss, Porter J

    (R-Fla.) Nov. 26, 1938-; House 1981-1987, 1989-.

    Gradison, Bill

    (R-Ohio) Dec. 28, 1928-; House 1975-Jan. 31, 1993.

    Graham, Bob

    (D-Fla.) Nov. 9, 1936-; Senate 1987-.

    Graham, Lindsey

    (R-S.C.) July 9, 1955-; House 1995-.

    Gramm, Phil

    (R-Texas) July 8, 1942-; House 1979-Jan. 5, 1983, Feb. 22, 1983-1985 (1979-Jan. 5, 1983, Democrat); Senate 1985-.

    Grams, Rod

    (R-Minn.) Feb. 4, 1948-; House 1993-1995; Senate 1995-.

    Grandy, Fred

    (R-Iowa) June 29, 1948-; House 1987-1995.

    Grassley, Charles E

    (R-Iowa) Sept. 17, 1933-; House 1975-1981; Senate 1981-.

    Green, Gene

    (D-Texas) Oct. 17, 1947-; House 1993-.

    Greenwood, James C

    (R-Pa.) May 4, 1951-; House 1993-.

    Gregg, Judd

    (R-N.H.) Feb. 14, 1947-; Senate 1993-.

    Gunderson, Steve

    (R-Wis.) May 10, 1951-; House 1981-1997.

    Gutierrez, Luis V

    (D-Ill.) Dec. 10, 1954-; House 1993-.

    Gutknecht, Gil

    (R-Minn.) March 20, 1951-; House 1995-.

    H
    Hall, Ralph M

    (D-Texas) May 3, 1923-; House 1981-.

    Hall, Tony P

    (D-Ohio) Jan. 16, 1942-; House 1979-.

    Hamburg, Dan

    (D-Calif.) Oct. 6, 1948-; House 1993-1995.

    Hamilton, Lee H

    (D-Ind.) April 20, 1931-; House 1965-.

    Hancock, Mel

    (R-Mo.) Sept. 14, 1929-; House 1989-1997.

    Hansen, James V

    (R-Utah) Aug. 14, 1932-; House 1981-.

    Harkin, Tom

    (D-Iowa) Nov. 19, 1939-; House 1975-1985; Senate 1985-.

    Harman, Jane

    (D-Calif.) June 28, 1945-; House 1993-.

    Hastert, Dennis

    (R-Ill.) Jan. 2, 1942-; House 1987-.

    Hastings, Alcee L

    (D-Fla.) Sept. 5, 1936-; House 1993-.

    Hastings, Richard
    Doc

    (R-Wash.) Feb. 7, 1941-; House 1995-.

    Hatch, Orrin G

    (R-Utah) March 22, 1934-; Senate 1977-.

    Hatfield, Mark O

    (R-Ore.) July 12, 1922-; Senate 1967-1997; Gov. 1959-1967.

    Hayes, Jimmy

    (R-La.) Dec. 21, 1946-; House 1987-1997 (1987-Dec. 1, 1995, Democrat).

    Hayworth, J. D

    (R-Ariz.) July 12, 1958-; House 1995-.

    Hefley, Joel

    (R-Colo.) April 18, 1935-; House 1987-.

    Heflin, Howell

    (D-Ala.) June 19, 1921-; Senate 1979-1997.

    Hefner, W. G.
    Bill

    (D-N.C.) April 11, 1930-; House 1975-.

    Heineman, Fred

    (R-N.C.) Dec. 28, 1929-; House 1995-1997.

    Helms, Jesse

    (R-N.C.) Oct. 18, 1921-; Senate 1973-.

    Henry, Paul B

    (R-Mich.) July 9, 1942-July 31, 1993; House 1985-July 31, 1993.

    Herger, Wally

    (R-Calif.) May 20, 1945-; House 1987-.

    Hilleary, Van

    (R-Tenn.) June 20, 1959-; House 1995-.

    Hilliard, Earl F

    (D-Ala.) April 9, 1942-; House 1993-.

    Hinchey, Maurice D

    (D-N.Y.) Oct. 27, 1938-; House 1993-.

    Hoagland, Peter

    (D-Neb.) Nov. 17, 1941-; House 1989-1995.

    Hobson, David L

    (R-Ohio) Oct. 17, 1936-; House 1991-.

    Hochbrueckner, George J

    (D-N.Y.) Sept. 20, 1938-; House 1987-1995.

    Hoekstra, Peter

    (R-Mich.) Oct. 30, 1953-; House 1993-.

    Hoke, Martin R

    (R-Ohio) May 18, 1952-; House 1993-1997.

    Holden, Tim

    (D-Pa.) March 5, 1957-; House 1993-.

    Hollings, Ernest F

    (D-S.C.) Jan. 1, 1922-; Senate Nov. 9, 1966-; Gov. 1959-1963.

    Horn, Steve

    (R-Calif.) May 31, 1931-; House 1993-.

    Hostettler, John

    (R-Ind.) July 19, 1961-; House 1995-.

    Houghton, Amo

    (grandson of Alanson Bigelow Houghton) (R-N.Y.) Aug. 7, 1926-; House 1987-.

    Hoyer, Steny H

    (D-Md.) June 14, 1939-; House June 3, 1981-.

    Huffington, Michael

    (R-Calif.) Sept. 3, 1947-; House 1993-1995.

    Hughes, William J

    (D-N.J.) Oct. 17, 1932-; House 1975-.

    Hunter, Duncan

    (R-Calif.) May 31, 1948-; House 1981-.

    Hutchinson, Tim

    (R-Ark.) Aug. 11, 1949-; House 1993-1997; Senate 1997-.

    Hutchison, Kay Bailey

    (R-Texas) July 22, 1943-; Senate June 14, 1993-.

    Hutto, Earl

    (D-Fla.) May 12, 1926-; House 1979-.

    Hyde, Henry J

    (R-Ill.) April 18, 1924-; House 1975-.

    I
    Inglis, Bob

    (R-S.C.) Oct. 11, 1959-; House 1993-.

    Inhofe, James M

    (R-Okla.) Nov. 17, 1934-; House 1987-Nov. 15, 1994; Senate Nov. 17, 1994-.

    Inouye, Daniel K

    (D-Hawaii) Sept. 7, 1924-; House Aug. 21, 1959-1963; Senate 1963-.

    Inslee, Jay

    (D-Wash.) Feb. 9, 1951-; House 1993-1995.

    Istook, Ernest

    (R-Okla.) Feb. 11, 1950-; House 1993-.

    J
    Jackson, Jesse Jr

    (D-Ill.) March 11, 1965-; House Dec. 14, 1995-.

    Jackson-Lee, Sheila

    (D-Texas) Jan. 12, 1950-; House 1995-.

    Jacobs, Andrew Jr

    (son of Andrew Jacobs Sr., husband of Martha Elizabeth Keys) (D-Ind.) Feb. 24, 1932-; House 1965-1973, 1975-1997.

    Jefferson, William J

    (D-La.) March 14, 1947-; House 1991-.

    Jeffords, James M

    (R-Vt.) May 11, 1934-; House 1975-1989; Senate 1989-.

    Johnson, Don

    (D-Ga.) Jan. 30, 1948-; House 1993-1995.

    Johnson, Eddie Bernice

    (D-Texas) Dec. 3, 1935-; House 1993-.

    Johnson, Nancy L

    (R-Conn.) Jan. 5, 1935-; House 1983-.

    Johnson, Sam

    (R-Texas) Oct. 11, 1930-; House May 22, 1991-.

    Johnson, Tim

    (D-S.D.) Dec. 28, 1946-; House 1987-1997; Senate 1997-.

    Johnston, Harry A

    (D-Fla.) Dec. 2, 1931-; House 1989-1997.

    Johnston, J. Bennett

    (father-in-law of Tim Roemer) (D-La.) June 10, 1932-; Senate Nov. 14, 1972-1997.

    Jones, Walter B. Jr

    (son of Walter Beaman Jones) (R-N.C.) Feb. 10, 1943-; House 1995-.

    K
    Kanjorski, Paul E

    (D-Pa.) April 2, 1937-; House 1985-.

    Kaptur, Marcy

    (D-Ohio) June 17, 1946-; House 1983-.

    Kasich, John R

    (R-Ohio) May 13, 1952-; House 1983-.

    Kassebaum, Nancy Landon

    (R-Kan.) July 29, 1932-; Senate Dec. 23, 1978-1997.

    Kelly, Sue W

    (R-N.Y.) Sept. 26, 1936-; House 1995-.

    Kempthorne, Dirk

    (R-Idaho) Oct. 29, 1951-; Senate 1993-.

    Kennedy, Edward M

    (father of Patrick J. Kennedy, brother of John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Robert Francis Kennedy, grandson of John Francis Fitzgerald, uncle of Joseph P. Kennedy II)(DMass.) Feb. 22, 1932-; Senate Nov. 7, 1962-.

    Kennedy, Joseph P. II

    (son of Robert Francis Kennedy, nephew of Edward M. Kennedy and John Fitzgerald Kennedy, cousin of Patrick J. Kennedy, great grandson of John Francis Fitzgerald) (D-Mass.) Sept. 24, 1952-; House 1987-.

    Kennedy, Patrick J

    (son of Edward M. Kennedy, nephew of John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Robert Francis Kennedy, cousin of Joseph P. Kennedy, great grandson of John Francis Fitzgerald) (DR.I.) July 14, 1967-; House 1995-.

    Kennelly, Barbara B

    (D-Conn.) July 10, 1936-; House Jan. 25, 1982-.

    Kerrey, Bob

    (D-Neb.) Aug. 27, 1943-; Senate 1989-; Gov. 1983-1989.

    Kerry, John

    (D-Mass.) Dec. 11, 1943-; Senate 1985-.

    Kildee, Dale E

    (D-Mich.) Sept. 16, 1929-; House 1977-.

    Kim, Jay C

    (R-Calif.) March 27, 1939-; House 1993-.

    King, Peter T

    (R-N.Y.) April 5, 1944-; House 1993-.

    Kingston, Jack

    (R-Ga.) April 24, 1955-; House 1993-.

    Kleczka, Gerald D

    (D-Wis.) Nov. 26, 1943-; House April 10, 1984-.

    Klein, Herb

    (D-N.J.) June 24, 1930-; House 1993-1995.