Appropriations Threats

Senate leaders today exchanged high-stakes threats over FY97 appropriations measures, as Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., said Democrats will not allow Congress to leave town without addressing Democratic spending priorities and Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., said he will pull any funding measure that becomes bogged down by political amendments.

"We believe it is important for Congress to stay here and do its job," Daschle said, as Democrats unveiled a $3.1 billion education amendment they said will be their top appropriations priority. Daschle left open the possibility Democrats may filibuster the FY97 Labor-HHS appropriations measure if they do not get their way.

Lott Thursday pulled the FY97 Treasury-Postal appropriations measure, noting more than 100 amendments had been offered to the bill, which he said should have been non-controversial. "That was a big disappointment to me, a very poor exhibition by the Senate," Lott said on the floor today. He added, "I've been playing it straight. I've been trying to avoid amendments that are political."

As the Senate went to the FY97 Interior appropriations measure, Lott said he would pull that bill if Democrats try to obstruct it. Daschle said Democrats were trying to cooperate on the Treasury-Postal bill. "For the life of me, I don't know why [Lott] made that decision," Daschle said, adding that Democrats had agreed to offer six or seven amendments, but it is "very difficult to cooperate when you're surprised like that."

"The Republicans are in a hurry to leave town, but school is not out until this Congress meets the educational needs of children," Daschle said. The Democratic amendment would increase education funding levels to those contained in the Clinton administration budget request. It would boost Goals 2000 funding by $136 million, Title I compensatory education funding by $435 million, summer youth jobs program funding by $246 million and education assistance for dislocated workers by $193 million.

Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee ranking member Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, said the amendment would be offset by a spectrum sale from the Digital Audio Radio service portion of the spectrum, adding that the House already approved that sale to help pay for the gasoline tax rollback.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.