Senate Republicans have decided on the first 10 bills they will introduce, the first of which will be an education initiative.
The decisions came late last week during a two-day Senate GOP retreat at the Library of Congress. The other bills, in order, are a drugs and crime measure; a workers and families rights bill dealing with comp time and flex time; tax cut legislation; a missile defense bill; partial birth abortion legislation; a Superfund reform bill; a "workers political freedom" measure that is believed to deal with the use of union dues for political purposes; a product liability bill; and, finally, a juvenile justice bill, a GOP source said.
The first resolution to be offered by Senate Republicans will be on the balanced budget constitutional amendment and the second will be a call to double the amount of federal funds spent on research, the source said. In addition, the BBA will be debated on the Senate floor Feb. 3 or 4, but the vote will not occur until after the President's Day recess later that month, the source said.
Meanwhile, Sen. Paul Coverdell, R-Ga. -- whom Senate Majority Leader Lott last week said would become head of the Senate GOP Health Care Task Force -- will lead the party's education group instead, a Republican source said today, adding that Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, will head the healthcare task force. The change apparently was made at last week's GOP retreat.
The source said other Senate GOP task force leaders will include: Sen. John Ashcroft of Missouri on workplace issues; Majority Whip Nickles on campaign reform; Republican Policy Committee Chairman Larry Craig of Idaho on environment; Judiciary Chairman Hatch and Sen. Slade Gorton of Washington on judicial nominations; and Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire on retirement issues.