Parties Set Priorities

Amid continuing calls for bipartisan cooperation, Senate GOP and Democratic leaders this morning outlined their agendas for the coming session. But while the lists of 10 Republican and 12 Democratic bills that will be introduced this afternoon and evening include some with similar goals and even similar names, the gulf in priorities appears as wide as ever.

The top GOP issues, unveiled at a news conference by Senate Majority Leader Lott and Majority Whip Nickles, are the balanced budget constitutional amendment, an education bill that includes vouchers as well as the disabled student education measure leftover from last year, and a $163 billion, five-year tax cut package. Also on the list are two measures vetoed by President Clinton last year: product liability reform and partial birth abortion ban legislation. Omnibus and juvenile crime measures, comp time legislation, a missile defense program, Superfund revision, and restrictions on the use of union dues for political purposes round out the list.

Democrats' top priorities, unveiled by Minority Leader Daschle, are campaign finance reform, a package of education funding measures, and a bill to subsidize health insurance for children. Also on the Democrats' list are pension reform, a youth violence bill, an environmental cleanup measure, a bill boosting child care funding, a job training bill, a bill to boost the cattle industry, and a tax relief measure that is more modest than the one put forth by Republicans.

Lott said he plans to talk about scheduling with Daschle soon, but anticipated the balanced budget amendment would be the first order of business.

Also likely to be up sooner rather than later are last year's leftovers: the partial birth abortion ban and product liability reform. On the latter, Lott expressed some hope of compromise, noting, "We think there are some points in the veto message that we can address."

Daschle was upbeat about the prospects for bipartisan cooperation, but said "there are a lot of potential wedge issues" that could produce partisan rancor, including campaign finance reform, the BBA and the partial birth abortion ban issue.

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:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security


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