Federal News Roundup
Officials from the Reagan Administration and the Senate Judiciary Committee were still negotiating last week about the possibility of expanding the U.S. Civil Rights Commission before it is reauthorized.
The legislation that established the six-member bipartisan panel expired with the beginning of the new fiscal year on Oct. 1. But the law allows the commission to stay in business for 60 additional days before it "shall cease to exist."
Three Democratic members of the commission, fired by President Reagan in May to make room for three new appointees, have refused to leave the commission. The President replaced those members with Democrats whose positions on racial quotas and other civil-rights issues are said to be closer to his own.
Judiciary Committee action on the nominations of the new appointees and funding for the commission has been held up pending resolution of the conflict. The panel has a $12-million annual budget.
The Administration and Judiciary Committee members have started discussions about the possibility of expanding the size of the commission to allow some of the holdover Democrats to remain.
A proposal of one Democrat and two Republicans on the Senate committee would expand the panel by two members. The White House was reported to be seeking expansion of the panel by three members.