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Capital Update

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Capital Update tracks the movement of legislation, the introduction of notable bills, and routine regulatory announcements.

Legislative Action Regulation Moratorium HR 450

The House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight last week cleared a bill by a vote of 28 to 13 that would bar the federal government from issuing new regulations until the end of 1995. It would be retroactive to Nov. 20, 1994.

Balanced Budget HJ Res 1, SJ Res 1

The Senate last week voted 57 to 41 against a Democratic-sponsored measure to exempt Social Security from the proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would require a balanced federal budget. The House has passed a version of the amendment.

Indian Education

The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held two oversight hearings last week on the Clinton Administration's proposed fiscal year 1996 budget for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. On Feb. 9, the committee held an oversight hearing on challenges facing Indian youths.

Contracting Rules

At a hearing last week of the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee, the president of the National School Boards Association said that federal and state Davis-Bacon laws which set wage requirements for government-funded construction projects increase costs of school construction and repair, and supported their repeal.

Line-Item Veto HR 2, S 4, S 14

The Senate Budget Committee last week approved two bills that would give the President line-item veto power on spending legislation. Under one version, passed on a 12-to-10 party-line vote, the President's cuts could be overridden by a two-thirds vote of both houses. The other bill would require Congressional votes on each veto, which could be blocked by a simple majority in one house. This version passed 13-8, with two Democrats joining all but one Republican. The issue is expected to reach the Senate floor next month. The House already passed a version of the bill.

Child Care

The Senate Subcommittee on Children and Families held a hearing last week on the child-care and development block grant, with testimony from federal officials and local day-care providers.

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