Published Online: October 27, 1999
Published in Print: October 27, 1999, as Federal File

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Capital classroom



The U.S. Capitol has always been a prime destination for school field trips, but last week it had a classroom of its own.

The House Republican Conference temporarily converted a small conference room in Congress' stately building into a real-life classroom, complete with borrowed desks, chalkboards, and decorations.

Lawmakers used the room to host press conferences and events related to GOP education initiatives, including the Title I and "Straight A's" measures that were debated on the House floor last week.

The events took place as congressional Democrats were hosting a conference on school violence. The congressional minority party had reserved many of the conference rooms in the Capitol, leaving the GOP with a space that was often too small for the crowds that gathered.


Diplomatic endeavor

President Clinton will nominate school construction advocate and former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun to serve as ambassador to New Zealand, the White House announced this month.

Ms. Moseley-Braun has worked part time as a consultant to the Department of Education since January, specializing in school construction issues. She will continue to work there until her nomination is confirmed, said David Frank, the director of the office of public affairs.

Ms. Moseley-Braun, the Illinois Democrat who was also the first black woman elected to the Senate, lost her re-election bid last year after one tumultuous term that included ethical controversies surrounding her conduct.

During her tenure, she butted heads with Sen. Jesse Helms, the North Carolina Republican who chairs the Foreign Relations Committee. Sen. Helms has said his panel would "carefully and objectively" examine Ms. Moseley-Braun's record. "This nomination comes to the Senate with an ethical cloud hanging over Ms. Moseley-Braun," he said in an Oct. 18 written statement. Hearings, he added, will be held "when the committee has received all the essential papers required of all nominees."

--Joetta L. Sack federal@epe.org

Vol. 19, Issue 9, Page 26

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