Senate leaders failed for the fourth time last week to garner the 60 votes needed to halt a Democratic filibuster blocking a 1996 appropriations bill for the District of Columbia; the vote on the proposal to shut off debate was 56-44. The bill, which includes a package of school reforms, is stalled over a provision that would provide $5 million in federal funds to help low-income children in Washington pay tuition at private or religious schools, if city officials agreed. The Senate version of a broader appropriations bill that would fund numerous agencies for the rest of the fiscal year contains funding for the city without the voucher plan.
Immigrants and Welfare
The Senate Budget Committee held a hearing last week on proposals to restrict certain immigrants' eligibility for welfare programs.
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The Senate Judiciary Committee voted last week to split a measure aiming to limit immigration into separate bills dealing with legal and illegal immigrants, reflecting the controversial nature of proposals to restrict legal immigration.
Youth Crime Programs
The Senate Subcommittee on Youth Violence held a hearing last week to examine federally funded youth-violence-prevention programs.