Senate Gop Blocks Vote on Brady Bill Compromise

Article excerpt

Senate Republicans blocked a vote Monday night on a compromise handgun-control bill in a high-stakes political showdown that threatened Congress' plans to adjourn for the year.

"We got zippo," said Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., referring to a House-Senate compromise. Democrats crafted the compromise to their own liking in what was originally planned to be the final hours of Congress' session for the year.

A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, D-Maine, said lawmakers would be called back to the Capitol after Thanksgiving if the so-called Brady bill had not been approved by then.

The maneuvering took place on legislation to mandate a five-day waiting period for handgun purchases, one of several major bills on the agenda as lawmakers struggled to conclude their work.

Other measures up for final passage were:

Compromise legislation to extend jobless benefits to the long-term unemployed.

A bill to provide a final $18 billion to clean up the savings and loan fiasco.

In a marathon day that stretched far into the night, the House approved a plan to remake campaign-finance laws, a key item on President Bill Clinton's agenda. The 255-175 vote set up what are likely to be contentious negotiations with the Senate, which approved its own bill earlier in the year.

And the House rejected a $90 billion package of spending cuts sought by Republicans and conservative Democrats, including deep reductions in Medicare. …


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