S. 625 Stymied Back on Floor in Early 2000

S. 625 Stymied Back on Floor in Early 2000

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After being considered on the Senate floor on-and-off for nearly two weeks in November, the Senate leadership abandoned S. 625 in the last days of the first session of the 106th Congress. The bill is expected to be back on the Senate floor again in the second session, beginning in late January.

The bill's managers accepted some 37 amendments to improve the bill during the floor consideration. Other proposed amendments were defeated on roll call votes. More than 320 amendments had been filed on the bill, which passed the Senate Judiciary Committee by 14-4 last spring. Only about 14 amendments remain to be considered before the bill can move to final passage and a conference committee with the House on H.R. 833.

The Senate leadership pulled the bill because it did not want to deal with two relevant, but controversial, amendments: one making debts incurred as a result of abortion clinic violence non-dischargeable; the other making liability claims non-dischargeable.

Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS) filed a cloture motion to cut off debate on Nov. 19. This motion could be voted on early in the second session. However, it is expected that the vote will be vitiated once an agreement is reached on how to deal with the two amendments. The amendments could be deferred until the Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on the subjects.

This issue contains the Clinton administration's views of S. 625, together with the Senate's action on each of the administration's concerns. A list of remaining key amendments is also included. For the full text of all the amendments to S. 625, and the full Senate floor debate, please go to ABI World (http://www.abiworld.org).

Journal Date: 
Wednesday, December 1, 1999