WASHINGTON -- There was a now-or-never fervor on Capitol Hill yesterday, and lawmakers responded with a burst of activity typical of the final days of a session.
Congressional leaders predicted that the 101st Congress would end tomorrow. Among the tasks performed by lawmakers:
* Child care: A child-care bill remained stalled in a House-Senate conference as negotiators awaited resolution of other budget issues before addressing the bill's remaining tax and grant issues.
* Immigration: Negotiators reached an agreement on allowing hundreds of thousands more immigrants into the country, particularly those with new job skills.
Under the compromise, the total cap on immigrants would rise to from 490,000 to 700,000 a year from 1992 through 1994, then fall back to 675,000 beginning in 1995. The existing preferences for immigrants with needed professional, job or educational skills would increase from 54,000 to 140,000.
* Franking privilege: The Senate agreed to restrict each senator's franking privilege and voted 50-44 to adopt a Republican proposal to prohibit the transfer of unused mailing funds from one senator to another. House members enjoy no such transfer privilege.
* Housing: The House approved by voice vote a conference report on the omnibus housing authorization bill, which includes $3.1 billion through fiscal 1992 for a new housing and homeownership program. The measure now goes to the Senate.
It would provide $448 million for the administration's Project Hope, to enable tenants in public housing projects to purchase their own units.