'Contract With America'

April 06, 1995

In their "Contract with America," House Republicans promised action in 10 areas during the first 100 days of the GOP-controlled Congress.

Yesterday, by Day 92:

* The House passed, 246-188, a tax-cut bill, the final major item on the agenda.

* A House subcommittee heard policemen testify for and against repealing last year's ban on assault-style weapons.

* Senate leaders in both parties and the White House reached agreement on a bill to cut current federal spending by $16 billion.

The legislative status of chief "contract" items:

* Constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget by 2002. Passed House. Defeated in Senate.

* Bill giving the president power to veto individual spending items in appropriations bills. House and Senate passed differing versions, now awaiting reconciliation. President Clinton supports the idea.

* Bill to discourage Congress from imposing requirements on states and cities without providing funds to pay for them. Bill passed, Mr. Clinton signed into law.

* House passed welfare overhaul, 234-199. No Senate action yet.

* Funds for prison construction, relaxed standards for admission of evidence in trials, limit on death-row inmates' abilities to appeal cases to federal court. Passed House. Senate prospects uncertain.

* Increase prison terms for people convicted of federal child pornography or prostitution offenses. Passed House. Senate has not acted.

* Require federal agencies to get parents' consent before surveying minors about sex or religion, or asking children about psychological problems, illegal behavior or their parents' political beliefs. Passed House. Senate has not acted.

* Require federal agencies to assess the risk and cost of new regulations. Passed House. Mr. Clinton hints at veto.

* Impose six-month moratorium on new regulations. Passed House. Senate prospects uncertain; Mr. Clinton hints at veto.

* Make it easier for companies to defend themselves against lawsuits alleging securities fraud. House passed bill 325-99, suggesting it would survive a hinted presidential veto.

* Make it easier for businesses to prevail in product-liability cases. House passed 265-161; faces an uncertain future in the Senate.

* Constitutional amendment to limit how long someone can serve in House or Senate. By 227-204, more than 60 votes shy of the required two-thirds majority, the House rejected a proposal to limit lawmakers to 12 years' service in the House or Senate. A Senate committee has approved a statute authorizing states to set congressional term limits.

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