Congress Busy, Despite Lewinsky Distraction

Although it may seem that Congress is dealing only with President Clinton and the Monica Lewinsky matter, the lawmakers have been tackling other topics. This week the full House of Representatives could take up an $80 billion tax-cut bill passed last week by the Ways & Means Committee. Among other provisions, the bill would extend the R&D tax credit, the work opportunity tax credit, and the Generalized Systems of Preferences, a program designed to stimulate developing-nation trade and investment. A Y2K measure providing companies with limited relief from civil suits if they share information about potential hardware and software problems is wending its way through the Senate. Congress has yet to act on the vast majority of appropriations bills needed to keep the federal government going beginning Oct. 1, the start of its 1999 fiscal year. But the House and Senate have approved an interim funding measure to continue government operations until Oct. 9, the day Congress plans to adjourn for the year. A measure designed to stop abuses of salting, union-organizing tactics that non-union construction firms particularly object to, won't be going anywhere this year. A Sept. 14 procedural vote in the Senate effectively killed further consideration.

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