Another Bid For Y2K Bill Passage

WASHINGTON: Senate Republican leaders will make a renewed attempt this week to bring Y2K liability limits legislation -- eagerly sought by business -- to a floor vote after an unsuccessful effort Apr. 29. A cloture vote to end debate over the measure was defeated by a 52 to 47 margin, with 60 votes required. All Democrats and three Republicans voted against cloture. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R, Miss.) has said that he will not bring the Y2K bill up again, however, unless Democrats pledge not to attach unrelated amendments. One such amendment, sponsored by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D, Mass.), calls for an increase in the minimum wage. Business groups have mounted an intensive lobbying campaign on behalf of the Y2K bill, main sponsor of which is Sen. John McCain (R, Ariz.). Included in the campaign are advertisements in major newspapers and political journals. Although the bill is a priority of business, consumer interests and trial-lawyer groups are adamantly opposed, arguing that it impairs the right of individuals to sue for damages if they suffer from Y2K-related computer breakdowns.

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