CONGRESS: HHS-Labor Bill Stalls
The House FY 1999 Labor-Health and Human Services appropriations bill is "bogged down" over procedural rules for floor debate, due to legislative language requiring "parental notification before teenagers [can] receive contraceptives at federally financed family planning services," CongressDaily reports. "Moderate Republicans want to be able to raise a point of order striking [the] provision and to offer an alternative, which conservatives could attempt to amend," CongressDaily reports. Labor-HHS Appropriations subcommittee Chair John Edward Porter (R-IL) "said he wants the bill to have as open a rule as possible, so people might vote for it after having a fair shot at amending it." Porter pointed out that this was the procedure followed in previous years when conservatives wanted to add the parental notification measure to the bill. He said, "If it was fair then, it is fair now. If it was not fair then, it is not fair now." Rep. James Greenwood (R-PA), "a key GOP moderate, said he agrees with Porter and that moderates will take a hard line on the issue." CongressDaily notes, however, that the bill faces a contentious future, as it does nearly every year. Appropriations Committee Chair Bob Livingston (R-LA) said, "I don't know if there are 218 votes" to pass it. "But at the end of the process, I think we'll pass the bill," he said (Baumann, Congress Daily, 8/5).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.