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Senate Approves $11.3B Spending Bill, Agrees to Cut HalfAired June 30, 2000 - 2:04 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: Congress hopes to declare independence from Washington today and get out of town for a long summer holiday.
CNN congressional correspondent Chris Black joins us now from the Capitol where's there's much to do before turning off the lights, eh, Chris?
CHRIS BLACK, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There certainly is, Lou. The Senate has just approved a massive $11.3 billion emergency spending bill, but not before reaching a last-minute deal to cut or rescind about half of it.
The bill hit two last-minute roadblocks in the United States Senate today: Senator John McCain of Arizona and Senator Phil Gramm of Texas. They objected that the legislation had way too much pork in it. In fact, it is more than doubled from the $5.5 billion that President Clinton requested earlier this year. Senator McCain specifically objected to money that was ear-marked to subsidize the Olympic games, $45 million for a Gulf Stream for the Coast Guard Commandant, and $5 million for an Alaska sea life center.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: The rest of this bill, which is full, which is incredibly full, of unnecessary, unwanted, unauthorized, unmitigated pork be debated. There are 47 points of order. There are 47 points of order that under -- can be lodged under this appropriations bill. And what do we want to do? We want to take a $19-billion appropriations bill, pass it by voice vote just because we want to go home for the 4th of July.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACK: Senator Gramm said that the bill violates the Budget Act, so the Senate Republican leader agreed that about half of the bill, $6 billion, will be rescinded in the next appropriations bill. This bill, however, contains a lot of high-priority items. They include a peacekeeping -- about $2 billion for the peacekeeping troops in Kosovo; $1.3 to fight the drug war in Columbia; $1.6 billion to help the Pentagon pay rising fuel costs; $125 million to improve the reliability of the Patriot missile; 100 -- $17.5 million to deal with serious fire hazards at the U.S. Capitol; and $4.5 million to reimburse the District of Columbia for money they -- expenses they incurred dealing with the World Bank protests. The legislation, however, does not contain money that will allow the sale of food and drugs to Cuba. Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut threatened to filibuster the bill. Both Senate leaders say that they will deal with the bill after the recess.
Chris Black, CNN, reporting live from Capitol Hill.
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