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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Oct. 31, 1997)
Agreement paves way
for campaign reforms
wAaniiNuiuiN (Ar; — Alter
weeks of Democratic pressure,
Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott
announced an agreement Thursday
for votes by March on campaign
finance legislation. That should clear
the way for action on other pressing
issues before next month’s planned
“After a great deal of communica
tion and discussion and working back
and forth, I think we’ve come up with
a fair agreement on how to handle the
campaign finance reform issue,” Lott
said on the Senate floor.
Democrats, demanding that
majority Republicans commit to a
specific timetable for dealing with
the campaign finance legislation, had
used parliamentary tactics to stall
action on all but urgent legislation,
such as spending bills for the budget
year that began Oct. 1.
At the White House, President
Clinton praised the agreement, say
ing, “At long last, we have an oppor
tunity to give the American people
the kind of election they deserve.”
“I want to commend the entire
Democratic caucus and a few brave
Republicans whose steadfastness has
now produced the first real opportu
nity to enact campaign finance
reform,” he said.
Senate Democratic leader Tom
Daschle called it “a very, very big
victory for the country,” and thanked
Lott for “the leadership that he’s
shown in keeping everybody at the
table as long as he has in order for this
to be accomplished.”
He said die keys to gaining agree
ment were the four consecutive
defeats of GOP attempts to cut off a
Democratic filibuster on a six-year,
$145 billion highway bill.
“I think there was a sense that
‘We’ll grind them down,”’ Daschle
.said, but the fourth vote “was the crit
ical demonstration that we were seri
With the agreement, he said, the
Senate can move to such priorities as
a highway bill, an Amtrak bill,
internal Kevenue bervice retorm and
The Senate earlier this month
debated the main bipartisan cam
paign finance bill authored by Sens.
John McCain, R-Ariz., and Russell
Feingold, D-Wis., but Republicans
filibustered it to a halt.
Lott allowed only one amend
ment to come up - a GOP measure
requiring unions to get member per
mission to use dues for political pur
poses - and Democrats filibustered
that as well.
The McCain-Feingold bill would
end the unlimited “soft-money” con
tributions to political parties, and it
would limit advertising and other
efforts by outside groups for or
against a specific candidate.
All 45 Senate Democrats have
announced their support for the bill,
as have four of the 55 Republicans.
Daschle said he would oppose
any effort to bring up the bill before
Lott does. McCain-Feingold propo
nents had wanted to attach it to unre
lated legislation to get a straight yes
In the House, lawmakers trying to
force action on widely varying cam
paign finance measures —
Republican, Democratic and biparti
san — have gained 183 signatures,
including six Republicans, on a so
called discharge petition that would
bring the proposals to the floor. They
need 218, a majority of the 435-mem
ber House, and if they fail to get them
all before the House recesses for the
year, they can pick up where they left
off next year.
Although supporters are 35 sig
natures short of succeeding, they got
a hearing on the measures Thursday
before the House Oversight
Committee chaired by Rep. Bill
Thomas said there was no need to
vote this year, given that most bills
covered by the petition wouldn’t take
effect until 1999, after the current
election cycle is over.
Union Pacific wrecks
WASHINGTON (AP) — The
Federal Railroad Administration
said Thursday it will dispatch 85
inspectors to Texas and other states
after the two latest train wrecks
involving Union Pacific rail cars.
Molitoris, speaking at a railroad
ing conference, said the move was
necessary because an inspection
team sent several weeks ago has
not eliminated all of the problems.
Even after inspectors spent two
weeks auditing safety 24 hours a
day, “Union Pacific is still experi
encing collisions,” Molitoris said.
The federal agency earlier
deployed 90 inspectors to monitor
Union Pacific operations after a
string of crashes over the summer
that killed seven people. AH but a
dozen inspectors have since
returned to their regular duties.
Last Saturday, two days before
a Surface Transportation Board
hearing on service problems in the
West and Midwest, two Union
Pacific trains collided near
Houston, injuring four crewmen. A
fifth worker was injured
Wednesday when two Union
Pacific freights collided near
“Two collisions within a week
is too much,” Molitoris said.
“They know'they have a problem.”
She said the inspectors will
monitor crew fatigue and other
issues. About half the inspectors
will go to Texas.
Union Pacific spokesman John
within a week is too
Union Pacific administrator
Bromley said the company will
cooperate fully. On Monday, rail
road executives apologized for the
service problems and said they
were on their way to resolving
them by year’s end.
Molitoris’ remarks came dur
ing a conference sponsored by
Traffic World magazine bn a pro
posal by CSX Corp. and Norfolk
Southern Corp. to carve up Conrail
and control virtually all rail traffic
east of Kansas City.
Last year’s merger between
Union Pacific Corp. and Southern
Pacific Rail Corp. was on the
minds of many participants as
CSX and Norfolk Southern offered
assurances that problems plaguing
the West would not be repeated
with their acquisition of Conrail.
CSX and Norfolk Southern
executives pledged to integrate the
new routes slowly, saying they
would wait months after getting
regulatory approval before linking
computer systems and adjusting
their operating procedures.
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Come and Tell Us Your Views
A DRAFT single package of recommendations will be presented for
stormwater, transportation and community revitalization concepts.
■ 4 n
One year ago, participants in Townhall 1 set priorities for the central area of Lincoln by
identifying for study the purposes and needs of importance to the community. Since then,
additional input has been received and a draft overall package developed. The study area
includes several of our city's most established neighborhoods, downtown, and the University
> Input is now being received on this draft package of recommendations.
> Call474-6311 for more information.
Please leave your name, address, phone number, and
specify which days you will attend and if child care is needed. For registration through a
telecommunication device for the deaf (TDD), please call 441-7615.
The study is sponsored by the City of Lincoln, University of Nebreska-Lincoln, and the Lower Matte South
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