10:49 AM 27 Jan 1999
Lott promises busy schedule once trial ends WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott today promised a --burst of activity" after the impeachment trial to impress on Americans that Congress is working on their behalf. Lott, in a breakfast speech to the u.S. Chamber of Commerce, listed education, military pay and the year 2000 computer problem as among the first areas the Senate will address when the trial is over. The Mississippi Republican said he thought the trial would be over in --two weeks at the most,. and then we have work to do. We need to get a burst of activity to show that we are attending to the people's business. ' , One of the first bills on the Senate floor, he said, would be --education flexibility" legislation sponsored by Sens. Bill Frist, R-Tenn., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., to extend a program giving state and local governments more freedom to try innovative approaches to teaching. He said that before the end of February the Senate also hopes to pass legislation raising the pay of military personnel. --We've got to pay attention to the fact that morale is down, we are losing ground in readiness and on pay and pensions we are shortchanging them and they are getting out. I I Within 10 days after the trial --we're are going to make the senators all come to the Senate chamber and sit down and we are going to get a report" about the status of efforts to correct computer glitches that could cause serious disruptions in basic services with the arrival of the year 2000. He said legislation is being prepared that will help the private sector deal with the problem without facing a rash of lawsuits. The Senate also will take up bills on the Federal Aviation Administration, juvenile crime, bankruptcy reform, financial services reform, a second , - round of changes in welfare programs and fast-track trade authority for the president, Lott said. He predicted that much time and debate will be spent working out differences with the administration on such major issues as Social Security reform, saving Medicare and protecting consumer rights from health care abuses. Lott said Republicans would press for an across-the-board tax rate cut and would oppose administration plans to raise tobacco taxes or spend the budget surplus on Medicare and other programs. 'Lott said it was unlikely that electricity deregulation will pass this year and added that "the idea of this global warming treaty is going nowhere. ' , Copyright 1999 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.