TOBACCO BILL DIES; BACKERS FALL SHORT IN CRUCIAL SENATE VOTE.Byline: David E. Rosenbaum The New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of Times
The Senate on Wednesday jettisoned broad legislation intended to curb smoking by teen-agers, the most ambitious and contentious measure before Congress, and left almost no hope it could be revived this year.
The bill, which would have raised the price of cigarettes by $1.10 a pack, had been debated on the Senate floor for a month. It was set aside when supporters, mostly Democrats, could not get the 60 votes needed to clear procedural hurdles.
On the crucial vote, 57 senators sought cloture The procedure by which debate is formally ended in a meeting or legislature so that a vote may be taken.
Cloture is a means of terminating a filibuster, which is a prolonged speech on the floor of the Senate designed to forestall legislative action. , a procedure cutting off debate and moving immediately to a final vote on a bill. But that was three votes shy of the 60 needed for cloture.
Democrats promised to bring the matter up again at every opportunity, but they conceded con·cede
v. con·ced·ed, con·ced·ing, con·cedes
1. To acknowledge, often reluctantly, as being true, just, or proper; admit. See Synonyms at acknowledge.
2. they have little chance of success this year.
``It may be that the final vote on this bill occurs on Election Day,'' said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass.
Republican opponents argued that it was not primarily an anti-smoking bill but a tax-and-spend measure.
``This is a massive tax on low-income Americans, and it is used to proliferate pro·lif·er·ate
To grow or multiply by rapidly producing new tissue, parts, cells, or offspring. the bureaucracy of this government,'' declared Sen. John Ashcroft John David Ashcroft (born May 9 1942) is an American politician who was the 79th United States Attorney General. He served during the first term of President George W. Bush from 2001 until 2005. Ashcroft was previously the Governor of Missouri (1985 – 1993) and a U.S. of Missouri.
But Sen. John McCain For McCain's grandfather and father, see John S. McCain, Sr. and John S. McCain, Jr., respectively
John Sidney McCain III (born August 29, 1936 in Panama Canal Zone) is an American politician, war veteran, and currently the Republican Senior U.S. Senator from Arizona. , the maverick Maverick
family name of two brothers, Bret and Bait; self-centered and untrustworthy gentlemen gamblers. [TV: Terrace, II, 80]
See : Gambling Republican from Arizona who was the bill's chief sponsor, had a different view. ``This bill is not about taxes,'' he told the Senate. ``It's about whether we're going to allow the death march of 418,000 Americans a year, who die early from tobacco-related disease, and do nothing.''
President Clinton decried the Senate vote and promised to continue fighting for passage of comprehensive tobacco legislation. And he made it clear that he would use the rejection for partisan purposes in the autumn congressional campaign.
``Needless to say, I am very disappointed that a Republican minority blocked the legislation from being voted on,'' Clinton said in an impromptu A Windows query and reporting tool from Cognos with support for a large variety of databases. It is capable of generating cross tabs for spreadsheets such as Excel, Lotus for Windows and Quattro Pro for Windows. appearance Wednesday evening in the White House briefing room.
``I have been working for three years now to protect our children from the dangers of tobacco,'' he added. ``I want the tobacco lobby and its allies on Capitol Hill to know that from my point of view, this battle is far from over.''
Creating dissension or discord.
Sen. Trent Lott of Mississippi, the Republican leader, said the Senate is so divided on the tobacco issue that it is impossible to produce a bill that would command the 60 votes needed to pass it.
``I can't figure out a way to get a bill that would be credible,'' he declared.
In the vote on cloture, 43 Democrats and 14 Republicans favored it. Forty Republicans and two Democrats from tobacco states, Wendell Ford of Kentucky and Charles Robb of Virginia, voted against it.
Then, the Senate dealt the final blow by voting to send the bill back to the Commerce Committee to repair violations of budget rules. It would have required 60 votes to prevent this from happening, and the supporters fell seven votes short.
House may act
Republican leaders in the House of Representatives have been waiting to see what happens in the Senate before they move on a tobacco bill. They are opposed to ambitious legislation like the Senate bill. The feeling in the House on Wednesday night, however, was that the leaders might still try to pass a less comprehensive alternative.
Rep. Henry Waxman Henry Arnold Waxman (born September 12, 1939 in Los Angeles, California) is an American politician. He has represented California's At-large congressional district (map) in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1975. , D-Los Angeles, who has been the architect of many federal anti-tobacco efforts, issued a statement expressing his disappointment in the Senate's action.
``Senate Republicans caved in to the tobacco industry,'' Waxman said. ``Now we'll take the fight to the House.''
Rep. Howard Berman Howard Lawrence "Howie" Berman (born April 15 1941) has been a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives since 1983, representing the 28th District of California (map). , D-Panorama City, said he is not sure any measure dealing with tobacco will get heard this year.
``When the leadership of both houses dig in as hard as they did on this, there's little chance a Republican Congress will take up any sweeping legislation,'' Berman said.
Rep. Brad Sherman Bradley J. "Brad" Sherman (born October 24 1954) is an American politician. He has been a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives since 1997, representing California's At-large congressional district. , D-Woodland Hills, said he will introduce a new measure taking a different approach than the Senate version, using any revenue from tobacco to reduce the so-called marriage penalty.
``This will at least demonstrate that we can have a tobacco tax and control law that does not increase the size of government and allows us to eliminate the marriage penalty,'' Sherman said.
In addition to raising the price of cigarettes over the next five years, the Years, The
the seven decades of Eleanor Pargiter’s life. [Br. Lit.: Benét, 1109]
See : Time Senate measure would have imposed stiff penalties on cigarette makers if the rate of teen-age smoking did not fall to specified levels, and it would have given the government new authority to regulate tobacco advertising and marketing.
But amendments added in the Senate in the last few weeks would have given a tax break to married couples and established new programs against drug abuse. These measures will die with the overall bill, though they might be added to other legislation before the end of the year.
The Senate began considering the tobacco bill after the major tobacco companies and the attorneys general from 40 states signed a settlement a year ago this Saturday. Under the agreement, the industry would have paid $368.5 billion over the next 25 years and agreed to restraints on tobacco advertising. In return, the tobacco companies would have been given immunity from most lawsuits.
The settlement required congressional action before it could go into effect. Without a federal law, the states are expected to press their multibillion-dollar legal claims against the tobacco companies. Many individuals may also may go to court, especially since a jury in Florida decided last week to find the Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. liable for a smoker's death.
When the Senate bill came out of McCain's committee in April on a 19-to-1 bipartisan vote, its prospects for approval seemed good. But the tobacco companies rebelled and began a national advertising campaign against the bill.
The bill's supporters said that these ads cost tens of millions of dollars and turned the tide.
TOBACCO BILL AT A GLANCE
The tobacco legislation killed by the Senate on Wednesday would have:
Cost tobacco companies at least $516 billion over 25 years.
Raised cigarette prices by $1.10 a pack over five years.
Levied as much as $7 billion a year in penalties on the industry if youth smoking did not drop enough to meet targets.
Approved the Food and Drug Administration's power to regulate nicotine nicotine, C10H14N2, poisonous, pale yellow, oily liquid alkaloid with a pungent odor and an acrid taste. It turns brown on exposure to air. .
Forced tobacco companies to make their research documents public.
Restricted the industry's ability to advertise to minors.
Devoted the money raised by the bill to a variety of efforts smoking-related health care costs borne by the states, disease prevention research, tobacco farmers who change crops and an anti-smoking campaign aimed at teen-agers. Some of the money would also have gone for tax cuts and anti-drug programs.
Given couples with incomes of up to $50,000 a tax deduction Tax deduction
An expense that a taxpayer is allowed to deduct from taxable income.
See deduction. of $3,300, to be gradually phased in and fully effective in 2008. A deduction of one-fourth of the $3,300, or $825, would have been effective in 1999.
Allowed self-employed people to deduct de·duct
v. de·duct·ed, de·duct·ing, de·ducts
1. To take away (a quantity) from another; subtract.
2. To derive by deduction; deduce.
v.intr. the full cost of their health insurance.
Increased funding for drug interdiction The interception of illegal drugs being smuggled by air, sea, or land. See also counterdrug operations. efforts.
Restricted federally backed loans for students convicted of drug possession.
Banned federal financing of needle exchange programs needle exchange program Syringe exchange program Public health Any program intended to slow the spread of AIDS among IV drug users, in which a governmental or charitable agency exchanges sterile needles for dirty, potentially HIV-contaminated needles used by IVDAs .
Daily News Staff Writer Rick Orlov contributed to this report.
Box: TOBACCO BILL AT A GLANCE (see text)