While increasing President Bush's overall request for the Labor-HHS appropriations bill by 8 percent, the House Democratic version cuts by 19.6 percent the Labor Department request for funds to enforce disclosure by labor unions of how they use membership dues.
Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao has tried, against opposition from organized labor, to enforce at long last union disclosures imposed by the 1959 Landrum-Griffin Labor Reform Act. The funding reductions in the House bill would force Chao to cut enforcement personnel and effectively undercut her efforts.
The Democratic bill was put together by Rep. David Obey of Wisconsin, who heads the Labor-HHS subcommittee as well as the full Appropriations Committee. It is one of eight money bills marked for a Bush veto. Rep. James Walsh of New York, the subcommittee's ranking Republican, indicates he will vote to override such a veto.
Read Novak for news on McCain's troubles, and for the suggestion that Giuliani won't take Iowa all that seriously.