HOUSE Consumer Product Safety
The House approved, 298 to 81, a measure reauthorizing the Consumer Product Safety Commission. It requires the CPSC to employ on a permanent basis the full-time equivalent of 568 officers and employes. The provision would have the effect of freezing personnel levels at the level proposed by the Office of Managment and Budget for fiscal 1986.
It instructs the commission to notify Congress of new regulations and prohibits the implementation of such regulations for 90 days. During that period, Congress could pass a joint resolution, which would have to be signed by the president, disapproving proposed regulations.
The bill authorizes $37 million for fiscal 1986, $38 million for fiscal 1987 and $39 million for fiscal 1988. The Senate has passed its version. (HR3456; Feb. 6) Federal Employes Benefits
The House approved, by voice vote, a measure revising federal workers' health insurance benefits. The measure amends the Federal Employes Health Benefit Plan and makes all enrollees, including federal retirees, eligible to receive refunds from health insurance companies which take part in the plan. The bill requires comprehensive health plans to include at least three physicians who receive a substantial portion of their income from the prepaid funds and who have at least one appropriate medical specialty.
And the bill requires the Office of Personnel Management to study and report to Congress on the provision of direct payments to nonphysician health providers, such as nurse practitioners and chiropractors. It also instructs OPM to study the adequacy of information services to FEHBP participants. (HR4061; Feb. 3) Committee funding
The House approved, 385 to 11, a resolution authorizing $43.6 million to finance House committees for the second session of the 99th Congress. The funding is $4.4 million less than the funding for the first session. (HJRes 368; Feb. 5) Arms Sales Controls
The House approved, by voice vote, legislation revising the congressional veto provisions of the Arms Control Act by requiring the enactment of a joint resolution requiring a presidential signature to reject arms sales rather than a concurrent resolution of disapproval, which includes only congressional action. The legislation responds to a Supreme Court decision rejecting as unconstitutional the legislative-veto procedure of executive action under the concurrent resolution. (S1831; Feb. 3)