Senate Votes to Kill
$3,100 Pay Increase
The Senate voted 92 to 6 yesterday to kill next year's $3,100 automatic pay raise in January for all 535 members of Congress in a symbolic gesture as lawmakers debate cutting health care and other programs for the poor to pay some hurricane relief costs. The legislation's fate in the House is unclear.
Congress has approved $62.3 billion in emergency funds since the late-August destruction in Gulf Coast states caused by Hurricane Katrina. The Bush administration may soon ask for tens of billions more as part of a relief and rebuilding effort that some lawmakers have estimated could hit $200 billion.
Members of the House and Senate are paid $162,100 a year. Leaders in each chamber receive extra pay, with House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) getting $208,100.
U.S. Urges Expanded
Sanctions for Sudan
The Bush administration asked the United Nations Security Council to consider expanding sanctions against Sudan, citing Khartoum's failure to crack down on Arab militia responsible for killing tens of thousands of black African civilians in the Darfur region, U.N. Ambassador John R. Bolton told Congress.
Bolton said in testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that better enforcement of a U.N. arms embargo "warrants very close consideration" and suggested that the 15-nation council should consider "possibly extending the sanctions more broadly, because it's obviously not sufficient."
Darfur faces increasing chaos and violence. But there has been stiff resistance to tougher sanctions from Algeria, Russia and China, which threatened to exercise veto power to block a U.S.-backed embargo on Sudan's oil industry.
At a hearing on the United Nations, Bolton said the administration supports legislation to authorize the president to withhold 50 percent of U.S. contributions to the United Nations if he determines that the world body is not moving to improve accountability.
Two Federal Workers'
Security clearances were revoked for a Coast Guard employee and a former Coast Guard captain who works for the Transportation Security Administration as investigators probe allegations they warned family and friends about a threat against the New York City subway system three days before the official announcement.
The workers were identified after officials began looking into the source of e-mails alluding to the threat that circulated before New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R) went public Oct. 6 after an overseas informer said there was a plot to bomb the system.
The e-mails apparently started with a relative of one worker and a friend of another, who passed on information warning against using the subway system, said two federal officials familiar with the Department of Homeland Security's investigation.
-- Compiled from staff and news reports