Congress Leaders OK Spending Pact

Thursday, June 22nd 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) — House and Senate leaders broke a long spending logjam on Thursday, agreeing to free $12 billion in long-delayed funds to help Colombia's war on drugs, pay for U.S. troops in Kosovo and provide natural disaster relief.

The agreement came as the Senate voted to approve a $13.4 billion foreign aid bill.

The legislation contained just under $1 billion in anti-narcotics assistance to Colombia. However, under the new agreement that amount will now be increased to $1.3 billion.

That would bring it closer to a $1.7 billion Colombia package approved by the House in March.

House and Senate leaders planned to take the entire $12 billion spending package — some of it to reimburse victims of last September's Hurricane Floyd — and attach it to a popular military construction spending bill.

House Speaker Dennis Hastert hopes the spending package can be approved in the House next week, said Hastert spokesman John Feehery.

John Czwartacki, a spokesman for Lott, said a Senate final vote was also possible next week.