Republican riders toppled

  Facing growing disgust from the American public as well as inner-party revolt, Republican congressional leaders abandoned riders that stalled a flood relief bill for more than a month.

President Clinton vetoed an early bill because it contained several unrelated measures - one of which would have opened public lands to road building. He blamed Republican sponsors for withholding money from flood-ravaged states (HCN, 5/26/97).

As pressure mounted and moderate Republicans began to break rank, GOP leaders did an about-face. On June 16, both the House and Senate easily passed a clean bill that will provide $5.6 billion to 35 states.

"It's unfortunate that it had to be so sloppy and ugly," Republican Rep. Bob Livingston of Louisiana told CongressDaily. "But now, it's over."

* Greg Hanscom

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