House Speaker Thomas Foley says no compromise is in sight with the White House on civil rights legislation, and he expects a House vote on a Democratic-sponsored version this spring.
The House Judiciary Committee voted 24-10 Tuesday to approve the Democratic bill, similar to one President Bush vetoed last year. It rejected the White House's more modest alternative on a voice vote."We think it ought to be enacted in the early months of this session," Foley, D-Wash., said later. He said he expected a vote in April or May.
Foley expressed a willingness to reach a compromise that would avert another veto.
"If the administration showed an interest in moving in the direction of the bill that was vetoed last year, I think that we would be open to a discussion about that. But so far I know of no specific compromise in the works," he said.
Three Republicans on the Judiciary Committee crossed over to vote with the solid Democratic majority in favor of the bill. They were the ranking Republican, Rep. Hamilton Fish Jr. of New York, and Reps. Tom Campbell of California and Steven Schiff of New Mexico.
The bill would roll back six Supreme Court decisions in 1989 that opponents say have made it more difficult to bring job-discrimination cases against employers. It also would broaden the rights of women to sue over sex discrimination and harassment, putting their rights on the same legal footing as race bias cases.