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"Top News" Continued...

Issue: "False witnesses?," Oct. 5, 2002

5

davis-bacon pork

68 | Senate Republicans and Democrats continue to struggle over the bill creating a Department of Homeland Security. The GOP stalled Sen. Joe Lieberman's amendment that denies the president "management flexibility" in firing or moving incompetent employees. (The Office of Personnel Management notes that it takes 18 months to fire an incompetent employee at the Immigration and Naturalization Service.) This was the issue that was the focus of President Bush's criticism of his opponents. Senate Republicans are up in arms about Sen. Lieberman's plan to squeeze union goodies into the bill by expanding the Davis-Bacon Act-which requires contractors on federal construction projects to pay above-market wages to union workers-to all 22 agencies merged into the new cabinet department, most of which have never been covered by Davis-Bacon. Homeland Security czar Tom Ridge says the plan is "fiscally irresponsible" and could undermine disaster relief.

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