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Committees back national service plan

President Clinton's plan to allow students to pay for college with public service work was approved Wednesday by two congressional committees.

The House Education and Labor Committee and the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee approved Clinton's National Service Trust.

Members of the Senate committee had worked out most of their differences before the bill came before the full committee, leaving little disagreement among members. Republicans had been concerned about the potential cost.

Still, Rep. Nancy Kassebaum, R-Kan., who joined two other Republicans in voting against the bill, suggested she might offer a substitute when the measure reaches the Senate sometime after the Fourth of July recess.

Despite its voice vote, the House committee held a more contentious session, in which some Republicans tried to strip the legislation of its health, child care and other expenses for participants.

Clinton has likened the national service program to a domestic Peace Corps, where the nation's youth use skills to improve their own communities. Under the national service concept, students who perform community service could work off up to $10,000 in college tuition.