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Changes to welfare reform rejected

The Senate rejected a measure Friday that would have changed the Republican welfare plan and allowed children to continue receiving some federal help after their parents are cut off.

Fifty-one senators voted for the measure introduced by Democrat John Breaux of Louisiana _ nine short of the 60 needed to pass an amendment that exceeds spending limits.

The vote came on the second day of debate on a Republican plan that would replace various welfare programs with a single block grant, giving states more say over how the money is spent. The Senate expects to finish the bill next week.

The House voted 256-170 to approve its plan Thursday.

Under the Republican plan, welfare recipients would be required to find jobs within two years of joining the program and most participants would be cut off after time limits are reached.

States could deny federal money to mothers who have more children while on welfare.

Republicans said their plans would save nearly $60-billion over six years.

Democrats generally were unsuccessful Friday in attracting enough votes for amendments that they said would soften what they viewed as an unnecessarily harsh cutback.

Senate panel okays pay raise

WASHINGTON _ Congress would get a cost-of-living raise, federal employees would receive insurance coverage for abortions and the IRS would suffer a deep budget cut under spending legislation a Senate panel approved Friday.

Similar legislation cleared by the House would deny a 2.3 percent raise to lawmakers, federal judges and senior Clinton administration officials.

With Friday's vote, the Senate Appropriations Treasury subcommittee deleted the pay freeze that Republicans added to the House version.

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