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February 25, 1999 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-02-25

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2A- The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 25, 1999
Military receives pay increase

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate voted over-
whelmingly yesterday to give the nation's military the
biggest benefits increase since the early 1980s, includ-
ing an across-the-board 4.8 percent pay increase with
further boosts in future years.
The pay raise for the nation's 1.4 million active-duty
military is half a percentage point more generous than
one proposed earlier this month by President Clinton.
It was approved 91-8
Republican leaders said they wanted the first Senate
bill passed this year to telegraph support for U.S.
troops, particularly in light of a possible new deploy-
ment to Kosovo - even if it wasn't known exactly
how the package would be financed.
"This is the right way to begin this year" said
Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) "It
comes at a time when we're asking more and more of
our military with less and less. It would be insanity for
us not to do this bill, and do it now."
The package, which now goes to the House, would
also boost retirement and educational benefits under
the GI bill.

Democrats tried to get the Senate to consider a
series of taxes to pay for the measure, but were turned
back on an 80-20 procedural vote. They then lined up
with Republicans in support of the overall measure.
The pay increase, which would take effect next Jan.
1 for the nation's 1.4 million active-duty military, is
half a percentage point higher than a military pay
increase President Clinton proposed in the fiscal 2000
budget he submitted earlier this month.
That could cost at least $7 billion more during a
five year period than the package Clinton proposed.
Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) complained that the added
cost could rise to $16.5 billion within 10 years.
"That is not the message we want to send to the
American people," Graham said, warning it would
start the United States "down the slippery slope to
more deficits."
He proposed reinstating a series of taxes that had
lapsed, two dealing with the environmental Superfund
cleanup program, another dealing with oil spills and one
having to do with the reporting of foreign tax credits.
But the 80 to 20 procedural vote kept the Senate

from even taking up Graham's proposal.
After the initial 4.8 percent increase under the leg-
islation, service members would get additional raises
in subsequent years of 0.5 percentage point above the
rate of inflation. Clinton's measure calls for an initial
4.4 percent increase next Jan. 1, to be followed by 3.9
percent increases in each of the next four years.
The Senate legislation, like the administration bill,
would also allow for additional targeted pay raises to
reward performance.
Voting no on the final bill were five Democrats and
three Republicans: Sens. Christopher Dodd (D-
Conn.), Richard Durbin (D-1ll.), Graham, Joseph
Lieberman (D-Conn.), Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), Don
Nickles (R-Okla.), and George Voinovich (R-Ohio).
Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.) did not vote.
Sen. John Warner (R-Va.) chair of the Senate
Armed Services Committee, said that even though the
bill was costly, it would "send a signal to the men and
women of the armed services that this is the type of
priority that we attach to their pay, retirement and
other benefits."

GOP might exceed spending limits
WASHINGTON --The new House speaker signaled yesterday that Republicans
might exceed spending limits enacted two years ago with President Clinton, plac-
ing the GOP in the politically ticklish position of evading strictures aimed at
shrinking government.
"I'm not saying we're going to bust them or not bust them," Speaker Dennis
Hastert (R-Ill.) said.
Some top Republican aides went further, saying that in private consul*
tions, the House GOP seemed to be moving toward surpassing the spending
limits for fiscal 2000 by billions of dollars. The aides said no decision has
been made.
The budget Clinton sent Congress this month claimed to obey the limits for fis-
cal 2000, which begins Oct. 1. But Republicans have accused him of breaking
those caps by paying for extra expenditures with higher tobacco taxes, user fees
and other savings.
The spending issue is among several in which Clinton's budget attempts to cor-
ner Republicans as Congress begins crafting a 2000 budget. He has proposed using
hundreds of billions of dollars in projected budget surpluses to shore up Social
Security and Medicare, two widely supported programs, daring them to use sot e
of that money for tax cuts the GOP wants.


Continued from Page 1A
in 1996 concerning contract negotiations.
Aubrey also said he lacked confi-
dence in GEO's leadership and claimed
he was not the only member of the
organization who was feeling doubtful
of the bargaining team.
"There is a growing perception

V V f - _


among some of the members that the
leadership is out of touch with the aver-
age graduate student, that they are not
advocating so much for our interests as
they are zealously defending their own
agenda;' Aubrey said.
But GEO bargaining team member
Lisa Kellmeyer said she and her team
were only arguing the issues the mem-
bership supported.
"We are driven at the bargaining table
by what goes on with you," Kellmeyer
said. "We can only push at the table
what (the members) are willing to push
GEO Steering Committee and Strike
Committee member Cedric DeLeon
added that the GEO members, not the
leadership, came up the proposals cur-
rently being debated with the University.
He added many members suffered from a
misconception of negotiations.
"What do we do when the University
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says no to everything?" DeLeon asked.
"What do we do when the University
says 'Drop dead, we don't have respect
for you, you're just a bunch of kids'?
Do we lay down and die or do we stand
up for what we believe in?"
After the membership meeting con-
cluded, the GEO stewards convened to
discuss the issues most important to the
organization. GEO spokesperson Chip
Smith said the stewards planned on
assembling a package composed of the
"must-haves, the walkout issues" to
present at today's negotiation session.
After being made aware of which
issues are most essential to GEO's
membership, Eyster said the University
will have until midnight on March 14 to
compromise with GEO before an open-
ended strike occurs.
Chief University Negotiator Dan
Gamble could not be reached for com-
Continued from Page 1A
to educate people about how they can
prevent different forms of cancer,
including skin cancer.
"USAC really wants to encourage
people to use sun block over spring
break," Sripaipan said.
But the group is not only concerned
with fighting skin cancer. USAC mem-
bers said they want people to understand
the seriousness of all forms of cancer.
Last semester, USAC held the annu-
al "Smoke Out" - a day dedicated to
stomping out smoking - to bring
awareness to the dangers of cigarettes.
In addition to hosting various events,
USAC also does fundraising for Mott
Children's Hospital, the Ronald
McDonald House and Special Days
Camp - where children with cancer
can spend time during the summer.
Through fundraising, USAC helps to
fund the cost for the camp.
Recently, USAC held a meal skip -
a chance for students to donate a meal
credit for charity - which raised
$2,500 for the camp.
Members said another upcoming
event that will raise money for Special
Days Camp is cancer awareness week,
which will be held the week of March
LSA junior Andrea Morrow said she
wants everyone to take part in the fes-
tivities. "We really want a lot of people
to be involved with cancer awareness
week, it's a great event," Morrow said.
Morrow added that the highlight of
the week will take place Sunday, March
21 - the final event of the festivities.
At 10:30 a.m., participants will take
over the streets of Ann Arbor in either a
5K race or a two mile walk.
"I'm really looking forward to the
run; I organized that event and it will be
a lot of fun:' Morrow said.
In hopes of informing the University
community about the effects of cancer,
USAC has developed a motto, "Our
vision is for USAC to be a social and
supportive community that uses our
resources and enthusiasm effectively in
the battle against cancer"
USAC holds monthly meetings to
plan their events. They also provide a
support group for students.
Any student interested in getting
involved with the organization can con-
tact USAC President Craig Cucinella at

More than 12 unions
sue tobacco Industry
NEW YORK - The tobacco indus-
try is under attack on yet another legal
front: Unions are suing for billions of
dollars to recover the costs of treating
sick smokers.
The first of more than a dozen such
lawsuits went to trial in federal court
this week in Akron, Ohio, with 114
Ohio union health funds demanding $2
billion and accusing Big Tobacco of
using images like Joe Camel and the
Marlboro Man to sell cigarettes to less-
educated, blue-collar workers.
"The tobacco industry was aware
that people with lower incomes and
less education are more susceptible to
the advertising," said Mike Withey, an
attorney for the plaintiffs.
The health funds in the 1997 class-
action suit are led by Iron Workers
Local Union No. 17 Insurance Fund.
The tobacco companies contend
there is nothing illegal about their
advertising. However, one defendant,
the Liggett Group, an industry maver-


Rebel leaders mixed
on peace talks
PRISTINA, Yugoslavia - A split
within the rebel army fighting for the
independence of Kosovo became evi-
dent yesterday, as several senior rebel
commanders present at peace talks in
France indicated they supported the
tentative accord while a group of hard-
liners appeared to be preparing to try to
scuttle the deal.
The division of views raises the
prospect that even if a majority of the
rebel commanders endorse the agree-
ment in the next two weeks, a militant
minority might actively oppose it by
refusing to disarm and by threatening
any cease-fire.
18 days of negotiations between eth-
nic Albanians and Serbian government
officials in France ended Tuesday with
the ethnic Albanians saying they sup-
ported the agreement in principle. But
they said they needed until March 15 to
gauge popular reaction in Kosovo
before signing the accord, which would
give the province's ethnic Albanian

ick, settled and plans to cooperate with
the unions case.
Over the years, plaintiffs suing the
tobacco industry have run the gamut:
flight attendants; the nations of
Guatemala, Panama and Bolivia; a
pediatrician with emphysema who is a
lead plaintiff in a $200 billion cla
action suit on behalf of Florida smt
CIA: Russia
vulnerable for YK2
WASHINGTON - Russian mis-
siles, Chinese power systems and
Mideast shipping could all face break-
downs becausemany foreign countries
are failing to face up to the seriousn
of the Year 2000 computer problem,t
CIA told Congress yesterday.
Air Force Gen. John Gordon, CIA
deputy director, told a Senate Armed
Services Committee hearing that
Russia appears particularly vulnerable,
raising concerns about the safety of its
missiles, nuclear plants and gas


majority political autonomy, but not
independence, from Serbia.
Even if most of Kosovo's ethnic
Albanian civilians support the propos-
al, gaining the endorsement of an esti-
mated 10,000 or so guerrillas in
Kosovo Liberation Army - whichlf
been waging a year-long secessionist
war - will be critical to the deal's suc-
61 dead in Cinese
air crash off coast
BEIJING - All 61 passengers and
crew members aboard a China
Southwest Airlines flight were kill
yesterday when their Russian-bui t
aircraft crashed into a vegetable field
and exploded, official sources said.
Investigators have not determined the
cause of the crash. A resident of a tiny
village, where flight 4509 fell just
minutes before reaching the airport,
said she felt the ground rumble and
heard a enormous blast at around 4
- Compiled from Daily wire repor*

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NEWS Jennifer Yachnin, Managing Editor
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