Emergency Bill and the Hutchison amendment
Following a controversial debate on the massive emergency supplemental appropriations bill, the Congressional House-Senate Appropriations Conference Committee voted to include the amendment by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas).
This amendment waives the federal government's claim to a substantial portion of the $246 billion settlement reached between the states and the tobacco industry last year. As per this amendment, the Federal government cannot get any of $246 billion tobacco companies owe states under a legal settlement. Given the fact that states have not made any plans to use the settlement money for tobacco control or prevention activities, a federal claim on part of this money would have helped. Tobacco activists are now urging President Clinton to veto the bill.