Congress took most of the month of January off, and when it returned to the business of the nation, the Enron bankruptcy captured its attention. A multitude of congressional committees undertook to explore the whys and wherefores of the collapse. The Democrats sought ties between Enron, President Bush and Vice President Cheney.
After a 10-day recess in mid-February, Congress returned to tackle a few of the pending major issues that have been subjected to heavy bipartisan views. The House passed its version of a campaign reform bill that sought to define the limitations of “hard” and “soft” money contributions. In the provisions of this bill, large, unregulated soft money donations would be banned by corporations, unions and individuals.
In the upheaval over the remarks by ex-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), who learned to fly as a teenager, was named as his replacement.
Although Lott (R-Miss.) resigned his post as leader, he remains in the Senate and has muscled his way into the chairmanship of the Senate aviation subcommittee, displacing Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), who was thought to be in line for the position.
• So, President George W. Bush won the election and will serve four more years in the White House. Cabinet changes are the subject of speculation, but Department of Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta’s name has not surfaced as of press time. Troubled by back problems, Mineta may or may not stay on.