Egg Hunt Hatches a Jobs Controversy

EVEN Easter doesn't provide a respite from partisan politics these days.

President Clinton pointed to children at the White House Easter egg roll on Monday and declared "they are the hostages" of a Republican filibuster against a $16.3 billion jobs bill.

The statement was part of a White House strategy to turn up the heat on Senate Republicans, who have stalled the legislation. A small part of the bill - $300 million - is for immunizing toddlers against childhood diseases. Most of the money is for building bridges and roads and a summer jobs program for teenagers.

Senate Republicans, who charge that the package is mostly pork, were less than happy with the president's Easter lobbying.

Senate minority leader Robert Dole (R) of Kansas issued a statement saying, "It's a shame President Clinton has resorted to using the children at the Eastern egg hunt as a partisan political backdrop to hatch a new excuse for his so-called stimulus package." Another casualty of peace?

The Arms Control and Disarmament Agency may be going the way of the cold-war conflict that produced it. Begun under the Kennedy administration, the agency has coordinated United States government activities on arms control and helped in the negotiation of several arms agreements, including SALT I and II.

But now some critics say it has outlived its usefulness. "It is an anachronism in the post-cold-war world," says Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) of Utah. On the other side of the argument, the State Department's inspector general and a handful of Democratic members of Congress are lobbying to save the agency.

The State Department is reviewing three options: Revitalize the agency, absorb it into the department, or change its mission to the implementation and verification of arms control pacts.

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