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Gripes Get Their Day In Congress


Up Front: NEWTONIAN ECONOMICS

GRIPES GET THEIR DAY IN CONGRESS

REGULATIONS RUN AMOK ARE a Gingrichite pet peeve. So the new Republican majority plans a monthly Corrections Day, when local governments and businesses can ask the House for relief. The Senate, which must concur in any rule-axing, is mulling a similar move. Its point man on regs, Senator Don Nickles (R-Okla.), likes the idea. The first Corrections Day, decried by environmentalists and liberals as gutting vital public safeguards, will take place in early spring. Meanwhile, the House expects to vote Feb. 24 to freeze new rules.

House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) got the Correction Day notion after San Diego complained about Washington's forcing it to undertake a $10 billion sewage-plant upgrade. The gripe: Treated effluent must be pure enough to dump into a lake, but the city pours its wastewater into the Pacific. While the feds cut San Diego some slack, they say they must be fair to other cities.

Another endangered rule: A large crew (7,400) of federal meat inspectors must eyeball carcasses. Critics want to switch to less labor-intensive, more accurate microbial testing--which the feds agree with.EDITED BY LARRY LIGHT, WITH RUTH COXETER Mary Beth Regan


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