SYNAR BILL HEADED FOR FLOOR, BUT NO VOTE COMING SOON
"Congress fired a couple of warning shots" at baseball
owners and players yesterday, saying that if the season-ending
strike was not ended by next spring, "lawmakers would step in and
do it for them." Players "took comfort" from efforts in the
House by the Judiciary Committee and a Labor subcommittee to
"goad owners into reopening stalled talks." But the players were
also cautioned about their own responsibility to "bargain in good
faith and not continue to rely on Congress for help." The
Judiciary panel approved Rep. Mike Synar's (D-OK) bill that would
enable players to go to court to challenge baseball's antitrust
exemption and try to stop the owners from declaring an impasse
and unilaterally imposing a salary cap (David Hess, PHILADELPHIA
INQUIRER, 9/30). Synar: "The death toll is on for the antitrust
exemption. The question is, do we do it this session or next?"
(Whiteside & Zuckman, BOSTON GLOBE, 9/30). Still, the chances of
Synar's bill moving through both House before adjournment on
October 7 "are still doubtful" (Claire Smith, N.Y. TIMES, 9/30).
Sen. Connie Mack (R-FL), who favors lifting the exemption: "I
don't think we've got the votes to pass it" ("Sports Center,"
OTHER HILL ACTION: Rep. Pat Williams (D-MT) called on an
Education and Labor subcommittee hearing to consider "compulsory
arbitration for the sides." He used the forum to "chide both
sides about their non-negotiations" (Mike Dodd, USA TODAY, 9/30).