Senators consider creating separate Y2K committee

Senate leaders are considering creating a special committee that would take a lead role in overseeing agencies' and industry's Year 2000 problem, according to sources familiar with the Senate plans.

Sen. Robert Bennett (R-Utah), a member of the Governmental Affairs Committee and chairman of a Senate subcommittee on financial services and technology, broached the topic Wednesday at a meeting of the Washington Year 2000 User Group. He said Senate leadership is expected to make an announcement next week on its plan to strengthen coordination of Year 2000 issues among Senate committees, said sources who attended the meeting.

Bennett would be appointed chairman of the committee and Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) may be named vice-chairman, sources said. Also, committee membership would be split between Republicans and Democrats, sources said.

Bennett spokeswoman Mary Jane Collipriest said plans of the committee are not final and Senate leaders are still discussing their options. "It's still in the talking stages," she said. "It has not been refined yet."

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