Civil Rights: The Dems Give An Inch, The Gop Wants Nine Yards

On the surface, it would seem that congressional Democrats and the Administration are heading toward a typically Bushian compromise on civil rights. On May 21, Democratic leaders unveiled a watered-down bill designed to meet two key Republican objections to the antidiscrimination measure: It puts a $150,000 cap on punitive damages for most victims of job discrimination, and it prohibits the use of racial quotas in hiring. In fact, the new bill is awfully close to President Bush's own legislation.

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