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Senate votes to privatize its food service

Senate votes to privatize its food service
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-CA, on December 11, 2007. (UPI Photo/Roger L. Wollenberg) | License Photo

WASHINGTON, June 9 (UPI) -- The U.S. Senate has approved a measure to privatize its money-losing, publicly subsidized network of restaurants.

The financial condition prompted the move to take the publicly subsidized Senate Restaurants, as the network is officially known, private or face seeking a $250,000 taxpayer subsidy to meet July's payroll, The Washington Post reported Monday.

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The Senate last week OK'd a bill that would privatize its food service operation. The House -- which privatized its food services in the 1980s -- is expected to approve the measure. Senate Restaurants has been profitable seven of its 44 years in business, a Government Accounting Office report said.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Rules and Administrations Committee chairwoman, said she didn't think taxpayers should subsidize the food operation.

"There are parts of government that can be run like a business and should be run like businesses," Feinstein told the Post.

Sen. Robert Menendez , D-N.J., speaking for senators opposed to the measure, said, "you cannot stand on the Senate floor and condemn the privatization of workers, and then turn around and privatize the workers here in the Senate and leave them out on their own."

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