House Majority Whip Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) discussed two policy statements he's recently made, one on delaying tax cuts until the federal budget is balanced and the other advocating impeachment of activist federal judges. On taxes, DeLay said his concern was that negotiations with the White House over tax cuts could force Congress to agree to White House nanny state targeted tax cuts, whereas if Congress and the White House were to balance the budget first Congress would be in a stronger position to cut taxes without micro-managing the lives of Americans. On judicial impeachment, DeLay called for reigning in judges who use their power to promote specific political outcomes, such as a judge in Texas who decided to overturn an election by throwing out the votes of active duty military personnel on the grounds that the soldiers voted absentee. For copies of news articles on these issues contact Amy Ridenour at 202/543-4110 or [email protected]. Contact Rep. Tom DeLay via Susan Hirshmann at 202/225-0197 or [email protected].
Rep. Cass Ballenger (R-NC) discussed H.R. 1, the Working Families Flexibility Act, which is scheduled for a vote March 19. The act amends the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 so private sector employees have the option (as federal workers already do) of receiving paid time off as compensation for working overtime. The goal is to make it legally possible for, for example, a parent to work overtime one day in order to receive paid time off on another day to attend a function at their child's school. Labor unions are strongly opposed to this bill, said Ballenger, and about 25 House Republicans are expected to vote against it. Therefore, he said, if the bill is to pass the House, some Democrats must be convinced to support it. After Dick Dingman of the Free Congress Foundation asked: "Why do the unions not want parents to go to meetings at the schools of their kids?," meeting participants speculated that unions oppose the bill because they'd rather win this concession themselves in order to get credit for it. Rep. Mark Neumann (R-WI) noted that Republicans need to get the facts about the bill out to union households so they will realize that voting for this bill is not an anti-worker vote. A fact sheet is available from Amy Ridenour at 202/543-4110 or [email protected] and is on the Internet at http://www.nationalcenter.org/WorkingFamilies.html. Contact Rep. Ballenger at 202/225-2576 or [email protected].
Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) announced that he is re-introducing his "Pay for Performance" legislation from the last Congress. "Pay for Performance" would decrease the salary of Members of the House and Senate, and the president's retirement pay, if the budget is not balanced. "The one performance I think most people are gauging us by is our ability to balance the budget." Bartlett, whose bill requires that the budget be balanced without tax increases, says "Younger members of Congress sign on [to be co-sponsors] pretty willingly. Older Members of Congress... don't." Contact Rep. Bartlett via Jim Backlin at 202/225-2721.
Joel Rosenberg of Steve Forbes's new "message tank," Americans for Hope, Growth and Opportunity (AHGO), gave a presentation about commercials AHGO is running. There are commercials supporting a ban on partial-birth abortions (running for the second week on 600 stations nationwide), supporting the Armey-Shelby flat rate income tax (600 stations), supporting Governor Carlson's "Student First" education plan (Minnesota stations) and endorsing a state tax reduction plan in Iowa (Iowa stations). AHGO is also distributing a statement by Steve Forbes urging the Republican leadership to "retake the high ground," and offering specific suggestions on how to do it. Copies are available. Contact Joel Rosenberg at 703/925-9281 or [email protected] (http://www.AHGO.org).
Keith Rupp of the staff of Rep. Helen Chenoweth (R-ID) discussed Rep. Chenoweth's H.R. 752, the Citizen Fair Hearing Act. H.R. 752 would give human beings the right to seek judicial review of government decisions made under the Endangered Species Act. This law is necessary, backers say, because in the recent case of Bennet v. Plenart the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Arizona, Alaska, Hawaii and Guam) ruled that only persons acting on behalf of expanded protections for endangered species have the right to file for a judicial review of a government action under ESA. This effectively means that humans concerned about any other unlawful action of a federal agency taken under ESA have no right to protest to their government. Bennet v. Plenart is currently being appealed to the Supreme Court, but the Clinton Administration is asking the Court to dismiss the plaintiffs from the case without rendering a decision on whether the decision is correct or not. H.R. 752 was marked up by the full House Resources Committee on March 12 and is headed for the House floor. Rupp distributed a 3-page fact sheet. Contact Keith Rupp at 202/225-6611 or [email protected].
The National Center for Public Policy Research is questioning
the National Transportation Safety Board's decision to use a key
player in Dateline NBC's 1992 fraudulent television truck explosion,
Byron Bloch, as an expert witness before a hearing on automobile
airbags during the week of March 17.
Despite being invited to testify as an expert witness in a government hearing designed to provide information to keep Americans safe, Byron Bloch, whose main occupation seems to be renting himself out to trial lawyers as a witness, is not a scientist, engineer, or former auto company employee. He claims to hold a B.A. and M.A. in industrial design from UCLA, but UCLA says he was an art major. More chilling to those who hope the NTSB will learn something useful to protect American families, though, is Bloch's record of giving advice to Dateline NBC, where he was highly influential in persuading NBC to conceal the fact that rockets were used to ignite a truck fire in order to create the impression for viewers that the fire was caused by a faulty design in GM truck gasoline tanks. Bloch's participation in the rigged-explosion incident occurred while he was serving as a professional trial lawyer witness in a lawsuit against GM.
"It was bad enough that Dateline NBC misled the American people," said Amy Ridenour, president of The National Center for Public Policy Research, "but should the public have to put up with government policies based on the same kind of deceptive information? Absolutely not!" Contact Amy Ridenour at 202/543-4110 or [email protected]. *
Scoop is published by The National Center for Public Policy Research to provide information about the activities of the conservative movement. Coverage of a meeting or statement in Scoop does not imply endorsement by The National Center for Public Policy Research. Copyright 1997 The National Center for Public Policy Research. Reprints of articles in Scoop permitted provided source is credited. ###
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