Peter Flaherty of Citizens for Reform discussed his group's
efforts to eliminate funding the Legal Services Corporation, the
federal legal assistance program for the poor that is used by
left to advance their political agenda. The group has targeted
key lawmakers for grassroots pressure and will be conducting a
daily campaign to eliminate LSC funding through the end of the
budget process. A "war room" to manage the effort has
been set up. Flaherty has available extensive information about
the LSC's extreme abuses of taxpayer monies, including the book
Harvest of Injustice: Legal Services Vs. the Farmer, written by
Rael Jean Isaac and published in 1996 by the National Legal and
Policy Center. Contact Peter Flaherty at 703/748-1548.
Rep. Helen Chenoweth (R-ID) discussed her recently introduced
constitutional amendment aimed at restoring the Constitution as
the supreme law of the land. Recent court decisions have held
that treaties and executive agreements arranged by the president
are binding on the American people and supersede the Constitution.
Chenoweth's amendment guarantees that "No treaty shall authorize
or permit any foreign power or any international organization
to supervise, control or adjudicate rights of citizens of the
United States enumerated in this Constitution or any other matter
essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of the United States
or the several States." Contact Chad Hyslop at 202/225-6611.
Kevin Kearns of the U.S. Business and Industrial Council, Jeffrey
Bell of the office of Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Frank Gaffney of
the Center for National Security Policy, House Majority Whip Tom
DeLay (R-TX) and others discussed MFN status for China.
Kearns distributed "Made in China?: President Clinton's Failed Trade Policies Toward the People's Republic" and offered several reasons for opposing MFN renewal for the PRC: 1) China imports fewer U.S. products than Belgium or Holland; 2) The U.S. has a $40 billion trade deficit with China, and since the Tianamen Square massacre, U.S. imports of Chinese products has grown 600% but PRC imports of U.S. products has only grown 130%; 3) PRC products entering the U.S. face a 2-6% tariff while U.S. products entering China face 40% tariffs.
Jeffrey Bell made the following points: 1) Declining to renew MFN for China would not severely affect relations between the two nations; 2) Clear evidence exists of Chinese government persecution of Christians, although the U.S. media fails to report this fact; 3) The view that economic growth in China will bring political freedom in China is overstated, although political movements with religious overtones often foster democracy.
Gaffney distributed an op/ed he wrote "Why China's MFN Should Be Undone" for the June 10 Washington Times. The article addresses the national security elements he believes the U.S. should consider as reasons for not renewing MFN.
DeLay said that he views MFN renewal as a freedom issue, believing that Americans should not have their right to sell good restricted. He did agree, however, with MFN opponents that there should be more than one hour of debate on the topic (as there was last year). Marlo Lewis of the Competitive Enterprise Institute and several others present supported DeLay's position, some saying that the U.S. should end economic aid to China, not MFN status.
Contact Kevin Kearns at 202/628-2212, Jeff Bell at 202/225-3765, Frank Gaffney at 202/466-0515, Rep. DeLay at 202/225-0197 and Marlo Lewis at 202/331-1010.
Jim Lucier of Americans for Tax Reform discussed and distributed
information about the encryption issue. According to Lucier, federal
agencies now seek the capability to filter all message traffic
on the Internet and other public networks and to examine content
of interest to them. Lucier said that his group finds what it
terms the "repeated insistence" by the Clinton Administration
that it must be able to read everyone's e-mail in real time while
it is actually transmitted "inexplicable and alarming."
Contact Jim Lucier at 202/785-0266 or [email protected]
Rep. Mark Neumann (R-WI) described his new legislation, the
"National Debt Repayment Act of 1997," which would cap
federal government spending increases at a rate 1% less than the
rate revenue increases. It also would designate that future federal
surpluses be divided between the Social Security Trust Fund, other
government trust funds and tax cuts. Contact Rep. Neumann at 202/225-3031
or [email protected]
John Williams of the staff of Rep. Dan Burton (R-ID) briefed
participants on the status of the House Government Reform and
Oversight Committee's investigation into White House shenanigans.
He distributed a detailed information packet and spoke at length
about the Administration's extensive use of stalling tactics to
delay the probe. Contact John Williams at 202/225-2276.
Chip Walker of the staff of Rep. Bob Barr (R-GA) distributed
information about a press conference the Congressman has scheduled
for June 18 at which Rep. Barr will call for an inquiry of impeachment
against the president and vice president. Contact Chip Walker
at 202/225-2931 or [email protected]
Despite the objections of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, an effort
is now underway by the Princess of Wales, the Red Cross, and Senator
Patrick Leahy (D-VT) to ban the production, stockpiling, or use
of anti-personnel landmines. Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security
Policy discussed how the measure, if enacted, would affect American
troops: "...Recent studies by the Army indicate that American
casualties will increase by some thirty percent if U.S. land forces
are obliged to fight without the use of landmines." Gaffney
noted that the effort to ban the devices, normally used by American
troops for defensive purposes, would only be honored by western
forces, while being ignored by rogue states. Contact Frank Gaffney
Brian Lopina of the Christian Coalition discussed a June 17
move by the Interior Subcommittee of the House Appropriations
Committee to eliminate funding for the National Endowment for
the Arts, except for roughly $10 million in closedown costs. A
move is expected in the full committee to restore funding for
the agency, which has been embroiled in controversy for the funding
of obscene and objectionable projects. Contact Brian Lopina at