Activities at the August 13 Wednesday Strategy
Lunch chaired by Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation.
Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation commented on Speaker Gingrich's appointment of liberal Pennsylvania Republican Jim Greenwood to replace Rep. Bill Paxon as chairman of the House GOP's leadership group. Weyrich believes the appointment "enshrines" what, he said, had already become apparent to many: in the 105th Congress, it's the moderate and liberal GOP House members who are setting the agenda. Contact Paul Weyrich at 202/546-3000.
Norm Singleton of the office of Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) briefly discussed HR 1816, the Family Education Freedom Act, which promises a $3,000 per child tax credit to cover the costs of educating their children. The credit would apply regardless of whether children are home-schooled, attend a private or parochial school, or a public school. Contact Norm Singleton at 202/225-2831.
Curt Markva of the office of Rep. Don Manzullo (R-IL) and Steve Jones of the office of Rep. Ernest Istook (R-OK) commented on the Istook-Manzullo amendment to HR 2264, the Labor/HHS appropriations bill. According to Markva and Jones, the amendment is needed to change Title X of the Public Health Service Act to require parental notification of children receiving contraceptive drugs or devices. Markva relayed a compelling story of a 14-year-old girl in Rep. Manzullo's district whose health suffered after receiving injections of the controversial contraceptive Depo Provera at a publicly funded health clinic without her parents' knowledge. The girl began receiving the injections at the prompting of the 37-year-old gym teacher who initiated sexual contact with the girl. The Istook/Manzullo amendment also contains provisions requiring Title X clinics to comply with state laws requiring notification or the reporting of child abuse, child molestation, sexual abuse, rape, or incest. Contact Curt Markva at 202/225-5676 or Steve Jones at 202/225-2132.
Brandi Laperriere of Senator Abraham's office discussed the Family Impact Statement Act of 1997 (S. 891). The Act would reinstate President Reagan's 1987 Executive Order that required federal agencies to consider the impact on families when drafting federal regulations. President Clinton revoked the Reagan order earlier this year. For more information, contact Brandi Laperriere at 202-224-3807.
House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX), Senators Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), Dan Coats (R-IN), and Sam Brownback (R-KS) have introduced the "District of Columbia Student Opportunity Scholarship Act of 1997" to grant scholarships to nearly 2,000 low-income students in the District of Columbia to attend a public or private school of their choice.
Some provisions include:
1) Students whose family incomes are below the poverty line may receive a scholarship of up to $3,200. Students whose family incomes are above the poverty line but below 185 percent of the poverty level may receive the lesser of 75 percent of tuition or $2,400. Figures are indexed to inflation.
2) The legislation creates a seven-member private, nonprofit corporation to administer the scholarship program to bypass local and federal bureaucracies. One board member is appointed by the District's mayor and the other six are chosen by the President from a list submitted by the Speaker of the House and Majority Leader in the Senate. Board members are not allowed to work for the government.
3) The scholarships may be used for tuition costs at a public or private school in D.C. and adjacent counties in Maryland and Virginia. Scholarships of $500 are available to students attending public school in D.C. receiving tutoring assistance.
A National Center for Public Policy Research National Policy Analysis paper explaining the proposal in more detail and interviews with members of the African-American leadership group Project 21 are available.
Contact Arturo Silva at (202) 507-6398 or [email protected] or visit http://www.project21.org/NPA168.
The National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) has uncovered yet another case of the federally-funded Legal Services Corporation using taxpayer funds to impose a political agenda that circumvents public opinion.
According to NLPC, California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA), a major grant recipient of the federal Legal Services Corporation, filed a lawsuit against Orange County, California for its recent decision to discontinue bilingual education. CRLA claimed that ending bilingual education violates the right of Spanish-speaking students to an equal education, and further claimed that it was undertaking this action in the interest of Hispanic parents. However, a recent Los Angeles Times poll showed that 83% of Latino parents in Orange County favor English language instruction as soon as their children begin school. In fact, says the NLPC, Latino parents are so strongly opposed to bilingual education that 70 immigrant families in Los Angeles last year boycotted the public schools because the schools refused to put their children in English-only classes.
The NLPC says the CRLA lawsuit demonstrates yet "another example of the failure of reforms to de-politicize federal legal services. Just like Texas Rural Legal Aid which sued [against] the right of military personnel to vote by absentee ballot and the numerous other grantees who are thwarting drug-related evictions from public housing, CRLA refuses to abandon its historic dedication to political activism. How much more evidence is needed to get rid of LSC?"
Contact John Carlisle of NLPC at 703/847-3088.
An international conference on global warming featuring preeminent climate scientists, political leaders and journalists entitled "Countdown to Kyoto: The Consequences of Mandatory Global CO2 Emission Reductions" was held August 19-21 in Canberra, Australia. Co-sponsored by the Frontiers of Freedom Institute, a U.S. foundation established by former Senator Malcolm Wallop, and the Australian APEC Study Center, the conference featured presentations from U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE), Professor John Christy of the University of Alabama (an expert on satellite data), U.S. Representative John Dingell (D-MI), Professor Jeremy Rabkin of Cornell, Professor Patrick Michaels of the University of Virginia, retired Senator Malcolm Wallop (R-WY), syndicated columnist Alston Chase, and others. Conference speakers are available for interviews. Contact Jeanne Ferullo at Frontiers of Freedom at 703/527-8282 for more information or to arrange interviews. *