The National Center for Public Policy Research
Amy Moritz, President
20 F Street NW, Suite 700 * Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 507-6398 * Fax (301) 498-1301
Activities at the March 15 Wednesday Strategy Lunch chaired by House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-TX), Rep. Ernest Istook (R-OK), and Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation. Sponsored by Coalitions for America (202/546-3003).
* House GOP Prepares Child Support Enforcement Proposal
Rep. Steve Largent (R-OK) reviewed the child support enforcement proposal he is working on, which will be proposed next week by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry Hyde (R-IL). "[Child support enforcement] is a personal passion of mine," said Largent. "My Mom chased my Dad over 3 or 4 states when I was a kid, and I can tell you the child support situation is worse today than then." Rep. Largent reviewed problems with the current system and details about the proposal for reform. Contact Rep. Largent's office at 202/225-2211.
* Term Limits: New Bill Calls For 12 Years, But Permits States to Shorten the Limits Even More
Rep. Van Hilleary (R-TN) reviewed H.J.R. 76, a bill to set national term limits of 12 years each for the House and Senate while also protecting existing state laws setting shorter term limits. The bill differs from other term limits proposals in that it explicitly protects the right of states to enact shorter term limits than Congress adopts. Hilleary distributed 6 pages of background information, including a Dear Colleague letter, a copy of the bill, a summary sheet with list of endorsements (including United We Stand America, the National Taxpayers Union, Citizens Against Government Waste and others), a list of co-sponsors and more. Rep. Tim Hutchinson (R-AR) strongly endorsed Hilleary's "desire to protect states' perogatives to limit terms more restrictively [than the Congress] if they see fit." Contact Rep. Hilleary's office at 202/225-6831 or Rep. Hutchinson's office at 202/225-4301.
* Welfare Will Work Better At State Level, Says Congressman Who Knows
Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA) reviewed the House Republican welfare reform proposal and why he, a former state legislator, believes welfare would be more effective if administered on the state level. Contact Rep. Hastings' office at 202-225-5816.
* House GOP Will Pay for Tax Cut, Congressman Says, Calls for Leaving Funds With "Moms & Dads"
Rep. Tim Hutchinson (R-AR) reviewed the House GOP $500 tax cut proposal, saying "We're paying for it; we're dealing with deficit reduction... we need to leave this money in the hands of Moms and Dads." The plan calls for a $500 tax credit per child for families making $200,000 or less; allowing use of IRAs for first-time home purchases and educational and medical expenses; a 50% capital gains tax deduction for individuals with indexing for inflation; an adoption tax credit; a tax credit for the cost of caring for a disabled or mentally-impaired parent, grandparent or great-grandparent; greater deductions for home offices, and more. Contact Rep. Tim Hutchinson's office (R-AR) at 202/225-4301.
* Administration Threatens to Withhold Medicaid Funding to Some States In Dispute Over Wording of Law
Rep. Ernest Istook (R-OK), House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-TX), and Rep. Bill Baker (R-CA) recapped the fate of the Istook Amendment, which proponents were (at least temporarily) forced to drop March 14. The Istook Amendment was designed to clarify the meaning of the 103rd Congress' Hyde Amendment (which bans state use of federal funds for abortion except in cases of rape, incest or life of the mother) so the Clinton Administration will not withhold Medicaid funding from states that do not wish to fund abortion. The issue: the Clinton Administration says the Hyde Amendment forces states to fund some abortions; Rep. Istook and others say the Hyde Amendment permits states to use federal funds to pay for some abortions, but does not force states to do so. At present, approximately 30 states have laws against funding some abortions, and the Clinton Administration is threatening to withhold the Medicaid funding of these states unless they change their laws. Contact Rep. Istook's office at 202/225-2132, Rep. DeLay's office at 202/225-5951, or Rep. Baker's office at 202/225-1880.
* People Don't Realize How Bad the Federal Deficit Problem Is, Senator Says
Senator Paul Coverdell (R-GA) reviewed the size of various federal government programs vis-a-vis the amount of projected government revenue, saying "[People] do not know the magnitude of the problem." Contact Senator Coverdell's office at 202/224-3643.
Bulletin Board: Publications, press releases, publications and plans of the conservative community, plus information of interest to Scoop readers.
* House Budget Committee Lowers Federal Spending & Recommends $100 Billion in Cuts; Summaries Available
The House Budget Committee on March 16 approved legislation to lower the federal budget's discretionary spending caps, thereby providing $100 billion in spending cuts over five years and, using traditional CBO scoring, $91 billion in deficit reduction over five years. The Budget Committee also released a list of 140 federal program changes to achieve the $100 billion in savings (the House Appropriations Committee will formally detail the cuts). Among the cuts the Budget Committee suggests: $11 billion from foreign aid, $7.6 billion from "corporate welfare," $3.51 billion from the Department of Defense Civilian Workforce, repealing the Davis-Bacon Act to save $2.64 billion, cutting $1.495 billion from various land management agencies in the Departments of Agriculture and interior, and much more. Contact the Budget Committee at 202/226-7270 for information. Members of the African-American leadership group Project 21 can be contacted through at (202) 507-6398.
* A "Racial Spoils System Cannot Co-Exist With Racial Harmony," Says Project 21
Horace Cooper of the African-American leadership group Project 21 and Legislative Counsel to House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX) has written a New Visions Commentary published by The National Center for Public Policy Research on affirmative action and its proposed reevaluation by the Clinton Administration. Cooper's comments include: "...just as electoral prospects motivated the Democrats' original support for quotas and affirmative action, it seems to be the driving force in their reconsideration... Rather than stand by an admittedly indefensible position on affirmative action, President Clinton (demonstrating how he got his reputation for consistency), looks ready to jettison it like a used pair of socks... One of the most contentious issues of the last twenty-five years is being treated by the Democrats as merely a matter for pollsters to decide... Republicans and conservatives like myself have consistently advocated a principled view that all Americans regardless of color, gender or national origin should expect equal treatment before the law and that these factors shouldn't play a role in housing and employment... Guaranteed outcomes are incompatible with opportunity, and a racial spoils system cannot co-exist with racial harmony... It has become increasingly clear that what is being done in the name of affirmative action has been more beneficial for the children of millionaires like Jesse Jackson and Bill Cosby than it has for the children of Harlem or those from inner city Detroit." Contact Project 21 at (202) 507-6398.
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