Your Inside View to the Strategies and Activities of the Conservative Movement in Washington
Issue 106 * September 18, 1995
The National Center for Public Policy Research Amy Moritz, President 300 Eye Street N.E. Suite 3 * Washington, D.C. 20001 (202) 507-6398 * Fax (301) 498-1301 E-Mail: [email protected]
Activities at the September 13 Wednesday Strategy Lunch chaired by Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation and House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-TX).
Ken Boehm of the National Legal and Policy Center provided a compelling argument for abolishing the federal Legal Services Corporation, and updated participants on Legal Services legislation. In the Senate, Senator Phil Gramm is promoting what Boehm considers to be the best LSC reform option as part of the Commerce, Justice and State Appropriations bill (H.R. 2076) which is scheduled to be voted on September 20-21. In the House, Republican Rep. George Gekas of Pennsylvania's legislation, H.R. 2277, to zero-out the LSC and block grant legal aid money to the states barely made it out of Committee, where its chief competitor was a bill by Rep. Bill McCollum (R-FL) and Rep. Charles Stenholm (D-TX). Boehm called McCollum/Stenholm the "moderate-liberal" LSC bill, saying it contains "light restrictions" on the Legal Services Corporation and is supported by liberal Representatives Charles Schumer (D-NY), Barney Frank (D-MA) and Howard Berman (D-CA). Following some minor amendments supported by the leadership, H.R. 2277 is scheduled to be voted on in the full House on September 25-29. Rep. McCollum responded to Boehm, saying: "I know I'm out of tune with conservative groups on this. It's one of the few times I'm out of tune but I am." McCollum said he had a fundamental disagreement with conservatives about the federal role in this area even though he "doesn't like what [the Legal Services Corporation is] doing; I hate what they are doing." McCollum said he would continue to seek adoption of McCollum/Stenholm by offering an amendment to Gekas' H.R. 2277 on the House floor, but that he intends to vote for H.R. 2277 if his amendment fails. Contact the National Legal and Policy Center at 703/847-3088.
Rep. Bill McCollum (R-FL), noting "a lot of conservative groups share with me a concern about [creating] a national I.D. card" asked for opinions on a possible plan to harden the currently paper Social Security cards, and place on them a photo and possibly a fingerprint. The objective, McCollum said, would be to help eliminate "rampant" fraudulent use of social security cards by illegal aliens. McCollum stressed that he is seeking opinions about this idea and has not yet decided whether or not to propose it. Contact Rep. McCollum's office at 202/225-2176.
Rep. Mark Neumann (R-WI) reviewed targets for reaching a balanced budget within seven years and the need, he said, to correct a projected deficit increase in FY96 and FY97. Neumann also explained reconciliation, as it is, he said, the "least understood" part of the federal budget process. Contact Rep. Neumann's office at 202/225-3031.
Activities at the September 14 Family Forum meeting chaired by Amy Moritz of The National Center for Public Policy Research.
Colleen Pinyon of The Rutherford Institute reported that the Department of Education is seeking to undermine the intent of Senator Charles Grassley's legislation that codifies parents' rights to inspect surveys given to children in the public schools. Contact The Rutherford Institute at 202/393-7008.
Heidi Stirrup of the Christian Coalition reported on Senate action on welfare, saying "What [the amendment to eliminate the family cap sponsored by Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM)] does is codify the status quo... Dole cast his vote after the 53rd was cast." Contact the Christian Coalition at 202/547-3600.
Barbara Ledeen of the Independent Women's Forum reviewed various outlandish planks being adopted by the U.N. Women's Conference in China, including a "universal right to sexual satisfaction" for "couples and individuals." Ledeen noted that President Clinton has promised a federal interagency task force will implement whatever is approved by the conference, and, Ledeen wondered, chuckling, to what "massive new government agency... do we go to when we have a complaint?" Ledeen and Shepherd Smith of Americans for a Sound AIDS/HIV Policy also reviewed Rep. Tom Coburn (R-OK)'s infant HIV testing measure. Smith called it the "first step in turning AIDS around because it is the first time we are acknowledging that uninfected people have rights on this issue." Contact the Independent Women's Forum at 703/243-8989 or Americans for a Sound AIDS/HIV Policy at 703/471-7350.
Should the Government Force U.S. Families to Spend More on Food? The House Agricultural Committee will decide September 20 whether to continue the federal sugar program, which kills jobs while costing U.S. consumers $1.4 billion per year. Of the program, USA Today said on June 5: "Members of Congress might ask themselves these questions before deciding whether to extend the sugar scheme: Why should government engage in price fixing that overstimulates the production of sugar?... Why should the government organize financing for sugar growers and processors?... Why should the government force higher food costs on families?" The fate of the federal peanut program, which makes it illegal to grow peanuts without a government peanut license, also will be decided September 20. For information, contact The National Center for Public Policy Research at (202) 507-6398.
Rep. Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Rep. Bill Barrett (R-NE) have taken a first step toward making the nation's farm policy market-oriented with H.R. 2195, the "Freedom to Farm Act." H.R. 2195 affects growers of wheat, feed grains, cotton, rice and other commodities. It guarantees farmers an annual payment but caps it so payments would decline over seven years. It also eliminates paying farmers not to farm and policies that encourage farmers to plant the same crop year after year just to protect their government payments. The Democratic leadership is reportedly urging Democrats in the traditionally unpartisan Agricultural Committee to oppose the bill, which will be voted on in Committee September 20. As a result, the bill's fate most likely rests with the following Agriculture Committee Republicans: Larry Combest (R-TX), Bill Emerson (R-MO), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Terry Everett (R-AL), Ed Bryant (R-TN), Richard Baker (R-LA). Contact The National Center at (202) 507-6398.
Legislation sponsored by Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX) that would repeal racial preferences in the federal government and change Small Business Administration program 8A from being race-based to based on economic need will be voted on September 20-21 after Senate floor debate. There will be a separate vote on the legislation, which is part of the Commerce, Justice & State Appropriations bill (H.R. 2076). Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) is expected to offer an amendment to H.R. 2076 to render it null and void. Contact Rohit Kumar of Sen. Gramm¹s office at 202/224-0717.
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. © 1995 The National Center for Public Policy Research.
©1995, The National Center for Public Policy Research. Coverage of meetings, activities or statements in The Relief Report does not imply endorsement by The National Center for Public Policy Research. Excerpts may be reprinted provided that original source is credited.