Activities at the January 21 Wednesday Strategy Lunch chaired by Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation (202/546-3000).
Dennis Ward of the staff of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on International Security, Proliferation, and Government Affairs reviewed the results of a comprehensive 112-page subcommittee report on the international proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.
Ward said the study reached three main conclusions: 1) The proliferation problem is getting worse rapidly; 2) the Clinton Administration's response to this dangerous situation has been inadequate; 3) The United States is unprepared for the failure of our non-proliferation policies.
The report covers the role of the People's Republic of China, Iran, North Korea, Syria, Libya and even the United States (which has loosened export controls during the Clinton Administration) in weapons proliferation.
"What we are trying to do [with the report] is make the American people aware of our gross inadequacy in dealing with many of these issues," said Ward. The report, which is written in layman's language is available free upon request and on the Internet. For copies, call the subcommittee at 202/224-2254 and ask for "The Proliferation Primer" or visit www.senate.gov/~gov_affairs/ispfs.htm. Contact Dennis Ward at 202/224-2254.
Mike Korbey of the United Seniors Association reported on efforts to repeal Section 4507 of the Balanced Budget Act -- the section which says that if a medical doctor contracts privately with an American 65 years of age or older he may not accept Medicare patients for two subsequent years. Korbey said that this section essentially means that America's senior citizens can't get health care outside of the Medicare system. Among the many problems with this, Korbey said, is the fact that Medicare is already essentially rationed and, because Medicare is heading for bankruptcy, rationing of care most likely will only get worse.
United Seniors is pursuing a two-pronged attack to get Section 4507 repealed, Korbey said. They include: 1) Filing a lawsuit in federal district court saying that, based on both the "liberty interest" doctrine and the equal protection clause of the Constitution, section 4507 is unconstitutional. (The latter part is true, he said, because the law treats Americans differently based on their age.) 2) Seeking passage of a bill to repeal Section 4507. Senator John Kyl (R-AZ) and Rep. Bill Archer (R-TX) have introduced a bill, S. 1194 and HR 2497 respectively, to do just that. Unfortunately, Korbey said, many Members of Congress are wary of raising the Medicare issue in an election year.
Korbey said many on the left support continuing Section 4507, arguing that if you allow private contracting in health care it leads to price gouging and fraud. Republicans in Congress don't go along with that philosophically, he said, but President Clinton insisted on this provision in the Balanced Budget Act and Republicans approved it as a concession.
Contact Mike Korbey at 703/359-6500 (www.unitedseniors.org).
Mark Bucher, one of three authors of California's Campaign Reform Initiative, which is scheduled to be on California's June ballot, described the initiative and it's political value to conservatives. The CRI would 1) prohibit foreign contributions to state and local campaigns, 2) require employers to gain annual written permission from each employee before making payroll deductions for political purposes at the state and local level and 3) require labor unions to receive annual written permission from each member before using mandatory dues for state and local political activity. It is the last provision that is expected to be helpful to conservatives. As Bucher says, "The other side exists primarily through compulsion. If you took away federal funding, their mandatory student fees (thanks to Ralph Nader's operation) and their mandatory union dues, they wouldn't have a leg to stand on in terms of issues... Most of what they stand for, the American public doesn't stand for."
Bucher also discussed a national version of the CRI, HR 1625, which the U.S. Congress is expected to vote on this summer, poll data showing overwhelming support for CRI, and CRI-like initiatives in states other than California.
Contact Mark Bucher via CRI press secretary Kristy Khachigian at 714/560-9020.
Mark Mix of the National Right-to-Work Committee discussed HR 59, the National Right to Work Act. HR 59 would repeal provisions in federal law which authorize and promote the collection of forced union dues. He distributed background information. Contact Mark Mix at 703/321-9820.
Tom Jipping of the Free Congress Foundation (and head of a 460-organization coalition against activist judges) announced that President Clinton plans to send 20 new judicial nominees to the Senate very soon, and that the Senate will soon vote on three of the most controversial of Clinton's nominees. Republicans, Jipping said, are in "an unbelievably weak" political position vis-a-vis judges because they've never laid the groundwork with the public to explain their principled opposition to politically-activist judges. Contact Tom Jipping at 202/546-3000.
Bulletin Board: Publications, statements, activities and plans of conservatives in Washington.
The African-American leadership group Project 21 says allegations of perjury and an affair with an intern by President Clinton is a critical blow to the President in terms of trust and character.
"This recent situation with the President takes on a very serious tone because this time the actions that are being alleged took place in the White House and supposedly involved Vernon Jordan," says Stuart Pigler, aide to Michigan State Representative Dick Posthumus and Project 21 member. "Surely, the American people will see that character flaws such as these can effect sound judgement when conducting the affairs of the country and creating policy. There's no avoiding the 'I' word at this point."
"Every allegation that has been brought against the President by alleged paramours, business partners and critics involves misuse of the public trust for private gain. I just think it's a naked abuse of power," added Washington policy analyst Kevin Pritchett.
To talk with a Project 21 member, contact Project 21 Director
Roderick Conrad at (202) 507-6398 or firstname.lastname@example.org