A newsletter covering regulatory reform efforts in Washington and across America, published by The National Center for Public Policy Research, 501 Capitol Court, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002 (202) 543-4110, Fax (202) 543-5975. E-Mail [email protected], Web http://www.nationalcenter.org.
Issue #42 * June 6,1996 * David A. Ridenour, Editor
Representatives J.C. Watts (R-OK) and Jim Talent (R-MO) have introduced "Saving Our Children: The American Community Renewal Act of 1996 (H.R. 3467)," which would exempt 100 communities in America from excessive and unnecessary regulations. Ten percent of these communities must be rural. To qualify, a community must have their state or local government certify in writing that they will repeal or not enforce a series of local regulations including zoning restrictions on home-based businesses, permit requirements for street vendors, and franchise or other restrictions on competition for businesses providing public services. Local regulations affecting public health and safety would not be affected by the bill's provisions. Other aspects of the legislation include a zero tax on capital gains if the asset is held more than five years, a commercial revitalization tax credit, a work opportunity tax credit for hiring high-risk employees, and a tax rate or fees reduction in the 100 communities. To obtain The National Center for Public Policy Research's two-page summary of the business aspects of the legislation, contact Arturo Silva at (202) 543-4110 or e-mail him at [email protected] For more in-depth information about the bill, contact Representative Talent's office at 202/225-2561.
Representatives Jim Hansen (R-UT) and Joel Hefley (R-CO) are attempting to sneak the National Heritage Areas Act (H.R. 3305) through the House Resources Committee by attaching it to the livestock grazing bill, H.R. 1713. Hansen's staff has reportedly tried to convince the National Cattlemen's Association, the Public Lands Council and the American Farm Bureau Federation that attaching the Heritage Areas bill to the Public Rangeland Management Act is the only way to get the grazing bill through the House. Heritage Areas, pushed for years by past Democrat-controlled Congresses, are not only multi-million dollar taxpayer boondoggles, but a significant threat to private property rights. Under H.R. 3305, the Interior Department would be granted new powers to restrict rights of property owners to preserve "national heritage corridors." Chuck Cushman of the American Land Rights Association is urging grassroots activists to place calls to John Doggett of the Farm Bureau (202/484-3619), Bill Myers of the Public Lands Council (202/347-5355) and Chandler Keys of the National Cattlemen (202/347-0228) to urge them not to buy into Hansen's and Hefley's scheme. For more information, contact Chuck Cushman at 360/687-3087.
Unfortunately there is no "Truth-in-Labeling" law that applies to either acts of Congress or federal agency rules. Many environmental laws simply do not produce the results advertised. Members of Congress should emphasize that they wish to improve environmental quality rather than simply supporting feel-good regulations that do little, but cost a lot.
"The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers used my shoes to delineate my land as 'navigable waters of the U.S.,'" testified Mrs. Nan Robbins before Congress. All this Tennessee woman wanted was to provide for her husband -- who has been totally disabled for over 11 years -- by selling a 39-acre parcel of the family's land. Now, thanks to the wetlands designation, she lost a $351,000 land deal. "...[W]hen my son asked how they checked the hydrology... [a Corps] bureaucrat said -- without blinking an eye -- 'by your mother's shoes,'" said Mrs. Robbins.
Hundreds of grassroots property rights and wise use activists will be in Washington June 15-19 for congressional visits and issues seminars. For more information contact Rita Carlson at 208/799-1178.
By putting the kibosh on real reform of the Endangered Species Act, granting environmental establishment Republicans like Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) veto power over all environmental legislation, and blocking attempts to pass even those regulatory relief measures that enjoy wide congressional support, House Speaker may simply be returning to his environmentalist roots.
Before ascending to the House Republican Leadership, Speaker Gingrich frequently voted for bills backed by the environmental establishment. Newt Gingrich was one of the most green Republicans before he became Minority Whip in March 1989, according to the League of Conservation Voters National Environmental Scorecard. His LCV ratings were as follows: 79-80, 45%; 81-82, 48%; 83-84, 23%; 85-86, 33%; and 87-88, 50%. After his election to leadership in 1989, his LCV rating dropped dramatically -- presumably because he realized that his further rise in leadership depended on the good will of the members of his own party. His ratings since 1989 have been as follows: 89-90, 12%; 91-92, 7%; and 93-94, 13%.
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©1996, 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.
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