Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) discussed HR 1559, the Military Recruit Training Policy Restoration Act, which would end mixed-sex basic training in the military services. The goal of the legislation, Bartlett said, is to 1) end sex abuse cases in the military and to 2) end policies reducing standards. Bartlett described how some military personnel in Bosnia are housed in six-person tents, five men and one woman, and recounted that a male soldier reported: "It's hard not to look when there's a naked woman in your tent." Bartlett hopes to get the bill attached to the defense appropriations bill, but needs the support of at least one of the following in the relevant subcommittee to do so: Rep. Steve Buyer (R-IN), Rep. Jim Talent (R-MO), Rep. Wm. "Mac" Thornberry (R-TX), Rep. Ike Skelton (D-MO). Six more of the members of the full committee are also needed to pass the bill in the full committee. Targets include Committee Chairman Floyd Spence (R-SC), Rep. John Kasich (R-OH), Rep. James Hansen (R-UT), Rep. Joel Hefley (R-CO), Rep. John McHugh (R-NY), Rep. Bob Riley (R-AL) and the four previously mentioned. Contact Rep. Bartlett at 202/225-2721.
Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-KS) discussed HR 993, the AmeriCorps Program Elimination Act. President Clinton wants to increase the program's budget by 36% to $550 million per year, said Tiahrt, who added that this appropriation isn't needed: 90 million Americans over age 18 currently volunteer over four hours per week. According to Tiahrt, AmeriCorps is the biggest government job program since FDR, and its "volunteers" receive $26,000 per year. Tiahrt supplied some examples of AmeriCorps personnel at "work" and pointed out that if Congress doesn't get rid of AmeriCorps soon it will become even more difficult to abolish. Tiahrt's bill would allow AmeriCorps to continue through 1997 and then be terminated. He distributed a bill summary and a copy of his legislation. Contact Rep. Tiahrt at 202/225-6216 or [email protected]. For the bill summary only, visit http://www.nationalcenter.org.
Rep. Bob Barr (R-GA) reviewed a requirement in the law authorizing independent counsels that requires them to transmit to Congress any information they find that could lead to an impeachment of the president. Rep. Barr has written to independent counsel Kenneth Starr to remind him of this provision, and to inquire if such information has been found by Starr's investigators. Contact Rep. Barr at 202/225-2931 or [email protected].
Matt Kibbe of Citizens for a Sound Economy announced CSE's opposition to the federal budget deal, saying that the bottom line is that the "deficit for FY98 goes up." He added: "We spend more in the [budget deal] than Clinton asked for for FY98." Kibbe also noted that the Democratic Leadership Council is distributing a memo saying that Democratic candidates ill be virtually invulnerable to the 'tax and spend' label if this budget deal goes through. Other participants discussed the budget deal as well, none favorably. Trent Lott & Newt Gingrich were singled out for criticism for, among other things, telegraphing their strategy in advance in public statements. Contact Matt Kibbe at 202/783-3870.
Rep. Joe Scarborough (R-FL) described the work of the House Judicial Activism Task Force, which is meeting weekly, and efforts to help protect Christians from persecution abroad. Scarborough said congressmen are trying to get the U.S. government to sever official ties with Sudan, which has, among other atrocities, crucified a 7-year-old child for being a Christian. They also want to negate a waiver to anti-terrorism legislation that President Clinton signed to allow Occidental Petroleum to operate in Sudan. Andy Messing of the National Defense Council pointed out that more people have been killed in Sudan than in Bosnia. Contact Rep. Scarborough via David Stafford at 202/225-4136 or [email protected] & Andy Messing at 703/836-3443.
Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) announced the formation of a Senate Religious Persecution Task Force. He is the chairman and the other members are Senators Ashcroft, Brownback, Coats, D'Amato, Helms and Specter. The goal of the Task Force is to develop congressional policies against increasing abuse of people of all faiths worldwide, including Christians, who have been singled out in China and the Muslim world. Inhofe distributed a two-page handout describing the pros and cons of various legislative approaches to this problem and describing specific instances of religious persecution. Contact Senator Inhofe at 202/224-4721. For the handout only, visit http://www.nationalcenter.org.
Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) discussed the chemical weapons treaty, saying that before the ratification vote in the Senate Vice President Gore laughed off concerns he expressed to Gore that Russia had not formally approved the treaty, but as soon as the U.S. Senate ratified the treaty, Russia announced that it was delaying ratification. Sessions also expressed concern over the Administration's handling of new EPA regulations, calling the Administration's position "extreme," and said also that federal judges are another important priority. Contact Senator Sessions at 202/224-4124 or [email protected].
As the president evaluates his position on the partial-birth
abortion procedure he should consider the story of Donna Joy Watts,
named America's partial-abortion poster child by Rep. Roscoe Bartlett
(R-MD) and Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA). A letter from Donna Joy's
mother tells her story: "I want to tell you about our daughter,
Donna Joy. Before she was born were found deformities and conditions
on the sonogram that we were told were always fatal. Parts of
her brain were missing, the brain stem was deformed, part of her
brain was outside the skull and she had severe hydocephalus. We
were told by expert after expert that we should have a partial
birth abortion as her head was so grossly enlarged and I was seven
months pregnant. They said over and over 'This fetus has no chance.'
They said I would endanger future pregnancies and my general health.
We found hard to save her.
Today, Donna Joy is 5 1/2 years old and functions on an age appropriate level on most respects of life. She is bright and happy and enjoys life to the fullest. Her medula (back brain) is missing so they said she'll never crawl or walk. She runs like an Olympic sprinter... As to the issue of my health and future pregnancies, though stressful, the remainder of Donna's pregnancy went without a hitch. And in June of 1995, our fourth child Shaylah Deanea was born healthy."
Donna Joy has been the focus of numerous news stories and her hometown of Hagerstown, MD has named her birthday "Donna Joy Watts Day." For copies of news stories, contact Jon Meek at 202/543-4110. Donna Joy's mother, Lori Watts, has just completed a book, "God's Child," about Donna Joy and is available for interviews at 717/593-9106. *