Your Inside View to the Strategies and Activities of the Conservative Movement in Washington
Issue 122 * March 24, 1996
The National Center for Public Policy Research
Amy Moritz, President
501 Capitol Court, N.E. * Washington, D.C. 20002
(202) 543-4110 * Fax (202) 543-5975
E-Mail: [email protected]
**Activities at the March 20 Wednesday Strategy Lunch chaired by Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation, House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-TX) and Rep. Ernest Istook (R-OK).
*We Must Overcome the Notion That We Must Discriminate to Overcome Discrimination, Says Congressman
Rep. Charles Canady (R-FL) reviewed his H.R. 2128, "The Equal Opportunity Act of 1996." According to Canady, H.R. 2128 is designed to restore to federal law the principles of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity by: 1) prohibiting the use of racial and gender preferences by the federal government in federal contracting and subcontracting, federal employment, federally-conducted programs or activities, and 2) prohibiting the federal government from requiring or encouraging federal contractors or subcontractors to grant racial or gender preferences. "This bill does not interfere with affirmative action has it was originally conceived," said Canady, who says the bill recognizes traditional affirmative action as "appropriate" and "should go on." Canady noted that some people say they are against quotas, but often these same people endorse programs that are very much like quotas. "Basically what this bill does is consistent with the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which is, people should be treated equally without regard to race or gender... It overcomes the notion that we must discriminate to overcome discrimination." Canady distributed a 14-page handout. Contact Rep. Canady's office at 202/225-1252.
*Is the GOP in the Pocket of Big Labor Unions?
Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation and House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-TX) reviewed Rep. Linda Smith's (R-WA) campaign finance reform bill, which both opposed because the bill would reform only part of the political campaign system -- specifically, they said, it ignores abuses of the election system by organized labor. Said DeLay: "[Some unions] are running illegal operations under current law... The bill hurts conservative groups while doing nothing... about the labor unions and the Sierra Club... [the Smith bill and the discharge petition Smith is seeking to get an immediate vote on the bill] is a direct assault on the Republican majority." DeLay added that the House is already scheduled to vote on campaign finance reform "in May or July" and encouraged people in the meeting to "tell me if I'm wrong" about Smith's bill. No one did. Weyrich discussed a meeting he had with Smith in which Smith promised Weyrich that reform of labor union political abuses would be included in her bill, but, said Weyrich, "She broke her promise to me." Contact the Free Congress Foundation at 202/546-3000 or Rep. DeLay's office at 202/225-0197.
*Congressman Introduces Bill to Safeguard Social Security Trust Fund; Report Deficit More Accurately
Rep. Mark Neumann (R-WI) reviewed his H.R. 2928, the "Social Security Preservation Act of 1996," a bill that would put Social Security surpluses into the Social Security Trust Fund for safe and secure investment for Social Security's future needs instead of into the federal government's general fund. Among the bill's benefits, according to Neumann: the bill would eliminate any short-term crises in Social Security benefits because real assets would be on hand to make monthly payments even without debt limit increases, and, as Neumann put it, the bill would "force the government to report the deficit accurately." Neumann distributed a 7-page handout. Contact Rep. Neumann's office at 202/225-3031.
*House GOP Proposes Health Care Reform
Dean Clancy of the office of House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX) introduced participants to the "Health Care Reform for Working Families Act," which is designed to: 1) help the worker who can't change jobs because their child has a serious disease that wouldn't be covered by the next employer's insurance ("group to group" portability), 2) help an employee who is between jobs and can't get coverage for a pre-existing condition ("group to individual" portability), 3) help uninsured entrepreneurs who can't afford insurance (increasing deductibility for the self-employed), 4) help persons who can't afford an individual policy because the policies are loaded up with mandated benefits (Medical Savings Accounts), 5) help small businesses afford insurance for their employees (small employer purchasing pools). Clancy distributed a 7-page handout explaining the proposal. Contact Dick Armey's office at 202/225-4000.
*Congress To Take Action in Case of Burned Black Churches
Mike Schwartz of the Congressional Family Caucus reported that Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has decided to hold hearings to look into epidemic of black church burnings in several states. "Over the past three years 23 churches have been burned to the ground. All 23 happen to be churches where the majority of the parishioners are African-American," Schwartz said. Schwartz also noted that Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ) has shown little interest in helping the churches. Schwartz reported that the House Family Caucus has sent a letter to Janet Reno asking why there has not been more attention to this, and described his work with Congressmen who are helping the victimized churches. Contact the Congressional Family Caucus at 202/225-3031.
**Bulletin Board: Publications, press releases, statements and plans of the conservative community.
*House to Condemn Farrakhan's World Dictator Tour, Clinton
Criticized for "Appeasement"
During the week of March 25, the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to pass a bipartisan resolution condemning Louis Farrakhan's travels. This follows March 19 House International Relations subcommittee hearings on Farrakhan's 35-person, 27-day world tour. Representative Peter King (R-NY), a long-standing critic of Farrakhan, says Farrakhan may have violated five different laws: a requirement to register as a foreign agent; sanctions against Libya; restrictions on campaign contributions from foreign nationals; passport travel restrictions; and the Logan Act, which restricts private individuals from conducting foreign policy. The Clinton Administration seems to have adopted a hands-off policy toward Farrakhan -- for example, they refused to send any officials from the Treasury, Justice, or State departments to testify at the March 19 hearing.
The African-American group Project 21 has condemned the Administration's action as an election-year appeasement to avoid offending the black electorate: "The Clinton Administration's passive response to Farrakhan's actions is based on the assumption that black Americans don't want justice carried out like all other Americans" states Project 21 member Stuart Pigler, Political Editor for the national black magazine Destiny. "Historically, black Americans are a patriotic people who serve disproportionately in the armed forces, and have been very supportive of American actions taken for national security reasons. In addition to being insulting, the Administration's silence is bad political calculation. Most Farrakhan supporters are third party advocates or don't vote at all." Said Project 21 member Clinton Davis, a retired patrolman from the Wayne County Sheriff's Department in Detroit, Michigan, "President Clinton is trying to solidify the black vote. He's playing it safe because of the political climate. As usual, he's reading the polls and acting on what they say rather than what he stands for. In this case, his reading of the polls is wrong. In the long run, it's going to hurt him. If there is the possibility that Farrakhan violated any laws, his actions should be investigated."
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. © 1996 The National Center for Public Policy Research.