Your Inside View to the Strategies and Activities of the Conservative Movement in Washington

Issue 129 * May 20, 1996

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 May 15 Wednesday Strategy Lunch chaired by Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation and Rep. Ernest Istook (R-OK).

Bill to Let States Decide for Themselves If They Wish
to Recognize Same-Sex Marriages Performed in Hawaii

Rep. Bob Barr (R-GA) discussed H.R. 3366, legislation sponsored by himself and Rep. Steve Largent (R-OK) to 1) define marriage in the U.S. code as the union of one man and one woman for the purpose of Social Security, veterans and other benefit programs, and 2) to establish that, in Barr's words, "no state can be forced under the full faith and credit clause [of the U.S. Constitution] to recognize same-sex marriages." The bill will hit the floor in the next few weeks, said Barr, in order to be in effect if, as expected, a court in Hawaii legalizes same-sex marriages in that state in August or September. If the legislation does not pass and Hawaii legalizes same-sex marriage, the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution would require all U.S. states to recognize same-sex marriages performed in Hawaii. H.R. 3366 permits states to determine for themselves whether or not they wish to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. As Barr put it, the "bill does not mandate states to do anything and it does not prohibit states from doing anything." Materials about the bill are available from Rep. Barr's office. Contact Rep. Barr at 202/225-2931.

Congressional Responsibility Act Introduced to Put
Responsibility for Federal Regulations on Congress

Rep. J.D. Hayworth described H.R. 2727, the Congressional Responsibility Act, which he is sponsoring, saying it addresses the "tyranny" of the federal bureaucracy. Hayworth described how Members of Congress and their staffs spend immense amounts of time trying to aid constituents harmed by unfair federal regulations, and how it is that even when a constituent has a good case, a Congressman can do nothing more to help him or her but "beg regulators" to let up. H.R. 2727 would require an up-or-down expedited vote on each federal regulation before it takes effect. "Quite frankly, career politicians love having an unelected bureaucracy to rant and rave about. This bill puts the responsibility on... Congress." The chief argument against his bill, Hayworth said, is that Congress is to busy to have these expedited votes. Hayworth disagrees, citing the number of hours Congress spends voting on such things as what to name federal office buildings. Contact Rep. Hayworth via Bob Holmes at 202/225-3121.

Fact-Finding Trip Reveals Progress, Problems in
Colombia's War on Drugs

Major F. Andy Messing (USA-Ret.) of the National Defense Council Foundation described and distributed information about the results of his April 22-May 3 fact-finding trip to investigate the progress of the drug war in Colombia. Information covered includes the dismantling of the Medellin and Cali cartels and what this does and does not mean, corruption in the Colombian government, how the Colombian drug war affects Americans, and more. Contact Andy Messing at 703/836-3443.

Bill to Stop Federal Porn Peddling Passes House,
Goes to Senate

Jim Backlin of Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD)'s office distributed information describing the Bartlett amendment to the Defense Department's authorization bill (H.R. 3230). The bill, which would ban the sale of pornography at government-run stories, was approved without opposition by the House May 15. According to Backlin, Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) has agreed to sponsor the Bartlett Amendment when the defense authorization bill gets to the Senator floor, thus decreasing the chance that House and Senate conferees will delete the provision before the bill is sent to the President. Press releases and news articles about the bill are available upon request. Contact Jim Backlin at 202/225-2721.

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Health Care Reform Still Held Up by Opponents of
MSAs, But Staffers Begin House-Senate Meetings

Although -- due to a disagreement over inclusion of Medical Savings Accounts, or MSAs -- the Senate remains unable to reach a unanimous consent agreement governing appointment of Senate conferees to the House-Senate Conference on the health care reform bill, House and Senate staffers have begun meeting to work out other differences on the health care reform bill. In addition to disagreements over MSAs, House-Senate disagreements need to be worked out on other issues, including anti-fraud provisions (conferees will most likely be alleviating provisions that some doctors have complained could ensnare doctors who are acting honestly) and provisions making coverage of mental illness mandatory. Republican leaders are seeking to fashion a final bill that:

  1. stops insurance companies from canceling people's coverage because they're sick;
  2. stops people from being stuck at a job because they need the insurance benefits;
  3. stops people from losing insurance because they've lost their job;
  4. stops fly-by-night health insurance scams from ripping-off small businesses and their employees;
  5. starts providing health insurance tax deductions for workers in small businesses;
  6. starts giving Mom and Pop operations and individuals some of the same health care tax benefits Fortune 500s enjoy;
  7. starts putting the brakes on health care cost increases through the market mechanism contained within MSAs;
  8. starts addressing the needs of people who already have catastrophic illnesses;
  9. starts helping small businesses form groups so they can more easily afford quality insurance for their employees.

The Business Coalition for Affordable Health Care, a group lobbying for MSAs, has identified the following Senators as possiblke swing votes on MSAs: Republicans Kassebaum, Gorton, Bond, Chaffee, Hatfield and Democrats Heflin, Nunn, Breaux, Baucus, Dorgan, Exxon and Hollings. The group has information available on all aspects of the health care debate. Contact Dan Perrin at 202/628-3690 for information/interviews. (Peter Kirsanow, author of The Health Care Ghetto, is also available for interviews on health care reform issues and legislation. Contact him through Arturo Silva at (202) 507-6398.)

House Republicans Issue Papers Detailing Union
Financial Contributions and Links to Clinton Administration

The House of Representatives's Republican Conference Committee has issued more papers in recent days examining the political-financial dealings of major labor unions. The papers include a list of over 90 union campaign contributions to organizations including the National Abortion Rights Action League, Americans for Freedom of Choice, the Human Rights Campaign Fund, Emily's List, the Sierra Club, made with mandatory union dues, and a five-page paper "The Clinton Administration's Payoffs to Washington Union Bosses." Contact Brian Gaston at 202/225-5107.

New Anti-Stalking Bill Designed to Help Victims Who
Travel Out-of-State

Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), who authored the first anti-stalking law in the nation in 1990 while serving in the California legislature, is sponsor of the Interstate Stalking Punishment and Prevention Act, or H.R. 2980. H.R. 2980 is designed to:

  1. make crossing a state line to stalk someone a felony;
  2. makes crossing a state line in violation of a restraining order a felony;
  3. makes it a felony to stalk someone on federal property.

Julie Williams of Rep. Royce's staff explains that the bill is needed to protect someone who is being protected by a state anti-stalking bill when they leave the state in which they are protected. H.R. 2980 passed the House May 7, and has been introduced into the Senate by Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX). Information about the legislation, including written testimony by a stalking victim, is available from Julie Williams or John Doherty of Rep. Royce's office at202/225-4111.

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. ###

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