Your Inside View to the Strategies and Activities of
Conservative Movement in Washington
Issue 137 * July 29, 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
Wednesday Strategy Lunch: Activities at the July 24 and 17 Wednesday Strategy Lunches chaired by Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation, House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-TX) and Rep. Ernest Istook (R-OK).
Rep. Nick Smith (R-MI) discussed the pending crisis in Social Security and how legislation he has introduced, H.R. 3758, the "Social Security Solvency Act," might resolve it. He pointed out that in 1942 there were 42 workers for every person taking benefits, in 1950 seventeen workers for every person taking benefits, in 1996 three workers for every person taking benefits and, when the baby boomers retire, and estimated two people will be working for every one taking benefits. He rejected raising Social Security taxes, saying they have already gone up 33 times since 1970. Smith's bill slows the growth in benefits for higher income future generations, raises the retirement age by two years, applies slight means-testing for benefits (it reduces benefits to people with more than $50,000 annual income who have already gotten back everything they paid into Social Security, plus interest), includes newly-hired state and local government workers current exempt from Social Security in the Social Security system, and keeps revenues raised from taxation of Social Security benefits in the Social Security system. Rep. Smith distributed a brochure explaining his bill. Contact Rep. Smith at 202/225-6276 or visit his web site at http://www.house.gov/nicksmith/welcome.htm.
Gordon Jones of the Seniors Coalition, Senator Paul Coverdell (R-GA), House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-TX) and Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation discussed the importance of Medical Savings Accounts to health care reform legislation, and Amy Moritz of The National Center for Public Policy Research distributed information about the Business Coalition for Affordable Health Care's "Yellow Ribbon Campaign" to symbolize (by distributing 5,000 yellow ribbons across Capitol Hill), as the Business Coalition puts it, "Senator Kennedy's holding the health care reform bill hostage until he gets his way." Contact Gordon Jones at 703/591-0663, Senator Coverdell at 202/224-3643, Rep. DeLay at 202/225-5951, Paul Weyrich at 202/546-3000, the Business Coalition for Affordable Health Care at 202/628-3690.
Dr. Balint Vazsonyi of the Center for the American Founding (and a distinguished concert pianist) discussed the way the left and right frames issues in the United States today, and discussed how conservatives can seize the initiative with the most accurate and forward-looking rhetoric possible for campaign 1996. "The other side tells us what the issues are... we must say no [and insist on our own issues]," said Vazsonyi, who distributed information outlining his thoughts in more detail. Contact Dr. Vazsonyi at 703/506-8085.
Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ) discussed his "Enumerated Powers Act," H.R. 2270, which currently has over sixty co-sponsors, and distributed information about it. The act is designed, he says, to "create an 'institutional awareness' of federalism issues by forcing Members of Congress to pause, reflect and debate about where the law being considered fits within the constitutional scheme of power between the federal government and the states." The bill requires that Members of Congress cite, in each bill they introduce, the section of the U.S. Constitution which gives Congress the constitutional authority to enact the legislation in question. Rep. Shadegg distributed information about his legislation, a list of co-sponsors and a copy of the bill's text. Contact Rep. Shadegg at 202/225-3361.
Rep. Bob Dornan (R-CA) described the sanctions placed on him and on Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) by Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. The Speaker banned Dornan and Smith from serving on conference committees and banned Smith, who had been scheduled to be an impartial election observer in Bosnia in September, from using government travel because the two men back pro-life former GOP Rep. Joseph DioGuardi over incumbent pro-choice GOP Rep. Sue Kelly in the New York Republican primary. Gingrich backs Kelly. Contact Rep. Dornan at 202/225-2965.
Bryan Little of the American Farm Bureau Federation reported on appropriations for the Legal Services Corporation, which is part of the Commerce, Justice and State appropriations bill. Little reported that it is likely that a member of the Appropriations Committee, most probably, Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV) or Rep. David Obey (D-WI), will offer an amendment to keep funding for the LSC at the FY 1996 level, which was $278 million. Little also distributed a fact sheet describing points of common interest between the Legal Services Corporation and organized labor. Among the points listed in the fact sheet: "Item: Legal Services doesn't just provide free legal services for the poor. It provides free legal services for unions which are currently waging a multimillion dollar campaign to defeat Republicans. In a Senate Labor Committee hearing, LSC President Alex Forger reluctantly admitted that Legal Services attorneys represent the Service Employees International Union, United Farm Workers and others." Contact Bryan Little at 202/484-3614.
The Heritage Foundation has released a new, 23-page paper, "What to Do About the Kassebaum-Kennedy Bill," by Robert E. Moffit, which details what the Heritage Foundation believes Congress should so in order to "do it right" when it comes to health care reform. Among their most key recommendations: "Keep medical savings accounts (MSAs) in the legislation). MSAs are a big step toward tax equity for small businessmen and their employees, and for individuals and families without employer-based health insurance. The new tax benefits of MSAs would increase the affordability of health insurance, particularly for middle-class employers and employees." Also: Increase and broaden tax relief for working families. Without tax equity for individuals and families in the purchase of health insurance, regardless of their status of employment, the reforms so widely promoted by supporters of this legislation would do little either to slow the growth in the ranks of the uninsured or to reverse the rate of uninsurance." For a copy of the paper or more information, contact Bob Moffit at 202/546-4400 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. Copyright 1996 The National Center for Public Policy Research. ###
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