Activities at the March 18 & 11 Wednesday Strategy Lunches chaired by Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation.
Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA) briefed participants on his "Dollars to the Classroom Act," which follows up on a 310-99 "Sense of the House Resolution" saying that $3.15 billion should be taken from other programs and given to the states on the condition that 95% of it is spent in classrooms. Contact Rep. Pitts at 202/225-2411.
Mike Korbey of the United Seniors Association reported on legislation introduced by Senator John Kyl (R-AZ) to repeal Section 4507 of the Balanced Budget Act, which says that if a medical doctor contracts privately with an American 65 years of age or older he or she may not accept Medicare patients for two subsequent years. Contact Mike Korbey at 703/359-6500 (www.unitedseniors.org).
Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) addressed ongoing Senate issues, noting particularly that the Senate will soon act on the critical (and expensive) issue of whether or not to expand NATO without much public nor Senate debate. Inhofe expressed concern that a decision of this magnitude is being made without much input from the American people. Contact Senator Inhofe at 202/224-4721.
Rep. Mark Neumann (R-WI) and Rep. Ernest Istook (R-OK) said that the Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) should be revived to restore the Social Security Trust Fund. They pointed out that the Balanced Budget Amendment failed by one vote in the Senate in 1995 after several Democratic Senators who ran for office pledging to support it voted against it. The Senators explained that they would have voted for the BBA had Social Security been included in it. Now, Neumann and Istook said, we can afford to include Social Security, so Republicans should re-introduce the measure. Presumably, these Democrats will now vote for it, which, when passed, will assure that deficit spending ends (except in times of national emergency) and that funds borrowed from the Social Security Trust Fund are repaid. Contact Rep. Neumann at 202/225-3031 and Rep. Istook at 202/225-2132. (For a paper on the topic, "National Policy Analysis #189: Save Social Security: Bring Back the Balanced Budget Amendment," contact David Almasi at (202) 507-6398 or go to www.nationalcenter.org/NPA189.html.)
Stanton Meeting: Activities at the March 19 Stanton foreign & defense policy meetings, chaired by Laszlo Pastor of Coalitions for America & Amy Ridenour of The National Center for Public Policy Research.
Al Santoli, editor of the China Reform Monitor, discussed how U.S. government cooperation with the Peoples' Republic of China is helping the Chinese obtain the military technology necessary to swiftly advance their missile capabilities. He also discussed other aspects of the Administration's China policy. Contact Al Santoli at 202/462-6055 (www.afpc.org).
Former Castro political prisoner and Cuban freedom activist Dr. Emilio-Adolfo Rivero discussed the death of a top Castro official in Cuba. Officially, he said, the death was due to a car accident, but the Cuban citizenry believes he was assassinated by Castro. Contact Dr. Rivero at 301-927-2167 or email@example.com (www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/7988).
Dr. Neil Livingstone said that the Kofi Anan-Saddam Hussein
deal 1) Essentially means that it is okay for Saddam to have weapons
of mass destruction. 2) Will set off a regional arms race. He
also described Saddam's war crimes, and said Bill Clinton should
never lower himself to engaging in a dialogue with Saddam Hussein.
Contact Dr. Livingstone at 202/342-0309.
Bulletin Board: Activities, publications and plans of conservatives in Washington.
The AFL-CIO recently announced plans to raise $13 million to fight "paycheck protection" ballot initiatives and legislation through a special assessment of member dues. If passed, paycheck protection would prohibit unions from using dues for political activity without the approval of affected members.
"Labor unions are supposed to represent the interests of working men and women. They are breaking this commitment by refusing to allow their members to make their own political decisions with their own hard-earned wages," said David W. Almasi, editor of the Political Money Monitor newsletter. "Polls show support for giving this freedom to workers is as high as 82%. Unions have a duty to heed this message. If they do not, paycheck protection can stop this abuse of power in the future."
Over 30 states are considering paycheck protection proposals. In June, Californians will vote on Proposition 226, which bars unions and employers from using payroll deductions for state and local political activity unless they have prior, individual employee approval on an annual basis. AFL-CIO officials say they expect to spend $10 million to defeat Prop 226. Contact David Almasi at (202) 507-6398 or DAlmasi@nationalcenter.org.
"Character, standards and courage, not race, are the criteria by which we should choose our school books," says Project 21 member Burgess Owens after San Francisco school board members voted unanimously to expel classics by white authors (Chaucer, Shakespeare and Mark Twain) from the required reading list. Project 21 members disagree with Oakland school board member Keith Jackson, who charged that black children learn differently from other students, and that people are tired of the "white, European establishment."
"It's just plain racist to 'ethnically cleanse' literature this way," said Owens. "Quality books + quality courses + quality teachers = a quality education. If it does not stand the test of being the best -no matter which race, creed or color wrote it, we reject it." A collection of news articles are available. Contact Roderick Conrad at 202-507-6398 or Project21@nationalcenter.org.
Senator John Ashcroft (R-MO) and other Senators held a press conference April 1 to express their opposition to the 1999 federal budget resolution. Ashcroft explained the reasons for his opposition on the Senate floor March 30: "First, it increases the size of government. The budget resolution recommends that the federal government spend $9.15 trillion over the next five years. That's a 17.3% increase over the previous five years... Second, it takes far more revenue from the American people than ever before. The budget resolution recommends that the federal government collect $9.3 trillion in tax revenue over the next five years. That's a 27.4% increase over the previous five years." Ashcroft's remarks are available. Contact Jim Carter of Senator Ashcroft's office at 202/224-6154.