Issue 202 * October 23, 1998
The National Center for Public Policy Research
Amy Ridenour, President
20 F Street NW, Suite 700 * Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 507-6398 * Fax (301) 498-1301
Strategy Lunch: Activities at the October
15 Strategy Lunch chaired by Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress
Foundation and sponsored by Coalitions for America (202/546-3003).
House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-TX) said conservatives should focus on attacking liberal policy priorities rather than criticizing conservatives in Congress for "caving in" to those policies. DeLay cited many instances where conservative policy goals were included in the omnibus spending package and liberal initiatives have been defeated. DeLay said compromises leading to the adoption of liberal programs are inevitable, especially since President Clinton likes to shut down the government and blame it on Republicans. Instead of complaining about the end result of negotiations, DeLay suggested conservatives take the offensive and attack congressional Democrats and the White House when they introduce liberal initiatives. He also pledged his willingness to "run down" any rumors that Republican leaders are preparing to endorse liberal programs and policies. Contact Rep. DeLay via Autumn Hanna at 202/225-0197.
Tom Jipping of the Free Congress Foundation asked participants to call their senators to prevent Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS) from confirming more Clinton judicial nominees. Lott recently sought the confirmation of 22 Clinton judges by unanimous consent, but backed off because he was afraid another senator might ask for a roll call vote. Such a vote would require the Senate to reconvene. Contact Tom Jipping at 202/546-3000.
Amy Myers of the Family Research Council distributed copies of "Character in the Crucible," a booklet for parents to use when discussing the sex-and-lies scandal enveloping the Clinton White House. In it, FRC President Gary Bauer writes, "Such scandals make our job as parents more difficult. If public figures in positions of honor do not behave respectably, we have to counteract their negative examples. We must carefully 'unteach' the lies spread by the scandal." Among the topics discussed in the booklet are honoring marriage, honesty, obligations to the law and the truth and taking responsibility for one's actions. Contact Amy Myers at 800/225-4008.
Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) asked participants to call congressional leaders to support "Mexico City Policy" prohibitions against giving federal money to foreign groups that perform abortions or lobby foreign governments on abortion. Such prohibitions existed during the Reagan and Bush Administrations, but were rescinded by Bill Clinton. Contact Rep. Smith at 202/225-3765.
Stanton Meeting: Activities at the October
15 Stanton foreign and defense policy meeting chaired by Laszlo
Pasztor of Coalitions for America and General Milnor Roberts (USAR-Ret.)
and sponsored by Coalitions for America (202/546-3003).
Mario Navarro Da Costa of the Society to Preserve Tradition, Family and Property translated a report from his organization's Colombian affiliate about how the Colombian government has ceded a third of the country to Marxist guerillas of the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC). Recently-elected President Andres Pastrana Arango is withdrawing the Colombian military from the one-third of the country now dominated by FARC, allowing the estimated 20,000 rebels to control more than 13 million Colombians. FARC is reportedly involved in Columbia's massive drug trade, and have been called "narco-guerillas" by U.S. drug czar General Barry McCaffrey. Navarro warned the legitimization of FARC's authority could be destabilizing for the entire region, particularly Venezuela (the U.S.'s #1 source of oil) and Panama (which takes full control of the Panama Canal in 1999). Contact Mario Navarro Da Costa at 703/892-1810.
Al Santoli of the office of Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) said many Asian countries are using the opium trade to "pick up the economic slack" of the recent economic downturn in the region. Santoli said a U.S.-sponsored "war on opium" would be a "blow for democracy and a blow for freedom" by cutting off the "sustenance of dictators" and other repressive regimes in southeast Asia. He said an assertive anti-drug policy could use satellite technology to find opium poppies and then use advanced chemicals (that would not harm humans) to destroy them. Contact Al Santoli at 202/225-2415.
Joan Hueter of the American National Council for Immigration Reform spoke about immigration-related amendments in the omnibus spending bill. One measure increases the number of foreign specialty workers allowed in the United States from 65,000 to 115,000 -- even though there are approximately 200,000 unemployed Americans in these same specialty fields -- and requires employers to pay the government $500 for each foreign worker used. Hueter said the Clinton Administration likes this income. Hueter added that granting amnesty to almost 50,000 Haitians, supported by the White House at the insistence of the Congressional Black Caucus, should be unnecessary due to previous U.S. intervention in ousting the island's former dictator and helping to foster human rights and democratic elections. A controversial immigration proposal that would permanently establish a provision allowing illegal aliens to legitimize their status by paying the government a $1,000 fee was defeated. Contact Joan Hueter at 202/328-1244.
Tim Hunter of State Department Watch announced that Maureen Debbagh, a nurse from Virginia Beach, began a hunger strike on October 15 to protest the State Department's indifference toward the kidnapping of her daughter, who is now being held by terrorists in Syria. Nadia Debbagh was kidnapped on December 25, 1992 by her father and taken to Syria via Saudi Arabia. Although Nadia's whereabouts are known and a Syrian religious court has ordered that the child be returned to her mother, Ms. Debbagh to has received no support from either the U.S. or Syrian governments. Ms. Debbagh has pledged, "I will eat nothing and drink only water until Nadia is home" and the government responds to requests for support on approximately 100 similar abduction cases. Contact Tim Hunter at 202/452-5555 or TNHunter@bellatlantic.net.
Jim Boulet of English First asked participants to call Congressman Phil English (R-PA) to express opposition to a bill the congressman introduced on October 9 (HR 4769) asking the Treasury Department to report on the current costs of Puerto Rico under commonwealth status. Boulet said this legislation should also ask for a projection of the cost of statehood, something that Boulet insists would cost at least twice as much. Contact Jim Boulet at 703/321-8818 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Former U.S. Ambassador to Romania David Funderburk said that
things are getting "worse and worse" in Romania. Although
the government and the Romanian people are pro-U.S. and pro-NATO,
a failure to consummate business deals with Amoco and Bell Helicopter
and privatize the telecommunications system has made things difficult
for the national economy. Another problem, Funderburk said, is
that President Emil Constantinescu is preoccupied with his place
in history, which is taking his attention away from concerns of
state. Contact David Funderburk at 202/628-1700. *