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April 18, 1996 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-04-18

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, April 18, 1996 - 5A

call for
wage raise
WASHINGTON (AP) - Moderate
:House Republicans broke ranks and
joined Democrats calling for an elec-
tion-year increase in the minimum wage,
a vote Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kan.) and
other GOP leaders have tried to pre-
House Majority Leader Dick Armey
(R-Texas) said through an aide that he
d no plans to schedule the bill for the
'Moor. But with Democrats also clam-
onng for a vote on a daily basis, other
lawmakers and aides in the GOP lead-
ership said the issue was virtually cer-
.t4in to reach the floor of the House,
;and conceded it may have enough sup-
,port to pass. .
"All of us believe that people who
work a 40-hour work week ought to
earn a wage they can live on," said Rep.
*ck Quinn (R-N.Y.), as he and 13
fellow Republicans unveiled their bill
The proposal would provide for two
separate increases of 50 cents an hour,
one to take effect 90 days after the bill
is signed by President Clinton, and the
second boost a year after that.
. Clinton and congressional Democrats
support a 90-cent-an-hour increase over
two years in the current federal mini-
'um of $4.25 an hour.
Public opinion polls, including some
taken for Republicans, show widespread
support for raising the minimum wage.
Organized labor favors the proposal,
and Democrats have made it a central
tenet of their attempt to appeal to work-
ers whose standard of living hasn't kept
up in recent years.
In the current, politically charged at-
mosphere in Congress, Republicans
*ave thwarted all attempts by Demo-
crats to force a vote in the House. Dole,
.the GOP presidential nominee-in-wait-
ing, has maneuvered mightily in the
Senate to avoid a vote. On Tuesday, he
pulled a major immigration bill off the
Senate floor when Democrats sought to
use it for votes on the minimum wage
and Social Security.
"The Republican leadership is stiffing
the majority of the American people by
refusing to raise the minimum
age...(they) won't even allow a vote,"
Vice President Al Gore charged.
But even as Quinn and other Repub-
licans were holding their news confer-
ence, Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.)
and the GOP leadership were
backpedaling on the subject. House
sources, speaking on condition ofano-
nymity, said the leadership had begun
discussions on trying to salvage some
.olitical advantage.
One idea, still in the discussion stage,
would attach a provision to stiffen en-
forcement of a 1988 Supreme Court
ruling that bars laborunions from using
compulsory fees assessed to non-union
workers for political purposes.
Gingrich also noted during the day
that he had supported a 1989 measure
that raised the minimum wage and in-
cluded a sub-mininmum training wage
for younger workers. That bill passed
tith only 37 votes in opposition. Dole
also supported the last minimum wage

bill to pass Congress.
Asked whether the issue would come
to a vote this year, Gingrich said, "I
don't know."
Dole also sidestepped a question, say-
ing, "I don't know of any" when asked if
a possible compromise was in the works.
Armey issued a written statement that
made no mention of the action taken by
is GOP colleagues and renewed his
opposition totheminimum wage. "This
whole issue is a sham on the part of the
Washington union bosses that fund the
Democrat party," he said.

U.S. approves
anns for Pakistan,
loans for China

Moves had been held
up for months while
weighing implications
The Washington Post
WASH INGTON- The Clinton ad-
ministration has approved a major
arms delivery to Pakistan, and re-
sumed granting government-subsi-
dized loans and loan guarantees for
U.S. exports to China - two impor-
tant signs that Washington will not
severely punish either country for
China's clandestine sale of equipment
that could be used in Pakistan's
nuclear weapons program.
The administration formally notified
Congress it will deliver $368 million in
military equipment to Pakistan afterhold-
ing up the transfer for months to weigh
the implications of Pakistan's purchase
of Chinese magnets that could be used to
enrich uranium for nuclear weapons.
In letters to members of Congress,
Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott
said President Clinton has decided that
delivery of the military equipment that
Pakistan paid for in the 1980s "provides
the best opportunity to engage Islamabad
in our (nuclear) nonproliferation strat-

egy and to improve cooperation with
Pakistan on such vital issues as
counterterrorism and counternarcotics,"
Pakistan also will get $124 million in
cash that it paid for weapons and spare
parts that were never manufactured.
In an indication that China will also
go largely unpunished for the nuclear
equipment deal, which became public
earlier this year, the Export-Import
Bank board Tuesday approved a $160
million guarantee of a bank loan for
the purchase of three Boeing 767-3400
jets by China's Yunnan Airlines. The
approval, confirmed by an Ex-Im
Bank official, ended a hiatus on Ex-
Im processing of China deals that the
State Department requested in late
February while reviewing the Paki-
stan transaction.
A law provides for cutoff of Ex-Im
Bank loans to countries that help other
nations to develop a nuclear arsenal.
But administration officials had sig-
naled previously that they wanted to
avoid an across-the-board cutoff of
transactions for China, a major trading
partner. They are considering more lim-
ited sanctions, such as imposing re-
strictions on Ex-Im financing just for
China's nuclear industry.

Benedictine brother Matthew Loffey plants one of 4,400 white crosses forming a "cemetery of innocence" at St.
Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa. Students and monks erected the crosses as part of the college's Respect for Life
Week. The crosses represent the number of abortions the college believes are performed daily in the United States.
Senate passes anti-cnme bill to
liit death-penalty appeals


The Washington Post
WASHINGTON - The Senate ap-
proved an anti-terrorism bill yesterday
that would dramatically curb the power
of federal courts to determine whether
state death-row inmates have been
wrongly imprisoned.
The legislation, passed by a vote of
91 to 8, goes farther to limit pro-
tracted death-penalty appeals than
other anti-crime proposals offered in
recent years, and farther than changes
sought by Supreme Court Chief Jus-
tice William
Rehnquist. And it _________
marks the first ! f We
time in more than
a century of law this, wha
on the "writ of ha-
beas corpus" that ee
federal judges
would have to de- next?"
fer to state-court
determinations on-Sen. [
whether a
prisoner's consti-
tutional rights were violated.
A writ of habeas corpus is a way for
federal judges to assess whether a
defendant's conviction is unconstitu-
tional because, for example, his right
to a fair trial was infringed. The writ
orders the state to produce the prisoner
- the body or "corpus" - so that he
can make his case to a federal court.
The death-penalty appeals provision
has received comparatively little atten-
tion as lawmakers have rushed to com-
plete a counter-terrorism bill to mark
tomorrow's one-year anniversary of the
Oklahoma City bombing. Other provi-
sions would widen federal jurisdiction
over, and increase the penalties for, ter-
rorist actions. It would bar fund raising
by foreign groups with terrorist links
and enhance the ability of law enforce-
ment to trace plastic explosives.
The bill voted yesterday was a com-
promise version agreed to by the Senate
and House Monday and scheduled to be
on the House floor today. It could be on
President Clinton's desk for signature
tomorrow, and aides have said he will
sign it despite his belief that crucially


important provisions were dropped.
Approval came after the failure of
Democratic efforts to restore provisions
that had been rejected by the House.
Among them were proposals to lengthen
the statute of limitations for firearms vio-
lations and to make it easier for the gov-
ernment to wiretap suspected terrorists.
Those who want to rewrite habeas-
corpus law say its inclusion in the bill is
a victory for crime victims and the
integrity of state prosecutions. Oppo-
nents say it could lead to the executions
of innocent men
and women who
agr t cannot get their
cases heard in
I' will we federal court.
Driving efforts
fng to to change the
rules for con-
is the fact that in-
aniel Moynihan matesoftenelude
(D-N.Y.) execution by
lengthy appeals
and petitions for habeas corpus.
Proponents of the bill argued that true
justice forthe victims of such crimes can
come only when sentences of execution
are carried out. The average time spent
on death row from 1977 to 1994 was
eight years, according to figures gath-
ered by the Death Penalty Information
Center. The center also said that as of
January, about 3,000 prisoners were
under death sentence across the country.
Many of the provisions apply not
only in death-penalty cases but to any
prisoner seeking to challenge the con-

stitutionality ofacase in federal court.
Sen. Daniel Moynihan (D-N.Y.) de-
scribed habeas corpus yesterday as "one
of the fundamental civil liberties on
which every civilized society" is based
and said the bill would have "confounded
the framers" of the Constitution.
"If we agree to this, what will we be
agreeing to next?" Moynihan asked.
In response, Senate Judiciary Com-
mittee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)
described the provisions as "long-over-
due" and said opposition stems largely
from critics of capital punishment.
Hatch rejected assertions that propo-
nents were tampering with basic consti-
tutional rights, saying they were simply
changing the statutory rules that imple-
ment them.
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