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October 26, 1995 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-10-26

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 26, 1995 - 7A

GOP pushes budget plan
despite threat of veto

House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.) points to a chart during a Capitol Hill news conference Tuesday along with
House Minority Whip David Bonlor (D-Mich.) while discussing the budget.

Continued from Page 1A
publican priorities in the overall bud-
get," said David Carle, Simon's press
secretary. "He has believed that we
need to make more of a priority of
education, not less. He feels very
strongly about continuing the benefits
of the direct student loan program."
Education Secretary Richard Riley
has recommended that President Clinton
veto the bill in its current form.
Under the direct loan program, which
the University strongly supports, uni-

versities work directly with a servicer
contracted by the Department of Edu-
cation. With the guaranteed loan pro-
gram, which makes up the remainder of
loans, the University had dealt with
1,400 lenders, guarantors and servicers
in providing federal aid.
The House version of the budget rec-
onciliation bill, which is expected to
pass today, would eliminate the direct
loan program.
Sen. Spencer Abraham's (R-Mich.)
press secretary, Joe McMonigle, said
Abraham will not support the amend-
"I think it's important to recognize

that a lot of the amendments to be
offered by Democrats are not going to
be substantive, but political,"
McMonigle said. "Savings are achieved
through administrative changes in the
programs that have minimal effects on
McMonigle said students wouldben-
efit in the form of lower interest rates
through a balanced budget.
Kathleen McShea, press secretary to
Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), said Levin
had not yet seen the amendment. In a
teleconference last Friday, Levin criti-
cized the Republican changes to stu-
dent loan programs.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Defying a
strongly worded veto threat, Republi-
cans pushed legislation to the floor of
Congress yesterday that would balance
the budget, cut taxes and reshape gov-
ernment. "We have been waiting 40
years for this moment," said Senate
Majority Leader Bob Dole.
With showdown votes set for later in
the week, President Clinton said the
measure would threaten Medicare, edu-
cation and the environment. He also
accused the GOP leadership of "eco-
nomic blackmail, pure and simple" for
saying they would refuse to extend the
government's borrowing authority if
the White House didn't agree to sign
the budget bill.
Enunciating his opposition to that
legislation itself, Clinton said: "If the
Republicans plunge ahead and pass this
budget, I will veto it and demand a
budget that reflects our values."
For their part, Dole and House
Speaker Newt Gingrich worked through
the day to ease concerns of wavering
Republicans, from farm-state lawmak-
ers unhappy with the House measure to
Senate moderates seeking more funds
foreducation and other social programs.
The GOP high command exuded con-
fidence that the measure, designed to
balance the budget in seven years,would
pass when the roll was called later in the
week in both houses. The bill was the
centerpiece of the Republican revolu-
tion launched last January, and the
party's leaders said it heralded a once-
in-a-generation shift in American gov-
"It is not quite comparable to the
New Deal, but it is certainly on the
same scale as the Great Society" said
Gingrich (R-Ga.), the first Republican
speaker in four decades.
Democrats conceded the sweeping
nature of the legislation, but judged it
harshly and hoped Republicans would
pay a heavy political price in next year's

Republicans want to "squeeze the
elderly" to finance "lavish tax breaks
forthe wealthiest individuals," said Sen.
Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), criti-
cizing the GOP-proposed Medicare
overhaul that would raise premiums
and gradually increase the age of eligi-
bility from 65 to 67.
The legislation would affect virtu-
ally everyone in the nation. Hundreds
of billions of dollars would be carved
from Medicare, Medicaid and welfare,
"It'"s not quite
comparable to the.
New Deal, but it is
certainly on the
same scale as the
Great Society."
- Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.)
Speaker of the House
and federal strings would be loosened
on the states in a variety of social pro-
The Commerce Department would
be abolished in the House bill; both
versions called for higher fees for visit-
ing national parks.
And from the national to the local,
both measures include a provision that
would charge San Francisco more
money for continued use of the Hetch
Hetchy Dam system as a reservoir. The
system is in Yosemite National Park.
The proposed tax cuts would total
$245 billion over seven years, and in-
clude a $500-per-child break on in-,
come taxes and a reduction in the levy
on profits from investments.
The tax cuts drew opposition not
only from Democrats, but some moder-
ate Republicans as well, some of whom
preferred spending the money to reduce

the deficit. Others were bothered by a
House provision that would grant the
child tax break to families with up to
$200,000 in annual income.
Despite Clinton's veto threat, there
was a widespread expectation that there
was still time later this fall for negotia-
tions between the White House and
Congress on a balanced-budget plan.
Debate began on the floor of the
Senate during the morning and in the
House a few hours later, with Demo-
crats and Republicans attacking and
extolling the measure by turns.
At the same time, Dole and Gingrich
worked behind the scenes to ease con-
cerns of individual lawmakers.
Gingrich sought to reassure farm state
lawmakers concerned over a provision
to end traditional farm programs by
giving growers a fixed but declining
payment to ease the switch to a free-
market system. Officials said Gingrich
was hoping to win over the plan's crit-, .
ics with an assurance that if they voted
for it, hewould make sure it was changed
in compromise talks with the Senate.
The problems facing Dole (R-Kan.)"
were different. Several senators wanted
more money for their states from Med-
icaid, the health care program for the
poor. And moderates were seeking ad-
ditional funds for education, a tax credit
for the working poor, reinstatement of
federal nursing home standards and an
assortment of other changes.
"People are encouraged" by the re-
sponse to their concerns, said Sen. John
Chafee (R-R.I.), one member of the
group ofmoderates. "There's an honest
effort being made to work things out."
Republicans hold a 53-46 majority inA
the Senate, with one vacancy, and a
233-199 majority in the House, with
one independent and two vacancies.
While Republicans approved a non-
binding budget blueprint earlier in the
year, the legislation on the floor this week
is required to impose the actual spending
restraints necessary to reduce the deficit.

Continued from Page IA
Congress for the first time in 40 years.
"This is clearly a historic vote," said
House Budget Committee Chairman
John Kasich (R-Ohio), as he opened
debate in the House. "This isour chance
to restore fiscal sanity and to guarantee
economic security for this country."
The omnibus bill wraps into one "rec-
onciliation" measure a staggering array
of provisions to cut taxes and spending
ip programs that reach deeply into the
federal government's role in American
society and its economy.
Aside from curbing spending for
Medicare and Medicaid, the bill would
scale back the earned income tax credit
for the working poor and convert fed-
eral welfare spending into block grants
to states. Other provisions would open
the Alaska wilderness to oil drilling,
abolish the Commerce Department and

impose new fees on student loans.
In the Senate yesterday, the GOP-
dominated chamber debated into the
evening the first of a slew of Demo-
cratic amendments aimed at lessening
the cuts, including one that would cut
the Medicare spending reductions to
$89 billion.
But Senate Democrats harbored no
illusions about the chances of any of
their amendments actually passing.
"We just feel very strongly that the
record should reflect where Democrats
stand," Daschle said.
In the face of such Democratic at-
tacks, Republicans remained fixated on
their goal and the future.
Sen. Pete V. Domenici (R-N.M.),
chairman of the Budget Committee,
ardently defended the spending reduc-
tions by arguing that future generations
will suffer if Clinton and his fellow
Democrats succeeded in forcing Re-
publicans to abandon their revolution

and retain the status quo.
"Do we want to pay our debts or do
we want our children and grandchil-
dren to pay for the government we want
to give to people but can't afford?"
Domenici said in an impassioned floor
Earlier in the day, Gingrich and Dole,
in an unusual joint meeting of House
and Senate Republicans, indicated that
their aim was not merely to win passage
of the budget, but to do so with unani-
mous support from their party.
To that end, they spent a good portion
of yesterday negotiating with moder-
ates and other members of their own
party in hopes of overcoming objec-
tions that their assorted pet programs
were being cut too steeply.
House Republicans managed to
sweep away one of the last major ob-
stacles to passage yesterday when a
group of farm-state Republicans agreed
to vote for the budget.

For Republicans, gambling debate
canries high stakes in Las Vegyas


From Daily Wire Services
LAS VEGAS - Political high roll-
ers attending the Western States Re-
publican Leadership Conference last
week laughed when Las Vegas's mayor
cracked a gaming joke. But many of
those laughs sounded nervous.
"I have worked with all of the casi-
nos," Mayor Jan Jones deadpanned in
her welcome speech at the MGM Grand
Hotel. "They have decided that if you
don't regulate us at the federal level, we
will fix our slots ... What that means is,
none of you can lose if you decide to
Forsomeconservatives,though, gam-
bling is no laughing matter.
As both political parties and some
presidential candidates rake in a grow-
ing jackpot of contributions from
sources connected to the gaming indus-
try, critics worry that the fix may in-
deed be in.
"I think its a mistake for either politi-
cal party to be taking money from gam-
bling interests," Rep. Frank Wolf (R-
Va) said, pointing to cases of local
politicians caught up in corruption scan-
dals in Louisiana and other locations
that have recently embraced gaming.
Then there is the question of how the

GOP can push so hard for family val-
ues, personal responsibility and the work
ethic and then hold a major conference
in a town once known as Sin City.
The debate about gambling got
shoved into the GOP presidential cam-
paign when, at last month's Christian
Coalition convention, Sen. Richard
Lugar (R-Ind.) linked it to "the moral
erosion"of America, calling it a threat
to "the fabric of family and community
But even Lugar-who is cosponsor-
ing legislation to set up a national gam-
ing commission to study the issue -
got a reminder recently of just how
widespread the industry has become.
The Indianapolis Star reported that a
few days before his Christian Coalition
talk, Lugar's presidential campaign ac-
cepted $1,500 from the Pritzker family,
whose Hyatt hotels - like other chains
including Hilton and Holiday Inn -
now earn a big chunk of their profits
from casinos.
Contributions to Lugar's campaign,
however, were penny ante compared to
industry-linked largess to Senate Ma-
jority Leader Bob Dole, the GOP
frontrunner. He took in $477,450 at a
single June fund-raiser put together by

the Mirage Resorts and its owner Steve
Wynn, according to figures first re-
ported by The Wall Street Journal.
The industry is even more generous
in its contributions to the parties. The
public interest research group Com-
mon Cause found that in 1993 and 1994,
the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe of Con-
necticut alone gave a total of $465,000
- mainly to Democrats.
Overall, contributions are edging to-
wardtheGOP, with industry donors rang-x
ing from the Hollywood Park racetrack to
Bally's contributing $708,869 to the "
Democrats and $933,369 to the Republi-
cans during that two-year period, accord-
ing to the Common Cause study.
At the Republican gathering in Las
Vegas - attended by GOP activists
from throughout the West - national
party chairman Haley Barbour at-
tempted to brush off reporters' ques-
tions on whether the gambling issue
might affect the 1996 campaign. "I can't
answer a question about something I
never heard of," he said.
Reminded, though, that social con
servatives who wield considerable clout
have already declared it an issue,
Barbour shifted gears and laid out the
standard catalog of benefits cited by


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