Gingrich: Tax Cuts Can Wait
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, March 18) -- In a break from some of his congressional allies, House Speaker Newt Gingrich has signaled his willingness to delay tax cuts if that will pave the way to a balanced budget deal with the Clinton Administration. The idea is anathema to the House's number-two Republican, Majority leader Dick Armey of Texas as well as Rep. Bill Archer of Texas, who chairs the House's tax writing committee, and Senate Finance Committee Chairman William Roth (R-Del.). But Gingrich has support from House Majority Whip Tom DeLay of Texas and possibly from Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott of Mississippi. And, of course, from the White House. Without GOP tax proposals on the table, asked Gingrich, "what's the liberal excuse for not balancing the budget?"
Another World War II Mission For Dole
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, March 18) -- Bob Dole is poised to make another lasting imprint on the Washington scene, not in the White House but several thousand feet from it. In a news conference Wednesday, he'll announce plans to lead the drive to raise $100 million for a World War II memorial on Washington's National Mall, in between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. Dole, a decorated veteran who lost the use of his right arm during the war, will be joined by several corporate leaders at the planned site, a 7.4-acre rectangle. The design for the site -- two half circles consisting of 40-foot-high columns built around a plaza -- was unveiled in January, the same day President Bill Clinton awarded Dole the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Gephardt To Return Political Donations
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, March 18) -- Move over, Al. Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt, the House's most powerful Democrat and an oft-mentioned presidential rival to Vice President Al Gore, will return some $22,000 in questionable campaign contributions. Most of them are linked to the Indonesian Lippo Group conglomerate and John Huang, the controversial fund-raiser at the center of the flap over Democratic fund-raising. Gephardt, a longtime foe of granting most-favored-nation trade status to China, was not among the six House members warned by the FBI last year of Chinese intentions to funnel donations to Democratic campaigns.
Justice Explains, Sort Of
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, March 18) -- A three-paragraph statement from the Justice Department doesn't provide much clarity on why FBI findings that China planned to influence the last congressional elections weren't more aggressively disseminated to the White House and Congress. The FBI was first alerted to the possibility in 1995 and cabled "staff-level offices" at the CIA and the State Department, according to the memo. But the information was vague, and "did not mention any members of Congress by name, nor did it contain information regarding any plans to influence the executive branch." So, the FBI didn't formally brief any administration or congressional body until May 1996; President Bill Clinton says he learned of the matter in early 1997 through press reports. Congressional Republicans wonder how it's possible, after the FBI briefed two National Security Council officials on the matter in June 1996, that the information wasn't passed on to the president.
Cooley Lied About Military Record
SALEM, Ore. (CNN, March 18) -- Wes Cooley, a former Republican representative from Oregon, was found guilty Tuesday of falsifying his military record in the 1994 state Voters Pamphlet. A judge placed the 64-year-old Cooley on two years' probation, ordered him to do 100 hours of community service,and pay $5,000 in fines and $2,110 in court costs. Cooley, who said he served in special forces in Korea among his qualifications for candidacy, was found in violation of the election law. He dropped his congressional bid last year and left office in January.
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