January 1995 Home   Newsletters

February 1995

March 1995

President's Message: League Explores Social Issues (Suzanne Meisenzahl)
Congratulations, Meda!
League Faces Full Vote Count Schedule (Arlene Ellis)
Join the Phone Bank
Voter Service to Tackle Voters Guide for 1996 Election (Arlene Ellis)
Orientation Session Scheduled (Grace Furukawa)
UH Seeks Women for Health Study
City Council Observors Needed
Board Members Sought
League Responds to Contract with America
Analysis of the Proposed Balanced Budget Amendment
League Reacts to Proposed Job Creation Act
Tell it to Washington
Education Bill Analyzed (Marion Saunders)
League Positions Outlined
Congratulations, Arlene!
League Presents a Discussion on Violence
Letters to the Editor (Mildred Walston)
Good News and Bad News
Water Allocation Issues Studied (Carol Kleppin)

League Responds to Contract with America

Contract with America is an ambitious ten-point program that House Republicans have pledged themselves to enact early in the legislative session of the 104th Congress. League positions on these ten points are outlined below, with a detailed analysis of two of them, from the LWV/US publication, Report From the Hill.

I. Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment

This item is covered in detail in the following article.

II. Taking Back Our Streets Act

To fight crime, this proposal would cut spending for crime prevention programs, funnel more money into prison construction and hire additional law enforcement officers.

While League has no position on these provisions, it is concerned that opportunity will be provided for a floor amendment to dismantle the Brady law and the semiautomatic assault weapons ban - two gun control measures passed with strong support from League.

III. Personal Responsibility Act

A welfare reform, this promises three types of changes opposed by the League:

  1. would cut off eligibility after two years and deny benefits to illegitimate children and children born to teenage mothers.

  2. consolidates major programs such as food stamps and nutrition programs into block grants to the states. It also converts the largest programs from entitlements to programs funded through an annual appropriation. Once appropriated funds run out, states would have to make up the shortfall or place otherwise eligible people on waiting lists.

  3. would give states more control over public assistance.
A number of League Social Policy positions (including Equality of Opportunity and Meeting Basic Human Needs) put the primary responsibility for setting standards and guidelines for financing welfare programs with the federal government.

IV. Family Reinforcement Act

Designed to strengthen families, this act would create tax credits for adoption and for care of elderly relatives, establish tougher sentences for crimes against children, and strengthen child support enforcement.

Acting under its Early Intervention for Children at Risk position, League supports a requirement that states enforce child support judgments.

V. American Dream Restoration Act

More family values. It would provide a $500-per-child tax credit, begin repeal of the marriage tax penalty, and establish "American Dream" savings accounts to help middle-class Americans.

VI. National Security Restoration Act

This calls for restoring adequate national security funding, but does not define what level of funding is adequate.

League strongly opposes two provisions of this act: reviving the "Star Wars" missile defense program and restoring "fire walls" which would prevent the transfer o f funds saved from Pentagon programs to finance social programs. The League's Fiscal Policy position expressly supports cuts in defense to reduce the deficit and fund social programs.

VII. Senior Citizens Fairness Act

Designed to help older Americans, it would reduce taxes on Social Security benefits for higher income persons and provide tax incentives for private long-term care insurance.

VIII. Job Creation and Wage Enhancement Act

This measure is addressed on the following pages.

IX. Reforming Torts

Aimed toward cutting down on the amount of litigation in our society, new "loser pays" laws would place limits on punitive damages and create a uniform product liability law.

X. Citizen Legislature Act

Would propose a constitutional amendment to impose term limits on members of the House and Senate.

Applying its positions on Congress and the Presidency, Citizen Rights and Voting Rights, the League opposes term limits for members of Congress. It believes that the government should not restrict voters' freedom to choose whom they please to govern them. Without experienced legislators, Congress would be a weaker branch, less able to stand up to a strong President.

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