The Washington Daily
Ratings: Republican win, lean GOP/advantage GOP, Neutral, Lean Democratic/advantage Democratic, Democratic Win. Public Awareness: 1-10, 10 being the highest. Subject to evolution and change; these ratings will not be final unless noted.
Marshall Amendment Passes Narrowly … By 218-216, the Marshall Amendment to revise the funding streams to be allocated in a “fair and open application.” The Republican victory on the bill managed to mitigate the news on the Ferris uproar (which didn’t, given the era, and given MLK Day, Jr being blocked by a number of Senators who won re-election anyway, necessarily hurt the GOP). The bill passed 312-85, with a leading Democrat expressing surprise that House Minority Leader Kyle Fitzgerald (R-Tex. 7th) backed it.. Pundits rated it advantage GOP. Public awareness: 5. (In a 85% white electorate, minority issues are a bit de-emphasized, especially in the eighties in the full flower of the Reagan Revolution).
Democrats successfully Push Drug Free Parks and Recreation Facilities Act Amendments … After an embarrassing start, Democrats rallied with Storm I and II to modify punishments set out in the bill (making it more relative and allowing the Attorney General to pursue “lesser punishments.”) Drug reform advocates widely hailed the move. Pundits rated the final outcome advantage Democrats. Public awareness: 7/10. (Crime is a huge issue in the late eighties, as is drugs).
So, that’s a wash on the titanic battles …. The GOP erased the Ferris screw up while the Democrats erased the Storm screw up. Maybe a slight GOP win.
Senate Stalls on Percy Nomination … Wrangling over the Percy nomination stalled the Senate and the nomination is expected to be stuck for a while (OOC note: That’s on the Admins, so nobody is getting hit). Outcome: Neutral.
AARP Furious at House Democrats …. Without much debate, House Democrats voted down a measure 228-207 that would have ended the earnings test to earn Social Security for older Americans. The AARP declared, “Older Americans need our help, now, more than ever, in a slowing economy.” Republicans were united for the measure. Interestingly, the weakest demographic for President Reagan (and maybe Kaine) in 1984 and 1988 were seniors. Republican Michael Marshall (R-N.C. 10th) pushed the measure on the House Floor. Republican Ronald Prescott (R-WI 9th) sponsored the measure. (His statement ran, “This bill will end the unfair and quite frankly ridiculous rule that says that if you reach retirement age, continue to work and contribute to society, you are to be punished by having your benefits cut if you earn above a certain amount.” A second statement said, “
“I cannot understand why we punish people who want to contribute to society after reaching retirement.”) House Republicans expressed outrage with GOP Rep. Dylan MacMillan (R-CA 42nd) accused the Democrats of “not having a care in the world for our senior citizens” Democrat Thomas Blackstone shot back, “If you have a bill that you care about, that you feel the American people would care about, stand strong behind it and debate it on the House Floor.” Michael Marshall noted, “ Again we hear more excuses of procedural barriers instead of helping older Americans earn more in the United States. The House Majority Whip has added his name to the list of Democrats that don't support giving our senior citizens more opportunity to get more money without losing their social security checks.” The RNC also released a statement, saying, “It is quite clear from this decision that there is only one party in the United States that work for the benefit of our seniors and its the Republican Party … All we want to do is give our seniors more money in their retirement by allowing them to work and collect social security,” adding to the momentum. At this hour, pundits are saying the fight leans Republican. Public Awareness: 9/10. This is a huge issue for an aging electorate.
No Seatbelt, No Deal Act debate underway in House … Of course, ten gallon weird man from Nevada opposed it. (Ferris) That said, Republicans followed Ferris again on this measure and this is the second measure Ferris has led the House GOP on, despite emerging as a racial lightning rod. Thomas Blackstone (D-MA 3rd) and the new Party Chair) asked the House, “Do we not have money to ensure that our children (and all members of society as well) are safer.” In 1986, Nebraska (a Republican state) and Massachusetts repealed the seat belt law but since 1984, 24 states have passed a mandatory seat belt law. In both states, the vote was close, suggesting a national divide (albeit, in favor of mandatory seat belt laws, given that 24 states now have it). No Clear Outcome/Neutral. Public Awareness: 5/10.
Phyllis Schafly Blasts House GOP and White House for Allowing the Equal Rights Amendment to go through Committee without Opposition … GOP doyenne and anti-ERA activist (and longtime Illinois Republican) Phyllis Schafly blasted the Republican Party for allowing the ERA to pass Committee, raising fears among the Right that the Left would try a second crack at the ERA. Potential GOP damage here (no rating yet). Public Awareness: 6/10, 9/10 among the Right.
The DNC PR received widespread praise for their well written legislative roundup, found here. Media outlets may cover the DNC a little more favorably as a result.
Democrats Push Textile Import Ban from Soviet Union, South Africa … Thomas Blackstone, DNC Chair, pushed the bill saying, “This bill will help protect American workers and make certain that our economy remains strong. This is a comprehensive bill that secures a position of strength for our textile industry here in America.” Speaker Elizabeth Callaghan (D-Pa.) issued a strong statement saying, “Cheap imports from the Soviets and South Africa, two places that stand fundamentally at odds with the values of the United States, will be banned under this act as they rightfully should.” The issue is advantage Democratic. Public Awareness: 9/10, as the nation has been recently aggressive against foreign imports and the Soviet Union is a historic American foe.
Refer to Item #9 and #5. The RNC is courting senior Americans while Democrats are pushing for the blue collar vote. The senior vote could go to the GOP in the 1990 midterms but blue collar Americans could be tempted to vote Democratic.
GOP Senate passes Measures Through UC … The Senate passed a counter-narcotics measure, some FDA measure, and unemployment compensation for battered female domestic victim survivors. (Not language you’d see in the eighties). None of the measures were controversial. Majority Leader Jack Edwards (R-Montana) said "The Senate has considered a range of bills so far in this session, which range from allowing our senior citizens to earn more money to ensuring that battered women receive unemployment insurance. Bills which have received broad bipartisan support in the upper chamber, sadly, the same cannot be said for the lower chamber.” Shade thrown at the Speaker, which is interesting if they ever need to pass a budget. The rating is advantage Republican and public awareness is 3/10.
The White House
President Anderson Kaine announces Elimination of (some) Capital Gains Tax and Middle Class Tax Cut … Once again, Republican and lightning rod Will Ferris (R-Nevada 2nd) is at the forefront of the GOP legislative efforts, having sponsored the Administration's leading tax package. Aside from having a racial firestorm lead the 41st President’s tax agenda (which got a hearty denunciation from the NAACP), the White House is attempting to pass a tax cut (as Republican White Houses tend to do). As the Administration PR put it, “The tax credit would convert capital gains to regular income, and ensure that the first $20,000 for short-term investments and $35,000 for long-term investments is untaxed in its entirety.” Ferris said, “With the passage of the Tax Reform Act of 1986, we have an unparalleled opportunity to bring about an end to the capital gains tax for all short-term gains of up to $20,000, and long-term gains of up to $35,000. This will cover 99% of all Americans and the entire middle class, effectively eliminating the unjust and punitive capital gains tax nationwide.” (Side bar, everyone noticed that he called the President of the United States a close friend, a statement not repudiated by the President). The President gave a lengthy statement of mostly platitudes, as most Republican Presidents tend to do. House Republicans were for the President’s tax cuts, with Dylan MacMillan saying, “Today the President and other leading Republicans outlined a major set of tax cuts for America's middle classes that will save them thousands of dollars each.” The RNC also issued a statement in favor of it. House Majority Whip James Parker (R-CA 44th) also issued a statement, saying “We see a cut on Capital Gains investments which will allow low and middle income families to finally be allowed the opportunity to invest in their future, and, in tough times.” Rating is advantage Republican, bordering on GOP win, with a public awareness rating of 9/10.