posted on Nov, 19 2002 @ 08:49 AM
Senate Dems And McCain Want To Remove Pork
From Bush Homeland Security Bill
Republicans showed again that they are the tools of corporate lobbyists & special interests by adding nearly 500 pages of new provisions to the 32
page Homeland Security Bill.
Late Monday afternoon CNN TV reported that the Senate Dems will push an amendment to the Bush Homaland Security bill because the Repub House porked up
the bill at the last minute and left town. Today's NYT reports that three Repugs are on the fence in spite of last minute Bush phone calls: Lincoln
Chafee of Rhode Island, and Susan Collins and Olympia J. Snowe of Maine. The Dems already have John McCain on board because he doesn't care for the
Repub House's hit-and-run tactics and will support a Dem amendment that would likely eliminate the following GOP provisions:
ï Proivide liability protection "for manufacturers of thimerosal, a mercury-based additive to vaccines that some people believe is linked to autism
in children. Its principal beneficiary would be the pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly, which developed thimerosal and has considerable influence in
Washington. It contributed more than $1.5 million to Congressional candidates in the last election cycle, and Mitchell E. Daniels Jr., the director of
the White House Office of Management and Budget, was formerly its president of North American operations." (NYT)
"ï Gut a Senate amendment that prohibits the government from signing contracts with companies that move their headquarters offshore -- where they
don't have to pay U.S. taxes.
ï Create a homeland security research center program at a U.S. university. Democrats say the legislation is written in such a way as to favor the
creation of the center at Texas A&M University in Texas, home to some powerful GOP lawmakers and President Bush. Its incoming president is a former
director of the CIA, the Daddy Bush Presidential Library is on campus, and Texas' Tom DeLay is pushing the plan. (Today's NYT reports that A&M
officials had suggested the idea to the House Repub who inserted it into the bill.)
ï Provide liability protection from airport screening companies.
ï Provide liability protection for companies that sell anti-terrorism technologies or products.
ï Erect barriers to the Transportation Security Agency for the issuance of some security rules for travelers.
ï Allow the Department of Homeland Security to hold advisory committee meetings in secret, a move Democrats say is a gift to corporate lobbyists."
ï No mention has been made of the Big Brother additions to the bill that William Safire was so shocked by in his recent op-ed piece in the Times. An
observer notes that "this provision of the Homeland Security Act would create a single database to round up personal information on every American.
If the Senate passes this bill, the government will bring together in one grand database all the public and private information they can get their
hands on including your credit history, the magazines you subscribe to, your banking, travel information, etc."
If Johnny Mac's backing of the Dem-inspired amendment that removes the Repub pork leads to Senate passage today, the House will have to turn around
and come back to D.C. before Christmas in order to come to a compromise with the Senate if Bush wants to see a Homeland Security bill signed before