John McCaslin

It's been exactly one decade since Republicans gained control of Congress for the first time in 40 years.

Elated conservative lawmakers quickly promised to change the way Congress did business, making government smaller and more accountable. Toward those ends, they drew up an unprecedented "Contract with America," the likes of which the hallowed body had never seen.

"I have read that there is one, but I have not read it," reacted Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.). He refused, or so he said in this column, to read the opposition's 10-point plan.

"Some would say: 'Why have you not read it?' Well, I have never read the Democratic platform. Why? Because I did not have any part in writing that platform. I am going to be guided by my own conscience ... not by some party platform. Why waste my time on a party platform?"

Particularly one drawn up by Republicans.

"The general theme of the Class of 1994 was to restrain 'government that is too big, too intrusive and too easy with the public's money,'" notes the libertarian-minded Cato Institute, which has organized a Washington conference on May 20 to examine the successes and failures of the Republican revolution.

Presenting an overview of the revolution will be its leaders, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former House Majority Leader Dick Armey. The opening question: Do Americans have less government and more liberty after 10 years of Republican rule?


At least one Bush administration program works.

In the two weeks since Labor Secretary Elaine Chao announced a work-force recruitment program, 206 college students with disabilities have been placed in federal government jobs.

A free database, which the secretary announced on March 30, identifies qualified college students and recent grads with disabilities who seek summer and permanent jobs. The database is being made available to government and private employers.

"The Workforce Recruitment Program gives students with disabilities the opportunities they need to start successful careers," Chao says. "The program also fulfills President Bush's New Freedom Initiative pledge to promote employment opportunities for people with disabilities throughout the nation."


John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

Be the first to read John McCaslin's column. Sign up today and receive delivered each morning to your inbox.