Congressional Agenda for 2003

Posted: Dec 07, 2002 12:00 AM
The clouds of election contests are behind us and a new Republican majority in both Houses of Congress will gather in January. It's time to reaffirm some basic Republican principles and move ahead with legislative implementation. Principle #1. The American people, especially middle-class families, are overtaxed. Congress should accelerate and make permanent the tax cuts voted in 2001. In particular, Congress should remedy the ridiculous and deceitful current law that eliminates the death tax in 2010 but reinstates it at high levels in 2011 and imposes a brand new tax on the heirs of the deceased called carryover basis. We don't want an epidemic of euthanasia in 2010. Congress should abolish the Alternative Minimum Tax. And Congress should fulfill the Republican Platform promise to pass "legislation requiring a super-majority in both houses of Congress to raise taxes." Principle #2. The chief problem with our health care system and its rising costs is the pervasive practice of "third party payment": i.e., the person receiving medical care has little or no control over how much is spent and for what purposes. Congress should pass genuine, workable Medical Savings Accounts, which were the alternative Republicans promised when they defeated Clinton's attempt to inflict us with universal government health care in 1994. The time is ripe for individuals to retake control of their own health care spending. Even Dan Rather's CBS Evening News has been featuring the new breed of doctors who provide prompt and efficient medical care for cash while refusing payments by any government or private insurance.
Principle #3. Our government has the duty to protect the independence and sovereignty of the United States of America. The Senate should reject all United Nations treaties because they create committees of busybody foreigners to monitor U.S. compliance. The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) would force us to adopt the radical feminist agenda from abortion to textbook language revision. The Kyoto Protocol (Global Warming treaty) would force us to reduce our American standard of living by denying us the use of our own energy sources. Neither is a Republican initiative: the former was signed by Jimmy Carter and the latter by Al Gore for Bill Clinton. We urge President Bush to unsign both treaties as he did to the Clinton-signed International Criminal Court Treaty. Principle #4. Terrorism is primarily a problem of dangerous aliens coming into America because government policy allows them to violate and evade current laws, and because many laws and regulations encourage open-borders policies. America must make a choice: close our borders to people we suspect of intending to violate our laws OR put all law-abiding U.S. citizens under suspicion and allow government to curtail our civil liberties. Congress should refuse to fund all plans to develop a national database that would integrate existing public and private databases containing personal information on American citizens. We don't want government monitoring our daily activities. Congress should deny amnesty to illegal aliens and reject any revival of Section 245(i) amnesty because (as Senator Robert Byrd said) it is "sheer lunacy," and Congress should repeal Ted Kennedy's Diversity Visa Lottery immigrant program. Congress should deny visas to aliens from countries that sponsor terrorism, and order the State Department to terminate its ridiculous policy that mere advocacy of terrorism is not sufficient to deny a visa. Congress should put a moratorium on the numbers of immigrants admitted until the Immigration and Naturalization Service puts into effect a system to find and track the thousands of aliens the Justice Department wants to question about terrorism. Congress should deport illegal aliens when caught; we don't want another John Lee Malvo.
Principle #5. It's time to put a stop to the era of federal judges legislating from the bench on social policy. The President should nominate and the Senate should confirm only judges who respect the U.S. Constitution as the source of their authority rather than their own political and social prejudices (e.g., against the Ten Commandments and the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag). Principle #6. Republicans should remedy Majority Leader Tom Daschle's obstructionism in the Senate just adjourned. Both Houses should pass the legislation passed by the House in the last Congress but which Daschle refused to allow to come to a vote in the Senate, including a ban on partial-birth abortion, a ban on human cloning, the Child Custody Protection Act, and the proper definition of abstinence education for eligibility for federal funding. Principle #7. The continuation of self-government depends on honest elections and an informed electorate. Congress should repeal the 1975 law that requires states to provide foreign-language ballots, amend the Motor Voter Law to permit states more latitude in cleaning up registration lists, and abolish provisional voting which amounts to same-day registration and makes post-election manipulation too easy. This list is only a start. Stay tuned.