Republicans Watered Down 1996 Clinton Anti-Terrorism Bill : LUSENET : Exposing Rightwing Corruption : One Thread

Republicans Watered Down 1996 Clinton
Anti-Terrorism Bill, Thanks to Lott & Hatch

10-16-01, Since all the republicans want to blame clinton for all the worlds problems these articles should open some eyes. I wonder why the mainstream media or O'Reilly or Rush or FOX news never mention these facts when they blame Clinton for everything ?

7-30-1996, WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Clinton urged Congress Tuesday to act swiftly in developing anti-terrorism legislation before its August recess.

"We need to keep this country together right now. We need to focus on this terrorism issue," Clinton said during a White House news conference.

But while the president pushed for quick legislation, Republican lawmakers hardened their stance against some of the proposed anti-terrorism measures.

Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Mississippi, doubted that the Senate would rush to action before they recess this weekend. The Senate needs to study all the options, he said, and trying to get it done in the next three days would be tough.

One key GOP senator was more critical, calling a proposed study of chemical markers in explosives "a phony issue."

Taggants value disputed

Clinton said he knew there was Republican opposition to his proposal on explosive taggants, but it should not be allowed to block the provisions on which both parties agree.

"What I urge them to do is to be explicit about their disagreement, but don't let it overcome the areas of agreement," he said.

The president emphasized coming to terms on specific areas of disagreement would help move the legislation along. The president stressed it's important to get the legislation out before the weekend's recess, especially following the bombing of Centennial Olympic Park and the crash of TWA Flight 800.

"The most important thing right now is that they get the best, strongest bill they can out -- that they give us as much help as they can," he said.

Hatch blasts 'phony' issues

Republican leaders earlier met with White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta for about an hour in response to the president's call for "the very best ideas" for fighting terrorism.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, emerged from the meeting and said, "These are very controversial provisions that the White House wants. Some they're not going to get."

Hatch called Clinton's proposed study of taggants -- chemical markers in explosives that could help track terrorists -- "a phony issue."

"If they want to, they can study the thing" already, Hatch asserted. He also said he had some problems with the president's proposals to expand wiretapping.

Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-South Dakota, said it is a mistake if Congress leaves town without addressing anti-terrorism legislation. Daschle is expected to hold a special meeting on the matter Wednesday with Congressional leaders.

April 16, 1996, WASHINGTON (CNN) -- By Friday, the first anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, Congress is expected to pass an anti- terrorism bill which addresses some, though not all, of the concerns the bombing raised over Americans' safety.

Congressional leaders, flanked by survivors and relatives of victims of the Oklahoma City bombing, unveiled compromise legislation Monday to increase federal powers to fight terrorism and limit appeals by death-row inmates.

As the trial nears for the accused, those who lost relatives in the bombing say the proposed law should put the concerns of victims above those of terrorists.

"We have forgotten that anyone who murdered has relinquished rights for compassion," said Diane Leonard, the widow of a Secret Service agent killed in the bombing.

Only one element of the anti-terrorism bill has a potential effect on the Oklahoma City case. It would limit the number and duration of appeals a convicted death row inmate could file.

President Clinton has expressed concern over the death penalty provision, but Senate Judiciary Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah said he had spoken with the president about the provision, and feels confident his objection is not strong enough to elicit a veto.

Hatch said the compromise bill would prevent international terrorist organizations from raising money in the United States and provide for the swift deportation of international terrorists.

The demand for an anti-terrorism bill precedes Oklahoma City and was shaped by the attacks on Pan Am flight 103 which exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland and the bombing of the World Trade Center.

The bill, which would cost $1 billion over four years, also calls for "tagging" plastic explosives to better trace them. The bill calls for a study on tagging methods for other explosives such as fertilizer and black powder. Critics say the study provision is a concession to groups opposed to restrictions on explosive materials.

The Republicans also dropped the additional wire-tap authority the Clinton administration wanted. U.S. Attorney general Janet Reno had asked for "multi-point" tapping of suspected terrorists, who may be using advanced technology to outpace authorities.

Rep. Charles Schumer, D-New York, said technology is giving criminals an advantage. "What the terrorists do is they take one cellular phone, use the number for a few days, throw it out and use a different phone with a different number," he said. "All we are saying is tap the person, not the phone number."(amazing that this is one of the first things that qas approved after 911)

Still, Schumer said the bill is "better than nothing" and should get some Democratic votes.

President Clinton asked Congress to give him the anti- terrorism bill by the first anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19. And he'll get it. While it might not be all the president wants, administration officials indicate it's a bill he can sign.

Congress Passes Anti-Terrorism Bill

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Congress on Thursday passed a compromise bill boosting the ability of law enforcement authorities to fight domestic terrorism, just one day before the first anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing.

The House voted, 293-133, to send the anti-terrorism bill to President Clinton, who has indicated that he will sign it after he returns from his overseas trip next week.


The measure, which the Senate passed overwhelmingly Wednesday evening, is a watered-down version of the White House's proposal. The Clinton administration has been critical of the bill, calling it too weak.

Note: The senate was controlled by the republicans in 1996. Trent Lott was the majority leader.


The original House bill, passed last month, had deleted many of the Senate's anti-terrorism provisions because of lawmakers' concerns about increasing federal law enforcement powers. Some of those provisions were restored in the compromise bill.

The bill imposes limits on federal appeals by death row inmates and other prisoners and makes the death penalty available in some international terrorism cases and in cases where a federal employee is killed on duty.

The bill "has some very effective tools that we can use in our efforts to combat terrorism," Attorney General Janet Reno said Thursday.

But she was less enthusiastic about the bill's limits on federal appeals by death row inmates and other prisoners. She was also concerned that the bill would make it more difficult for federal judges to overturn state court rulings.

Republicans were divided on whether the legislation would be effective.

"We have a measure that will give us a strong upper hand in the battle to prevent and punish domestic and international terrorism," Senate Majority Leader and presumptive GOP presidential nominee Bob Dole said Wednesday.

But Sen. Don Nickles, R-Oklahoma, while praising the bill, said the country remains "very open" to terrorism. "Will it stop any acts of terrorism, domestic and international? No," he said, adding, "We don't want a police state."

Some lawmakers took a more prudent view of the bill. "The balance between public safety and order and individual rights is always a difficult dilemma in a free society," said Rep. Gerald Solomon, R-New York.

Congressional leaders had initially promised to complete the bill six weeks after the Oklahoma City federal building bombing that killed 168 people last April 19.

Congress reached compromise on anti-terrorism bill.

-- Cherri (whatever@who.cares), May 20, 2002

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