The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, March 10, 2000, Page 2, Image 2

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ed through House
Plan would ease wage-increase burden; Clinton vows veto
WASHINGTON (AP) - To soften
the impact on employers of a $1
increase in the minimum wage,
Republicans pushed a $ 122 billion tax
cut through the House qn Thursday
despite a vow by President Clinton to
veto it and grumbling from conserva
tives about the whole package.
Votes on alternative minimum
wage proposals were planned later in
the evening. GOP leaders made the
tax measure part of the wage package
to deny Democrats a stand-alone wage
bill, which has strong support from
Northeastern Republican moderates
who want to defuse it as a campaign
issue in the November elections.
“The question is whether we take a
thoughtful approach and a balanced
approach, or whether we have an ill
conceived bill foisted upon us,” said
Rep. Rick Lazio, R-N.Y., a main spon
sor of the GOP bill.
The House voted 257-169 to pass
the tax bill, two-thirds of which con
sists of cuts in estate taxes. It will be
combined with legislation that would
increase the $5.15-an-hour minimum
wage by $ 1 over two years or a version
that would increase the wage by $T
over three years.
Even if the bill meets Clinton’s
wish for a two-year wage boost, the
president repeated Thursday he would
veto the measure if it included large
tax cuts. Clinton contends the tax
relief disproportionately benefits the
wealthy and would consume a chunk
of the projected budget surplus that
could be used to shore up Social
Security and Medicare.
“Once again, the Republican lead
ership has derailed what should be a
simple vote on the minimum wage
with a maximum of political maneu
vering,” Clinton said. “Congress
should send me a bill I can sign, not
one I have to veto.”
•• Congress should send me a bill I can
sign, not one I have to veto.”
Bill Clinton
president of the United States
Republicans, however, contended
the tax package would offset the costs
to business of raising the minimum
wage, which many in the GOP view as
a job-killer and hindrance to new
investment or expansion.
“Our point is simply, let’s find
some tax relief to cushion the blow,”
said Rep. Rob Portman, R-Ohio.
Much of the debate centered on
the estate-tax cuts. Costing $78.6 bil
lion over 10 years, they were portrayed
by Democrats as a giveaway primarily
for people with incomes over
$319,000 a year. Democrats were pre
vented from offering their own, small
er tax package for small business.
“We’re not fighting any tax relief.
We’re fighting for the right kind of tax
relief,” said Rep. Sander Levin, D
GOP sponsors said current estate
taxes actually prevent small business
es and family farms from being passed
down to heirs and require eostly tax
planning simply to ease the impact.
“The real issue is, who are the
heirs?” said House Ways and Means
Committee Chairman Bill Archer, R
Texas. The tax cut, he added, “is not
going to benefit the people who died.”
McCain, Bradley drop out of election
■ Democrats unify, but
Republicans ‘need time to
as swiftly as they soared, John
McCain and Bill Bradley abandoned
their presidential races Thursday and
chided their triumphant rivals on the
way out.
“Millions of Americans have ral
lied to our banner,” McCain said as
both candidates sought to leverage
the support they had earned.
The Arizona senator pledged to
press his case for political reform and
warned that Republicans will “slip
into the mists of history” without it.
McCain, who pulled swarms of
Democrats and independents into
GOP contests, offered nominee-in
waiting George W. Bush his “best
wishes” - but not his endorsement.
An hour before McCain bowed
out, Bradley told reporters he would
support Vice President A1 Gore, but
he also accused his fellow Democrat
of “distortions” in their primary
fight. “I hope that he will run a better
campaign in the general election,
said the former New Jersey senator,
who was unable to win any primary
or caucus.
Still, it was a triumphant day for
the political establishment that
backed Bush and Gore, both of whom
vanquished their rivals after stiff
challenges. “When you do battle with
entrenched power ... it’s very diffi
cult,” Bradley said.
Within minutes of McCain’s
announcement, Bush’s team was
reaching out to McCain intermedi
aries in an effort to mend fences.
The rivals themselves spoke
briefly by telephone but settled noth
“John needs some time to think,
and I need some time,” Bush said.
Said still to be seething at the
Texas governor, McCain is in no
hurry to make peace. He planned to
take a week’s vacation before deter
mining what leverage he has with
Bush and what he might want to
achieve with it, said a McCain advis
McCain knows he is not bargain
ing from a strong position, but the
adviser said his boss wants to keep his
signature issue - campaign finance
reform - on the political agenda
With that goal in mind, McCain
quit the race but didn’t shut down his
campaign - a technicality that keeps
his options open in case he wants to
make things uncomfortable for Bush,
who needs McCain’s endorsement to
unify the party.
McCain’s options, according to
the adviser, include: barnstorming
the country to promote campaign
finance reform, leading a platform
fight at the Republican National
Convention or even mounting a third
party presidential bid. Aides say the
last option is remote.
McCain himself has ruled out
bolting the GOP and said Thursday:
“I love my home.”
He did, however, leave himself a
loophole by saying in his departure
speech that the party deserves “the
allegiance of none” if it doesn’t
embrace campaign finance reform.
One of McCain’s top supporters
said he urged the senator to let go of
the enmity he feels toward Bush.
” “I hope that he
will run a better
campaign in the
general election.”
Bill Bradley
former presidential candidate
“There’s no question that there’s
some bitterness there and some
anger,” said Nebraska Sen. Chuck
McCain was the 10th Republican
to leave the race. Bradley has been
Gore’s only challenger. They could
not sustain momentum against the
sheer force of their rivals’ organiza
McCain had the most potent
insurgency, staggering Bush in New
Hampshire and Michigan. In a testa
ment to his drawing power, one of
every four GOP primary participants
had never before voted in a
Republican contest.
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I I___I
Jurisdiction at center
of Elian Gonzalez battle
MIAMI (AP) - With flag-waving
demonstrators tying up traffic outside, a
federal judge heard arguments
Thursday on whether he has die right to
second-guess the Immigration and
Naturalization Service’s decision to
send 6-year-old Elian Gonzalez back to
Elian’s great-uncle Lazaro
Gonzalez asked U.S. District Judge K.
Michael Moore to order the INS to hold
a political asylum hearing for Elian. The
U.S. government, however, asked the
judge to dismiss the case.
After the three-hour hearing, the
judge gave no indication of when he
might rule.
The boy’s fate has been debated
since November, when he was found
clinging to an inner tube off Florida. His
mother and 10 others drowned when
their boat capsized during an attempt to
reach the United States.
The INS ordered in early January
that Elian be returned to his father in
Cuba, a decision backed by President
Clinton and Attorney General Janet
Reno. The order was put on hold pend
ing the court fight.
On Thursday, Edwin Kneedler, a
government attorney, argued that
Congress gave the attorney general the
power to administer immigration laws,
and “the decisions of the attorney gen
eral are subject to only narrow judicial
Attorneys for the great-uncle
argued that the INS’ actions are not
exempt from court review, and that the
agency violated the boy’s rights by
refusing to grant him a political asylum
“Any alien that is within the United
States... is entitled to apply for asylum,
and INS is obligated to hear that claim,”
said attorney Linda Osberg-Braun.
Kneedler said that the boy’s father
opposed asylum for his son, and that his
wishes should be respected over those
of the boy’s great-uncle.
“This is a father closely involved in
the child’s life,” Kneedler told the judge.
“This was not an absent father, this was
a present father.”
He said INS officials conducted a
thorough investigation, which was
reviewed by Reno, and found no basis
for an asylum claim.
■ New York
Coming exhibit at Whitney
depicts Guiliani as a Nazi
NEW YORK (AP) - An upcom
ing exhibit at the Whitney Museum
of American Art ail but calls Mayor
Rudolph Giuliani a Nazi, with quo
tations from the mayor written in
Gothic type and audio speakers play
ing a recording of marching soldiers.
The piece, scheduled to be fea
tured prominently in aWhitney exhi
bition of new American art, was
prompted by Giuliani’s decision to
cut off funding to the Brooklyn
Museum of Art for its display of a
painting of the Viigin Mary plastered
with elephant dung.
The controversy led to the new
piece - “Sanitation,’’ by New York
artist Hans Haacke. ,
■ Washingoton
Soy approved as meat
substitute in school lunches
and soybuigers may be coming soon
to school lunch menus.
What will the kids say?
“Disgusting,” said Greg
Dudzinski, 17, of Ripon High
School in Ripon, Wis., as he toured
the Capitol on Thursday. “The regu
lar hamburgers are bad enough, so
soybuigers’d be a lot worse,” offered
Zach Richey, 13, of Scottsboro
Junior High in Scottsboro, Ala.,
another tourist.
But the government - hoping to
reduce the amount of fat that chil
dren are eating - on Thursday
approved the use of soy as a meat
substitute in federallv4subsidized
meals for schools and day-care cen
ters. The change will allow schools
to offer new soy-based products,
including tacos and burgers.
■ Tuvalu
Fire in locked dormitory
kills 17 teen-age girls, matron
NUI, Tuvalu (AP) - Fire swept
through a locked dormitory at a high
school in the South Pacific nation of
Tuvalu, killing 17 teen-age girls and
a matron, a radio reporter said
The blaze was believed to have
been caused by a student’s candle
which fell in the sleeping quarters of
Motufoua Secondary School.
The victims, girls between 14
and 17 years old, were locked inside
their dormitory and couldn’t escape
when the fire broke out late
Thursday night, Radio Tuvalu
reporter Diana Semi told Australia’s
National Nine News.
Data recorder examined
after Thursday plane crash
MOSCOW (AP) - Investigators
examined the data recorders of a pas
senger jet Thursday for clues to a
crash that killed all nine aboard,
including a prominent journalist and
an oil executive.
The Thursday crash of the pri
vate Yak-40 jet at Moscow’s
Sheremetyevo airport dominated
Russian television news programs,
including speculation the crash was
a terrorist act.
Nerves have been on edge since
apartment bombings blamed on
Chechen rebels killed some 300 peo
ple in Moscow and two other
Russian cities last fall.
One of the crash victims, oil
executive Ziya Bazhayev, was a
Chechen. Bazhayev had been pres
sured by Chechen separatists to help
finance their war and he “was often
threatened,” Alexander Zdanovich, a
spokesman for the Tcderal Security
Service, told the RTR television