Clinton's Latest Tempertantrum......
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Mon Sep 25 19:37:32 MDT 2000
Clinton warns Congress of environmental showdown
By PAUL SINGER
SANTA MONICA, Calif., Sept. 24 (UPI) -- President Clinton, in California
to raise money for Democratic candidates and causes, warned Congress on
Sunday that he will block passage of spending bills until Election Day
unless Republicans eliminate legislative provisions that interfere with
White House environmental initiatives.
At a fund-raiser in Los Angeles for Democratic Rep. Lois Capps, and then
again at a California League of Conservation Voters event, Clinton warned
that he has "nowhere to go" this election season, and saw no reason to
compromise on environmental riders.
Congress, for each of the past several years, has made a practice of
inserting small legislative provisions called riders into major spending
bills that block specific environmental programs. For instance, spending
bills already approved by the House this year include provisions limiting
government spending on global climate change, curtailing Clinton's effort to
prevent the construction of logging roads in wide swaths of forest land, and
blocking the listing of new federally-protected endangered species.
The New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club recently sent an alert to
members warning that there were 45 "anti-environment" riders under active
consideration by Congress.
"Congress is larding up these bills, these appropriations bills, with
anti-environmental riders," Clinton said. "The theory is that if there are
enough bills, eventually all of us Democrats will get veto fatigue and it'll
be three hours and 15 minutes before the polls open and everyone will want
to go home to vote at least, if not to campaign -- and so they'll be able to
pass their anti-environmental agenda."
"I ask the Congress -- if they want to go home and campaign -- to take the
anti-environmental riders off the bills because I've got nowhere to go and
I'm not going to approve them. And I'll be happy to stay here until Election
Day," the president told his appreciative audience at the League of
Conservation Voters event.
At the Capps event, Clinton added that he has had success in getting his
way with the Republican Congress, because "as you're about to see, when the
Congress gets ready to go home, if the Democrats stick with me -- even
though we're in the minority, we get a lot of what we want; otherwise no one
gets to go home."
Republicans have argued that many riders are necessary in order to prevent
the Clinton administration from establishing new environmental standards
that are not authorized by law. For instance, on climate change, the
administration has signed the Kyoto agreement to reduce emissions of
"greenhouse gases" such as carbon dioxide. The Senate, however, unanimously
passed a resolution sponsored by Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.V., demanding that
the administration refrain from implementing the treaty until it has been
submitted to the Senate for ratification.
Clinton also announced Sunday a new U.S. Forest Service purchase of 784
acres of pristine California coastline at the southern edge of Big Sur. The
$4.5 million purchase, Clinton said, ensures permanent preservation of the
area that serves as habitat for endangered steelhead trout and the Smith's
The land will form the southern tip of the neighboring 1.75-million Los
Padres National Forest. It was purchased from the non-profit Trust for
Public Land, which recently acquired it from a ranching family, the Los
Angeles Times reported.
Copyright 2000 by United Press International.
All rights reserved.
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