Vol. 40, No. 2

A Note from the Chairman

We have tried to continue that tradition in this issue by focusing on a number of important topics that we believe will have some prominence in the coming weeks and months. We lead off with a discussion of the Suburban Agenda, an effort by a group of House Republicans to craft a positive, issues-oriented strategy […]

The Suburban Agenda

There are two basic truths to mid-term elections in America – they are won on themes, and, historically speaking at least, they are usually lost by the party in power.

Suburban Health Care

The legislative agenda developed by the suburban caucus is meant to address our everyday concerns: the safety of our children at school, congested and overcrowded roads, and dwindling open space, for instance. At the very top of that agenda is health care. Seniors enjoying their retirement, couples raising children, and individuals in the suburbs face […]

Q&A with Dave Reichert

Dave Reichert represents Washington’s 8th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Elected in 2004, he first came to national prominence as the detective who led the effort to capture the Green River serial killer. He serves on three committees in Congress, and is Chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Science […]

How I See It

The question is simple enough. What do I think about increasing access to health insurance for American workers? Strengthening border security? Lobbying reform? I’m for them all, and House Republicans are taking aim at each. But beneath the veneer of these simple questions is, I believe, a fundamental misunderstanding of the role a Majority Leader […]

A Bipartisan Solution to Our Big Government Problem

The issue is the establishment of a Sunset Commission. For the second straight year, President Bush is proposing the creation of such a commission as part of his budget plan. Under this proposal, every federal agency and government program would automatically receive a 10-year expiration date, at which time they would essentially be required to […]

Devising a Terrorism Insurance Solution

When Congress enacted the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (also known as TRIA) in 2002, the government-backed terrorism reinsurance program it established was designed as a temporary stopgap to give insurers time to regroup and sort out the complexities of dealing with terrorism risk.

Dynamic Scoring: The Time is Now

It is hard to find any serious economist who would argue that the federal government’s tax and spending policies make no difference to U.S. economic performance. Indeed, all across the political spectrum and throughout the leading schools of economic thought, a broad consensus exists that what governments do with tax dollars and how they raise […]

Dynamic Scoring: Not So Fast!

They are frustrated because formal revenue loss estimates used by Congress during the budget process ignore revenues recouped from the increase in economic activity which occurs as a result of the pro-growth tax cuts.

Politics Never Sounded So Good

We wring our hands in this third century of the American Experiment. More of us, we’re told, can identify Paris Hilton than Paris, France. Frothy celebrity magazines thrive while serious political journals struggle. Citizens seem more excited about voting for the American Idol than the American President. Entertainment trumps civic engagement; staying amused is more […]

Lincoln, King and Scripture

When Americans marked the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr., earlier this year, we were paying tribute to two leaders who did more to advance the causes of equality, human dignity, and civil rights in this country than perhaps any other Americans.

The Party Line: Great Republican Quotes from Lincoln to Reagan and Bush

Great Republican Quotes from Lincoln to Reagan and Bush

From the Archives: Thirty Years Ago in the Forum

Last month fort-five different House Republicans joined in groups of varying size to issue two in-depth statements, one on the draft, the other on foreign aid; eighteen introduced a Civil Rights Law Enforcement Act of major significance. The spearhead for the initiative was once again the Wednesday Group of moderate Republicans, joined in the draft […]

The Backpage: Maybe Clinton was right

Ten years ago this past January, Bill Clinton delivered his State of the Union Address in which he famously declared that “The era of big government is over.” In this same speech, he also reiterated his support for school uniforms and the V-chip.

Ripon Profile of Melissa Hart

I am a Republican because we are the only party that is offering positive ideas to make our country and our communities a better place to live and raid families.

From the Archives: Thirty Years Ago in the Forum

An editorial, printed verbatim from the March/ April 1966 edition of the Ripon Forum:

Political Scene

Last month fort-five different House Republicans joined in groups of varying size to issue two in-depth statements, one on the draft, the other on foreign aid; eighteen introduced a Civil Rights Law Enforcement Act of major significance. The spearhead for the initiative was once again the Wednesday Group of moderate Republicans, joined in the draft study by Congressman John Anderson(Ill.), Tom Curits (Mo.), Albert Quie (Minn.) and Don Rumsfled (Ill.)

It is good to see initiative among Congressional Republicans, in spite of glaring non-leadership at the top. At long last, it appears, Republicans who want the GOP to have the opportunity someday to solve the nation’s problem have set about themselves to convince the voter that Republicans have something worthwhile to say.

Foreign Aid

     The statement on foreign aid is the product of a six-month study by minority member of the Foreign Affairs and Appropriations Committees. Their analysis is comprehensive and provocative. Pointing out that “if we made no effort to guide the revolution of rising expectations in a peaceful course toward political stability and economic prosperity, we will soon have to choose between ‘war of national liberation’ everywhere or an illusory isolation in a world where the cause of freedom seems doomed to failure,” the Congressman assert that”[a]n economic infrastructure cannot provide meaningful human progress unless it springs from a vibrant human infrastructure.”

Specifically, the Republicans recommend defined criteria to assure that aid recipients are encouraging broad popular participation in government and development, and are taking steps to minimize efficiency. Emphasizing the short as well as the long term role education must play, the statement call for: the establishment of a Latin American Civil Service Academy funded in part by the U.S.; a Latin American Institute for Democratic Development under the joint sponsorship of the Republicans and Democratic Parties; technical management training by U.S. business abroad; expanded links between U.S. labor unions and workers in the developing countries; and increased efforts by U.S. farm and agriculture worker’ organizations to export agricultural modernization.

Urging a greater role for the private sector of the U.S. economy, the Congressmen recommend: the loan by business (at its own expense) of junior executive talent to AID on a rotating 1-year basis; Congressional consideration of the Watson Committee recommendations to increase U.S. investment in developing countries; and a greater use of U.S. private investment to fund and manage specific projects, thereby freeing Aid to concentrate on the overall political administration of development.

Perhaps the most innovative proposal is that the U.S. states establish aid programs to individual countries in Latin America by enlisting the state’s business, academic and professional communities’ support of a state coordinated program.

The thrust of the analysis is that U.S. foreign aid must be used aggressively rather than as an exercise in goodwill. The concrete recommendations coalesce in a plea for recognition insist on ignoring; that there are some things the federal government cannot do better. It is shortsighted to think that AID officials are always more competent than practicing businessmen and lawyers to forge the tools of economic development. Conversely, the statement recognizes that political supervision and overall administration by AID is essential.

The Draft

The statement calling for an immediate Congressional investigation for the draft and the methods used to persuade our allies to supply manpower to Vietnam and Southeast Asia received extensive coverage by national news media. It charges inequities in the ad hoc prescription of limits on age, mental and physical capacity, and inequities in the operation ill-defined guidelines for student deferment. It charged bureaucratic inefficiency in the Processing of papers, and Defense Department inefficiency in the employment of drafted service personnel on jobs (such as gold course maintenance and officer club bar tending) which should be held by civilians.

Finally, the Congressman point out that a year ago the President directed the Secretary of Defense to undertake a study of the Selective Service System and to provide precise recommendation on how the service manpower needs of the nation could best be met. The completed study, which General Hershey has never seen, sits unpublicized on Mr. McNamara’s desk.

And Civil Rights

     The introduction by Republican Congressmen of Civil Rights Law Enforcement Act of 1966 is a notable event in the Party’s history. The legislators recognize that courts are handicapped by inadequate, imprecise and antiquated criminal statutes. With studied deference to the federal system they also recognize that the scope of the Fourteenth Amendment is broad enough to accommodate legislation aimed at: providing an objective and equitable standard for jury organized violence; and making governmental employers civilly liable in damages for acts of violence committed by public officials. Recent Supreme Court opinions in the Guest and Price cases would seem to support this judgment. The progress of the bill should be watched with care; we intend to do so.                                                             RF