New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 8, 1983, New Braunfels, Texas
Defeat for Reagan
Senate panel chops defense buildup in half
WASHINGTON (AP) - With Republicans rebelling against the White House, the Senate Budget Committee has handed President Reagan one of the biggest defeats of the new Congress, voting to halve his proposed 1964 military buildup.
The committee voted 17-4 on Thursday to limit the increase in defense spending next year to 5 percent, not counting inflation.
For months, Senate Republican leaders have been trying to persuade Reagan to compromise, but the president insisted to the end that the country must have a IO percent increase, which he said is needed to offset massive Soviet military growth.
After Thursday’s vote, White House spokesman Larry Speakes said Reagan was “deeply disappointed” by the committee’s decision, and hoped its members would reconsider.
But that seemed highly unlikely. Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., the committee chairman, said the president brought defeat upon himself.
Clearly angry, Domenici said, it is “rather incredulous” for Reagan and his defense advisers “to say that you can’t defend this country without a IO percent increase, and there aren’t any options.”
He said Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger and other administration officials should have listened to what Senate Republicans were telling
them about the need to cut Reagan’s original 1244.7 billion defense request for next year.
Next week, the committee will move to another hot topic in the budget — whether to provide for elimination or changes in a IO percent income tax cut due to take effect July I.
Before Thursday’ voting on defense, several Republicans criticized the rapid Pentagon increases urged by Reagan as unrealistic. They said the increases would slow or kill the economic recovery by significantly adding to the federal deficit.
And among the Democrats, Sen. James Exon of Nebraska said, ‘Not one bullet has been cut from the president’s budget."
Bush to visit Space Center
AUSTIN (AP) — Vice President George Bush, who is scheduled to visit the Johnson Space Center in Houston today, told reporters here that the administration has ‘total confidence” in the U.S. space program.
Bush denied Thursday that the Space Shuttle program had been speeded up to “prove itself” to skeptical administration officials.
‘ Uke everything else, ifs in competition for scarce revenues," Bush said.
In Austin, Bush addressed the University of Texas Centennial Commission and held a news conference where he tried to tout an improving economy. But he ending up fielding more questions about the Beach Boys than anything else.
The California rock band was banned from the
traditional Washington, D.C. Fourth of July celebration by Interior Secretary James Watt, until an outpouring of criticism, including some from the White House, convinced Watt to back down Thursday.
“I am for the Beach Boys,” Bush told reporters, holding his hand up, oath-like. “They are friends. I stand by the written record on the Beach Boys. I think Jim Watt is chastened about the Beach Boys. He told me himself this morning.”
The group performed at fund-raisers for Bush when he ran for president before accepting the vice presidential nomination from Ronald Reagan.
Bush opened his news conference by saying there is “general optimism about the economy ... .sweeping the country." But his remarks came on the
same day that Texas legislators learned they would have almost a billion dollars less than previously estimated for state spending in 1984-1985.
Comptroller Bob Bullock told lawmakers Thursday that $650 million of the $953 million reduction was reduced sales tax revenue.
Bush said he expected Reagan to run for reelection in 1984, an election he said would be a referendum on Reagan’s economic record.
“ The election in 1984 will largely be governed by the economy,” Bush said. “We will be reminding people of the 214 percent interest rates and the 12 percent inflation rate a month before we took office.
“If the economy recovers. President Reagan will be very hard to beat. I think he’ll be the candidate,” he said.Watt plants foot in mouthBeach Boys welcome to perform on Mall
WASHINGTON (AP) - James Watt has learned that he can antagonize the environmentalists, the preservationists, the Democrats and the Indians — but not the fans of the Beach Boys.
Eating crow in a drizzle on the White House lawn, the secretary of the Interior withdrew his suggestion that rock groups would no longer be welcome to perform on the Mall.
The Beach Boys and another pop group, the Grass Roots, have been the warmup act for the Fourth of July fireworks displays that drew hundreds of thousands of people to the Mall for the past three years.
To make the point that he had shot himself in the foot, Watt carried a plaster of paris foot with a hole in it, a present, he said, from President Reagan.
It turned out that both Ronald and Nancy Reagan are Beach Boys fans — or maybe they, too, had heard the nationwide razz when Watt disinvited rock groups for Fourth of July. Without mentioning the Beach Boys specifically, he claimed rock groups that performed on the Mall the last two years attracted “the wrong element" — drinkers, muggers and drug users.
Watt said he still wants I^as Vegas singer Wayne Newton to perform on the Mall before the fireworks, but he said the Beach Boys would be invited to perform "as soon as we can get that worked out.”
Watt's disclosure that he had substituted Newton and the U.S. Army Blues Band for rock groups on the Mall was made public Wednesday.
By Thursday, after Watt’s musical tastes had provoked chatter on radio talk shows across the country, Washington got the message.
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U.S. hopes to preserve relationship with China
WASHINGTON (AP) — US officials view China’s cancellation of cultural and sports exchanges as an unhappy but isolated dispute that should not be permitted to overshadow a decade of expanding cooperation between the two nations.
The action by Peking was rn retaliation against the U.S. decision to grant political asylum to Hu Na, a 19-year-old Chinese w oman tennis star
U S. officials acknowledge the conflict adds new tension to a relationship already badly strained by disagreement over the levels of U.S. arms sales to Taiwan and transfers of U.S. technology to China. In addition, the countries have failed to agree on Chinese textile import quotas.
But they said they hope the underlying fabric of cooperation, composed of parallel views on such issues as the Soviet Union and the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, can be preserved.
Senator suggests formula to trim burearcracy
AUSTIN (AP) — Cutting the state payroll to one employee for every IOO Texans would be a good way to control state bureaucracy, according to two state legislators.
“This is a potential revenue saving of $150 million in 1984-85 alone.” said Sen. J E. “Buster'' Brown. K-l,ake Jackson, at a news conference with Rep Bill Messer, D-Belton.
Brown said he would make his proposal as an amendment to the Senate state spending bill
Tower assured Texas post will remain four star
WASHINGTON (AP) — Following objections from Sen. John R Tower, K-Texas, the Air Force has reversed a decision to make the next commander of the Air Training Conunand at San Antonio a three-star instead of a four-star general, sources say.
A government source, who spoke on condition that he not be identified, said Thursday that the Air Force had decided to downgrade the position from a four-star to a three-star slot.
However, the source said the Air Force dropped the plan after Tower objected.
White protests plan for Texas nuclear dump
WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal hearings on the possibility of locating the nation’s first permanent high-level nuclear waste repository in the Texas Panhandle have been delayed following a protest from Texas Gov. Mark White, a Department of Energy spokesman says.
In a letter this week to Energy Secretary Donald Hodel, White objected to the speed with which the department is trying to narrow possible sites for the repository, accusing the agency of “jeopardizing the health and welfare of the populace.”
Shuttle to land Saturday after successful flight
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -Elated by their “smooth" and “clockwork” space walk. Challenger's astronauts began packing up today as they neared the end of an inaugural mission marred only by problems with a satellite they carried aloft.
The four crewmien were awakened for their last full day rn space by Mission Control playing a recording of a folk song with the refrain “'I'm a lousy co-pilot and a long way from home.”
Maybe they didn't like the choice of music, but whatever the reason, the astronauts were unusually slow to acknowledge Mission Control’s greetings. It wasn’t until capsule communicator Mary Cleave's third try, a half-hour after wakeup, that Commander Paul Weitz responded.
“ They were apparently just reluctant to answer as they got their breakfast on." explained NASA commentator Terry White.
Much of today’s relatively light flight plan called for deaning up the spaceship and checking systems for the return to
Earth. The only other items were some medical experiments and the pursuit of a phantom space target in a rendezvous exercise.
Weitz and pilot Karol Bobko are to guide Challenger to a landing at IO 49 a m. PST Saturday at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. America’s second shuttle has performed near-flawlessly on its inaugural flight.
While looking toward home, mission specialists Story Musgrave and Donald Peterson were expected to provide Mission Control in Houston with additional details today on their double space walk into the ship's open cargo bay on Thursday — an excursion they long will savor.
“The EVA (extra-vehicular activity) was really smooth; it went really like clockwork.” said Flight Director Harold Draughon.
NASA was especially pleased with the performance of the space suits — the same $2.1 million outfits that developed technical bugs during a flight of the shuttle Columbia in November, forcing cancellation of a space walk.
The suits functioned so well this time that Mission Control gave Musgrave and Peterson permission to stay outside 45 minutes beyond the intended 34 hours. They needed only an extra IT minutes and re-entered Challenger’s airlock after a walk of 3 hours 47 minutes.
Musgrave and Peterson had a ball, romping effortlessly in the airless 60-foot-long cargo bay as they practiced with tools, pretended to free a stuck satellite, maneuvered a winch with a 100-pound load and carried a 50-pound object the length of the bay and back
Bundled in the bulky white suits, they soared twice around the globe during the space walk, enjoying two sunsets and two sunrises.
They were energetic, at times almost acrobatic as they tumbled, floated, bounced and swung through their routine in the vast weightless world When they first ventured out through the airlock hatch, Musgrave nearly swung himself over the side of the ship, doing a handstand on the rim
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Speaker outlines proposal to reform Texas prisons
AUSTIN (AP) — A “historic coalition" says its package of prison reform bills will take Texas prisons “ out of the dark ages, out of the era of bricks and mortar.”
Speaker Gib I^ewis, flanked by six state representatives and three senators, told a news conference Thursday about nine different proposals.
“I will do everything within my power to see that this package becomes law,” the speaker promised.
He said Gov. Mark White and Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby were “fully united” behind the program, along with the director of the Department of Corrections, William Estelle, and the state prison board.
“We been working for IO years for this day,” said Charles Sullivan, executive director of Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants.
l^ewis said the package was not “get soft on the crooks” or “turn 'em loose on the streets” legislation.
"It puts those convicted of violent crime where they belong, in prison under maximum security,” he said. “‘On the other hand it provides one new stopping point — just short of prison — for certain nonviolent offenders.
“It forces them to repay their victims while in
community restitution centers.”
Lewis stressed that most of the cost of the changes would be paid by diverting $97 million from the prison construction program into other agencies “for this program and nothing else.”
Highlights of the package, some of which have already been acted on by at least one house, include .
— Texas prison management giving the governor authority to deal with prison overcrowding. When inmate population reaches 95 percent of capacity, the governor could award 30 days good time to each well-behaved inmate who is not a violent offenThe Board of Pardons and Paroles could advance parole eligibility by 30 days. If overcrowding still existed after 60 days, the board could advance parole eligibility another 30 days.
— Removing the governor from the parole process and leaving the process to the Board of Pardons and Paroles with more money for parole officers and community services.
— Allowing model prisoners to be transfered to community centers 90 to 120 days before the actual date for parole.
— Making non-violent, non-sex offenders eligible for restitution centers.
Klan not welcome in S.A.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The Ku Klux Klan, hoping to stage a march outside the Alamo on May I to defend the Texas shrine from “Communists,” has been told by the City Council that Klansmen are not welcome here.
Acting on the request of ita only black member, Joe Webb, the , council approved the resolution Thursday night. However, officials said it was unclear if the move would affect the Klan’s request for a parade permit.
James Stanfield and another Klan member formally requested the permit in a meeting with city officials Thursday morning.
“We don’t know if they’re going to be allowed to march,” said Deputy Police Chief Marion Talbert. “There have been too many problem in other cities.”
Twelve people were Injured and six were arrested during a Klan rally In Austin on Feb. 19. Six people were arrested none Injured when the group marched Saturday in
Talbert said he and Police Chief Robert Heuck laid out “ground rules" with the white supremist group.
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