New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 11, 1983, New Braunfels, Texas
New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung Friday, March 11,1983 3Social Security plan clears Senate hurdle
WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate tax writers have given the full Senate a bipartisan Social Security rescue plan that closely resembles a $165 billion measure passed by the House, including an increase in the retirement age.
President Reagan, meanwhile, said he is looking “forward to a signing ceremony in the very near future.”
Following a drafting session that lasted more than 13 hours, the Senate Finance Committee voted 18-1 Thursday night to ap* prove the legislation. Sen. Robert Dole, R-Kan., the committee chairman, praised the measure and predicted “fairly broad support" in the full Senate next week.
The lone dissenting vote was cast by Sen. Steve Symms, R-Idaho.
Instead of raising the retirement age by two years in the next century, as the House bill does, the Senate committee provision combined a benefit cut with increasing the retirement age gradually to 66 between 2000
and 2015. It would have some effect on everyone born in 1938 or later.
All those retiring in the next century would be affected by a cut in initial pensions.
The House bill did not touch the payment to new retirees, but would raise the retirement age gradually from 65 to 67 by the year 2027.
The average retiree now gets a Social Security pension check equal to 42 percent of the final wage. The Senate committee would reduce that to 40 percent.
The Senate measure also would phase out over five years restrictions on how much retirees aged 65 through 69 can earn without losing benefits, starting in 1990. And it would liberalize the benefit formula for mothers who dropped out of the work force to raise children.
Although there are some technical differences, the Senate bill closely parallels provisions of the House-passed measure, including:
—A six-month delay in this July’s scheduled cost-of-living increase in benefits.
—Increased payroll taxes on employees, employers and the self-employed.
—A levy on the benefits going to higher-income retirees.
—Mandatory coverage for new federal workers and employees of non-profit organizations after Jan. I.
—Up to eight weeks of additional benefits for laid-off workers who have exhausted their unemployment benefits. The House bill provided IO weeks.
—A “prospective payment” system for Medicare to pay hospitals at predetermined, fixed rates.
Legislators offered amendments to drastically alter those provisions or substitute others, but Dole made clear that he wanted to keep intact the recommendations of the National Commission on Social Security Reform.
However, the panel did vote 12-3 to allow a reduction in cost-of-living increases in benefits as a last resort to keep the system solvent during emergencies.
Under the amendment by Sen. Russell B. Long, D-La., those receiving more than $250 a month in benefits would be the first to have their cost-of-living increase reduced or eliminated when the Social Security trust funds fall below a 20 percent reserve. The plan could be in effect by Jan. 1,1985.
The Reagan administration contends that other provisions in the rescue package will keep the trust funds at or above a 20 percent reserve level during the rest of the decade.
The committee also agreed by voice vote to end the payment of Social Security benefits to non-U.S. citizens, who comprise 70 percent of the 314,000 people living in foreign countries, but still collect $1 billion a year in benefits.
As did the House, the Senate "ane! rejected
arguments to delay Social Security coverage for new federal workers.
While the Senate panel followed the House in agreeing to an increase in the retirement age, House Speaker Thomas P. O’Neill Jr., D-Mass., predicted Democrats would seek to return the retirement age to 65 in the future.
O’Neill and other House leaders met with Reagan at the White House Thursday to accept what O’Neill called “a few kind accolades" for House passage of the Social Security bill.
O’Neill said the session with the president produced "a handshake, a smile and a thank you."
Reagan issued a written statement praising "the responsible, bipartisan spirit” shown by the House in approving the measure on a 282-148 vote Wednesday night.
"The result has been a new lease on life for one of our most basic government programs, Social Security,” the president said.
San Antonio named 'All-America City'
WASHINGTON (AP) - San Antonio, picturesque site of the Alamo, several Spanish missions and a Channing riverside walkway called the Paseo del Rio, now has another distinction: the title of "All America City.”
At a White House ceremony on Thursday, Mayor Henry B Cisneros was presented with a certificate by President Reagan designating San Antonio as one of eight such "All-America Cities.” The cities were selected by the National Municipal league for their success in tackling problems with the involvement of government, private enterprise and the community.
Reagan told mayors attending the ceremony that the awards "fit right in with his emphasis on private sector initiatives," said former San Antonio Mayor Ula Cockrell, who also attended.
Following the award, Cisneros said, "I'm very, very proud of the people of our city They deserve the recognition."
Other cities receiving similar certificates were Ames, Iowa;
Ann Arbor, Mich.; Durham, N. C.; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Salem, Ore.; Santa Ana, Calif.; and Santa Rosa, Calif.
Fred Jordan, a Municipal league spokesman, said in an interview that the eight winners were selected from among 1,000 communities which sought the "All America City” award this year.
The communities won on the basis of their accomplishments "in a partnership between citizens, the private sector and government leaders," he said.
Mrs. Cockrell, executive director of United San Antonio, a broad based community coalition, said San Antonio was recognized for its efforts at downtown revitaliziation and its success in bringing an engineering school to the University of Texas at San Antonio.
She said the downtown revitalization program sought to achieve "a successful blend of the old and the new" through new construction and preservation of historic buildings.
Two men charged in 'bathtub murders'
HOUSTON (AP) - What one detective called "good old-fashioned detective work" has led to the arrests and indictments of two man on separate capital murder charges in the deaths of two women, whose bodies were found in bathtubs of their west Houston homes.
David Scott Helfond, 25, was charged Thursday with capital murder in connection with the slaying of Elizabeth Faubus, 44, the estranged wife of former Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus
Edward Anthony Ellis was indicted Thursday on a capital murder charge in connection with the death of Bertie
Elizabeth Eakens, 73.
Helfond was arrested Wednesday at a southwest Houston motel after a woman who did not know she was under surveillance led them to the suspect, police said.
Ellis was arrested in San Antonio Monday on a Feb. 28 warrant from Harris County.
Mrs. Faubus, 44, was found naked, beaten and immersed in a bloody bathtub at her fashionable Westside home March 3, less than 72 hours after the bodies of two other women were discovered in bathtubs at their apartments in the same area.
based on Bullock's September 1982 revenue estimate that Texas was in good shape with $5.1 billion new money to spend, including a surplus of $1.3 billion left over from 1983-84 revenues.
Now, Bullock said Thursday, the legislature has only
$4.1 billion in new revenue in sight, with less than $1 billion left over from 1983-84, mostly because of plummeting oil prices and the effects of the devalued peso on the Texas border.
"Let us act now, before Bullock strikes again," said Hobby.
Hobby offers 'bitter pills'
AUSTIN (API - The Legislature should be lean, but not mean, in chopping down the state spending bill for 1985-86 to fit Texas’ declining revenues. LL Gov. Bill Hobby says.
“We have a distasteful choice between passing the first tax bill in 12 years or allowing state services to continue to run down," Hobby said Thursday at the close of a 34-hour roundtable session on state finances.
“Frugality is important, but so is responsiveness to the legitimate needs of the people."
Comptroller Bob Bullock, who says he wants to run for governor in 1986, was a star performer at the
Ministers divided on production quotas
IX)NDON (AP) — OPEC ministers remained far apart today on the crucial issue of dividing production quotas as they attempted to salvage an agreement to save the world oil cartel from collapse.
"I'm afraid until now we are still apart, far away from each other as far as the quotas are concerned," the United Arab Emirates oil minister, Mana Saeed Oteiba, told reporters as the oil chiefs broke for lunch.
Oteiba said the ministerial talks would resume later today, but a formal meeting of the full cartel would not take place until there is progress toward setting quotas.
"Until we narrow the gap, we aren’t going to meet in full session," he said.
Without quotas, any price cut will not stick, said Venezuelan OU Minister Humberto Calderon Berti, who has been prodding his colleagues since last month to adopt a plan for averting an international price war.
The 13-nation cartel wanted to finish its work
Thursday, but OPEC Secretary General Marc S. Nan Nguema said Thursday night the unresolved issues were “very difficult."
"If we are working so long it is precisely because we would like to reach an agreement," he said.
"We achieved good progress," Calderon Berti said. "We are doing our best.”
Ministers from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries have been meeting for nine days to devise a strategy for keeping competitive in a glutted market. The oil chiefs haven’t been able to agree on quotas for the past year.
Ecuador’s OU Minister Gustavo Galindo said the group has agreed in principle to lower the official OPEC price, now at $34 a barrel. Sources said the new price would be either $29 or $29.50 a barrel.
At the heart of OPEC’s crisis is an international oil market shrunk by recession and energy conservation. OPEC and non-OPEC have been competing for customers who, a decade ago, were virtual hostages of the prices set by big oil exporters.
Dormitory fire forces students to jump to safety
PUEBLO, Colo. (AP) — Two fires set by an arsonist raged through part of a University of Southern Colorado dormitory early today, injuring 30 students and forcing some to leap from windows.
Three students were critically injured in fire in the four-story B-wing of Belmont Residence Hall. Some students jumped to a grassy area below to escape the smoke and flames, and broken legs and ankles and back injuries were reported, authorities and eyewitnesses said.
Pueblo Fire Chief Jeff Anderson said the fires were set shortly before 2 a.m. at either end of the second floor, one fire in a bedroom and the other in a hallway trash bin.
"It was arson. Upon our arrival, we had IO to 15 young people laying around the lawn around the dormitory where they had jumped out of windows. The kids who lived in the rooms between the two fires... the only way out for those kids w as to jump," said Anderson.
U.S. demands probe into Guatemala killings
WASHINGTON AP. — The State Department is demanding that Guatemala conduct a full investigation into the slayings of a local employee of the U.S. Agency for In
ternational Development and three companions, allegedly shot by Guatemalan soldiers last month
State Department spokeswoman Carolyn Johnson said US.
Ambassador F rederic Chapin conveyed to Guatemalan authorities on Thursday "our
urgent concern that a full investigation be promptly carried out and those responsible ... be brought to justice."
Ms. Johnson said the Guatemalan government has told the United States that an army officer who was in charge of a patrol that stopped the four is being detained and is under investigation.
According to sources fanuliar with the incident, who spoke only on condition they not be named, the Guatemalan government has said the four victims — three men and a woman — were arrested by
ual Senate session I a series of ;estions he said id produce $2.1 in.
illock put state fetors in a quandry Tuesday when he new estimates of » revenue in 1984-85 i $1.5 billion below $32.9 billion state ding bill recom-ided by the Lslative Budget rd.
ie LBB bill had been
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soldiers on Feb. 9, were driven to a bridge near the Mexican border and were shot while trying to escape, their bodies falling into a nver.
The four people killed were all Guatemalans, including Patricio Ortiz who was working for a company hired by .AID to teach Spanish to Indians in the Guatemalan highlands, Ms. Johnson said.
A Feb. 14 letter from Chapin to the Guatemalan foreign minister, made available to The Associated Press, said the four disappeared on Feb. 9 after they were stopped at a checkpoint by Guatemalan troops near the town of Ix-tahuaca in western Guatemala.
The letter said the four were then seen driving off in their red Cherokee jeep toward Colotenango, across the Naranjales bridge and then toward La Deinocratia. It added that the four were "reportedly taken to the
military post at Camoja, La
The letter identified the missing as Ortiz, an employee of Inter-America Inc., a firm under contract to AID; Abel Ortiz, a bilingual teacher employed by the government; Catarina Jacinto Jimmez de Ortiz, Abel’s mother and Patricio’s sister-in-law; and Obisto Tzunun, a government employee.
The incident came to the attention of a congressional delegation headed by Rep. Clarence l»ng, D-Md , chairman of a House appropriations subcommittee on foreign aid. During its visit in mid-February, the delegation sought information about the disappearances, one source said.
The source, who spoke only on condition his name not be used, said the military first denied knowing anything about the disappearances.
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