The Beltway Boys' Tip Sheet for the Week of Oct. 8

This partial transcript of The Beltway Boys, October 6, 2001 was provided by the Federal Document Clearing House. Click here to order the complete transcript.

TONY SNOW, CO-HOST (IN FOR FRED BARNES): Here's our "Tip Sheet" for next week's action. 

Item number one, President Bush will swear in Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge as special assistant to the president for homeland security. That'll take place Monday. Good luck to Tom Ridge. They haven't even figured out what the job is yet.

MORT KONDRACKE, CO-HOST: Well, this -- and it is a vital job, you know, I mean, they -- they -- we are not prepared for any -- for terrorism is obvious -- it's obvious from September 11. And the bioterrorism threat that we face. He has got to get this thing organized. And, you know, the FBI and the CIA, as I understand it, still aren't really talking about the threats we face.

SNOW: In fact, one of his biggest threats is simply trying to make his way through the bureaucracy.

Item number two, next Friday marks the one-year anniversary of the bombing of the USS Cole. The attack, which killed 17, has been linked to Usama bin Laden.

KONDRACKE: It has been linked to Usama bin Laden, and, you know, and it should have been a warning to us to get, to get ready for terrorism, but it was, of course, offshore, in Yemen. And there will be a ceremony in Norfolk marking the, the anniversary. But the -- you know, it's kind of worrisome that, that Yemen's president has said that he won't -- not only will he not allow our troops to use his territory but he's against all foreign troops, which means American troops, in the whole Gulf. Not good.

SNOW: Sooner or later, he's going to have to pick sides.

Item three, the Senate returns Tuesday after the holiday weekend. The top priority, the airport security bill, which, Mort, doesn't seem like it ought to be a big deal, but it's turning into a labor dispute.

KONDRACKE: It is. And, and I think Bush is right on this one. Bush wants the, the people who screen the bags not to be federal employees but to be con -- private contract employees. And there's a good reason for it. If a civil servant screws up, you can't fire him, it takes forever. And Bush wants to be able to, if, if the job's not being done well, to, to fire the people who are doing it.

SNOW: Item four, the House will be taking up a key element of President Bush's economic agenda, trade promotion authority. That seemed like an endangered species some time ago. What about now, Mort?

KONDRACKE: I think it's still an endangered species. You got normally pro-trade Democrats, like Bob Matsui (ph) of California, who have been for every trade bill up to now, and he's opposing this version, largely because he thinks that Bill Thomas, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, didn't consult enough on labor and environment and, and sovereignty issues.

And, you know, there are Republicans who are threatening to oppose trade promotion authority if Bush doesn't go along with all these corporate tax cuts.

SNOW: Nonpartisanship lives. And item number five, the Democratic runoff for New York City mayor is next Thursday. And it looks like a nail-biter between Bronx Borough President Freddy Ferrer and Public Advocate Mark Green.

KONDRACKE: I -- it looks like Ferrer to me. You know, Mark Green was willing to let Rudy Giuliani have three months more in office, and Democrats don't like that.

SNOW: Mark Green, zero for lifetime and going after the biggie.

KONDRACKE: It looks like that.

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