This partial transcript of The Beltway Boys, Jan. 19, was provided by the Federal Document Clearing House. Click here to order the complete transcript.
FRED BARNES, CO-HOST: The Beltway Boys are back, and we've got our Tip Sheet for next week's action.
And Mort's going to be the man who's going to answer all these questions, starting with item number one, Congress returns next week just long enough to trade jabs on the budget and head out for their respective party retreats.
MORT KONDRACKE, CO-HOST: Well, when they get back from their retreats, trying to figure out how to nail the other party. There are things that they could agree on in this congressional session that aren't terribly difficult. Patients' rights, I mean, there...
KONDRACKE: ... the – it's in a conference committee. Election reform, campaign finance reform. I would not bet on it, though. I mean, the – this is an election year, and these guys are rarin' for blood. The September 11 spirit is gone.
BARNES: Look, explain to Tom Daschle that all these agreements are possible. I think the patients' bill of rights is dead, by the way.
Item number two, look for House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt to jump into the tax cut debate with a big economic speech.
KONDRACKE: Well, the advance word is that he's going to take the Daschle approach on Bush's taxes, that is, criticize them but not call for their repeal or delay.
BARNES: The Daschle approach?
KONDRACKE: The Daschle approach.
BARNES: After that blew up in Daschle's face?
KONDRACKE: The – well, the Daschle approach is different from the Kennedy approach, I mean...
BARNES: I know, but they're both unpopular.
KONDRACKE: Well, that may be the case – that may be the case...
KONDRACKE: I'm just telling you what's coming up.
BARNES: Item number three, on Wednesday, President Bush meets with leaders of both parties at the White House. That's that breakfast they had, you know, every week since September 11.
KONDRACKE: Both sides will come out pledging...
KONDRACKE: ... that they agree, that the United States needs a stimulus package...
BARNES: Right, yes.
KONDRACKE: ... even though it may not.
KONDRACKE: The economy. And then they'll proceed to figure out how to torpedo stimulus packages and put the blame on the other side.
BARNES: You know...
KONDRACKE: Not to be cynical about it.
BARNES: Yes, I know, perish the thought. Wall Street still wants a stimulus package, by the way.
Item four, the Hart Senate Office Building, except for Tom Daschle’s suite, will reopen next Tuesday. You know, it had been closed since October when an anthrax-laced letter was sent to Daschle.
KONDRACKE: I think that the Hart Building is becoming Washington’s haunted house. I mean, every time it's supposed to open, it doesn't open. I will believe that it's open when I can walk into it.
BARNES: Yes, now why is that? It's the stupid regulations and the bureaucracy at the Environmental Protection Agency.
KONDRACKE: Well, somebody left a – some HazMat clothing around.
BARNES: Right, I know.
Item number five, Tuesday marks the 29th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
KONDRACKE: And there will be, as usual, a March for Life. You know, Ronald Reagan at least used to participate in the March for Life by sending a video...
KONDRACKE: ... speaking over a loudspeaker system, you know, or participating by phone, or something like that. George Bush will be nowhere to be seen. I thought he was pro-life.
BARNES: Well, that's not the main point. Do you think America's a better place after 29 years? We've had over 40 million unborn children killed. Think America's better for that?
KONDRACKE: It is...
BARNES: I don't.
KONDRACKE: ... it – in third trimester abortions should be outlawed.
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