This is a partial transcript from The Beltway Boys, June 1, that has been edited for clarity. Click here to order the complete transcript.
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MORT KONDRACKE, CO-HOST: Welcome back to The Beltway Boys.
It's Fred's turn on the griddle, and we'll see if he's up to it.
Here's our Tip Sheet for next week's action.
Item one, Congress opens joint Intelligence Committee hearings next week into what went wrong before the 9/11 attacks.
FRED BARNES, CO-HOST: You know, the first week or so is going to be closed private hearings. Eventually we'll get the public hearings. But - and, and, and one of the things that's good is, these are bipartisan hearings, since the House is Republican and the Senate is Democratic.
I have qualms about it. Usually these hearings don't produce anything. And these have come so late. I mean, September 11 and those terrorist attacks were nine months ago, and they're, and they're just starting hearings.
Look, I think if we're going to learn anything, we probably would have already learned it.
KONDRACKE: Well, you know, the, the, the Intelligence Committees have got to do a better job than the Judiciary Committees ever did monitoring the FBI. That was - it was, it was atrocious.
KONDRACKE: Item two, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will visit President Bush at Camp David next week.
BARNES: You know, he's sort of the last person Bush is going to talk to before he makes a lot of fundamental decisions. One, will the U.S. be in favor of some sort of a peace conference this summer? Two, will the U.S. present a detailed plan of what the U.S. thinks peace talks should wind up pointing to between Israel and the Palestinians? And three, even if the U.S. might somehow try to covertly knock Arafat out of power among the Palestinians, I don't think any of those things are going to happen, however.
KONDRACKE: Yes, but, well, he's going to try to get Mubarak behind this reform movement too.
Item three, President Bush will talk welfare reform in Bill Clinton's hometown, Little Rock, Ark.
BARNES: You know, welfare reform has been an extraordinary success. All the liberals who criticized it and said it was going to just destroy the poor were completely wrong. You, Mort, of course, were in favor of welfare reform as I was. And President Bush, I think, is going to do a smart thing, he's going to be in Little Rock and praise, appropriately, President Clinton for having been such an important part of welfare reform when it passed in 1996.
KONDRACKE: The poor do need some help with, with childcare, however, and education.
Item four, Tuesday is New Jersey's GOP primary. The winner will face Democratic Senator Bob Torricelli in the fall. Look for wealthy businessman Doug Forrester to win.
BARNES: You know, this is the Republican sleeper seat, in other words, Republican operatives say, You know, everybody says we haven't got a chance to win this seat. But with Forrester, if he wins the primary, which he probably will, we, we really do have a chance, because Torricelli has some real problems
Well, now, Forrester's a wealthy...
KONDRACKE: We or they?
KONDRACKE: We? Did you say we?
BARNES: No, I was quoting Republicans as saying we.
KONDRACKE: Oh, I see, OK.
BARNES: Aha, thought you had me there.
BARNES: But Forrester needs to spend a lot of his own money to help win that seat.
KONDRACKE: Yes, well, Torricelli's approval ratings and his reelect numbers are not great, thanks to this scandal involving David Chang, this crooked businessman, just got convicted.
Item number five, look for House Republicans to unveil a prescription drug plan.
BARNES: Well, they will pass one in the House, and it will sort of immunize Republicans on that issue in the campaign this fall if that becomes a much of an issue. And I don't know what the Senate will do, but will a bill actually emerge at - and get to the president's desk this year?
BARNES: Not a chance.
KONDRACKE: Never. The, the Democrats want a much bigger bill, a trillion dollars, versus Republicans' $350 billion bill. Not going to happen.
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