Ups and Downs for the Week of June 9-13

This is a partial transcript from The Beltway Boys, June 14, 2003, that has been edited for clarity. Click here to order the complete transcript.

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MORT KONDRACKE, CO-HOST: Let's go to the Ups and Downs.

UP: House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

KONDRACKE: He trumps both the White House and House Democrats by pushing through an $82 billion package of tax cuts, including an increase in the expansion of the child tax credit (search), $1,000 per child through 2010.

Here's DeLay on the floor Thursday night chiding Democrats for voting against the bill.


REP. TOM DELAY (R-TX), MAJORITY LEADER: And at the end of this vote, the American people will see that the Republican Party believes in helping families through the child tax credit and the Democrat Party doesn't.


KONDRACKE: Well, I got to say that this was slick and cynical on...


KONDRACKE: ... on DeLay's part, slick because he, he puts the Democrats as being against the child care credit, cynical because the Senate is likely not going to go along with this $82 billion. They voted a $10 billion bill. And for deficit reasons are against going, going any further than that.

So this help for the, for, for poor people, which you guys regard as welfare, is going to die.

BARNES: Look, how can the Democrats vote against this? I mean, they know perfectly well, though, in the tax bill, the child tax credit was supposed to expire in 2004, next year. They know that's not going to happen anyway, so why not vote for doing what the House does, and that just extends it to 2010, and, and broadens it so reaches people at higher income levels?

I mean, how is Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, a Democrat who put in that tax credit thing so people who don't pay taxes can still get money from the government, under the child tax credit thing, how can she vote against it? I mean, she's the one who stuck it in the Senate bill in the first place. If she votes against it, that means she's against the child tax care credit going to those people. It's as simple as that, Mort.

I, I think -- and then think about Tom DeLay. He's not only tough, he's principled, and this is principled conservatism.

DOWN: John Rockefeller, Ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee

BARNES: His push for a full-blown formal inquiry into prewar intelligence on Iraqi WMD (search) is rejected, and the bitter recriminations have begun. Here's Rockefeller sparring with the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, Pat Roberts.


SEN. JOHN ROCKEFELLER (D-WV), SELECT INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: What they're talking about is kind of a paper-reading session, let's all read lots of documents and not get down to interviewing people from the executive branch, people from the intelligence communities, including people from the intelligence community who said we were manipulated.

SEN. PAT ROBERTS (R-KS), CHAIRMAN, SELECT INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: We are going to complete a very thorough review of all the documentation. At the end of that, it seems to me sensible to do that kind of homework before you talk about a formal investigation or this or that or the other thing.


BARNES: Look, Rockefeller's mad because Republicans won't facilitate Democrats in their orgy of attacks on on the Bush administration for, you know, fudging on the, on the intelligence. It's as simple as that. All Pat Roberts is saying, Look, let's read the intelligence first.

KONDRACKE: Look, there's got to be a serious inquiry, both of the, of the charges that, that the Bush administration hyped and also, just to find out whether the intelligence community performed well.

UP: Hillary Clinton

KONDRACKE: Not only is her new book, Living History (search), flying off the bookshelves, but the publicity has also boosted her poll ratings in a up -- in a new Gallup poll, 53 percent now say they have a favorable view of her, up 10 points from last week. And...however, 56 percent said that they wouldn't vote for her.

Now, I've read much of the, the Hillary book...and I must say that it's, it's not very revealing, and it's not very reflective. But what comes through between the lines is how furious she still is at all the people who crossed her. If she gets elected president, watch out for enemies lists.

BARNES: Yes, the -- well, she's also not very honest in it. You know, she says that she really didn't have anything to do with getting all that travel office at the White House fired in 1993.

That's not what the last independent counsel said, Robert Ray, said, not Ken Starr, Robert Ray, he concluded with this, "Clinton did play a role" in Travelgate and had "input in the decision to fire the travel office employees, and that her testimony to the contrary was factually false."

I think he's got it right. OK.

DOWN: California Gov. Gray Davis

BARNES: Once considered a long shot, the effort to recall Davis is picking up steam, and recent poll numbers are giving the dump-Davis forces plenty of ammo. In a recent survey of likely voters in the Golden State, a whopping 75 percent disapprove of the way Davis is doing his job, and a majority of those voters, 51 percent, would boot him out of office.

And Mort, one...the recall's going to happen, and two, you know, on that, you get to vote for who you want to be governor. You know, Condoleezza's Rice's name could go on there.

KONDRACKE: Yes, I, I think she's going to stick with her present job, although I will vote for Condoleezza Rice for anything, anytime.

But, you know, California's really a crazy state. Here's a state with a $38 billion budget deficit, and what are they doing? They're, they're, they're having a recall. I mean, it's crazy.

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