The Beltway Boys' Tip Sheet for the Week of Sept. 2

This partial transcript of The Beltway Boys, September 1, 2001 was provided by the Federal Document Clearing House. Click here to order the complete transcript.

MORT KONDRACKE, HOST: Welcome back to The Beltway Boys.

Here's our "Tip Sheet" for next week's political action. Fred, you took a week off, you're rested, you're tan, you're fit.

FRED BARNES, HOST: Mort, I was on the beach...

KONDRACKE: You ready to go?

BARNES: ... studying these issues day and night.


Item No. 1, Labor Day is Monday, and President Bush will be traveling to Michigan and Wisconsin to spend some quality time with the Teamsters Union.

BARNES: You know, there is a budding friendship between Bush and the Teamsters, and obviously the Teamsters supported Gore during the last election, but the Teamsters helped get through the energy bill, Bush's energy bill, through the House of Representatives, and he'd like to further that relationship. You know, he started building up support in organized labor with the steelworkers when he got a steel import bill that was actually protectionism.

Now the Teamsters, maybe more later.

KONDRACKE: So if he plays kissy-face with James Hoffa, they'll all -- allow Mexican trucks into the United States?

BARNES: Well, not that.

KONDRACKE: They'll support trade promotion authority?

BARNES: No, but they might support him in 2004.


OK, item two, Mexican President Vicente Fox will visit President Bush this week. Look for a possible immigration deal.

BARNES: Yes, but not much of one. If there's one -- I mean, look, there has been a middle-class populist reaction against this idea of amnesty, there'll be maybe some small deal, or they'll, or they'll talk nice. But don't expect much.

KONDRACKE: The word is regularization.

BARNES: All right, good.

KONDRACKE: OK. Item three, look for President Bush's stem cell decision to get second-guessed next week. Hearings begin Wednesday in the Senate.

BARNES: Yes, three separate hearings. You know, we haven't heard the last of the stem cell decision, and I -- it looks like Democrats are going to try to send up a bill or attach something that says -- go beyond what, what Bush said in research and have actual research on embryonic stem cells. Bush will veto that.

KONDRACKE: It's clear that there are not 60 usable stem cell lines...


KONDRACKE: ... there are not 60...

BARNES: There are plenty.

KONDRACKE: ... Bush fibbed on that one.

BARNES: There are plenty. No, he didn't.

KONDRACKE: Item four. Bush's Social Security commission, headed by former senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, kicks off a series of hearings next week.

BARNES: Mort, you know the idea that timing is everything in politics. This is a terrible time to be discussing Social Security reform. You need -- I mean, to get this through and to, and, and to really argue for these personal investment accounts out of Social Security, you need a rising stock market. We ain't got that.

KONDRACKE: Well, that's going to be a problem. I mean...

BARNES: It is.

KONDRACKE: ... the Democrats are going to take this issue and beat Republicans over the head with it.

BARNES: Looks like it, yes.

KONDRACKE: Yes. Item five, it's back to school next week for millions of kids, if they aren't in school already. But will there be enough teachers to fill the classrooms?

BARNES: Oh, there'll be plenty of teachers, and there will be -- but that doesn't matter. You know, we got enough teachers, we got enough money, we got enough school buildings and so on. What matters is a serious curriculum, standards, accountability through testing. Those are the things that matter. Those will make schools better.

KONDRACKE: Fred, teachers, master teachers...

BARNES: We got...

KONDRACKE: ... should be paid $85,000 to $100,000 a year. That would get the best kids in America into teaching instead of having this -- having them waste some time -- their time as lawyers.

BARNES: That's a small thing, Mort.

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