09/95 Istook Amendment Update

Your Calls Are Working–Keep ‘Em Coming

Gun Owners of America

(Thursday, September 21) — The Istook Amendment (which would defund anti-gun lobbyists receiving federal dollars) continues to survive, thanks to your calls and faxes. One key office told us that the calls at the beginning of the week were running against the amendment but that “you have turned that around.” Given that our opponents receive millions in taxpayer’s money, you can guess how many phone calls they were generating to kill the amendment and keep that money coming in. Good work! That same office told us to keep the calls coming in. Only an outraged public can protect this amendment. (The Istook amendment has now been put off until next week!)

Remember Why the Istook Amendment is Important

The Istook amendment will put the pro-Second Amendment side on an equal footing with the anti-gun lobby. Anti-gun groups will have to choose between lobbying the government or getting federal grants. If they choose to lobby, they will have to raise money from people who agree with them instead of milking the taxpayers. The Istook amendment is currently being debated in the Treasury/Postal Appropriations conference committee.

Gingrich Wavering?

Sources on Capitol Hill have told GOA yesterday that House Speaker Newt Gingrich was working behind the scenes to effectively kill the Istook amendment. (Gingrich was apparently telling conferees they didn’t have to insist on the Istook amendment as part of the bill.) But today, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Speaker may have changed his mind (thanks to your calls). But no doubt, Gingrich will still be under a lot of pressure to cave in on the Istook amendment. The Speaker definitely needs to hear from the voters who elected the people who made him Speaker.

HERE’S WHAT TO DO (for Thursday, Friday and Monday):

* Send another round of calls into Speaker Newt Gingrich’s office. Call both Newt Gingrich (phone: 202-225-4501) and the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Bob Livingston (phone: 202-225-3015), and ASK THEM TO INSTRUCT THE HOUSE CONFEREES TO INSIST ON THE ISTOOK AMENDMENT. In other words, House conferees should be asked to not agree to a final version of the Treasury/Postal Appropriations bill (H.R. 2020) if it does not have the Istook amendment in it.

* Call Sen. Majority Leader Bob Dole’s office and ask him to use his position as Majority Leader to influence Sen. Jim Jeffords (R) to support the Istook amendment. (Jeffords is the swing vote on the conference committee, and he is currently opposing the Istook amendment.) OR, SUGGEST THAT SEN. DOLE ARRANGE FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF ADDITIONAL CONFEREES TO CANCEL OUT SEN. JEFFORDS VOTE. (If they tell you Sen. Dole can’t do that, what they mean is that he WON’T do that. Dole does have the power to arrange for the appointment of additional conferees.) Call Sen. Dole at 202-224-6521.

Remind each of these offices how important the gun issue was in getting them into their leadership positions. Even President Clinton acknowledged that the semi-auto ban cost him the control of the Congress. If Gingrich and Co. are not willing to do everything in their power to defund the anti-gun lobby, then the voters will be just as apathetic, come November of 1996.

Note: One can call any of the above members by dialing 1-800-962-3524 or 1-800-872-8513.

This alert was posted by Gun Owners of America, 8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102, Springfield, VA 22151, (703)321-8585, fax: 321-8408.