09/95 Istook Amendment Update

Your Calls and Telegrams Are Working!
Keep efforts going to stop welfare for anti-gun lobbyists

by Gun Owners of America

Summary: CALL WESTERN UNION at 1-800-651-1GUN (1486) and send three very important telegrams to Sen. Dole and Reps. Gingrich and Livingston.

(WEEKEND UPDATE: Friday, Sept. 29) — For almost two weeks, Gun Owners of America, along with you and all of our grassroots supporters, have been working hard to pass the Istook-McIntosh-Ehrlich amendment. This amendment would force groups that have lobbied for restrictive gun control laws -like the American Bar Association and the American Association of Retired Persons — to decide between whether to continue receiving federal funds or whether to continue lobbying. The amendment is currently locked up in a conference committee that is working on the Treasury/Postal Appropriations bill (H.R. 2020).

Two weeks ago at this time, we were going to lose the battle for the Istook amendment. But you have helped turn the tide. The office of Rep. Bob Livingston, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, has stated they have been deluged with “millions of calls.” House Speaker Newt Gingrich has been receiving so many calls they are putting people through to a recording to take messages.

In fact, House Speaker Newt Gingrich has reversed course, and now appears to be committed to passing the Istook amendment. He has even stated that “we will keep this appropriations bill locked in conference until Christmas if we have to.” This is a clear reversal from earlier statements, when he was reportedly telling House conferees that they could vote for a bill that didn’t contain the Istook amendment. (We need to keep the pressure on him; the other side certainly will.)

Here’s the current situation: The Senate could very well take up the Istook amendment sometime next week as part of another bill (the Labor-HHS Appropriations bill — H.R. 2127). In addition, the conferees on the Treasury/Postal Appropriations committee are soon expected to continue negotiating over the Istook provision in H.R. 2020. The situation is extremely fluid.

We must keep calling and sending telegrams. On Tuesday, GOA announced a Western Union hotline to send telegrams to Reps. Gingrich and Livingston and Sen. Bob Dole. In three days, you guys sent almost 500 telegrams between the three of them. Let’s keep up the pressure.


* Call Western Union (1-800-651-1GUN or 1486) and send a telegram over the weekend if you have not done so already. Telegrams will be sent to House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole and House Appropriations Committee Chairman Bob Livingston. The telegrams urge these leaders to do everything in their power to make sure the Treasury/Postal Appropriation conferees keep the Istook amendment in H.R. 2020. All three leaders are urged to do more than just support the Istook amendment; they are prompted to lobby the conferees directly and insist that they “veto” the bill if the Istook amendment is removed. A charge of $8.95 will be credited to your phone bill.

* Distribute this alert and get others to send telegrams. Take this to gun stores & gun shows!

* Call your Senators (1-800-962-3524, 1-800-872-8513 or 202-224-3121) — especially Senators Hatfield (R-OR) and Jeffords (R-VT). Both men are on the Treasury/Postal conference committee; and both men appear to be in opposition to the Istook amendment at this time. Ask your Senators to support the Istook amendment. Call them all next week, Mon.-Fri. (October 2-6).

* A common question that senators ask. Question: Doesn’t the Istook amendment affect freedom of speech by charities? Answer: The issue is not about freedom of speech. The Istook amendment is about stopping your tax dollars from going to fund the views of lobbyists (especially anti-gun lobbyists) that you don’t agree with. This amendment would eliminate taxpayer-funded lobbying, not free speech. No group is forced to accept federal grants. If a group wants to lobby, they should raise their money the old-fashioned way — through voluntary contributions.

P.S. Hats off to G. Gordon Liddy who pushed the Istook amendment on his program today!

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