The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on March 25, 1998 · Page 12
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March 25, 1998

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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 12

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West Palm Beach, Florida
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Wednesday, March 25, 1998
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Page 12
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THE PALM BEACH POST WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25, 1998 12A 1 - mm-' m 111 I m Gingrich won't delay votes s to oblige Democrats abroad 1 n ire ..t ' 4 I . - : Afei.' . .... 1 " ' Black t I Americans I welcome i i remarks were intended to convey a rejection of the request. In a sarcastic rebuttal, Laura Nichols, Gephardt's spokeswom an replied, What schedule? its' Gephardt and other have been critical in recent Congressional Black Caucus members are with President Clinton in Africa. By David Espo Vie Associated Press WASHINGTON House Speaker Newt Gingrich spurned a request from the head of the Congressional Black Caucus to postpone votes on controversial bills until lawmakers accompanying President Clinton on his IS J. i 1. A rJr: ':J- mm " ICS African trip return home. The decision comes at a time when GOP leaders after a slow start to the congressional session are struggling this fx Il- w sf- ia.-,-'C- ,S.;7, ' --f ' ELtJ -id THE ASSOCIATED PRESS President Clinton and Uganda's President. Yoweri Museveni (right) watch Tuesday as children of the Kisowera School perform a traditional dance at Mukono, a village 20 miles from Kampala, Uganda. weeks of the slow pace of House floor activity. Last week, for example, the GOP leadership scheduled no votes before Tuesday at 5 p.m., and lawmakers were free to leave the Capitol for their home districts by midday on Thursday. rf This week, however, Republicans are laboring to prevail on' at least three controversial measures, and seem eager to take advantage of the prolonged absence of as many as 16 lawmakers, many of whom are Democrats likely to oppose the GOP agenda. According to a list provided by the White House, 14 Democratic lawmakers were ito travel with Clinton 12 of them members of the Black Caucus and two Republicans. ' ; Democratic officials said some members of the delegation had already left, while others intended to depart today. Waters' office declined to confirm her conversation with Gingrich. "She's in Africa," said her spokeswoman, Marcella Howell. Republicans currently hold a thin 12-vote majority in the House and can ill afford many defections, particularly on procedural votes that are instrumental in maintaining control of floor proceedings. The absence of 12 or so Democrats gives them additional breathing room on the three controversial measures on the week's schedule. ! AFRICA I From 1A ) in working together for our mu-; tual benefit, for your children and for ours, as we should have been." Black Americans traveling ; with the president welcomed his I remarks about Africa and history, though some called for Clinton to ; say even more, especially this year, during which he has sought to call attention to racial dialogue ' and healing. ! Discussing Clinton's remarks I Tuesday, Randall Robinson, head of TransAfrica, a Washington, D.C.-based lobbying group that focuses on African and Caribbean j issues, observed: "It's different I from speeches of past presidents, so I think it's significant but hardly adequate to address hun-; dreds of years of slavery. While ; others are offered restitution and j reparations for lesser crimes, the president does not manage anything but a cryptic acknowledgment." Robinson added that he thought Clinton was absolutely correct when he said that the great sin of America toward Africa was neglect. The Rev. Jesse Jackson, Clinton's special envoy to Africa who is traveling with the White House entourage, said he believes that black Americans would welcome the president's remarks on slavery. c' But what both groups really :want to see emerging from this trip is better relations between ,the nations of Africa and the United States. week to have Gingrich their way on measures dealing with campaign finance, union organizing and curbs on overseas abortion counseling. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., who chairs the Black Caucus, spoke with Gingrich by phone last weekend, according to officials in both parties. House Democratic leader Dick Gephardt underscored the request for a delay in a letter dispatched Monday to Gingrich and Majority Leader Dick Armey. "Ironic, isn't it," replied Gingrich's spokeswoman, Christina Martin. "After much complaining about the pace of legislation, Democrats are now asking the speaker to slow down and delay." "The Republican Congress will continue on schedule," she said, adding that her comments gional center in Mali and boost educational efforts elsewhere. Meantime, the president's historic tour continued to generate excitement among Africans, especially the young with whom he visited Tuesday. Caroline Nakyeyuae, 14, who was dressed in a school uniform of a white blouse and blue skirt, asked of the president's swift stop: "Why has he spent only 30 minutes with us? 1 "We liked him so much, that's why we didn't want him to go so soon." Her schoolmate Nicole Syliv-ia, 17, added brightly: "We're glad about the $120 million. "I like the friendship he is creating between the United States and Africa." over two years, would provide teaching materials and computers with Internet access to resource centers across Africa. It would boost teacher training, establish links between African and American universities and improve education for girls, who traditionally get much less education than boys in many African countries. The two-year, $61 million nutrition program aims to better distribute existing crops, increase trade and investment in agricultural industries, attack crop diseases and boost access to modern agriculture. The effort to reduce malaria, which kills 2 million Africans annually, would focus on a $1 million grant to support a re servers deemed free and fair, has rid the country of many of the human rights abuses of the governments of Idi Amin and Milton Obote and instituted press freedoms and broad economic reforms. Although Uganda does not have a multiparty democracy, Clinton and other administration officials stressed throughout the day that the country has come a very long way, and, like much of Africa, deserves to be treated like a partner of the United States. Clinton also announced a three-part, two-year initiative to help African nations improve their schools, food supply and health care: The education segment, which would cost $120 million Now serving the southeastern Florida metro area. Going outside the coverage area? Assured message delivery stores your messages and delivers them in minutes when you return. So you won't miss a message. IIRODUCIIG i "The question is where I should we go from here," Jackson j said. "And where we go from here ; is the move away from slavery and neglect and paternalism and I pawns to partnership." ; " On his 12-day tour of Africa, j Clinton is trying to reverse ; America's past stance toward this ' continent. ! He hopes to create a new pic-; ture of Africa in American minds. ; To that end Tuesday, he vis-J ited the Kisowera primary school j and was entertained by songs and ' dances of children in a lush, hilly setting overlooking banana ; fields. The topic of the day was edu-1 cation. 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