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Guess When Things Were Like This In Your Lifetime....Before 2015-2016?
When were these the top issues leading into a presidential election?
In November of a year before a presidential election these were the top issues: (1) increasing the debt ceiling, (2) campaign finance reform and political action committees, (3) terrorism, (4) curbs on federal wiretapping powers, and (5) moves to have the Justice Department account for its handling of an investigation involving Hillary Clinton.
We should pause here and give you time to think of when these would have been the top issues leading into a presidential election year that was not November 2015.
Here are some hints
(1) The national debt was $4.9 trillion dollars.
(2) A leader in Congress had promised the sitting president he would set up a bipartisan committee to examine reforming campaign finance, to include examining the campaign contributions from individuals and political action committees.
(3) In the wake of a horrific terrorist bombing the president had supported an anti-terrorism bill passed by the Senate.
(4) A group in the House of Representatives was trying to put limits on the government's wiretapping powers and bar U. S. aid to foreign governments supporting terrorists.
(5) A Senate committee had just grilled Hillary Clinton's chief of Staff and was preparing to hold hearings on the Justice Department's handling of the department's initial investigation.
The date was November 13, 1995 when the magazine "U.S. News & World Report" ran a section headed "Eye On Congress" which listed those as current issues the Congress was dealing with.
The federal debt was climbing to the $4.9 trillion dollar level and Congress wanted some promises from Bill Clinton before raising the debt ceiling further.
The House Speaker was Newt Gingrich and he was proposing a commission to reform campaign financing which would have 16 members equally divided between Democrats and Republicans.
The Oklahoma City bombing had spurred Congress with Bill Clinton's support to pass a wide-ranging bill including provisions for deporting terrorism suspects. Action by the House was bogged down by such unlikely partners as the National Rifle Association and the American Civil Liberties Union concerned that the Senate bill would give too much power to the federal government.
A Senate committee had just grilled a close friend of Hillary Clinton (Susan Thomasses) and Hillary's chief of staff (Maggie Williams) about their phone calls to each other possibly related to controlling federal investigators looking into White House lawyer Vince Foster's apparent suicide. Meanwhile congressional hearings were continuing on the Justice Department's efforts to get to the bottom of the Whitewater investigation.
Swiftly go the days!
Does it surprise you that 20 years later the 2016 discussions seem strikingly similar?
© 2016 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.