`Safe Havens' for Muslims Draw Fire - on Capitol Hill
THE Clinton administration may have resolved the question of United States involvement in the former Yugoslavia - at least for the time being - but the president's agreement to set up six "safe havens" for Bosnian Muslims is drawing withering fire on Capitol Hill.
"We are legitimating genocide," Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D) of New York said Sunday. "The moral basis of the world international order in the aftermath of Bosnia is weakened as it has not been since the 1930s."
Senate minority leader Bob Dole (R) of Kansas said he was "deeply disappointed" by the agreement Secretary of State Warren Christopher reached over the weekend with European foreign ministers. The Republican senator added that, in his view, the plan "offers little if any hope of ending the war in Bosnia. Moreover, it amounts to writing off Bosnia as a state by ratifying the status quo on the ground."
But the agreement did find some defenders in Congress. House majority leader Richard Gephardt (D) of Missouri said Clinton had "shown strong leadership."
Speaking on CNN's "Newsmaker Sunday," Mr. Gephardt said: "I think if he had gone off unilaterally with air strikes, arming the Muslims, if he was out of sync with the UN and European allies, he'd be even subject to more bitter criticism. I think he's done the best with a very tough and bad situation." Health care endgame
Which way on health care? It's getting close to unveiling time for the president's health-care reform plan, but there is still no agreement among Clinton's advisers.
One group, led by Hillary Rodham Clinton, advocates mandating a comprehensive package of health benefits for every American, covering doctor services, in- and out-patient hospital care, emergencies, pediatric care for sick and well children, checkups, family planning, mental health, and long-term care.
But some economic advisers urge the president to propose a less ambitious program that would be easier to implement, both politically and economically. Their alternative would limit the number of doctor and hospital visits. Higher co-payments and deductibles also would be required as another way to hold down costs to employers and government.
A high-level White House meeting to go over the issues is scheduled for today. Clinton apparently hopes to reach a decisions in as little as two weeks. Movers-and-shakers watch
Defense Secretary Les Aspin leaves budget battles behind to visit Europe this week. He will attend his first NATO defense ministers meeting in Belgium today and tomorrow and then visit US military personnel in Italy.... The Chicago Sun Times reports that a federal grand jury is investigating charges that taxpayers have paid thousands of dollars in rent to Rep. Dan Rostenkowski's family for two buildings housing his offices and a local Democratic Party organization. The powerful Democrat, who chairs the H ouse Ways and Means Committee, is also being investigated for a host of other alleged improprieties.... Ross Perot urged Americans to rally behind a bipartisan deficit reduction plan proposed by Sen. David Boren (D) of Oklahoma, which calls for more spending cuts and fewer new taxes than President Clinton's proposal. The billionaire's endorsement came at a weekend rally in Kansas City. Up, up, and....
From the "when it rains it pours" department: The first trip arranged by the reorganized White House travel office headed by President Clinton's cousin barely got off the ground Saturday when a plane hired by the office was delayed by mechanical problems.
The Midwest Express plane hired by the office to fly the press to New Hampshire to cover a commencement speech by Clinton sat at Andrews Air Force Base for more than an hour as mechanics replaced a leaky fuel line.
The White House had been hoping to put the travel office controversy - already being dubbed "travelgate" by some - behind it. But the grounded airplane didn't make that task any easier.