March 1, 2001 – Along Party Lines – Along Fault Lines
March 1, 2001 – Pretty much an average news day. On Capitol Hill, Republican law makers just-started President Bush’s tax cut proposals, by pushing the central part of plan through the House Ways and Means Committee. The measure was expected to move quickly to a vote by the full house. Despite objections from Democrats, the Republican majority gave fast-track treatment to the President’s key proposal of reducing tax rates across the board. Voting along party lines, the committee approved slashing the lowest tax bracket sooner and deeper than what the President proposed. It would raise the overall cost of such a rate cut by another $65 billion, to a total of nearly $1 trillion. Republican members of Congress called it a stimulus for the American economy. House Minority leader, Dick Gephardt called it the most irresponsible legislative act he’d ever seen. It was the first major legislation submitted by the new President – the full house was expected to vote on the bill in the following week.
The House also introduced legislation to make it more difficult to get out of debt by declaring bankuptcy and it passed by a margin of 306 – 108m with voting along party lines. The bill was supported by Banking and retail credit industries (naturally).
And the Earthquake, which ripped through Seattle the previous day was still dealing with aftershocks and damage assessment. The earthquake, which created widespread damage, but no loss of life, was considered by many to not be as strong as was feared. As cleanup efforts continued, building inspectors combed the streets starting at daybreak to assess whether or not the extensive cosmetic dmage to buildings carried over into load-bearing walls. It was expected to take several more days before the full severity of the previous days earthquake could be measured. But as Washington Governor Gary Locke put it: “while this was a very strong earthquake, and the damage will be extensive, thank goodness there was no loss of life”.
And that’s much of what happened on this March 1, 2001 as presented by NPR News.