October 4, 1984 – Cramming For A Debate – Jamming For Recess
October 4, 1984. A day loaded with politics. Racing to meet a recess deadline, Capitol Hill was working overtime to pass bills, avoid defaults and slip in a few last minute monkey-wrenches.
It seems to happen every year – Congress going down to the wire as the new Fiscal year was arriving. Arguments over how to spend it were holding up the dispersement of money to the government. And lawmakers were chafing at the bit to get out of town in order to start campaigning (it was an election year, after all). The Senate worked all night as lobbyists jammed the corridors and coffee ran out as Senators were still meeting on the $470 Billion+ spending bill needed to keep the government running. Technically, seven government departments, including the Defense Department and the Armed Forces, ran out of money at midnight. Federal workers were told to come to work this morning, but at mid-day the White House Budget office would have to decide whether workers were to be sent home and government offices closed down. There were still some major differences to be ironed out, including the cutting off CIA aid to the Contra Rebels, which the Senate refused to do. Also turned down was a request for money to be used in Abortions, which brought down heavy criticism from opponents.
Meanwhile, the first Presidential debate was slated to take place the upcoming Sunday evening in Louisville Kentucky. And this day was spent by both the Reagan and Mondale camps cramming in last minute facts and figures ahead of the showdown. Both realized there was a considerable amount at stake, and so the day was spent going over briefing books and rehearsing.
And vice-President George Bush alleged the Internal Revenue Service had bilked him of some $144,000 over a tax write-off from the sale of one home and the purchase of another. The dispute stemmed from the 1981 sale of a home in Houston for some $600,000 more than he originally paid for it four years earlier. And then purchased of his current home in Maine. The government was said to disallow Bush’s claim, ruling that his principle residence was the home the government provided him in Washington. Bush paid the back taxes, but vowed to fight the ruling.
And that’s a small sample of what went on, this October 4, 1984 as reported by The CBS World News Roundup.