March 12, 1993 – America Gets A Woman AG – Congress Howls At Base Closings – Yeltsin Threatens “Extraordinary Measures”.
March 12, 1993 – Busy news day. Starting with the swearing in of Janet Reno, the first woman to serve as Attorney General and to become the second-longest serving Attorney General in U.S. history, after William Wirt. No sooner sworn in than a mountain of issues were hitting her desk, among them the wave of threats and actual violence against abortion clinics around the country, including the murder of a doctor in Pensacola, Florida. Reno was sworn by Justice Byron White, who planned to retire over the Summer. And President Clinton also had the possibility of another Supreme Court vacancy; Justice Harry Blackmon disclosed he was planning on retiring soon. As Reno stepped into her new job as AG, David Gibbons stepped down as director of Federal Affairs for the National Rifle Association, his price for spreading unsubstantiated rumors that Reno had been arrested for drunk driving.
And Congress was howling over the newly published list of proposed base closures from Defense Secretary Aspen. Some 31 bases were to be shut down and 130 others scaled back. The procedure was designed to get Congress to vote on an all-or-nothing bill later on in the year.
On a straight party-line vote, the Senate Budget Committee voted to approve a blueprint to cut the deficit by 1/2 trillion dollars over the next five years.
And Russian President Boris Yeltsin broke with the Communist dominated Congress, walking out rather than enduring any more assaults on his power. The Congress Of Peoples Deputies did what they had been threatening to do; they voted to strip Boris Yeltsin of most of the power that made him an effective executive. Before this happened, Yeltsin went before the Congress to inform them he was trying to be reasonable, but they just wanted to push things over the edge. “You keep doing this” Yeltsin told the Congress “and I will resort to some extraordinary measure”. He didn’t say what those measures were, but many were convinced Russia was on the brink of a revolution. Only time would tell.
And that’s just a little of what went on, this March 12, 1993 as presented by The CBS World News Roundup.