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GOP Senators Upset by End to Vieques Bombings; $42 Billion Education Bill Passes Senate; Republicans, Democrats Weigh in on Energy Price Caps

Aired June 14, 2001 - 17:00   ET


JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Judy Woodruff in Washington.

We take you now directly to the United States Capitol, where Secretary of the Navy Gordon England has been briefing senators on the decision today to announce to stop U.S. bombing practices on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques. Let's listen now to Senator John Warner and then, presumably, from Secretary England.


SEN. JOHN WARNER (R), VIRGINIA: ...specifically asked the Department of Defense if it is their intent to have the law modified, that the secretary of defense should take the initiative to forward to the Congress a draft of the language desired.

The secretary -- deputy secretary indicated that he would consult with the White House and in all probability, that language will be forthcoming. Because there is a very specific law in effect, and the policy enunciation thus far by the Department of Defense, and largely through the deputy secretary and the secretary of the Navy, enunciates the policy that requires a specific action by the Congress, prior to November when the referendum is scheduled to take place.

Further, I have asked Chairman Carl Levin if, as I anticipate, that legislation comes forward, that we, then, have a hearing of the Senate Arms Services Committee, and he said that he would take that under advisement. And I believe Chairman Stump, you've indicated that you will be having a hearing...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's correct.

WARNER: ... in the House.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Before the first of July.

WARNER: Senator Inhofe.

SEN. JAMES INHOFE (R), OKLAHOMA: I will make mine very brief, because I have a 5:10 commitment that will take about five minutes; then I am going to come back. I would only say that I had spent three years on this issue, have been all of the way around the world to every possible conceivable alternative site, and I see this as an issue that means American lives.

On March 12, we had an accident, an accident involving an F-18 dropping three 500 pounders, killing five Americans and one other individual...


INHOFE: In the Gulf. And they were supposed to have trained with live ordinance in Vieques, and they were not able to do that. I have a very serious concern about the recommendation that seems to be coming from the White House, in its effect of all of the ranges around the world -- and I am talking about Copa de Larda (ph), where they've already said -- it would be down to 22 days and now it's going to be less than that, Cape Laravh (ph), all the other alternatives.

We are going to lose other ranges if the range is lost. So I have very strong feelings about it, and my intention is, as Senator Warner is aware, that I will do everything they can within my power to keep from changing the law, so that we can go ahead with the November referendum, and let the self-determination on the island of Vieques take place.

Let's keep in mind: we're not talking about Puerto Rico; we're talking about Vieques. And that's a smaller group of people who have different ideas and views than the rest of Puerto Rico.

WARNER: Chairman Stump?

REP. BOB STUMP (R), ARIZONA: Let me just say that there are very strong feelings in the House Arms Service Committee. I had the conversations with the secretary, the (OFF-MIKE) and all of the assistant secretaries, and all the others that I could contact in the White House of how serious this was and how it was going to be treated in the House.

We have been through this; I think that this place is irreplaceable; there have been numerous attempts made to try to find an alternative training site, and so far, we were unable do to that. So we were a little surprised of the suddenness of the announcement, and consequently, announced that we would have hearings, and invite everyone concerned into it, and try to find out what we can do about this.

But I think it's a step in the wrong direction. I think it's setting a bad precedent; we have others areas, even within this country, there have been numerous complaints about our training around our bases and I think that once you give into this kind of action down there, that the Puerto Ricans are doing -- we are inviting trouble in many other places. Thank you.

REP. JAMES HANSEN (R), UTAH: I am Jim Hansen, I chair the Resource Committee in the House site. I am also one of the senior members of the Armed Service Committee.

I've been working with Senator Inhofe for a number of years on this particular issue. I think that he put right when he said it's a matter of lives. I know we have had hearings on this indirectly with past secretaries and other individuals, and one thing that jumps out at me all the time is, they say we are going to lose lives if we don't train these people.

Senator Inhofe alluded to one that happened in Kuwait, where lives were lost; they should have been trained in that particular item.

Now we also look at the 33 ranges we have in the 48. And I can probably name all of them, because I have been in most of them. Every one of those has a challenge of some kind. Our Japanese friends are not at all happy with what is happening in Okinawa right now. They have wanted us to leave for a long time, and there's been a few mistakes made over there.

What do we tell them? We won't bomb on ours, we'll bomb on yours? What do we tell the people in Korea? What do we tell people in China Lake? What do we tell people in Utah Test and Training Range? How about, you name it, there is somebody doesn't like it. I think I spent half of my time between resources and armed services trying to put out the fires on someone that's mad about having a test in the training range.

All right, to me it's the line in the sand. You give on this one, where's the next one to come out? We'll be standing in front of you folks another 10 years, talking about who is the next one to go. Well, it's kind of important you do that. I am past Navy myself, and I know that's what you do. You train, train, train.

I hope we never fight. But when they fight, we want them to be trained and be the very best. Kind of customary for our presidents to stand up at the State of the Union and they all say, we want to have the best trained, the best equipped, the best military there is.

Well, I think there's an encroachment here. I have great respect for President Bush and Vice President Cheney; I sat next to Cheney for six years on the Interior Committee when he was here, and I know what a capable man he is. But I am very concerned -- it may be a mistake but let's see. I agree with what the senator pointed out, let's see the language and what they have in mind.

And id there a way to work this out? There's a lot of ifs, ands, and buts to work about at this time. Thank you.

WARNER: I failed to mention that Senator Cochran was also at our meeting, he's chairman of the subcommittee, and Senator Inhofe is ranking on that subcommittee now. I am prepared to take your questions and share them with my colleagues.

Yes, sir?

QUESTION: Senator, specifically, what does the administration want...

WOODRUFF: We've been listening to comments by senators and House committee chairs, on the decision announced today by the Bush administration, that it plans to stop military training exercises, bombing exercises, on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques.

This has been a controversial practice, protested by the Puerto Ricans, people living on the island for quite some time, and today's announcement appeared to opened up a hornet's nest. Because what we've been hearing now are members of chairs and active members of military affairs committees, both on the House and the Senate side.

And as you can tell, both from Senator John Warner, who said that he thinks that there's a law that says this can't be done without Congressional approval.

We heard Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, say he has very serious concerns about the effect this will have on other training sites around the world.

We heard the congressman say that they were surprised at the suddenness, that it is a step in the wrong direction.

We heard the last Congressman, Jim Hansen, say if we draw the line and step back here, then we will hear the protests about every other site where U.S. training exercises occur around the world.

Joining us now from the Pentagon, CNN's military affairs correspondent Jamie McIntyre.

Jamie, I use the word, opened up a hornet's nest, I guess you can use the words you would like to use here.

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN MILITARY AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, what I thought was very interesting about this event on the Hill is that of course these are some of the most pro-defense members of Congress, and they're very upset with this action by President Bush.

You heard, as you pointed out, John Warner point out, that this referendum that's supposed to decide the future of the issue is part of the law and that law would have to be changed. But perhaps the most interesting was the absence at this event of Gordon England, the newly-appointed Navy secretary, who, the Pentagon has led us to believe, was going to actually make an announcement and we talked about the announcement, but so far, there's been no public announcement of this. Just a lot of private briefings.

And as you heard, this is -- this is an issue that has prompted a lot of criticism that the Bush administration is deserting the very military it pledged to support during the campaign.


MCINTYRE (voice-over): Pentagon sources say it was a political decision by the White House to scuttle one of the Navy's top priorities, continued use of it's bombing range in Vieques, which it claims is the only East coast location to realistically train the troops for combat.

President Bush in Sweden portrayed it as a Pentagon initiative. GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's the right agreement; I applaud the Defense Department and the Navy to reach that agreement.

MCINTYRE: Pentagon sources saying that the newly-appointed secretary Gordon England was forced by the White House to back down from his position, that the Navy would voluntary give up Vieques in may of 2003, only if there was a good alternative training site. Something the Navy has insisted for years, doesn't exist.

England, sources say, was dispatched to Capitol Hill to take responsibility for the unpopular move. Which overrules the advice of the uniform military and has infuriated pro-defense conservatives in Congress.

REP. JAMES HANSEN (R-UT), ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE: You would think that the man who runs the Navy would be the person to run the decision. I think that a lot of folks in the military got sold out in this deal.

MCINTYRE: Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said, he fully supported the decision, even while pointing out that he did not make it.

DONALD RUMSFELD, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: The decision has been handled, as I said, by Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz and by the secretary of the Navy, whom I have great confidence.

MCINTYRE: While designed to quell the boisterous protest that have accompanied recent exercises at the range, the decision does not mollify most opponents who continue to demand an immediate bombing halt.


MCINTYRE: Now Navy officials say they believe they had a real fighting chance to win that November referendum on the issue and privately they decry the decision as a political move aimed at gaining Hispanic votes.

Bush Administration officials countered that with polls showing that the Navy was heading for a defeat in that referendum, the president is simply recognizing reality and not playing politics -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right. Jamie McIntyre reporting from the Pentagon. For more on the strategy behind the Vieques decision and the fallout, let's go to CNN's Kelly Wallace. She's at the White House -- Kelly.

KELLY WALLACE, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Judy, you can say that some Bush Administration officials were doing a bit of damage control today. As we saw Navy Secretary Gordon England and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz spending much of the day on Capitol Hill in part because many lawmakers were quite concerned that they found out about this decision from the news media, and not from White House officials themselves.

Now, again, as we've noted, criticism coming really from both side of the aisle. You have big supporters of the military stunned, simply. They say that they shocked the White House would go ahead and call for a halt to these bombing exercises when the administration does not have an exact plan on where this training will take place in the future.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I am encouraged by the environment that we have. Senator Breaux and Senator Frist and all of us have sat down together along with the administration. I think it's how the process should work and the American people want and deserve a result.


WALLACE: That was an incorrect sound bite from Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona. The senator was telling reporters there, talking about the patients' bill of rights. But we also asked him about this decision, and he said he would have preferred to see this independent review board, which apparently is going to look, over the next three months, to come up with an alternative site. He would have preferred to see that board do its work and come up with an alternative before the White House went ahead and decided to go ahead and halt those bombing exercises in 2003.

Now on the other side of the aisle, you have Democratic lawmakers, many of whom have large Puerto Rican constituencies in their districts. Well, they're not happy either because they believe the bombing exercises should end immediately.


SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), NEW YORK: Rather than wait to hear the voice of the people, it appears that the White House wants to bypass the citizens of Puerto Rico and particularly Vieques and to set in stone a policy of continuing to bomb until 2003. I think that that's unacceptable.


WALLACE: Now there are two messages the White House seems to want to get out today: Number one, it's saying that this was not a politically motivated decision, and number two, it is saying that Navy Secretary Gordon England made the decision, and that the decision was communicated to White House officials yesterday during a meeting, which included Karl Rove, the president's senior political adviser.

Still, though, Judy, as Jamie has reported, it appeared that England really had no choice after all, because the president has made it clear that he wanted the navy to take into account the concerns of the Puerto Rican people, and the majority of whom definitely wanted these bombing exercises to come to an end -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right. Kelly Wallace reporting from the White House. Thanks.

And joining us now again from Capitol Hill, Senator James Inhofe, Republican from Oklahoma. You saw him just a moment ago, a member of the Armed Services Committee. And joining us from New York, Juan Figueroa, the president of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense Fund.

Senator Inhofe, to you first. The White House is saying that this was not a political decision. It was a decision made at the Pentagon. How do you read it?

INHOFE: Well I don't think that it makes any difference whether it was politically motivated. The fact is, Judy, they made the decision, it was a bad decision. And we can't make decisions as a result of public pressure.

The last time I was debating the man who is on here with us right now, he asked the question: How would you like it if you had a range in your state of Oklahoma? Look, I have got Forest Hill. Our range is live and hot 320 days out of year. And those people, what are they going to say when they say well, we allowed the protesters to shut down a range that we have to have. Judy, we have to have this range. There is no alternative. I have been all around the world, going to every other site. There is no alternative.

WOODRUFF: But I know you've made those arguments, Senator, to the White House. You've made them to the Pentagon. Why, then did they make the decision?

INHOFE: Well, I think that the military is strongly on my side. The CNO, and the Navy and the commandant of the Marine Corp, they know that we have to have this. Look, on March 12 we had an accident where we dropped it 3, 500 pounders killing a number of people, six people. And they were supposed have gotten live fire training on Vieques and were not able to do it. So we are talking about American lives here. And I want to also add that the National Guard of Puerto Rico does their training in my state of Oklahoma at Fort Sill.

WOODRUFF: Well, Senator, just to be clear, you say the military agrees with you, who does that leave? Doesn't that leave the president and has advisers at the White House?

INHOFE: Well, I have not heard the statement from the White House yet. I keep hearing what they are going to say and what the ingredients are going to be or are suspected to be. I have not heard it yet, Judy, and maybe it will come forth tonight.

WOODRUFF: Mr. Figueroa, this is what your group wanted, is it not?

JUAN FIGUEROA, PUERTO RICAN LEGAL DEFENSE FUND: Well, part of it, Judy. You know, Senator Inhofe is correct. This is about American lives. These are about American Puerto Rican citizens who, for the last 60 years, have had a higher cancer rate, higher infant mortality rate, have died from errant bombs, and most recently have had to deal with heart problems as a result.


FIGUEROA: If I can finish my point, please, Senator. So, this is about American lives. This is about the fact that Puerto Ricans have been there, and provided Vieques for the military to be able to do its exercises in Vieques. Now the good news about today, Judy, is the fact that I think the president and the White House have recognized that Vieques is not indispensable. That, in fact, alternatives do exist.

The fact that the Navy was not able to train in Vieques for over a year. Last year, when there was an accidental death in Vieques, proves the point that the Navy can be and has been ready. And so this is not an issue. The issue is: How long are you going to subject American citizens to this kind of abuse? Look, 60 years


FIGUEROA: If in fact, look, if this was in Martha's Vineyard or the Florida Keys I can guarantee that you that the Navy would have been out a long time ago.

WOODRUFF: So you're saying -- they're saying they want this to happen in 2003, at least that's what we believe they're saying. They have not made an official announcement yet as Senator Inhofe just said. You are saying that's not soon enough.

FIGUEROA: That's not soon enough, Judy. Look, the last time I checked, the military should be about protecting American citizens, not about being putting in American citizens in harm's way. That's what has been happening in Vieques. That's why this is not acceptable.

WOODRUFF: Senator Inhofe.

INHOFE: Judy, first of all, you can't let him get by with making that statement. All these medical assertions have been disproven. They are no more true on Vieques than they are in Fort Sill or Lawton, Oklahoma. It's just not true.


WOODRUFF: I don't think we're going to settle that part of this today.

INHOFE: Judy, I think also the Pace-Fallon report and many of the studies have gone around and looked all alternatives. There are no alternatives, and I have personally been around.

FIGUEROA: That's not true.

INHOFE: IT is true.

FIGUEROA: I don't think the president of the United States would have come out with a policy saying the navy...

INHOFE: He hasn't come out with it yet. FIGUEROA: ... unless it was proven to them that Vieques is indispensable and that's not the case, so...

WOODRUFF: Let me ask Senator Inhofe to go back to a point you made a little while ago and that was, you said they haven't made the announcement yet formerly. Are you saying you think they might not announce this after all?

INHOFE: Judy, we hear bits and pieces about what they're going to announce. One of them would be that if we find a suitable site by 2003 then we will vacate Vieques. That is one interpretation that I have heard. That would be totally unacceptable to the gentlemen that I am, I guess, debating right now but nonetheless, let's wait until they come out and see how it reads.

My point is this: There is no alternative site. We've already lost six people as a result of not getting good training and we cannot allow this to happen. We won't have any ranges left anywhere including my state of Oklahoma if we allow one to be closed just from protests.

WOODRUFF: Mr. Figueroa, if it turn outs as Senator Inhofe is saying here, that we do not have a decision by the White House, what will you do? FIGUEROA: Well, look, I think it's been clear for the last year that it isn't just the people of Vieques, it's the governor of Vieques, it's the Puerto Rican legislature...

INHOFE: There is no governor of Vieques.

FIGUEROA: ... it's the church, it's the entire Puerto Rican society. You know, there were some Puerto Rican senators who were arrested in this last wave of protests, the so-called protests. This is thwarting the will of an entire people who have said, look, we've contributed to the national defense, but the last time I checked, as I said before, the military should be about protecting U.S. citizens. It should not be, and it's not acceptable, to put U.S. citizens in harm's way by either high cancer rates, high infant mortality rates or errant bombs.

INHOFE: I don't know why he doesn't mention the pro Navy rally that took place last weekend. I have been on Vieques, I have talked to the citizens. Many of them are very supportive of the Navy. We are not talking about Puerto Rico. We are talking about the island of Vieques. Self-determination is all I ask for.

WOODRUFF: And as we wrap up, Senator Inhofe, just to be clear, you and others senators will continue do what you can to keep this decision from being formal, I gather.

INHOFE: Well, we're going to keep the law in the books. The law in the books do not allow this decision as it has been portrayed.

WOODRUFF: All right, well we will certainly want to pursue that. Senator James Inhofe and Juan Figueroa, with the Puerto Rican Legal Defense Fund. Thank you, both, gentlemen, thank you. FIGUEROA: Thank you, Judy.

INHOFE: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: Two party leaders in Congress join us, just ahead. I will talk with Minority Leader Dick Gephardt, and GOP conference chairman J.C. Watts.

Up next, we'll check the fine print as the Senate begins to vote on education reform.

Also ahead...


BUSH: I believe the stronger Europe is, the better it is off for America.


WOODRUFF: President Bush focuses on the common bonds between the U.S. and Europe. Beyond the official agenda, how is the president faring on the world stage?

And later: incoming Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn joins us to talk about his victory, his plans for the future, and one of his most famous supporters.



WOODRUFF: At this moment, the Senate is voting on the president's education bill, wrapping up weeks of negotiations over testing, funding, and major compromises on several key issues. The bill represents one of President Bush's key campaign planks, and while he achieves some of his major objectives, Democrats will come away with victories of their own.

With the latest, here's CNN Congressional correspondent Kate Snow.


SEN. TOM DASCHLE (D-SD), MAJORITY LEADER: We're talking about the blueprint for federal education policy and funding.

KATE SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If there's one thing legislators can agree on, it's the importance of a good education. Democrats and Republicans both wanted reform, but it took eight weeks to get through the details. The end result will be a study in compromise.

DASCHLE: I think the president deserves credit. He has been resolute in his effort to find that middle ground on this bill, and I want to compliment him for his willingness to do that. I would hope that we could find a similar effort on other issues as well. But nonetheless, I think this is good for schools.

SNOW: As it's written now, the education bill requires annual reading and math tests for students in grades three through eight. There's money for early reading programs and teacher training grants. The bill allows students in failing schools to switch to another public school after three years. It adds $400 million a year to create more charter schools, and provides another $2.5 billion next year, and every year through 2007, for special education.

But it's not exactly what President Bush wanted. The bill contains no provision for private school vouchers. It all adds up to $42 billion in federal education spending -- $16 billion more than the president proposed.

SEN. TIM HUTCHINSON (R), ARKANSAS: He got into a bidding game as to who could spend the most, who could up the ante the most.

SNOW: And on a few issues, there was little room for compromise.

SEN. JEFF SESSIONS (R), ALABAMA: We are so close to making a realistic and fair and just step in dealing with the complications and frustrations our school systems are wrestling with every day.

SNOW: The Senate passed a controversial amendment to allow schools to discipline students with disabilities the same way other students are disciplined, as long as the behavior in question is unrelated to the disability.

SEN. EDWARD KENNEDY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Make no mistake about it -- history will record this as the first major step backward instead of forward with regards to disabled children.

SNOW: And then there were the Boy Scouts.

SEN. TRENT LOTT (R-MS), MINORITY LEADER: I don't know quite how to react to the fact that in America now, even the Boy Scouts seem to be under attack.

SNOW: The Senate passed a provision pushed by senator Jesse Helms to withhold federal education funds from schools that won't give access to the Boy Scouts because of that group's policy barring homosexuals.

SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D), CALIFORNIA: I believe that this amendment is unnecessary, gratuitous. It's hurtful to a group of people, it divides us, again, as a country.


SNOW: Senator Barbara Boxer sponsored an amendment just before they voted on final passage of this bill, Judy. Her amendment dealt with that same issue. It said that no school can discriminate against any group because of their policies toward homosexuals. And we should tell you that the education has just passed the Senate. The vote, 91- 8, a clearly bipartisan effort. Of course now, the Senate version has to be reconciled with the version that was passed by the House before they can send it to the president -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, Kate, now that we've heard about education, I want to ask you the daily question, checking in on the status of those talks between Republicans and Democrats in the Senate on how to reorganize the body. And now we know there's been a development?

SNOW: That's right. You know, the five Republicans who have been dealing with Senator Tom Daschle, the Democratic majority leader, came out just a short time ago, Judy. They have not spoken to this point about their status of their negotiations. They just came out and made a very public statement for the very first time.

They say that there are many agreements, many things on which they agree at this point. They say they agree that every committee should be organized with one Democrat -- one more Democrat on each committee so the Democrats will have a majority by one seat on every committee. They also say that they -- that no one should be removed from any committee, and they talk about space and money being the same as it's always been.

But there are two critical differences of opinion, and here's what we've just learned. Republicans are demanding that the blue slips -- we mentioned this last night -- that are used by home state senators to voice opinions, either approval or disapproval of a nominee, those blue slips need to be public, the Republicans say. Republican Phil Gramm saying if they're not, it's akin to blackballing, if they're not public.

The second thing that they have concerns about: they want all Supreme Court nominations from the president to get a hearing on the full Senate floor and a vote in the full Senate. They say that's critical. They say that's happened that way since the 1880s, it shouldn't change now.

The Republicans, most importantly, say they plan to bring up those two issues tomorrow for votes, Judy, even though they're not the ones really controlling the agenda the on floor, there are ways, they say, that they can bring up votes, and they're going to put those two items to a vote tomorrow. As Senator Phil Gramm said, they need to have a chance to vote up or down on those two issues -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right. Kate Snow, reporting on today's action in the Senate. When we come back, we'll talk with two leaders in House, Democratic leader Dick Gephardt and Republican Conference Chair J.C. Watts. We'll be right back.


WOODRUFF: Today, a bipartisan group of senators went to the White House for the first time to discuss their version of the patients' bill of rights. We are told they included Democratic senators Edward Kennedy and John Edwards of North Carolina, as well as Republican Senator John McCain. Their version of patients' bill of rights differs, as we know, from the version President Bush is supporting, because the president would not be in favor of allowing citizens of the United States, patients, to sue in state court.

Just a little while ago, I interviewed the House minority leader, Democratic leader Dick Gephardt, and I started out by asking him about Republican Charlie Norwood's decision to go against the White House's version of the patients' bill of rights, and if Norwood's decision changes the political landscape.


REP. RICHARD GEPHARDT (D-MO), MINORITY LEADER: Well, I think it means that we can keep together our bipartisan coalition in the House to do an effective, enforceable patients' bill of rights. I think that will happen in the Senate as well, and it gives me confidence that in the next couple of weeks, we can get out of the House and maybe the Senate as well an effective, enforceable patients' bill of rights.

You need to remember that two years ago, a bipartisan group, including Charlie Norwood, in the House passed a very similar bill to the bill we are hoping to pass now. So, this shows that even with White House pressure the other way, moderate Republicans are going to stick with Democrats in the Congress to get a good bill done.

WOODRUFF: And two years ago, the accusation was that Democrats, including Senator Tom Daschle, held that up.

GEPHARDT: Well, I don't remember all the ins and outs of two years ago, but I think we have been trying for four years to do the same thing, and that is get a bill that is enforceable and effective that allows patients to be able to really enforce their rights.

You know, if we just give patients certain rights but no way to enforce them, then they are really meaningless, and we haven't advanced anybody's situation. So, this has been the fight from the beginning, the HMOs, the health insurance companies and I think now the administration continue to not want a bill that has teeth. The Norwood-Dingell bill has teeth, and that's the bill I think we can pass.

WOODRUFF: Well, are you concerned now with this threat of a veto -- we have had White House Chief of Staff Andy Card saying the president would not sign a bill if it looks like one that Senator Kennedy and Edwards and McCain are supporting.

GEPHARDT: Well, we'll have to see what happens. If the president is saying he won't sign a bill that is effective, then that's his prerogative. He is president, and he can do that. I think that's a mistake for the American people, and I would hope he would change his mind about that.

You know, he came to office saying he wanted to unite us, not divide us. Here is a bill that has had bipartisan support, that continues to have bipartisan support, and he says that he doesn't want to sign it. I don't think that's the way to unite the country. I would hope that he would mean what he said during the campaign and he would really get interested in leading bipartisan efforts, not trying to derail them.

WOODRUFF: I'm going ask you about energy right after this, but first I want to ask you, Congressman Gephardt, about your trip to New Hampshire, and just come right out and ask: are you trying to encourage speculation that you are going to run for president next go- around?

GEPHARDT: No, you know, I have been to New Hampshire many times. I am a Democratic leader in the House. I have a responsibility which I take very seriously to try to win back House seats and win back the House in the 2002 election, as I have in '96, '98 and 2000.

We have made progress every time. We have seats that we can win back from the Republicans in New Hampshire and a lot of other states around the country, and that was the focus of my efforts and my trip last weekend. And I will be going back there, I'm sure, and I will be going to other states as well.

WOODRUFF: Well, we are offering you a chance here on INSIDE POLITICS to announce your candidacy, if you'd like to do that.

GEPHARDT: Well, let me give you an analogy here. The analogy would be, we are a football team on the one-yard line, and we are about to score a touchdown. The one thing you know you shouldn't be thinking about the next game, you ought to be thinking about getting across the goal line. That's what I am trying to do. 2004 and other decisions will take place after 2002, that's our focus.

WOODRUFF: All right. To energy now. You said yesterday that this expected move by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to expand limited price controls on electricity in California, to expand that to the West, to make it around-the-clock would just be a fig leaf, a half-measure. Does that mean nothing short of across-the- board price caps will work?

GEPHARDT: Well, Judy, what we have in the West is crisis. It's an emergency. You got 60 percent of small business in San Diego at or near bankruptcy. You have individual residences going from $250 a month to $1,250 a month for electricity prices. People are being ruined from a financial point of view.

Now, that to me is a crisis. I think the representatives, both Republican and Democratic, out there think it's a crisis. And the problem with what FERC is talking about, is that it's a half-measure. It's filled with loopholes. It will not really affect prices in our view that much, and we need to affect prices overall, and we need to do it quickly.

Now, the argument has been made that this will turn, you know, cut down on the amount of capacity coming in. We don't want to apply these FERC measures to new production coming on line. We don't want to stop new production. In fact, we think a solid cap, as a temporary measure, would bring more supply into the marketplace, would help get prices down, and get us until next summer, or perhaps 18 months from now, when a lot of new supply through new permitted plants is going to come into the marketplace.

WOODRUFF: And how would you do that, congressman, by -- in effect, bypassing the committee structure and forcing a vote right on the House floor?

GEPHARDT: Well, if the Republican leadership or the White House would simply ask FERC to do what they should have done months ago, we wouldn't need to pass legislation. We think FERC has the ability and the legal responsibility to do this now.

WOODRUFF: But if they don't?

GEPHARDT: If they don't, then we will try on appropriations bills, and ultimately if we have to through a discharge petition to force this on the agenda of the House to get this done.

WOODRUFF: All right. House minority leader Congressman Dick Gephardt, thank you very much.

GEPHARDT: Thank you.


WOODRUFF: For the Republican perspective on electricity price caps and other issues, I spoke today with the House GOP conference chairman J.C. Watts of Oklahoma. I started by asking Congressman Watts what is wrong with Dick Gephardt's suggestion, and if House Republicans are opposed to price caps, then they should hold an up-or- down vote in the House.


REP. J.C. WATTS (R), OKLAHOMA: Well, I think Mr. Gephardt -- I would hope that he would tell the rest of the story on price caps. Price caps, Judy, that's bad public policy. That leads to higher prices for the consumer. It would lead to more blackouts, and I think when you consider in many respects in some parts of the country, we see the prices stabilizing.

I think even in California, you have seen just in the last month, you've seen prices reduced; they're still not where they need to be, but you have seen them decrease a bit.

And if we are willing -- if Mr. Gephardt would be willing to say that, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday people whose license plate end in an even number can buy fuel, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays people whose license plate end in an odd number can buy fuel, then we should bring it to the floor, because that's exactly what will happen. We will see rationing, which is bad for the consumer, and is not bad for the situation -- it's bad for the situation in California.

WOODRUFF: But congressman, the chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, who is a Republican, has been saying just in the last few days that the reason he believes those prices are coming down is because of the very partial caps they've already put on. And as we know, they're thinking -- they're talking now about extending those partial caps next week.

WATTS: Well, let -- and FERC -- and that's where they have said that this attention should be, that FERC should be making this call, that they should be looking at this.

Judy, on your show I announced that I had issued a statement saying that we should have hearings. I think FERC -- I don't think FERC is out of bounds by getting involved in this. They have this data, they have this information. Let them make that determination.

But I do think that caps, as a matter of policy, I think we have to look at where we're going to be long-term, and caps long-term, I think that's bad policy.

WOODRUFF: Well, let me ask you about your own Republican colleague, Dick Armey who, when he heard you were endorsing the idea of hearings, he called it -- and in his words, he said it's "nonsense." And he blames these high energy prices on federal policies that he says are restricting the building of new refineries. And in his view, that's start and the end of it.

WATTS: Well, and the majority leader also went on to say that he did not understand in what context that I was calling for hearings. I was calling for hearings, and I still say we should have hearings, because I think it's good to give the American people more information rather than less information.

And I think the majority leader is right when he says that we need to look at ways -- price caps, they do nothing for increasing supply or reducing demand, and that's where we are. We're going to be doing some thing here in the next couple of weeks. We're going to be passing legislation, working to get legislation through the respective committees, and trying to assist in those hot spots around the country.

But my hearings were not to say we should have price caps. My hearings -- calling for hearings, was to say, lets give the American people and members of Congress an opportunity to understand this very diverse arena. You know, the oil business is about refining supply, wholesaling, retailing, infrastructure; what role do regulations play, what role will price caps play? Let's have hearings to allow the American people to understand that.

WOODRUFF: So, congressman, when someone like Senator Joe Lieberman, who, as you know, held hearings starting yesterday in the Senate, says that, in his view, there's already clearly price gouging going on because, he said, some of these energy companies are making in the hundreds of percentage points of profit.

WATTS: Well, Judy, I could look to about nine or 10 different industries that's had much higher profits than the oil industry. Are they price gouging? Maybe we should have hearings on that. I think that -- I hope that we will be responsible in our language. I don't think there is price gouging.

And, again, that's why I would ask the energy folks to participate in hearings. Tell your side of the story. Tell the rest of the story. Again, it's not bad for the American people and members of Congress to understand this more. Having more data is not bad, that's good.

WOODRUFF: Just, finally, Congressman Watts: How much damage does it do to the Republican-sponsored patients' bill of rights to have Georgia Congressman Charles Norwood now supporting the Democratic version of that legislation?

WATTS: Well, Congressman Norwood -- I've kind of -- I've seen the press over the last 24 hours concerning that. Congressman Norwood hadn't made any bones about it -- he and Congressman Dingell were the two people that worked together to bring, you know, patients' bill of rights to the floor of the House.

I would remind you Judy, and remind the listeners, that we passed a patients' bill of rights in the House of Representative about a year and a half ago. It was the Senate -- Senator Daschle as the minority leader at the time that held us up.

So I'm hopeful that we can pass a fair patients' bill of rights. I'm hopeful that we can get a prescription drug benefit. But, again, we've done both of those things in the House of Representatives; it was in the Senate where those things got tied up.

WOODRUFF: All right, Congressman J.C. Watts, chairman of the House Republican Caucus. Thanks very much, we appreciate you joining us.

WATTS: Thank you.


WOODRUFF: Newly elected and already facing a possible reelection challenge. We'll talk to the Los Angeles mayor-elect about his plans for his first term, and the threat of a possible celebrity opponent in 2005 when INSIDE POLITICS returns.


WOODRUFF: Former NBA all-star Magic Johnson has a warning for the mayor-elect of Los Angeles: Don't get too comfortable in the job. Johnson, who led the L.A. Lakers to five NBA titles says that he is considering running for mayor. Johnson backed mayor-elect Jim Hahn in the recent campaign and he says if Hahn is doing a good job, he'll probably bide his time and run in eight years. But, Johnson told a Los Angeles TV station, if the mayor is not doing the right job for the city, he will jump in in four years.

Mayor-elect Jim Hahn joins us now.

What do you say to all that? What's it like to be elected, not even take office, and have Magic Johnson breathing down your neck? JAMES HAHN (D), LOS ANGELES MAYOR-ELECT: Well, Magic's a good friend of mine. He's somebody who has put money where mouth is, has really invested in the community. And I was glad to have his support in this race. He supported me and worked hard for me, and is an excellent addition to the Las Angeles landscape, and if it's going to be the political landscape, I think that would be great, too.

WOODRUFF: So you're expecting him to run in four years, or not to?

HAHN: Well, I don't think so. We've been good friends for a while now, and I intend to remain good friends. But I except to be held accountable by Magic Johnson and the people of Las Angeles as well. So if I'm not going a good job, somebody else will be talking to you four years from now.

WOODRUFF: Mr. Hahn, let me get right to a controversial point about your campaign in the closing days, and that was the controversial television ad that you ran criticizing your opponent, Mr. Villaraigosa, for requesting a pardon for a convicted drug dealer from President Clinton.

There are those who say that this ad was, in large part, the reason you won. Do you agree with that?

HAHN: Absolutely not. In fact "The Los Angeles Times" poll that was completed before that ad started running showed that I already had a 7-point lead in the runoff.

It was part of the campaign because I thought people should know there was a clear difference between my background as city prosecutor here for 16 years, and city controller for four years before that, and my opponent's background which, I thought, showed a lack of experience and judgment. That's what that campaign was about: Showing the contrast between the two of us.

And I'm looking forward; I had a nice conversation with Mr. Villaraigosa after the election. I'm looking forward to working with him to build the city.

WOODRUFF: So, to those who say that this was proof, once again, that negative advertising wins elections, what do you say?

HAHN: It was only part of the campaign. I had already built up quite a lead. The 7-point lead held throughout the election. And, you know, I was being hit, too, at the same time. Negatives are part of campaigning. I was being hit by his campaign; we were firing back. It's part of the interchange of politics. It's -- we're not playing tiddlywinks; this is about the future of the city.

And you have to be able to give and get in politics.

WOODRUFF: What are the main issues that you plan, and problems that you plan to focus on as mayor?

HAHN: I talked about in the campaign, the idea that public safety is job one of government, and I see a two-pronged approach to that. We have been losing police officers in LAPD faster than we can hire them. In fact, losing two officers for every one that we hire. So, I want to do a better job of recruiting police officers.

And the second thing I want to do is have more after-school programs for young people in elementary schools, middle schools and high schools, so we can get young people thinking about positive things, rather than getting involved in negative behavior. So, I think prevention and beefing up LAPD is part of making Los Angeles the safest big city in America, which is my goal.

WOODRUFF: And how will your administration be different from that of Mayor Riordan?

HAHN: I don't know that it's going to be that much different. Our present mayor, Mayor Riordan, focused a lot on public safety. He also focused on education.

I think that is what people care about. You know, I'm parent of two kids in L.A. public schools, and I talk to people all over the city. They want city government that is responsive on these issues, on making neighborhood safe, on making our schools as good as we can be.

I think one of the main differences, I think, between me and Mr. Riordan was -- he came into office eight years ago without any experience in government. I have had 20 years holding elected office here in Los Angeles, so I know how the city government works, I know how it doesn't work, and I think I will be able to make it respond much more quickly.

WOODRUFF: And finally, Mr. Hahn, a majority of Latino votes voted for Mr. Villaraigosa, your opponent. A majority of African- Americans voters voted for you. How do you bring the city together?

HAHN: I think the city is together. You know, what was going on there was that we each got our hometown base out and strongly supporting us. People weren't voting against anybody, they were voting for the person that they knew the best and liked the best, and he did well in his part of the city, where he grew. I did very well in the part of the city where I grew up.

I think bringing the city together is focusing on those issues I talked about: how we make our schools better, how we make our neighborhoods safer, how we provide opportunities for everybody. So, I think the city is ready to be together. I think that I want to do is make sure that we build those bridges, make sure people are included in government, and make sure that the government is paying attention to what is going on in their neighborhoods.

If the people have a voice, they feel like they are being listened to, I think that is the best thing we can do to bring the city together.

WOODRUFF: James Hahn, who will be the mayor of Los Angeles come July 1, thank you very much, and again, congratulations. HAHN: Thank you, Judy.

WOODRUFF: Outgoing Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan apparently is not taking his search for a new job too seriously. In a video spoof produced by his city hall staff, Riordan tries his hand at a variety of jobs, from bus driver to police officer to a Department of Water and Power official, and he bungles every one of them.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dick Riordan, the mayor?

RIORDAN: Yeah, right, right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you, and why you are decked out in DWP clothes?

RIORDAN: Well, I just applied for a job.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're kidding.

RIORDAN: Well, I no longer have a job, I need something. I understand you have great pay, great pension, and I was only making $1 a year at my previous job.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you any good at your other job?

RIORDAN: Are you kidding? I was the greatest mayor in the history of Los Angeles.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's great, but what do you know about power generation?

RIORDAN: I saved Los Angeles from having any blackouts, unlike the rest of the state, all because of me being the mayor.


RIORDAN: I know everything there is about power. Look at these switches. What's this one for?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't touch that switch!


WOODRUFF: We don't know what really happened, but the video was shown last night at a roast for Riordan. It was hosted by the Radio and Television News Association of Southern California.

President Bush and the early reviews of his performance on the world stage. Next on INSIDE POLITICS: the tough audience abroad, and how the president is working to achieve his policy goals.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) WOODRUFF: President Bush met today with European Union leaders in Sweden, and he once again held firm to his opposition to the Kyoto treaty on global warming. Mr. Bush and EU leaders emphasized their mutual commitment to expanded trade and other areas of agreement. On the issue of climate change, however, the president said he agreed the issue was serious, but he said the Kyoto treaty is not the answer.

As the president's Europeans trip moves forward, CNN's senior White House correspondent John King has more on how Mr. Bush is faring before global audience.


JOHN KING, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Early steps on the world stage are watched for style as much as substance, especially when the audience is so skeptical. Take difficult talks with European Union leaders about global warming.

GORAN PERSSON, SWEDISH PRIME MINISTER: We agreed to disagree about substance according to the Kyoto protocol.

KING: Mr. Bush rushed to add a style point.

BUSH: That doesn't mean we cannot continue to work together, and will work together on reducing greenhouse gases.

KING: It was much the same a day earlier at the NATO summit, differences over missile defense, but an agreement to keep talking. This is a president who believes if he puts getting acquainted first, progress will follow.

BUSH: I haven't had a chance to nurture a relationship beyond some casual conversations with some of the leaders, but I suspect we will have very close relations with all the leaders.

KING: The French are being critical. The Germans, too. Some of it comes with the territory.

SAMUEL BERGER, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Europeans complain if we lead, and then complain if we don't lead. So, it's the nature of the beast that there is always a certain degree of generally friendly, but nonetheless continuing contention.

KING: One goal of this trip is an image makeover. White House aides don't like it, for example, when other leaders are asked if the president is uninterested, or unintelligent.

TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I don't think anyone at that meeting would have recognized that caricature. He was extremely articulate.

KING: But Mr. Bush occasionally gives his critics fodder.

BUSH: We spent a lot of time talking about Africa, as we should. Africa is a nation that suffers from incredible disease.

KING: For the record, Africa is a continent. And there are frequent questions about what his father called "the vision thing."

BUSH: Tomorrow in Warsaw, I have -- I will be glad to give you a little preview.

KING: It is a speech many allies have been waiting to hear.

BERGER: The Europeans are -- want to hear what President Bush's vision is for the transatlantic relationship.

KING: Top aides shrug it off, and say all U.S. presidents are put to the test when they first join the club.

(on camera): And these top aides describe Mr. Bush as more than satisfied with his welcome, but well aware that goodwill alone will not resolve those lingering disputes over issues like missile defense and global warming.

John King, CNN, Gothenburg, Sweden.


WOODRUFF: Every Friday, our Bill Schneider awards a "Political Play of the Week." Well, now we want your nominations for the weekly play. E-mail your ideas to Bill is one in the striped hat, and tune in on Fridays to see if you picked the "Play of the Week."

Boosting morale with changes at the top: a controversial Army initiative becomes a reality.


WOODRUFF: In step with New York's Puerto Rican community. What is the reaction to reported planned end of bombing drills in their homeland?

Plus: clashes in Sweden between police and anti-Bush protesters, and between the U.S. president and European leaders.


I'm not going to get into a game of checkers where the other side can do a double jump but I'm limited to a single jump.

WOODRUFF: Was a vote to clean up Massachusetts' elections just part of a political game?

ANNOUNCER: From Washington, this is INSIDE POLITICS with Judy Woodruff.

WOODRUFF: Welcome back to INSIDE POLITICS. If the Bush administration was hoping to defuse the Vieques Island controversy, its plan appears to have backfired. The decision, reported to be announced today, but it hasn't been announced, that the decision to stop Navy bombing exercises on the Puerto Rican island in two years is under attack from both opponents and supporters of the drills. Our White House correspondent Kelly Wallace is following all the political fallout.


WALLACE (voice-over): In the midst of his European tour, President Bush was forced to defend the controversy brewing back home -- the decision to halt bombing exercises on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques.

BUSH: My attitude is that the Navy ought to find somewhere else to conduct its exercises, for a lot of reasons. One, there's been some harm done to people in the past. Secondly, these are our friends and neighbors, and they don't want us there.

WALLACE: Mr. Bush refused to say if political factors played a role, but if the administration hoped its decision might please the people of Puerto Rico and Hispanic voters throughout the U.S., it was severely mistaken.

REP. LUIS GUTIERREZ (D), ILLINOIS: I can tell you that I have talked to the people on the island of Puerto Rico, and they're going to reject any proposal that does not call for the immediate and permanent cessation of all bombing on the island of Vieques.

WALLACE: On the other side, conservative Republicans, big boosters of the military, are simply stunned.

INHOFE: I have spent three years on this issue. I've have been all the way around the world to every possible, conceivable alternative site, and I see this as an issue that means American lives.

WALLACE: People on both sides of the fight blasted the White House for not consulting lawmakers about its decision.

DASCHLE: We were told that nobody in the Hispanic caucus had been notified. Nobody in Puerto Rico had been notified. Nobody, at least in Democratic leadership, had been notified, so this came as quite a surprise to all of us.

WALLACE: In an attempt at some damage control, Navy Secretary Gordon England and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz spent the day on Capitol Hill meeting with key lawmakers.

Senior administration officials tell CNN England made the decision and presented it to the president's top political adviser, Karl Rove, on Wednesday. But in reality, England had no choice, with Mr. Bush wanting the concerns of the people of Puerto Rico taken into account, the majority of whom support an end to the bombing exercises.

Kelly Wallace, CNN, the White House.


WOODRUFF: Those bombing drills on Vieques Island have been especially controversial in New York.

CNN's Maria Hinojosa revisits the issue's impact on that city's sizable Puerto Rican community.


MARIA HINOJOSA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What started off as bomb blasts on a tiny island off Puerto Rico has ignited a firestorm of protests on the U.S. mainland, particularly among New York's one million Puerto Ricans.

At the local Cuchifritos stand, the talk was about the tiny island called Vieques, where 9,000 Puerto Ricans, all U.S. citizens, live, and where bombs continue to fall.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are looked at as second class citizens. We're not given the same respects as -- that wouldn't happen on Long Island, that wouldn't happen in New Jersey, that wouldn't happen in New York City. It's happening in a small little island. They're dispensable, so let's have it there.

HINOJOSA: In the heart of New York's Puerto Rican barrio, U.S. Naval exercises in Vieques are seen as an affront to Latinos everywhere.

WILLIAM HERRENA, EAST HARLEM WITH VIEQUES: The analogy that we make is that of a battered woman, whose husband should be removed from her home, because he continues to abuse her. And should the people of Vieques continue to have human rights violations for another two years?

HINOJOSA: Activists have made Vieques a litmus test for Democrats and Republicans alike.

GOV. GEORGE PATAKI (R), NEW YORK: But clearly, my goal is not to have it stop two years from now, my goal is to have it stop now.

HINOJOSA: The issue has gone beyond ethnic politics. Local politicians and activists of all backgrounds now travel to the island to speak up and get arrested.

KEN SUNSHINE, DEMOCRATIC POLITICAL CONSULTANT: What's happened over the last several months has become more of a human rights issue, a basic civil rights issue, an issue of the environment and an issue of health. And that all goes well beyond what might be looked at as special interests.

HINOJOSA: And at Sunday's Puerto Rican Day parade, there were cheers for three local political leaders arrested among hundreds of protesters outside the Vieques naval base.

REP. JOSE SERRANO (D), NEW YORK: The scope of the people that are being imprisoned by federal judges, to include a lot of people in this society, who are going to become much more aware of the Vieques issue and demand some action, because the outrage of jailing these people will outdo what is happening right now. HINOJOSA: What's happening right now is that Vieques is center stage in El Barrio.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Even though we're miles and miles away from San Juan, we feel that something should be done, and if we all stick together, maybe they'll put an end to this.

HINOJOSA: Puerto Rican community leaders will be meeting in New York over the next several days to strategize about what comes next, but with the bombing of Vieques scheduled to continue for another two years, activists say this issue won't go away anytime soon.

Maria Hinojosa, CNN, New York.


WOODRUFF: While the Bush administration faces criticism over Vieques Island, the president still is trying to ease negative reviews in Europe over some of his global policies.

CNN's Christiane Amanpour covered Mr. Bush's meeting today with European Union leaders in Sweden.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Protesters have greeted President Bush on every leg of his trip. In Sweden, some came baring particularly personal messages. Others decided to confront the police, who had mounted their biggest security operation ever to prevent demonstrators from getting anywhere near the president.

Europe is still smarting from his unilateral withdrawal from the Kyoto Climate Control Treaty, and discussions here did nothing to bring the sides closer together. Indeed, Goran Persson, Swedish prime minister and president of the EU, says the two sides agree to disagree.

PERSSON: The European Union will stick to the Kyoto protocol and go for a ratification process. The U.S. has chosen another policy.

AMANPOUR: President Bush reiterated his promise of more money for more research.

BUSH: The United States is committed to addressing climate change. We had a constructive discussion on this topic over lunch, and we agreed to create new channels of cooperation on this important topic.

AMANPOUR: But most Europeans insist the science is in, and any delay amounts to fiddling while the planet burns.

LENA HJELM-WALLEN, SWEDISH DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER: We can't start from the scratch again, then we will lose up to 10 years, and it is a question of survival.

AMANPOUR: A measure of how tough it was to find agreement, even on a trade issue like steel imports, enthusiasm on this success.

BUSH: The recent resolution over the dispute on bananas proves that we can work to solve problems.

AMANPOUR: Bush came to Sweden fresh from trying to sell his missile defense shield. Although he claimed some support from some NATO allies, there is still strong opposition from some of Europe's most powerful players. France, Germany and the Netherlands voiced deep concern about a spiraling arms race, and they want answers to "a host of issues, since no detailed proposal is on the table yet."

Bush not only has to defend controversial policies, but also his intellect. "Is He Smart Or Stupid?," asks Sweden's biggest newspaper. "You Do What I Say," screams another one, worried about his intentions.

(on camera): But the president again insisted that he is neither an isolationist nor a unilateralist. And he spoke of the warm and strong ties between the U.S. And Europe, and common values. He also promised to work towards expanding NATO and the European Union right up to Russia's borders.

Christiane Amanpour, CNN, Gothenburg, Sweden.


WOODRUFF: INSIDE POLITICS will be right back.


WOODRUFF: A team of experts from the United States is on its way to China to dismantle a U.S. spy plane that has been on Hainan Island since April 1. The plane had to make an emergency island after colliding with a Chinese fighter jet. Beijing refuses to allow the plane to be repaired and flown back to the U.S. One the work is complete, the plane's parts will be flown a U.S. base in Japan.

In Massachusetts, voters approved a clean elections law that allows for public funding of campaigns. Last night, the state senate voted to provide the necessary funding to make the measure a reality. But a conference committee will now have to sort out the future of the reform measure, because, as Bill Delaney reports, the state house and senate took vastly different actions.


BILL DELANEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Back on Election Day, 1998, voters in Massachusetts, by 2-to-1 to fund with tax money the campaign of any political who met certain basic requirements. This spring, though, along came Massachusetts' Speaker of the House Thomas Finneran, who has a way of getting his way, and in the matter of the clean elections law, his way was the highway.

THOMAS FINNERAN, (D), MASSACHUSETTS HOUSE SPEAKER: I'm strongly opposed to it. To reach into your pocket, take your money, forcibly, and give it to candidates that you find abhorrent -- your money shouldn't be taken from you forcibly just given, just in the name of some clean election.

DELANEY: On Boston's Beacon Hill, where the statehouse is being renovated, Finneran's house, this spring, you might say, renovated the clean elections law, voting not to fund it.

KEN WHITE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, COMMON CAUSE: These are people who came up through a certain system. They're comfortable in that system. They don't like change.

DELANEY: The change Massachusetts voters voted for was a requirement that candidates gather a certain number of $5 to $100 contributions to then qualify for state funds. As high as $2.5 million for a governor's race.

WHITE: We have candidates who've only been accepting contributions of less than $100. Right now, they're in a situation where there may not be the funds available to run their campaigns.

DELANEY: Warren Tolman's running his 2002 gubernatorial campaign as a clean elections candidate.

WARREN TOLMAN, MASSACHUSETTS CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR: I believe in what I'm doing. I believe that people are fed up with business as usual, with big money in the political process, so I'm going for it 100 percent, irrespective of what the legislature does.

DELANEY: What the state senate's now done, led by Massachusetts state Senate president Thomas Birmingham, is pass a measure to fund clean elections campaigns; though, reflecting the ambivalence around the law, Birmingham himself says if he runs for governor, he will not accept the limits of the clean election's candidate.

THOMAS BIRMINGHAM (D), MASSACHUSETTS SENATE PRESIDENT: If everybody else wants to play by the same rules, fine. But I'm not going to get into a game of checkers where the other side can do a double jump, but I'm limited to a single jump.

DELANEY: One possible double jumper, if you will: multimillionaire gubernatorial hopeful Steve Grossman, who also supports the clean elections law, but won't abide by it.

(on camera): Whatever money eventually flows to fund elections here to help politicians get their message out, it's likely to barely graze what lobbyists spend to get their message out -- more than $47 million here in Massachusetts last year.

(voice-over): Arizona and Maine have passed working campaign finance reform. With a battle royal brewing between the state's house and senate, voters in Massachusetts now wait to see how things work out.

Bill Delaney, CNN, Boston.


WOODRUFF: Some thoughts on presidents and their travels in just a moment. CNN's Garrick Utley looks at meaning of past presidential visits, and their place in history.


WOODRUFF: With the president halfway through his European visit, it's worth noting that he follows a long line of presidents who travel beyond U.S. borders to advance U.S. policies. CNN's Garrick Utley has more on past presidents and their travels abroad.


GARRICK UTLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): How often we have seen this. Presidents and first ladies maintaining dignity and balance while descending the steep stairs of Air Force One, arriving in a distant land. They have been doing it for some time.

Theodore Roosevelt was the first president to travel outside the United States when he visited the Panama Canal in 1906. Woodrow Wilson was the first president to visit Europe for the peace conference following World War I. He spent a total of six months there, the longest a president has stayed outside the United States.

Franklin Roosevelt was the first president to travel abroad by plane, to North Africa in World War II, but the flight took two days and was so uncomfortable that Mr. Roosevelt took the boat for his other trips overseas.

(on camera): Clearly, presidents would not get the itch to travel the world until something faster and smoother came along. It was the 707. In 1959, Dwight Eisenhower flew off in it to visit 11 nations is 18 days, a presidential record which still stands.

(voice-over): Presidential trips have been about symbols and rhetoric.




UTLEY: The trips have also been about substance. There was no way Richard Nixon could make the historic opening to China without going to China. As important as the trips are for leaders to get to know each other, they have lost some of their old grandeur.

What they have not lost is their cost. When Bill Clinton visited six African nations in 1998, it took 10 advance teams to prepare for the visit, 98 military airlifts to fly in 13 helicopters, 5 emergency medical facilities, as well as assorted limousines and other equipment.

Thirteen hundred federal officials went along on the trip, and that does not include Secret Service personnel. The government's General Accounting Office put the cost of the visit at over $48 million. (on camera): But then neither the president nor anyone else on Air Force One gets frequent flyer miles. And despite all the comforts of their own 747 today, presidents still face some of the same problems of any global traveler.

(voice-over): There is the fatigue of jet lag as Ronald Reagan discovered on his trips. There can be tummy troubles as George Bush found at a dinner table in Japan. And if George Bush was the second most traveling president ever, who was the first? No surprise: Bill Clinton, who made 122 visits to 74 countries.

George W. Bush, after this trip, will be at six countries and counting.

Garrick Utley, CNN, New York.


WOODRUFF: And more INSIDE POLITICS after this.


WOODRUFF: Our lead story today, the apparent decision by the Bush Administration to stop a practice bombing on the Puerto Rican Island of Vieques. Joining us now, the governor of Puerto Rico, Governor, Sila Calderon. Governor, what have you been told by the White House or the Pentagon about any decision?

GOV. SILA CALDERON, PUERTO RICO: Well, there has been no official announcement. I am reacting to the pronouncements of President Bush, which we applaud, the ones he did this morning from Sweden, and we are very happy that he understands the damage that has been inflicted on the people of Vieques.

And we applaud the fact that he's moving in the right direction. It's still not enough for us, because we need the bombing to stop permanently, as soon as possible.

WOODRUFF: Governor, are you aware that members of the U.S. Senate are now saying and said within the hour, that they don't view this move as legal, that something like this has to be decided by the Congress if anything is to be done before your referendum in Puerto Rico in November?

CALDERON: Well it's very unfortunate that a controversy could be created out of what is a human rights issue and something that has to do with compassion to very poor people who have been suffering: Their health and their security and the their environment. Hopefully this controversy will go away and the right world will be seen by everybody, and that is that the bombing must stop as soon as possible and permanently.

WOODRUFF: And Governor, what do you say to those who say that this was a political decision, the White House seeing that they might lose in the Puerto Rico referendum in November just decided to go ahead and make a decision now? CALDERON: This is an issue of human rights, of human compassion and the best politics is to govern well. And to govern well means to do justice, particularly to poor people.

WOODRUFF: And again, Governor, members of the U.S. Senate saying it's their sense that the White House cannot -- the administration can't do this unless Congress agrees.

CALDERON: Well I am sure that there must be a way that they can agree on this and both the executive and the legislative branch, there must be respect obviously between themselves. But this is such an important issue and on I know the American citizens know and understand, because we are U.S. citizens too, and our people are suffering and something must be done. So we applaud that the president moving in right direction.

WOODRUFF: Governor Calderon, do you think it is odd that you have not been notified, yourself, officially about a decision?

CALDERON: Well I did have some telephone calls yesterday, informal ones that, more or less put me in knowledge of what the general lines of the decision are, to get my reaction which I gave them, just as I am giving it right now. But there has been no official announcement as such, but there was communication last night.

WOODRUFF: All right. Well, Governor Sila Calderon, we thank you very much for joining us. She is the governor of Puerto Rico, responding to the announcement by President Bush today. The decision's been made by the Pentagon to stop practice bombing on the Puerto Rican Island of Vieques.

That's it for INSIDE POLITICS. LOU DOBBS MONEYLINE coming up next.



4:30pm ET, 4/16

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