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JUDY WOODRUFF'S INSIDE POLITICS
Professional Baseball Players Testify about Steroids; Congress Considers 11th House Legislation to Save Brain Damaged Woman
Aired March 17, 2005 - 15:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: An all-star lineup on Capitol Hill. Are Major League players telling all about steroid use in baseball?
JOSE CANSECO, FORMER PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL PLAYER: From '95 on, it was very, very obvious to everyone that steroids were rampant in baseball.
ANNOUNCER: We'll have the latest on the hearings and why Congress is probing the national pastime.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a cloud over the game that I love.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: May our friendship remain steadfast and may the citizens of both our nations enjoy a happy and blessed St. Patrick's Day.
ANNOUNCER: On this day, everyone may be Irish but not every wearer in the green is in the president's good graces.
Now, live from Washington, JUDY WOODRUFF'S INSIDE POLITICS.
CANDY CROWLEY, HOST: Thanks for joining us. Judy is off today. I'm Candy Crowley.
At this hour, some of Major League Baseball's biggest stars are about to return to the hot seat on Capitol Hill, under subpoena to testify about steroid use in their sport.
The first to enter the room, Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, who was never been accused of steroid use. He has been tapped for a new steroid task force formed by the House Government Reform Committee. He will serve along with White House -- with White Sox player Frank Thomas who appeared on a video feed.
Then other current and former players made their entrances, including Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro and Jose Canseco, whose recent best-selling book alleges rampant steroid use in the Major Leagues.
Sosa and Palmeiro denied ever taking illegal performance- enhancing drugs. And McGwire got emotional during his testimony, saying he would not participate in naming names of players who used steroids.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK MCGWIRE, FORMER CARDINALS PLAYER: My heart goes out to every parent whose son or daughter are victims of steroid use. I hope that these hearings can prevent other families from suffering. I admire the parents who had the courage to appear before the committee and warn the dangers of steroid use. My heart goes out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: Before the players' testimony, lawmakers heard from the father of a 17-year-old who used steroids and then committed suicide.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DON HOOTEN, SON DIED OF STEROID ABUSE: I am sick and tired of having you tell us that you don't want to be considered role models. If you haven't figured it out yet, let me break the news to you that, whether you like it or not, you are role models!
And parents across America should hold you accountable for behavior that inspires our kids to do things that put their health at risk and that teaches them that the ethics we try to teach them around our kitchen table somehow don't apply to them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: Another critical voice in the hearing room today, Republican Senator and Baseball Hall of Famer Jim Bunning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JIM BUNNING (R), KENTUCKY: When I played with Henry Aaron and Willie Mays and Ted Williams, they didn't put on 40 pounds and bulk up in their careers. And they didn't hit more home runs in their late 30s than they did in their late 20s.
What's happening in baseball now is not natural, and it isn't right. Baseball has to get its act together or else.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig is due to testify later today. In a prepared opening statement, Selig will defend the steroids policy drawn up in January. Lawmakers have been critical of that policy, particularly its provision that calls for fines instead of suspensions for steroid use.
We, of course, will be following these hearings. We will take them to you live when they resume. We want to go right now, though, to a break.
CROWLEY: Welcome back to INSIDE POLITICS. We are standing by, waiting for the resumption of hearings on the House side of the Hill, where they are looking into steroid drug use by Major League Baseball players.
We have already had -- are working on the third panel, which brought in the stars of the day. A number of baseball stars that have been testifying, at least gave their opening statements, waiting now for the committee. The House members had a couple of votes on the floor. So that's where they've gone, and when they begin to return and we have a chairman in the chair, they will start those hearings.
Right now, we have Ed Henry up on Capitol Hill. Ed, give me your take on the hearings so far.
ED HENRY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'll tell you, the most remarkable moment -- I came from that room -- was when Mark McGwire, sitting just four seats away from Jose Canseco, basically blasted Canseco, blasted his book, the allegations in there. McGwire is one of the many players that Canseco accuses of using steroids.
McGwire said, quote, "Consider the source," unloaded on him and also grew emotional a little bit before that, when McGwire started talking about some of the parents who spoke earlier today about losing high school students, sons who were ballplayers who used steroids secretly and then had all kinds of health problems, had depression leading to suicides.
Mark McGwire broke down at this hearing, but also flashing some anger and then -- at Jose Canseco and then said that he would not be answering questions about steroids directly. He didn't want to break the clubhouse code, if you will. He didn't want to talk about what teammates may have used steroids. He feels that's inappropriate. He thinks that this committee should not be delving into that.
But Mark McGwire said that he will do everything in his power to try to help get young people to not use steroids.
Also very interesting, I think, Candy, that we did not see all of the ballplayers stand up in unison, as we normally see at such a high- profile hearing, and be sworn in all at once.
What we're being told by committee aides is that the chairman and ranking member of this committee decided just moments before all the players came out that they would not have all the ballplayers stand in a gauntlet. Instead, they would be sworn in one-by-one. And we're told that's because the other ballplayers did not want to be photographed being sworn in with Jose Canseco. There is such anger at him.
Rafael Palmeiro also going after Canseco. Curt Schilling also attacking Canseco and saying the so-called author writing the book, don't go out and buy it.
And finally I want to note, as well, a little bit of news from the chairman of the committee, Tom Davis. When Mr. Canseco began his testimony he said once again that he would like immunity from prosecution.
And Congressman Davis revealed that he had had a conversation with the attorney general, Alberto Gonzales, himself about trying to grant immunity to Jose Canseco. But unfortunately, the attorney general and the chairman of this committee could not work out an agreement in time for this hearing. Pretty Interesting that that was going on behind the scenes, Candy.
CROWLEY: So let me talk to you a little bit about what essentially would be pleading the Fifth, I'm assuming. If they are asked for the names of other players or whether or not they ever took steroids, obviously, a number of them, including Canseco and including McGwire, have said I'm not going to name names.
Now it was my understanding from when I was up on the Hill that you can't just sort of pick certain questions not to answer. You either take the Fifth and that's the end of it, or you have to answer all of the questions. What do we expect to happen coming up now when the Q and A period starts?
HENRY: Well, it also depends on whether or not, as you know, the committee chairman and ranking member want to be in a position of looking like they're bullying the witness. There have been previous hearings, as you know, where someone has been forced to take the Fifth Amendment dozens of times, just because the chairman or ranking member wants to make a point that they believe this witness is hiding something.
I think so far, the signal we've gotten from the chairman and ranking member here, Tom Davis and Henry Waxman, is that they do not want this to look like a witchhunt and that they will -- they will stop going down that area. So if someone says they want to take the Fifth, they will not make them do it repeatedly. At least that's the signal we've gotten from them on an earlier base.
Jose Canseco is already on the record as saying, and he said it once again today, that he will take the Fifth is he's not going to get immunity. And he's not getting that immunity. Now, this committee is frustrated with that because they want answers, but the ballplayers are saying that they can't possibly put themselves at risk of being prosecuted, Candy.
CROWLEY: So, and you hinted at this in your opening and that is the dynamic in that room. You know, I know that everybody sort of comes in and sometimes there's a hanging around and, again, when the House members leave, the panel members are sort of sitting there. What more can you tell us about the dynamic? Because all of them were very, very tough on Canseco.
HENRY: Absolutely. And the dynamic outside of the room was -- as well, was very interesting. There were people in the general public who had been waiting since 4 p.m. yesterday afternoon, waiting out in the hallway just to get a seat for this committee action. Obviously, a clash of some of the biggest ballplayers in the nation.
Inside the room, you're right. Normally, you won't see all of the members of Congress show up all at once. They might be milling around. In this case, they were all sitting at their seats, listening in rapt attention as someone like Mark McGwire was sworn in and then, as I mentioned, broke down. They were paying very close attention.
There was also a little bit of news coming out at the beginning, where Curt Schilling came out first. He was not sworn in but brought in with Frank Thomas, who's appearing via satellite. Those two ballplayers, who have spoken out against steroids, wanted to come in a little separately at first. And the chairman of the committee announced that Schilling and Thomas are now going to help co-chair a new task force that this committee is creating to try to preach to young people about the dangers of steroids. And that is also going to be co-chaired by Henry Waxman and Tom Davis, Candy.
CROWLEY: And what do we expect to -- when it's all said and done, what have they accomplished?
HENRY: That's the question of the day, Candy. There's obviously been a little bit of grandstanding. There was one member in Congress in particular that held up a photograph, and the camera started clicking and she was putting the photo back down. It was a cover photo of Arnold Schwarzenegger on the cover, I believe, of "Sports Illustrated" back in the '70s when he was a bodybuilder. And she was criticizing him for talking about steroids previously and not denouncing them.
And this member of Congress held up that photo. When she heard the photographers clicking, she held the photo back up and held it up for a long time. There's clearly some grandstanding going on here. And people are wondering will there be any legislative action.
I think what we'll see is, after the players testify, the key, really -- and a lot of the cameras may be home by then -- but the key will be Commissioner Bud Selig and the Players Union chief, Don Fehr, are testifying at the end of today. They are going to face the hardest questions of the day about whether or not baseball's testing and punishment policy is really effective or not.
There were already some leading questions earlier in the day suggesting they're really going to be pounding those officials. And I think if these lawmakers do not feel that baseball is doing enough on its own, Congress is going to end up passing legislation to try to intervene.
In fact, Senator Jim Bunning was the first witness today. He's a Hall of Fame pitcher, as you know. He said that as a Republican senator, his first instinct is to not have the government get involved in baseball. But he says he believes baseball is only taking baby steps and if they don't clean up their act, he said Congress is going to do that.
CROWLEY: Ed Henry on Capitol Hill, covering the baseball steroid hearings for us. Some of those cameras may go away, but Ed, as you know, we won't. We are waiting for the panel of baseball greats to return for the question and answer. We will be there for the commissioner's testimony, the union testimony.
Right now, we're going to go to break. And after we come back, a little bit about baseball on the blogs. We'll be right back.
CROWLEY: You are looking inside a House committee hearing room where we are awaiting the resumption of House hearings on baseball and steroids. Before they took this break to go have some votes on the House floor, we were hearing from some of baseball's greats, Mark McGwire, among others, talking about steroids and what they will and will not talk about. When we resume, there will be a question and answer period.
Right now, we want to continue to talk about and mull over what went on this morning and this afternoon and go inside the blogs. We want to talk to Jacki Schechner, who is our blog reporter and senior political producer, Abbi Tatton. Blogs, baseball and buzz. Is there any?
JACKI SCHECHNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. They're buzzing about it and the blogs, Candy, are talking about how this is primarily a big waste of time.
Over at Say Anything, where we're starting today, "Big Science" says, "Why is Congress getting so involved in this, is the question." And brings up an interesting point that steroids are, in fact, illegal and, if anything, this investigation should be conducted by law enforcement and not by a congressional committee.
Also, over at The Daily Limit under the title of "So Sick of Steroids," they're actually in favor of the hearings, not that they think anything is necessarily going to get done, but the quote here is "Congress won't produce the answers but every little bit helps."
ABBI TATTON, CNN POLITICAL PRODUCER: A few people out there have been live blogging these events on Capitol Hill also. Here's one, based on Musings.com. Another one, KendallBall.net, he's just updated after Mark McGwire's opening statement and where McGwire was pretty emotional. He says a summary of McGwire's testimony thus: "Fifth Amendment, silence to represent where he did not deny using steroids, teammates won't rat them out."
SCHECHNER: Also, we noticed at KendallBall.net he found out that the average Major League Baseball player's weight is 220 pounds, so he excused himself for an hour to go have a big fat, lazy lunch to try to up bulk himself. So interesting little...
TATTON: Involved right there.
Another one, NewDave.com is reminded of a quote by -- by Ronald Reagan. He's saying that "I think our greatest threat today comes from government's involvement in things that are not government's proper province."
SCHECHNER: And finally, Candy, the last one we want to take a look at right now is the Department of Injustice with a comparison to the McCarthy hearings. And they call it a witch hunt, the bipartisan way.
So that's what's going on on the blogs right now. We will probably keep updating that throughout the day.
CROWLEY: Jacki Schechner, Abbi Tatton, thanks very much.
Coming up, find out who's making plans to visit New Hampshire in our 2008 campaign watch. And later, the president on St. Patrick's Day announcing a nomination, delivering a snub.
CROWLEY: Welcome back to INSIDE POLITICS. We are still monitoring the baseball steroid hearings. When they begin, we will bring them to you.
But right now, the markets are getting set to close on Wall Street, and I am joined by Kitty Pilgrim in New York with "The Dobbs Report."
KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Candy.
We have stocks fairly even. That's after yesterday's big sell off. We have less than 10 minutes left in the trading day. Let's take a look.
Dow is down a little bit less than six points, NASDAQ slightly higher. The big story we've been watching all week, a barrel of crude oil went as high as $57.60, but it did end a dollar lower than that. Now, the worry is that demand for oil is running well ahead of what oil producers can supply. OPEC's president says the cartel may consider increasing output for the second time this month if prices don't come down in the next 10 days.
The Senate, it rejected President Bush's proposed cuts to Medicaid spending next year. Reducing Medicaid was one of the president's top priorities. Democrats argue Medicaid cuts would prevent the poor from getting adequate healthcare. This issue could be decided next month when the House and Senate finalize the budget.
Coming up on CNN at 6 p.m. Eastern on "LOU DOBBS TONIGHT," the Chamber of Commerce and some religious groups support President Bush's guest worker program. Critics, however, say a vote for the program is a vote against the American worker.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROY BECK, NUMBERUSA: In some ways, what's really surprising is that groups that purport to stand for the benefit of immigrants, which stand alongside the Chamber of Commerce, whose main reason for being part of this is to get cheap labor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PILGRIM: Also tonight, continuing coverage, Congress investigates the steroid scandal with the help of several Major League Baseball players. "New York Times" Pulitzer Prize-winning sports writer Dave Anderson will join us with his perspective on that story.
Plus, we'll discuss Iran's nuclear threat with George Perkovich from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
And "America's Bright Future": we'll introduce to you a young entrepreneur who's running already three businesses.
That and a lot more, tonight 6 Eastern. But for now, back to Candy Crowley.
CROWLEY: Thanks, Kitty.
We have some new rumblings about the 2008 presidential race in today's "Political Bytes."
Two Republican senators may soon be making visits to New Hampshire. Republican sources confirm to CNN that Nebraska's Chuck Hagel has been invited to take part in a college tour, but so far no events have been scheduled. Kansas Senator Sam Brownback, meanwhile, heads to the Granite State in a few weeks to address a social policy think tank in Concord.
On Capitol Hill today, the Senate Judiciary Committee is reconsidering seven judicial nominees whose nominations were blocked by Senate Democrats in the last Congress. One of the most controversial nominees, William Myers, was approved by the committee by a 10-8 party line vote.
Democrats used filibusters to block the nominees in the past. Republicans are threatening to change the rules to allow an up or down vote in the full Senate.
The emotional legal battle over a brain-damaged Florida woman has landed in the halls of Congress.
Terri Schiavo, you may recall, suffered severe brain damage in 1990. Court doctors say she is in a persistent vegetative state. Her husband has won a court order to have her feeding tube removed, but her parents oppose the removal.
CNN's Joe Johns joins me now with the role Congress is playing in this story -- Joe.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Candy, the Congress is trying to pass legislation allowing the federal courts to review the Terri Schiavo case before her feeding tube, the feeding tube that is keeping her alive, is scheduled to be removed 1 p.m. Friday afternoon in Florida. The problem is the House and Senate have been unable to agree on the language of that legislation. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist who, himself, is a doctor, said on the Senate floor today that, in fact, he has reviewed the case.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BILL FRIST (R-TN), MAJORITY LEADER: I wanted to know a little bit more about the case itself, so I've had the opportunity to review the initial tapes that were made, the examination, the physical examination on which the case was ultimately based, the facts that she was in a persistent vegetative state.
A lot of neurologists, scores of neurologists have come forward and said that it doesn't look like that she is in a persistent vegetative state. That -- it's a strange word -- this vegetative state that connotes all sorts of things to lay people, but it is a medical term and it means that she is not in -- in a coma.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNS: Now, of course, this is a race against time. There was an attempt to bring Schiavo legislation to the Senate floor already today. It was blocked by Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon. His state, of course, has an assisted suicide law. He said this is an issue of state sovereignty.
The House, of course, has already passed legislation. It did so last night, even over the protest of some members who said they could be setting a dangerous precedent.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JERROLD NADLER (D), NEW YORK: It is irresponsible and shows real contempt for the families who have to live with this. If you think this is the only way to prevent the disconnection of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube, yes, we shouldn't legislate this way, we should give members an opportunity to read bills. We don't have to -- we shouldn't rush that over state judiciaries. But here we have an emergency because the case is coming down right away in Florida. Consider this. The Florida legislature is considering its own legislation on this matter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNS: Again, negotiations continue in the Senate. As the congressman said, the Florida legislature, in fact, is trying to pass some legislation of its own. Here on Capitol Hill, one of the big problems is they're up against a recess, so anything they do, they're going to have to do very quickly -- Candy.
CROWLEY: Joe, do you have any sense that, if they do have a vote on some piece of legislation, how it might go?
JOHNS: Well, the thing that's going on over on the Senate side, Candy, is that they're trying to figure out a way to pass, first the legislation that the House passed, but there are certainly high objections to that because that legislation the House passed has much more broad language than many senators would like. They'd like to keep it narrowly focused on Terri Schiavo alone. That's the problem. The House says it cannot pass a bill narrowly focused on Schiavo, and they're just trying to figure out a way to get the same language passed in both houses.
CROWLEY: Joe Johns on Capitol Hill, thanks very much.
Once again, we are awaiting the resumption of the House hearings on baseball and steroids. When they do come back, we will be hearing again from some of baseball's great.
Right now we want to bring in one of our own greats, CNN Sports reporter Larry Smith. Thanks for joining us, Larry. What's your take on this so far? I was really taken by the dynamic between Jose Canseco and almost everybody else on the panel.
LARRY SMITH, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: No, you're right, especially Mark McGwire, his former teammate in Oakland. And in Canseco's book, he said, you know, hey, I shot Mark up many times with steroids and McGwire has vehemently denied any kind of steroid use and really he pulled no punches, as did Curt Schilling of the Boston Red Sox, the pitcher who has come out against steroids as well. Both of them basically saying, hey, let's look at Canseco's book for what it is, somebody who's trying to make money.
Now, McGwire, in his testimony today, did not say whether he used steroids. And again, he has denied that in the past. But very tearful as he said he would pledge to do anything that he could to discourage kids from using steroids, but insisted that he will not participate in naming names or implicating any former teammates or his friends in baseball --Candy.
CROWLEY: You know, Larry, one of the things that interests me, and this is conjunction with Mark McGwire's tears, is that when I looked at that panel of baseball greats, really -- I don't know as much about baseball as you, obviously, but some of them are people with stellar reputations in baseball. Are they not? I mean, these really were -- Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, were seen as real examples. So this must be very tough for them to be brought up on this sort of issue.
SMITH: Well, Sammy Sosa has been a league MVP. Jason Giambi's been excused from testimony because of the ongoing BALCO federal investigation out in California. The Yankee's first baseman is not part of this. Rafael Palmeiro has had over 500 home runs. These are men who have had long and very successful, Hall of Fame caliber, careers. And so certainly that is one reason why they are there, as well as Curt Schilling.
But, again, I think it goes back to -- Canseco's attorney was very disappointed that this did not committee did not grant immunity to hopefully offer freedom of speech that if one of these people did do steroids or know specifically of any of any specific steroid use, they would hopefully feel freer to talk about that. But they feel right now that they can't. In fact, Canseco said he would not answer questions because he was afraid that what he said may possibly be used against him later. So he probably will invoke the Fifth when he does take the table again.
CROWLEY: So are these also some of the good guys of sports. I mean, you know, there's the bad boys of sports and then there's the good guys. They all mentioned, look, I've been involved in helping ALS research, I've been involved in helping the homeless and battered children and it seemed to me that they were establishing their really good guy reputations in sports, which has been tainted by a guy that they all seem to want to throttle.
SMITH: It's exactly -- well, but one thing that's not up for question is whether these guys are good people. I mean, athletes across the board do many good things in the community that too often are not reported by those of us in the media. But I really think that, again, when it comes down to these guys, no one has -- there has been no proof that anyone on this panel has used steroids except Canseco, who has admitted to steroid use. And again, baseball's policy until just this year was very weak on steroid use.
I mean, keep in mind that before this current year, before this month, you could have only -- be tested by for steroids only once per yea. It would take five positive tests to draw a one-year suspension. So there is really no proof that anyone on this panel has done steroids. But it's a step that Congress wanted to try to find out what's going on with steroids in baseball and also what is the societal and health impacts of steroids on society at large.
CROWLEY: Larry Smith from CNN Sports. Stick around, because we want to come back to you and get your take on these hearings. Right now, as you saw while Larry was talking, the hearings are still in recess. Apparently the House members still voting. When they come back, we will, once again, hear from those baseball players and hear some of the questions from the panel.
We want to go back to Ed Henry. Ed, what is the -- give us the agenda for the rest of the afternoon. What do we expect coming up for the Q and A of this panel and then what's after that?
HENRY: The chairman of the committee, Tom Davis, suggested that the Q and A period will be relatively short. A lot of the players are still current active Major Leaguers and need to get back to spring training. It's obviously getting a little bit late in the day. They've all traveled from either Florida or Arizona to get here. He indicated that will be relatively short once they come back.
And then there's one more panel that could get quite explosive, in fact. It's going to be the baseball commissioner Bud Selig, also Don Fehr, the head of the Baseball Players Union. Both officials have come under heavy fire by members of this committee and also some folks in the other body, including Senator John McCain, suggesting that Major League Baseball and its Players Union may have lied to Congress and the general public in recent years when they promised they were going to set up a very stringent testing and disciplinary system dealing with steroids. Now that this House committee has subpoenaed a lot of those records in recent days, this week -- they've had those records turned over, they've started poring through it and it appears that perhaps that drug testing system is not quite as tough as Major League Baseball promised Congress it would be. A lot of lawmakers today saying, in this committee, that they think if it's not tough enough and if they need to strengthen it, they may look at legislation.
In fact, one member of the baseball fraternity, Senator Jim Bunning, testified today and even though he's a baseball hall of famer and said he was reluctant to crack down on Major League Baseball, he believes baseball has just been dealing with baby steps towards reform dealing with steroids. And he warned his friends in baseball that if they don't act more swiftly, he thinks Congress is going to intervene -- Candy.
CROWLEY: And, Ed, I'm sure you were off reporting when we were talking to some of the blogging people about what -- how they felt about it. A lot of the stuff that they were getting off the blogs is that people think, what is -- what a big waste of time and they're showboating. Has there been any of that kind of conversation from any Capitol Hill members, or is everybody pretty much on board that this is an issue that needed to come out in the open?
HENRY: Interestingly -- you're right to ask that, because one member, in fact, of this very committee, Democrat Paul Kanjorski, is among several lawmakers who have come forward to say they think this is a waste of time. And even though he sits on the committee, he said they should be dealing with much bigger issues. The response from the chairman has been that he believes this is a public health crisis, that these Major Leaguers are role models and in fact, that there, by some estimates, about a million children across the country who have tried steroids in recent years and that has resulted in severe health consequences.
So, the lawmakers on this panel, some of them say that that needs to be dealt with. And I also want to point that while a lot of the attention are focused on the Major League ball players, the officials I mentioned who will be testifying soon -- we also heard today from some parents who had some very heartwrenching stories to tell about their own children falling into depression after secretly taking steroids and then killing themselves, committing suicide. And I can tell you that a lot of the ballplayers themselves when they came out, including Sammy Sosa, including Mark McGwire, got very emotional as they said they were in the waiting area for the committee room, watching that testimony. And they said they were quite moved by it -- Candy.
CROWLEY: And Ed, you've mentioned that, you know, one of the possible outcomes, at least down the road, might be that Congress would have to do something. What is there for it to do?
HENRY: Well, one thing that has come up is the fact that Congress, way back in the 1920s, granted this anti-trust exemption to Major League Baseball. That allows baseball to operate like a monopoly. It's very financially lucrative for baseball. And the chairman of this committee, Tom Davis, has suggested that if baseball does not step up to the plate, one thing Congress could do is look at removing that anti-trust exemption, revoking it. And that's something Major League Baseball obviously does not want to hear.
And, Candy, I think that has a lot to do with the fact that Major League Baseball, about a week ago, was saying they would fight this investigation all the way to the Supreme Court. But once the committee members started talking about contempt of Congress charges, once they started talking about removing that anti-trust exemption, those are very powerful weapons and very quickly, Major League Baseball reversed itself and has started cooperating with this investigation and I think that, in part, has to do with that anti- trust exemption.
And finally, another thing Congress can do, and many lawmakers talked about this, is perhaps passing legislation at some point later in this Congress to set up a uniform standard for steroids testing and perhaps broader drug testing, not just for baseball, but across all of the sports. Football, hockey, et cetera -- Candy.
CROWLEY: Ed Henry, congressional correspondent on the baseball beat today. Thanks so much, Ed.
Once again, we are waiting for the House Energy and Commerce Committee to get its act back together. They will come back in, they will be seated on the panel and begin to ask questions of the baseball players that have been giving their opening statements.
INSIDE POLITICS will be right back.
CROWLEY: We want to go back now to the baseball steroid hearings on Capitol Hill.
(INTERRUPTED BY LIVE EVENT)
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