In her article BEHIND-THE-SCENES SENATE GROUP TALKS FOREIGN POLICY, LAURA MYERS, of Associated Press reported, " There's not a sign saying "check your politics at the door," but that's what a group of senators say they're doing in quiet meetings to discuss U.S. Foreign policy minus the usual partisan rancor. [WASHINGTON (July 11, 1998 12:04 p.m. EDT http://www.nandotimes.com) ]
While the Behind-the-scenes Senate group talks foreign Policy, another Behind-the-Scenes group will manipulate the foreign policy talks. That group is the Council on Foreign Relations. Missing from Myers story are the Council on Foreign Relations links to members sitting on or briefing the committee.
Myers reports there will be about 20 senators in the group. The group, was formed in June to discuss sanctions on India and Pakistan. Myers writes, "Some Republicans, leading up to Clinton's China trip, acted in what I could only describe as outrageous fashion," said Lawrence Eagleburger, secretary of state in the Bush administration."
Myers reports Stuart Eizenstat, the State Department's top official on sanctions policy, briefed the group.
Myers reports that besides Sen. Chuck Hagel, Nebraska, Republicans in the informal meetings include Sens. Richard Lugar, Indiana; John Chafee, Rhode Island; Craig Thomas, Wyoming; Gordon Smith, Oregon; and Rod Grams, Minnesota.
Myers reports democrats, other than Joseph Biden Jr., Delaware and Sen. Max Baucus, Montana, include Sens. Dianne Feinstein, California; John Glenn, Ohio; Daniel Patrick Moynihan, New York; Carl Levin, Michigan; and Chris Dodd, Connecticut.
Missing from Myers story are the Council on Foreign Relations links to the following people mentioned in her article:
Council on Foreign Relations member William Clinton
Council on Foreign Relations member George Bush.
Council on Foreign Relations member Stuart Eizenstat
Council on Foreign Relations member Lawrence Eagleburger.
Council on Foreign Relations member Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Indiana
Council on Foreign Relations member Sen. John Chafee, R-Rhode Island
Council on Foreign Relations member Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D- California
Council on Foreign Relations memberSen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-NY
Council on Foreign Relations memberSen. Chris Dodd, D- Connecticut
Joseph Biden Jr. (D-DE) is listed in the Council on Foreign Relations. Annual Report. 1988.
John Glenn, D-Ohio, is a member of the Trilateral Commission.
The entire article follows:
Behind-the-scenes Senate group talks
WASHINGTON (July 11, 1998 12:04 p.m. EDT http://www.nandotimes.com) -- There's not a sign saying "check your politics at the door," but that's what a group of senators say they're doing in quiet meetings to discuss U.S. foreign policy minus the usual partisan rancor.
Sen. Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat, recruited the bipartisan group of senators with "their heads on straight, feet on the ground" to talk about trade and China, India and Pakistan nuclear tests and other contentious issues.
The goal, Baucus said, is to "clear out some of the political underbrush on a lot of foreign policy debates."
Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel is lead Republican in the group of around 20 senators, whose fourth meeting is scheduled for early this week.
"This is more important than partisan politics," Hagel said. He said most foreign policy debate in the Congress controlled by his party "sinks into the swamp of raw-meat politics" aimed at embarrassing President Clinton or bargaining with the Democratic Party.
"When the world needs U.S. leadership as much as it's ever needed it, I'm not sure we're providing that leadership," Hagel said.
He argued that allowing Clinton some foreign policy victories such as ratification of the chemical weapons ban treaty while denying him others -- example: money for the International Monetary Fund -- hurts America and its world stature.
"We're playing Russian roulette with the future of our country," Hagel said. Partisan rhetoric in foreign policy has been particularly virulent this year, due largely to election-year maneuvering and President Clinton's legal problems.
"Some Republicans, leading up to Clinton's China trip, acted in what I could only describe as outrageous fashion," said Lawrence Eagleburger, secretary of state in the Bush administration. "It was partisanship at its worst. There's a real active dislike of this president."
Some lawmakers said Clinton should have canceled his trip because of congressional and Justice Department investigations into missile technology transfers to China and illegal campaign contributions.
Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., vowed to tie up the Senate if critics continued their attacks while Clinton was overseas. Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., backed off.
But within days of Clinton's return, Lott said the Senate would have to take action to "repair the damage that has been done" by the president's comments on Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its own.
Clinton laid out long-standing U.S. policy: no support for Taiwan independence, no recognition of a separate government on the island and no help to get Taiwan into international organizations. But, uttered in China, his words made Taipei nervous and gave GOP critics a fresh target.
Lott's resolution, repeating a U.S. pledge to help maintain Taiwan's defenses through arms sales, passed 92-0 with no debate Friday. Democrats decided not to fight, saying it merely restated U.S. policy.
A lively partisan battle is expected, however, when a package of anti-China legislation opposed by the administration comes to the Senate floor. Already approved in the House, the bills were sponsored by Rep. Christopher Cox, R-Calif., chairman of a special House committee looking into administration policies involving satellites and China.
Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., a leader of the senators' group and ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said punitive bills and punching bag-style debate can result in bad foreign policy.
"It's bad manners, bad politics and bad governance," he said.
Baucus said reaction to the informal group has sometimes been, "I wonder what they're up to? Is there an ulterior motive?"
He claims none. But several of the senators come from farm states, whose business can be hurt by limits on foreign commerce and contacts.
The senators, mostly free-traders who oppose isolationism, say they aren't trying to undermine standing committees or Foreign Relations Chairman Jesse Helms, R-N.C. A Helms spokesman would not comment on the group, which was formed in June to discuss sanctions on India and Pakistan.
"Trade policy is part of foreign policy, national security, taxes," Hagel said. "It's growth, jobs, the economy. ... The day is gone when our leaders can talk about isolated issues. The dots now connect."
Whether the behind-the-scenes effort at bipartisanship will bear fruit is yet to be seen, but the Clinton administration is taking it seriously. Strobe Talbott, deputy secretary of state dealing directly with India and Pakistan, and Stuart Eizenstat, the State Department's top official on sanctions policy, have briefed the group.
Besides Hagel, a freshman, Republicans in the informal meetings include Sens. Richard Lugar, Indiana; John Chafee, Rhode Island; Craig Thomas, Wyoming; Gordon Smith, Oregon; and Rod Grams, Minnesota. Democrats, other than Biden and Baucus, include Sens. Dianne Feinstein, California; John Glenn, Ohio; Daniel Patrick Moynihan, New York; Carl Levin, Michigan; and Chris Dodd, Connecticut.
By LAURA MYERS, Associated Press Writer