Hastert and Tobacco

Greg Nowell GN842 at CNSVAX.Albany.Edu
Wed Dec 30 14:53:07 PST 1998

www.ash.org is the source of the below

New House Speaker Supports Tobacco [12/24-4]

>From Bill Godshall,

I found a truly revealing videotape of the presumed-to-be next Speaker of the US House of Representatives Dennis Hastert (R-IL) berating then FDA Commissioner David Kessler, and repeatedly accusing Kessler of contempt of Congress during a June 21, 1994 hearing when Kessler testified about nicotine addiction before the House Subcommittee on Health and the Environment.

During the 104th Congress (1995-96), Representative Hastert:

- voted for two bills (H.R. 450 & H.R. 1022) that would have prevented the FDA from issuing tobacco regulations. Both bills passed the House, but failed in the Senate.

- voted for product liability legislation (H.R 956) that would have virtually immunized tobacco companies from lawsuits. The bill passed the House and Senate, but was vetoed by President Clinton, who cited the unfair protection it provided for tobacco companies.

- cosigned a letter (that was filed in the FDA docket during the public comment period) vigorously opposing FDA regulation of tobacco,

According to the Federal Election Commission (and compiled by SmokeFree Action), Hastert had accepted $31,450 in campaign contributions from the tobacco industry prior to 10/10/96.

During the 105th Congress (1997-98), Hastert voted in support of Brian Bilbray's amendment to the DC Appropriations bill (H.R. 4380) that would have criminalized youth for tobacco possession in DC. Bilbray's amendment, which was supported by the tobacco industry and opposed by health advocates, passed the House, but was eliminated in the House/Senate conference committee.

-- Gregory P. Nowell Associate Professor Department of Political Science, Milne 100 State University of New York 135 Western Ave. Albany, New York 12222

Fax 518-442-5298

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