AP 09 23 94 15:40 EST
Democratic Senator Responds To Questions
By NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS Associated Press Writer
SACRAMENTO (AP) Democratic U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein
answers questions during her campaign against Republican U.S.
Rep. Michael Huffington. Some answers have been edited for
Q: How can the state's economy improve in the face of defense
cuts and high unemployment?
FEINSTEIN: We must continue to streamline the permit process
and make the costs of doing business competitive with other
We must support efforts to develop new manufacturing and
potential new technologies like a state of the art
transportation industry to support the growth of the bio tech
and high tech industries. We need to maintain our agriculture
industry the biggest in the nation. And we need to support
GATT which will mean 250,000 jobs for California as we increase
I have secured the extension of the Research and Development
Tax Credit that will encourage investment and expansion of
high tech businesses, and targeted capital gains which can
create capital for the start up and expansion of small
I authored, and Congress approved, legislation to provide $50
million in federal funds to leverage more than $2 billion in
private sector loans to small businesses hurt by defense
downsizing. This will create or maintain 200,000 jobs
nationwide, including 50,000 right here in California.
Q: Will California ever again be a manufacturing economy, or
are we destined to be a service oriented economy?
FEINSTEIN: California can and must maintain a strong
manufacturing sector. California's economy will continue to see
an increase in our service sector. Industries such as
entertainment and tourism.
Other service sector industries, such as high technology,
biotechnology, and research and development, are world class.
The state's proximity to the Pacific Rim provides great
economic opportunity for expanded trade and new markets,
particularly with the lower trade barriers that will result
from the recent GATT agreements. The manufacturing sector is
poised to benefit from a revitalized maritime industry and from
increased aerospace activity, such as the construction of two
new high tech wind tunnels.
By pursuing expanded trade policies, investments in
infrastructure, and technological innovations, California can
maintain a strong service economy and a strong manufacturing
Q: Do you think it is important for a Senator from California
to work to preserve federally funded jobs in the state?
FEINSTEIN: It's important for a Senator to fight for jobs for
California, however they are created. Without new job creation,
more and more residents will become dependent on federal and
state social services.
I am pleased to help companies relocate to California,
sustain jobs already created, or expand their current
operations. I have done this a number of times to create timber
jobs, manufacturing jobs, and new opportunities in
service related industries. In addition, I have helped support
defense programs vital to our nation's defense that support
tens of thousands of jobs in California.
Q: What steps would you take to reduce illegal immigration?
FEINSTEIN: The only way to stop illegal immigration is to
protect our borders. That's why I pushed hard for funding to
increase the number of Border Patrol agents by 39 percent in
just two years. New fencing, lighting, equipment and agents are
already in place. In addition, I've also introduced legislation
that will (provide) another 2,100 border agents over three
years, create a computerized data base where employers can
verify an employee's credentials to ensure they are legally
entitled to work in this country, fully staff all border
crossing gates, and pay for the programs with a modest, $1
border crossing fee.
Q: Should the federal government reimburse California for the
costs of illegal immigrants?
FEINSTEIN: Yes. The Crime Bill recently passed by Congress
includes an authorization I suggested to provide $1.8 billion
to reimburse states for the costs of incarcerating criminal
aliens. In addition, the Senate approved a separate
appropriation of $130 million for this purpose.
I signed an amicus brief in support of Florida's lawsuit
against the federal government to secure reimbursement.
Q: Do you see a need to raise taxes to balance the federal
budget? What taxes would you raise or which program would you
FEINSTEIN: No. Rather, the President should have the line
item veto and Congress should pass the Balanced Budget
Amendment in order to control the deficit and reduce spending.
As a Senator, I vowed to protect working Californians from any
tax increase and I've done precisely that. The 1994 Budget
Reconciliation Bill will cut the growth of the deficit by more
than $691 billion by 1998. In the process: 2.1 million of
California's working poor had their taxes cut; over 10 million
Californians saw no change in their income tax rates. The
wealthiest one percent of Californians 163,000 families with
incomes over $180,000 a year paid more.
Q: What is your position regarding government funding of
abortions for poor women? Do you think there should be any
restrictions on the right to abortions?
FEINSTEIN: I support Roe v. Wade and I support Medicaid
funding of abortion for eligible low income women.
Poor women who must rely on federal or state funded health
care need appropriate and necessary services as much as anyone
else. I sponsored the Freedom of Choice Act, which would make
Roe v. Wade the law of the land. Roe v. Wade currently allows
states to ban abortion in the third trimester except when the
life or health of the woman in endangered.
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