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War, National Security Dominate Congressional Focus

War, National Security Dominate Congressional Focus

Given the war against Iraq, the economy and securing funding to combat terrorism at home, Congress probably won’t be able to focus on other issues for a while.
That’s what several lawmakers told attendees at the Congressional Breakfast at NAB2003.
Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., said, “After Sept. 11, the equation changed. The president said the fight against terrorism would be long and costly.”
While no one wants to go to war, he said, “We need to put our money where our mouth is.” Engel said the United States needs to devote more money to homeland security, especially to protect cities such as New York and Washington.
Several lawmakers gave broadcasters kudos for war coverage. Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., said, “This is the first time we’ve had play-by-play war. You’ve taken the anchor out of the news business.”
On the ownership front, Burns said lawmakers would pay particular attention to cross-ownership issues. Burns was asked about the viability of the payola bill pushed by Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis. Burns doesn’t see “a lot of traction” for the bill.