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Reagan Begins Review of 6 Domestic Initiatives

December 12, 1986|United Press International

WASHINGTON — President Reagan is plunging into a review of six domestic initiatives to be presented in his State of the Union address, ranging from a welfare reform program to new curbs on Wall Street "insider trading," his spokesman said today.

Deputy Press Secretary Larry Speakes also told reporters Reagan will submit his 1987 fiscal year budget document Jan. 5 with some of the details to be filled in later.

Speakes denied that today's announcement of the timetable for Reagan to receive reports on domestic initiatives was designed to deflect attention from the controversy surrounding his Administration's secret arms deals with Iran.

In addition to welfare reform, other initiatives will deal with catastrophic illness, trade legislation, agriculture problems, budget reform and energy, as it relates to national security.

Speakes said the programs will stay within the overall limits of the budget to be presented to Congress next year. He said the budget reform initiative may call for two-year budgets to avoid continuing resolutions, the last-minute temporary money measures passed by Congress to avoid government shutdown.

Welfare Proposals

The welfare reform study focuses on "the President's concern" with waste in funding, getting welfare recipients into the work force and allowing greater local control and innovation, Speakes said.

Reagan has not yet made a decision on the formal program to present to Congress, he added.

On Monday, the President will receive results of a study on catastrophic illness that was initiated in the last State of the Union address. It deals with long-term care, private insurance that often is unavailable for the elderly, acute care and assistance for the elderly.

"The President will hear the options," Speakes said. He also plans to confer with insurance industry representatives, doctors, legislators and even some elderly patients before making a decision on the final program.

Health and Human Services Secretary Otis R. Bowen has drafted a program for dealing with catastrophic illness that has faced some opposition among domestic policy advisers because of its cost.

Possible Trade Legislation

Another initiative that Reagan and his economic policy advisers will consider Thursday focuses on competitiveness and possible trade legislation that may include new efforts to fund research and development. It also will consider ways to boost employment.

Reagan will discuss initiatives to deal with farm problems, specifically in the pricing area, before Christmas, Speakes said,

In addition, Speakes said that as a result of the Ivan F. Boesky insider-trading allegations on Wall Street, the Administration is studying whether the Securities and Exchange Commission has all the tools to avoid trading abuses and to handle the problems of junk bonds.

In addition, the National Security Council is preparing a report to Congress on foreign policy, as required by law. Speakes said that, in view of developments in the Iran- contra crisis, there will be increased interest in the global foreign policy review.

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