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Bush Accuses Congress of Sitting on Anti-Crime Bills

May 21, 1990|From Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. — President Bush on Sunday accused Congress of spawning "weak imitations" of his proposals to attack crime after allowing them to languish for a year.

"We must reject those who soft-pedal the need to be hard on crime," Bush said in remarks prepared for a Portland law enforcement audience as the Senate prepared to begin debate today on an anti-crime bill.

The President was in the city for the dedication of a memorial to Portland police officers slain in the line of duty.

He accused lawmakers of sitting on key anti-crime bills he first proposed a year ago. But he also acknowledged that Congress agreed to his request for more federal law enforcement officers, prosecutors and prisons as part of anti-drug bills enacted earlier.

Bush said he still wants congressional action on his call for expanded use of the death penalty, fewer burdens on police in gathering evidence and limits on the length of time prisoners have for filing federal appeals.

Senate Democrats have recrafted Bush's proposals and, with the support of law enforcement groups, inserted into the package a ban on the sale and manufacture of nine types of semiautomatic assault weapons.

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