Baker, Howard H., Jr., Byrd, Robert C., Dole, Robert J., Environment and Public Works Committee, Finance Committee, Majority Leader, Republican Party, Tax, U.S. Senate culture, U.S. Senators
Steven Symms was born on April 23, 1938, in Nampa, Idaho. He earned his degree in agriculture in 1960 from the University of Idaho. He served in the Marines for three years, worked as a private pilot and a farmer, and was editor of the Idaho Compass. In 1972 he ran as a Republican candidate for Congress, serving for four terms in the House of Representatives until 1980, when he ran for the U.S. Senate and served two terms. After leaving the Senate, he founded the consulting firm Symms, Lehn Associates, Inc. At the time of this interview, he was a partner at Parry, Romani, DeConcini & Symms, a lobbying firm in Washington, D.C.
Interview includes discussion of: Symms’s relationship with Senator Mitchell; Symms’s serving on the Environment and Public Works committee and the Senate Finance Committee with Mitchell; his and Mitchell’s work together on highway programs; their differences on the 1986 tax reform bill; partisanship; Mitchell’s efforts to get Amtrak to Portland, Maine, from Boston; the 1982 gas tax; Symms’s reaction when Mitchell was selected majority leader; characterizations of majority leaders Baker, Dole, Byrd, and Mitchell; Symms’s run against Frank Church; Symms’s decision to go from the House to the Senate; being a Republican minority in the Senate; New Republicans in the 1980s; how media has changed legislation; abortion as an issue in Congress; and Mitchell’s role in the Tower nomination.
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