Crime Bill (1994), Health care, Majority Leader, Tax, U.S. Senators
Richard Andrew “Dick” Gephardt was born on January 31, 1941, in St. Louis, Missouri. He earned a B.S. from Northwestern University in 1962 and a law degree from the University of Michigan Law School in 1965. He was active in local Democratic politics and city government until 1976, when he was elected the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Missouri’s 3rd District until 2004, when he retired from the House and sought, unsuccessfully, the Democratic nomination for president, a nomination he also sought but failed to win in 1977. He served as House majority leader from 1989 to 1995 and minority leader from 1995 to 2003. After leaving the House, he founded the consulting and lobbying firm Gephardt Group Government Affairs, where he served as president and CEO at the time of this interview.
Thomas J. “Tom” O’Donnell, a Brooklyn native, earned a B.A. in political science at SUNY Brockport and a Ph.D. from American University. He served as House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt’s chief of staff from 1989-1997, acting as Gephardt’s lead strategist for the Budget Summit Agreement of 1990 and the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, among other legislative affairs. From 1997-2007, O’Donnell served as a partner at Doak, Carrier, O’Donnell and Goldman (DCO), a political consulting media firm. At the time of this interview, he was managing partner of Gephardt Government Affairs.
Interview includes discussion of: first impressions on meeting Mitchell; 1990 budget summit, tax reform, and “Read my lips—no new taxes”; legislative initiatives during the Clinton administration; health care proposals from the Clinton White House in 1994; Edward Kennedy’s and Patrick Moynihan’s roles in the health care debate; Mitchell’s attributes and his abilities as majority leader; crime bill of 1994.
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