Budget Enforcement Act of 1990, Finance Committee, Health care, Majority Leader, North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Republican Party, Tax, U.S. Senators
Robert W. “Bob” Packwood was born on September 11, 1932, in Portland, Oregon. He attended Willamette University, graduating in 1954, and the New York University School of Law, subsequently returning to Oregon to practice law. From 1963 to 1968, he was a member of the Oregon legislature, and in 1968 he won election to the U.S. Senate, serving five terms as a Republican. He chaired the Senate Finance Committee from 1985 to 1987 and was active in passing the Tax Reform Acts of 1986 and 1995. He resigned from his Senate seat in 1995. Later he founded Sunrise Research Corporation, a lobbying firm based in New York.
Interview includes discussion of: meeting George Mitchell; how committee assignments are given; Mitchell’s superior leadership abilities that earned him a quick rise to the Senate leadership; Packwood’s electoral history; similarities between Oregon and Maine; capital gains and the Tax Reform Act of 1986; the Republican caucus’s view of Mitchell; qualities that make a good Senate leader; comparing Mitchell to Byrd; Mitchell’s pragmatic and strategic approach to legislating; the different roles of the House and the Senate; what the majority leader job consisted of for Mitchell; Mitchell on the Finance Committee; 1990 Budget Enforcement Act; the Clinton administration’s struggle with health care reform, the Republican opposition, and Mitchell’s role; the Clean Air Act, the NAFTA, round two of GATT, and earmarks; Packwood’s 1992 reelection race; the 1994 elections and the Contract for America; Mitchell’s Senate retirement; the period of Packwood’s resignation; Packwood’s brand of Republicanism; how Packwood would describe Mitchell on the political spectrum; an anecdote about when Mitchell was dating Packwood’s chief of staff, Janet Mullins; and Mitchell’s ability to focus on the end result.
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