WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 1 December 1989 Washington, DC
BUSH WILL VETO "THE EMERGENCY CHINESE IMMIGRATION RELIEF ACT,"
but in a statement issued just before he departed for the Malta
summit, he said he would take administrative action to provide
the same protection that the Pelosi Bill (H.R. 2712) would have
provided. The Senate passed the bill by unanimous consent on 20
Nov; the House passed it one day earlier by an astonishing 430-0.
The opposition came from the Chinese Government, which threatened
to terminate scholarly exchanges if the bill became law. Since
China is the principal beneficiary of the exchanges not everyone
took the threat seriously, but Richard Nixon reportedly persuaded
the President not to offend China by signing the bill. The White
House, however, was swamped with messages urging approval of the
legislation, including a letter from APS President Jim Krumhansl
supporting the humanitarian purposes of the bill. The President
took the next best step, issuing an order that: waives the 2-year
home residence return requirement until 1 Jan 94; allows lawful
immigration for those in the US before 5 Jun 89; and permits them
to seek employment. But since a Presidental order can be revoked
and is vulnerable to court challenges, Congressional leaders were
not satisfied. Congress is not in session, however, so the
President declared a Pocket Veto, which cannot be overridden. The
Congressional leaders plan to reintroduce the bill in January.
. THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION OF THE PRESIDENT'S FY 1991 BUDGET
has been extended for two weeks. Under the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings
Deficit Reduction Act, the budget request was due on 8 Jan, but
acting on a request from the Office of Management and Budget,
Congress approved a delay until 22 Jan. The precipitous decrease
in superpower tensions is forcing a reexamination of priorities.
Every agency is salivating at the prospect of a "peace dividend."
3. THE INFLATABLE SPACE STATION CONCEPT IS NOT NEW
(WN 24 Nov 89). The
idea was examined and rejected in the 50's, but new
materials and self-sealing techniques have revived interest. A
patent on the inflatable spacecraft idea was granted to a Long
Island home improvement contractor last week, even as Lawrence
Livermore was proposing inflatables for a Mars mission.
4. JAPAN TAKES THE LEAD IN COLD FUSION RESEARCH.
both Nagoya University and Osaka University report large neutron
bursts coming from cold fusion experiments. The head of Japan's
national cold fusion research effort, Hideo Ikegami of Nagoya,
attributed the Japanese success in cold fusion to the fact that
they are more interested in observing the effect, while Americans
are more interested in denying it. That will do it every time.
5. BROMLEY DENIED RUMORS OF A PLAN TO SLASH SUPPORT FOR SEMATECH.
The Government currently provides half of the $200M per year
budget of the computer chip consortium. Bromley was testifying on
Wednesday before a Senate Armed Services technology subcommittee.