Originally created 02/16/99

Coverdell promotes Republican agenda



Fresh from the failed impeachment effort, U.S. Sen. Paul Coverdell, R-Ga., and other Republican senators Monday set out to promote their agenda of tax cuts and education reform.

But at an airport press conference in Augusta, the issue George Cale and other military retirees wanted to hear about wasn't part of the program.

Mr. Coverdell said he favored the 10 percent across-the-board tax cut being touted by U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M.

He said the average worker keeps only 52 cents on the dollar, and he would not rest until it were 66 cents.

"Lowering the economic burden on our working families is terribly important," Mr. Coverdell said. "We need to get those resources back into their checking accounts."

But Mr. Cale, 70, who enlisted in the Navy in 1946 and served 29 years, wants to know when the promise of free lifetime health care for retirees will be restored.

While he gets good primary care at Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center, he must go elsewhere for other services.

Mr. Coverdell answered that there are too few veterans left in Congress and that more understanding of that issue was needed.

Tom Corwin covers science and medicine for The Augusta Chronicle. He can be reached at (706) 823-3213 or tomc@augustachronicle.com.