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Washington news in brief

by Frank E. Lockwood | April 25, 2021 at 4:41 a.m.

State played role in

Mondale's VP run

When Walter Mondale needed someone to second his nomination for vice president at the 1976 Democratic National Convention in New York City, he asked David Pryor, Arkansas' governor at the time, to perform the task.

Pryor obliged.

With former Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter leading the ticket, the Democrats carried Arkansas in a landslide that year, winning 64.9% of the vote.

No Democratic presidential nominee since Franklin Roosevelt had topped that percentage; no Democrat has surpassed it since.

Mondale, who died Monday at age 93, was an effective vice president and an honorable leader, said Mack McLarty, White House chief of staff for President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1994 and chairman of the Democratic Party of Arkansas from 1974 to 1976.

"People are just yearning for decency in our political environment, and civility, and Vice President Mondale represented both. People are yearning for the feeling that their officials have a high degree of principle and integrity, and Vice President Mondale had that for sure," McLarty said.

As vice president, Mondale played an active role in the administration. His vice presidency helped "define and shape the modern-day vice presidency and made it a much more meaningful position of responsibility," McLarty said.

Womack takes tour

of Military Academy

U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, R-Ark., traveled to West Point, N.Y., last week, touring the U.S. Military Academy with fellow lawmakers, addressing one of the classes and eating lunch with cadets from the Natural State.

The former Rogers mayor makes the trip periodically; since 2017, he has served as chairman of the school's board of visitors.

During Friday's visit, congressmen were invited to observe a boxing class. They also heard the glee club.

Located on the Hudson River about 50 miles north of New York City, West Point is "the oldest continuously occupied military post in America," officials say.

Womack served 30 years in the Arkansas Army National Guard, retiring as a colonel in 2009. He is also former executive director of the University of Arkansas' Army ROTC program.

Cotton introduces

measures on China

U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., last week introduced the ''Safeguarding Educational Institutions, Colleges, Universities, and Research Entities from China's Attempts to Misappropriate Property of the United States Act of 2021."

Also know as the ''SECURE CAMPUS Act of 2021," it would bar Chinese citizens from receiving visas to conduct graduate or postgraduate studies in science, technology, engineering or mathematics. Chinese citizens would also be barred from participating in federally funded STEM research.

Last week, Cotton also introduced the ''Agricultural Intelligence Measures Act of 2021," which has been dubbed the ''AIM Act of 2021."

The legislation would "leverage the assets of the intelligence community to better protect U.S. agriculture from foreign threats posed by countries like China," Cotton's office stated.

Earlier this month, Cotton urged the Biden administration to place greater restrictions on certain chipmaking software. In a letter to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, Cotton and U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said there is "clear evidence that companies linked to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) are using this software technology to develop advanced weaponry."

Planning to visit the nation's capital? Know something happening in Washington, D.C.? Please contact Frank Lockwood at (501) 908-5204 or Want to get the latest from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Washington bureau? It's available on Twitter, @LockwoodFrank.


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