Charles Krauthammer uses revisionist history in his Nov. 9 op-ed piece "Why Incumbency is Forever." His gratuitous comment about me does not reflect the facts of my record in Congress.
In 1980, the savings and loan industry pushed for legislation to raise the amount of the federal deposit insurance from $40,000 per account to $100,000 per account. I believe congressional approval of the legislation was one of the major reasons for the S&L fiasco from which the country now suffers.
During the debate on the 1980 legislation, I predicted that it would lead to the type of financial collapse that we have witnessed in the savings and loan industry. The legislation not only increased the deposit insurance ceiling more than 100 percent, it provided broad deregulation of the S&L industry, which enabled unscrupulous entrepreneurs to take advantage of the nation's taxpayers.
I was a member of the conference committee that wrote the deregulation legislation. I felt so strongly that the legislation was a bad idea that I refused to sign the conference report, the most severe stand a member of the conference committee can take to show displeasure with the final legislative product. When the conference report reached the House floor, I was one of only 13 members of the House to vote against it. That would not have been the action of an "S&L poster boy."
As a member of the House Banking Committee and chairman of the panel's subcommittee on financial institutions, I have taken positive action on behalf of the thrift industry because it has provided the funds for the building of 80 percent of the nation's homes. Had it not been for the savings and loan associations, millions of young couples trying to buy their first home would not have been able to acquire the necessary money.
My record in Congress is an open book. The citizens of the 11th District in Illinois are well aware of that record and have seen fit to send me to Congress for 14 terms. They also know that when they need help in dealing with bureaucratic red tape, I will be available to assist them. There is no striking of poses or adopting of attitudes. It is the nitty-gritty. A young pundit within the Beltway may not be concerned about the bureaucracy, but the same cannot be said about an elderly couple living month-to-month on a Social Security check in the Midwest or a military service veteran trying to receive health care at a VA hospital. The people of my district know I care. FRANK ANNUNZIO U.S. Representative (D-Ill.) Washington