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June 26, 1985
Dropped in on Brkfst. downstairs for House Ways & Means Comm. Repubs. Another pitch for tax reform—a few had a sticking point re non-deduction of local & state taxes. We gave them some hard to rebut figures. I think we made some points. Then N.S.C. & newest hostage development. A light at the end of the tunnel. Berri (Assads doing) has offered to let the hostages move to a Western Co. Embassy in Beirut or Syria—supposedly to remain until Israel frees the Shiites it’s holding. We prefer Syria & I have no intention of letting them be held there. The Israelis are already planning to begin returning their prisoners. We want no linkage between what they’re doing & the release of the hostages. Berri released one today because of a heart condition. We are really optimistic. I’ve just learned that Berri owns a couple of mkts. & some oil stations here in the U.S. We might consider that a pressure point. A meeting in the P.M. with Repub. members of committees (Sen.) who confirm our appointees. We’ve had trouble with some of them going over to the Dem. side & mis-treating our candidates. I put in a pitch for sticking together & showing that Repubs. have the capability of governing.
In East room a pleasant gathering—141 finalists in the competition to choose the Am. Teacher who would be 1st teacher to go into space in the shuttle come January. Back to my desk for a load of mail & then home. Maureen is here but leaving tomorrow. Nancy is in L.A. after a visit with her mother in Phoenix. As usual this place feels empty as h--l.