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Former U.S. House majority leader to speak Oct. 24

Mark Reutter, Business Editor
217-333-0568; mreutter@illinois.edu

10/8/2003

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Dick Armey, a former majority leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, will give a first-hand account of how bills become law at the Piper Rudnick-Vacketta Lecture on Government and the Law at 3 p.m. Oct. 24 (Friday) at the University of Illinois College of Law, 504 E. Pennsylvania Ave., Champaign.

Armey will draw upon his 18 years in the House in his speech, “The Instrumental Value of Sloppy Work in Making Legislation.” First elected to Congress in 1984 from the 26th district of north Texas, Armey has been a champion of free markets and was one of the first members of Congress to question the funding of “offensive projects” by the National Endowment of the Arts.

He wrote, with Newt Gingrich, the House Republicans’ “Contract With America” in 1994, which promised tax reduction, welfare reform and a balanced budget if Republican candidates were elected. The contract was instrumental in the GOP picking up 53 seats in the House that year, resulting in the majority the party has held ever since.

Armey, who was an economics professor at the University of North Texas before entering politics, has been an advocate of the flat tax and other tax-relief measures and led efforts to make the International Monetary Fund more transparent and accountable.

The Piper Rudnick-Vacketta Lecture was endowed by Piper Rudnick, a large law firm, in honor of Carl Vacketta, a graduate of the U. of I. College of Law.

The lecture, to be held in the Max L. Rowe Auditorium with overflow seating in Classroom D and the Courtroom, is free and open to the public.