News

    Reaction to Bush Address Follows Partisan Lines

    Multimedia

    Audio

    Reaction to President Bush's State of the Union address is predictably along partisan lines. Members of his Republican Party praised his leadership and the goals he proposed on domestic and foreign issues, while majority Democrats criticized him on the same issues. VOA's Dan Robinson reports from Capitol Hill.

    Because the main themes of the address were known well in advance of the president's appearance, reaction began to roll in hours before he spoke to a joint session of Congress.

    Even before the address, Senate Democrat Robert Byrd took aim at the president's assertion that, although Americans are concerned about the economy, they can be confident about long-term economic prospects.

    Pointing to the president's call for Congress to make permanent tax cuts passed during his time in office, Byrd said the president presided over sharply increased deficits and debt while, as Byrd put it, "[squandering] billions of dollars every week in Iraq."

    In the formal Democratic response, Kathleen Sebelius, Democratic governor of the state of Kansas, urged President Bush to work with majority Democrats and to make a change of course in Iraq.

    "The last five years have cost us dearly - in lives lost; in thousands of wounded warriors whose futures may never be the same; in challenges not met here at home because our resources were committed elsewhere," she said. "America's foreign policy has left us with fewer allies and more enemies. Join us, Mr. President, and working together with Congress to make tough, smart decisions, we will regain our standing in the world and protect our people and our interests."

    Republicans generally praised the president for concentrating on key points of his agenda he believes can be accomplished in coming months, while maintaining his commitment to Iraq.

    "What he has done is a smart thing," said Jack Kingston, a Georgia Republican. "He stuck with his relevant issues and he is going to keep pushing them through, rather than come out here with 11 months to go in his presidency and introduce a whole bunch of new things."

    Florida Democrat Debbie Wasserman-Schultz faults the president for what she describes as a lack of vision.

    "The president did not speak to my generation, and the generation of young Americans who are looking for some hope, looking for some vision that will give them the opportunity to move in a new direction, on education, on health care, on bringing our troops home from the war in Iraq that we are hopelessly mired in," she said. "On making sure we can really focus on global warming instead of just saying it's a problem. Let's see some action. Let's see some funding."

    In his address, President Bush said defeating the Taliban and al-Qaida forces fighting American and NATO troops in Afghanistan remains critical to U.S. security, noting the deployment of an additional 3,200 U.S. Marines there.

    But Democratic House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton says the added forces fall far short of numbers needed for a long-term strategy for Afghanistan.

    The president's final State of the Union address came with his public approval ratings still in the 30 percent range, and with the economy now a top concern.

    Tuesday, the House of Representatives is to debate the $150 billion economic stimulus package agreed to by the White House and House Democrats and Republicans, a measure the president warned should not be delayed or derailed.

    But his other priorities face uphill battles, including a permanent revision of anti-terrorist electronic surveillance legislation, and free trade agreements for Colombia, Panama and South Korea.

    Some key fiscally-conservative Republicans expressed disappointment with President Bush's pledge to take steps to limit lawmaker's ability to designate millions of additional dollars in legislation for special projects benefiting their own districts - known as earmarks - saying much more needs to be done to bring this spending under control.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.