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Bush Spells Out Legislative Priorities to Congress - 2002-07-27

President Bush is calling on Congress to complete work on a number of administration priorities including legislation to create a new cabinet-level agency to deal with homeland security, before lawmakers recess next week. His requests were made during his weekly radio address to the nation Saturday.

The House of Representatives has given approval to the largest re-organization of the U.S. government in half a century by voting to create the Office of Homeland Security, which will be charged with guarding the nation against terrorism.

In his address to the nation Saturday, President Bush thanked the House but said lawmakers should not recess until the Senate has taken final action on it and other measures, including legislation that would stiffen penalties against corporate fraud as well as granting him new authority to negotiate international trade agreements.

"By taking action on these issues, the Senate can advance our national priorities of defending freedom, protecting our homeland and strengthening our economy. The Senate now has one week left to make progress for the American people, and I urge them to seize the opportunity," Mr. Bush said.

The White House has said it would like to see the creation of a new Department of Homeland Security before the September 11 anniversary of last year's terrorist attacks.