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Bush Heads to US Midwest to Seek Support for Domestic Agenda

President Bush travels to the American Midwest Wednesday to campaign for much of the domestic agenda he laid out in Tuesday's State of the Union address. The president is following-up his State of the Union address with a speech on medicare reform and prescription-drug coverage in the state of Michigan.

Mr. Bush has made affordable health care a key legislative goal for this session of Congress to ensure that everyone has good insurance and is free to choose their own doctors. His proposal looks to provide assistance for older Americans and those from low-income families.

In Michigan, home to most of America's largest automobile manufacturers, the president will also push his plan for more than one billion dollars in research for clean, hydrogen-powered cars that he says will reduce America's dependence on foreign oil.

"With a new national commitment, our scientists and engineers will overcome obstacles to taking these cars from laboratory to showroom, so that the first car driven by a child born today could be powered by hydrogen and pollution-free," the president said.

Democrats say the president's energy policy will hurt the environment by opening-up more oil drilling in Alaska.

In the Democratic response to the State of the Union, the governor of the western state of Washington, Gary Locke, said President Bush is failing to protect decades of progress in cleaner water and cleaner air.

"In communities in my state and yours, conservation is a way of life," he said. "But the administration is determined to roll-back much of this progress. Our nation should lead global efforts to promote environmental responsibility, not shun them."

Governor Locke also criticized the president's plans for a $670 billion tax cut as "upside-down economics" because he says it does too little to stimulate the economy now and does too much to weaken the economy in the future.

Democrats also say the Bush plan unfairly favors the rich, by eliminating taxes on corporate dividends.

President Bush says his plan will put more people back to work and help stimulate economic growth by giving tax revenues back to Americans so they will have more to money to spend and invest.

While the president's speech focused largely on domestic issues, he did reflect on the challenges of the ongoing war on terrorism and how the nation has changed since he took office.

"In two years, American has gone from a sense of invulnerability to an awareness of peril, from bitter division in small matters to calm unity in great causes," Mr. Bush said. "And, we go forward with confidence, because this call of history has come to the right country."

Mr. Bush says the nation faces many challenges that it will confront with what he calls "focus, clarity, and courage."