U.S. Economy, Education Need to Be Higher Priority, Senate Leader Says
While Democrats stand with President Bush in support of U.S. troops serving in Iraq, the United States must focus more on homeland issues, Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle said last month. The economy, education, health care and Social Security led his priorities.
The South Dakota senator, in the Democrats’ weekly radio address, said that after listening to the president’s State of the Union address he was reminded of the many “good, hardworking people” in his home state.
“They help their neighbors and they want to help others around the world. But they’re asking, ‘What about us? When do our priorities become America’s priorities?'”
Daschle said the Republicans push the priorities of special interests at the expense of consumers and workers.
He said they acted recently to delay a new rule that would allow consumers to know the country of origin of the meat and produce they serve their families, to allow media conglomerates to accumulate greater control of the airwaves and to end overtime protections for 8 million Americans.
Democrats would build an “opportunity society,” he said, emphasizing the need for a strong economy with good jobs. His party would achieve that through tax cuts and policies that would strengthen the manufacturing sector, he said.
“America can’t afford to keep rewarding the accumulation of wealth over the dignity of work,” Daschle said.
Bush, he said, has “underfunded our schools … children are being denied the better teachers, smaller classes.” And he contended that Bush’s tax cuts have starved state governments of needed revenue, forcing them to raise the cost of college tuition.
— Associated Press
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