What the president is doing in office|
by Dr. David A. Sprintzen, Professor of Philosophy Co-Director, Institute for Sustainable Development C.W. Post College,Long Island University 720 Northern Boulevard Brookville, NY 11548-1300 (516)299-3051 fax: (516) 299-4140 email@example.com
- 18th Jan 2002
The First Six Months of George W. Bush: Whatever your beliefs, know what your president is doing. Here is a list of his work in his first six months: * Significantly eased field-testing controls of genetically engineered crops. * Cut federal spending on libraries by $39 million. * Cut $35 million in funding for doctors to get advanced paediatric training. * Cut by 50% funding for research into renewable energy sources. * Revoked rules that reduced the acceptable levels of arsenic drinking water. * Blocked rules that would require federal agencies to offer bilingual assistance to non-English speaking persons. This, from a candidate who would readily fire-up his Spanish-speaking skills in front of would-be Hispanic voters. * Proposed to eliminate new marine protections for the Channel Islands and the coral reefs of northwest Hawaii. San Francisco Chronicle, April 6, 2001 * Cut funding by 28% for research into cleaner, more efficient cars and trucks. * Suspended rules that would have strengthened the government's ability to deny contracts to companies that violated workplace safety, environmental and other federal laws. * OK'd Interior Department appointee Gale Norton to send out letters to state officials soliciting suggestions for opening up national monuments for oil and gas drilling, coal mining, and foresting. * Appointed John Negroponte - an un-indicted high level Iran Contra figure - to the post of United Nations ambassador. * Abandoned a campaign pledge to invest $100 million for rain forest conservation. * Reduced by 86% the Community Access Program for public hospitals, clinics and providers of care for people without insurance. * Rescinded a proposal to increase public access to information about the potential consequences resulting from chemical plant accidents. * Suspended rules that would require hardrock miners to clean up sites on Western public lands. * Cut $60 million from a Boy's and Girl's Clubs of America program for public housing. * Proposed to eliminate a federal program designed to help communities (and successfully used in Seattle) prepare for natural disasters. * Pulled out of the 1997 Kyoto Treaty global warming agreement. * Cut $200 million of work force training for dislocated workers. * Eliminated funding for the Wetlands Reserve Program, which encourages farmers to maintain wetlands habitat on their property. * Cut program to provide childcare to low-income families as they move from welfare to work. * Cut a program that provided prescription contraceptive coverage to federal employees (though it still pays for Viagra). * Cut $700 million in capital funds for repairs in public housing. * Appointed Otto Reich - an un-indicted high level Iran Contra figure-to Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs. * Cut Environmental Protection Agency budget by $500 million. * Proposed to curtail the ability of groups to sue in order to get an animal placed on the Endangered Species List. * Rescinded rule that mandated increased energy-saving efficiency regulations for central air conditioners and heat pumps. * Repealed workplace ergonomic rules designed to improve worker health and safety. * Abandoned campaign pledge to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2), the waste gas that contributes to global warming. * Banned federal aid to international family planning programs that offer abortion counselling with other independent funds. * Closed White House Office for Women's Health Initiatives and Outreach. * Nominated David Lauriski - ex-mining company executive-to post of Assistant Secretary of Labour for Mine Safety and Health. * O.K.'d Interior Secretary Gale Norton to go forth with a controversial plan to auction oil and gas development tracts off the coast eastern of Florida. * Announced intention to open up Montana's Lewis and Clark National Forest to oil and drilling. * Proposes to re-draw boundaries of nation's monuments, which would technically allow oil and gas drilling "outside" of national monuments. * Gutted White House AIDS Office. * Renegotiating free trade agreement with Jordan to eliminate safeguards for the environment and workers' rights. * Will no longer seek guidance from The American Bar Association in recommendations for the federal judiciary appointments. * Appointed recycling foe Lynn Scarlett as Undersecretary of the Interior. * Took steps to abolish the White House Council on Environmental Quality. * Cut the Community Oriented Policing Services program. * Allowed Interior Secretary Gale Norton to shelve citizen-led grizzly bear re-introduction plan scheduled for Idaho and Montana wilderness. * Continues to hold up federal funding for stem cell research projects. * Makes sure convicted misdemeanor drug users cannot get financial aid for college, though convicted murderers can. * Refused to fund continued cleanup of uranium-slag heap in Utah. * Refused to fund continued litigation of the government's tobacco company lawsuit. * Proposed a $2 trillion tax cut, of which 43% will go to the wealthiest 1% of Americans. * Signed a bill making it harder for poor and middle-class Americans to file for bankruptcy, even in the case of daunting medical bills. * Appointed a Vice President quoted as saying "If you want to do something about carbon dioxide emissions, then you ought to build nuclear power plants."Vice President Dick Cheney on "Meet the Press." * Appointed Diana "There is no gender gap in pay" Roth to the Council of Economic Advisers. Boston Globe, March 28, 2001 * Appointed Kay Cole James - an opponent of affirmative action-to direct the Office of Personnel Management. * Cut $15.7 million earmarked for states to investigate cases of child abuse and neglect. * Helped kill a law designed to make it tougher for teenagers to get credit cards. * Proposed elimination of the "Reading is Fundamental" program that gives free books to poor children. * Is pushing for development of small nuclear weapons to attack deeply buried targets-weapons, which would violate the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. * Proposes to nominate Jeffrey Sutton-attorney responsible for the recent case weakening the Americans with Disabilities Act-to federal appeals court judgeship. * Proposes to reverse regulation protecting 60 million acres of national forest from logging and road building. * Eliminated funding for the "We the People" education program which taught schoolchildren about the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and citizenship. * Appointed John Bolton - who opposes non proliferation treaties and the U.N. -to Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security. * Nominated Linda Fisher - an executive with Monsanto-for the number two job at the Environmental Protection Agency. * Nominated Michael McConnell - leading critic of the separation of church and state - to a federal judgeship. * Nominated Terrence Boyle - ardent opponent of civil rights - to a federal judgeship. * Canceled 2004 deadline for automakers to develop prototype high mileage cars. * Nominated Harvey Pitts - lawyer for teen sex video distributor-to head SEC. * Nominated John Walters - strong opponent of prison drug treatment programs - for Drug Czar. Washington Post, May 16, 2001. * Nominated J. Steven Giles - an oil and coal lobbyist - for Deputy Secretary of the Interior. * Nominated Bennett Raley - who advocates repealing the Endangered Species Act - for Assistant Secretary for Water and Science. * Is seeking the dismissal of class-action lawsuit filed in the U.S. against Japan by Asian women forced to work as sex slaves during WWII. * Earmarked $4 million in new federal grant money for HIV and drug abuse prevention programs to go only to religious groups and not secular equivalents. * Reduced by 40% the Low Income Home Assistance Program for low-income individuals who need assistance paying energy bills. * Nominated Ted Olson - who has repeatedly lied about his involvement with the Scaiffe-funded "Arkansas Project" to bring down Bill Clinton - for Solicitor General. * Nominated Terrance Boyle - foe of civil rights - to a federal judgeship. * Proposes to ease permit process - including environmental considerations - for refinery, nuclear and hydroelectric dam construction. Washington Post, May 18,2001. * Proposes to give government the authority to take private property through eminent domain for power lines. * Proposes that $1.2 billion in funding for alternative renewable energy come from selling oil and gas lease tracts in the Alaska National Wildlife Reserve. * Plans on serving genetically engineered foods at all official government functions. * Forced out Forest Service chief Mike Dombeck and appointed a timber industry lobbyist
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