- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 30, 2001

CRAWFORD, Texas President Bush yesterday renewed his criticism of Senate Democrats for blocking a vote on a bill that he said would stimulate the economy and save 300,000 endangered jobs.
During his last weekly radio address of the year, Mr. Bush also said Americans "look back on 2001 with sadness and with pride. We must look forward with determination and with resolve." Speaking from his 1,600-acre ranch near Waco, the president blamed Democrats for refusing to allow a vote on a bill to resuscitate the gasping economy before Congress adjourned last week for a holiday vacation. The vote was blocked by Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle even after Republicans and the White House made major concessions to Democratic demands.
"I was disappointed by the failure of the Senate to act on my proposals to help laid-off workers and to stimulate job creation," Mr. Bush said. "I outlined these proposals in October, more than 800,000 lost jobs ago. "My ideas passed the House of Representatives. And according to the Council of Economic Advisers, they could save 300,000 endangered jobs. "But the Senate would not schedule them for a vote," he said.
"I hope that we can resolve [this] in the new year and put politics aside and get the job done for the American people." The president also called for "quick action" on other measures that have passed the GOP-controlled House but "languished in the Senate." These include his energy bill, which calls for oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, and his faith-based initiative, which would allow religious groups to help administer some federal programs for the poor.
While the House passed both these measures months ago, it granted trade promotion authority to Mr. Bush just weeks ago. The president yesterday called on the Senate, which has long been considered friendlier to the legislation, to take up the measure when Congress reconvenes late next month.
Finally, Mr. Bush asked for action on three other components of his domestic agenda. These include a patients' bill of rights and reforms of both Medicare and Social Security.
Reflecting on a tumultuous year that ends tomorrow, Mr. Bush tried to sum up the momentous events that roused a nation. He said, "2001 has been a year that Americans will always remember."
"We suffered great loss, and we found a new unity," he said. "We were attacked, and we responded swiftly. We have seen the strength of America in countless acts of kindness, compassion and courage.
"This year ends with progress on the battlefield and accomplishment at home," he said. "The men and women of our military have successfully fought a new kind of war."
Looking ahead to 2002, the president warned it will not be an easy period for Americans. "Above all, this coming year will require our sustained commitment to the war against terrorism," he said. "We cannot know how long this struggle will last. But it can end only one way in victory for America and the cause."
He noted that taxes will be lowered for Americans as they struggle with the war against terrorism. "We passed the biggest tax reduction in a generation," Mr. Bush said. "And on January 1st, the next round of tax relief takes effect. "As of January 1, the marginal tax rate for moderate-income taxpayers falls to 10 percent," he said. "Tax credits to encourage businesses to provide day care will expand. And the adoption tax credit will increase to $10,000."
Mr. Bush has proposed additional tax cuts in the economic stimulus bill that was blocked by Senate Democrats.

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