- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 1, 2005

White House Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. yesterday outlined the administration’s second-term agenda and said President Bush is “actually producing a lot of positive momentum for Congress to consider” his legislative proposals despite Democratic opposition.

“There are always frustrations in the legislative process, but I have seen a will to get things done from the House and the Senate,” Mr. Card said.

Citing proposed House legislation to fix Social Security, Mr. Card said there is a “positive indication” Congress will act this session.

“Congress has already passed some important legal reforms. They passed bankruptcy reform. They passed energy bills in the House, and they’ll be getting an energy bill passed in the Senate, and I think there will be one coming to the president’s desk. He wants it there by the end of the summer,” Mr. Card told “Fox News Sunday.”

Mr. Card rejected a proposal to reduce the speed limit in some states and return to a nationwide 55 mph policy as a fuel conservation measure.

“The simple suggestions that government can just mandate changes in behavior are not realistic,” Mr. Card told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“I think the regions of this country vary so much. … Maybe Rhode Island wants to consider changing speed limits. But I think in Montana, in Texas, I don’t think that going back to those kinds of solutions are the best thing to do,” Mr. Card said.

The Bush administration has increased fuel standards for sport utility vehicles, and Mr. Bush supports hydrogen-fueled vehicles and a policy recognizing new technology to conserve oil.

Asked by “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace whether Democrats are cooperating with the White House agenda, Mr. Card said: “Well, we’d like to see more cooperation from the Democrats.”

“We have some serious problems in this country that must be addressed. We’d like to see the Democrats be part of the solution rather than just carp about the problem,” Mr. Card said. “There are problems and we’ve got to work to solve those problems, and the Democrats should be constructive in their criticisms and come to the table and start to work to get things done.”

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay is essential to the Bush administration’s passing its agenda, Mr. Card said, adding that the ethics charges against the Texas Republican are without merit.

“He’s been a strong leader for this president,” Mr. Card said. “He’s been very productive in getting things done.”

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