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Bush's Column About Working With the New Congress

January 3, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

President Bush released a column in the Wall Street Journal today called “What the Congress Can Do for America.”

The new Congress that convenes tomorrow will be the first one with a Democratic majority that he has dealt with during his presidency. The president has the final say in the law-making process because he has to approve all the bills that the Congress passes before they actually become laws. The big unknown right now is how willing Bush is going to be to sign Democrats’ bills into laws, and likewise how willing Congress will be to compromise in order to get their bills signed into law. In the column, Bush addresses this huge issue, but what he said is really up for interpretation:

“…if the Congress chooses to pass bills that are simply political statements, they will have chosen stalemate. If a different approach is taken, the next two years can be fruitful ones for our nation. We can show the American people that Republicans and Democrats can come together to find ways to help make America a more secure, prosperous and hopeful society.”

Gloria Borger in this CBS/AP Article thinks that President Bush is saying “if you can’t beat ’em join ’em.” She thinks that he is sincere about his willingness to compromise.

Over at the dailyKos blog the interpretation is much different. They think that by bills that are “simply political statements,” Bush means “any legislation that closes tax or regulatory loopholes for corporations, strengthens worker wages or safety, preserves middle class economic stability, ends discrimination against gays, or challenges the notion that the unitary executive can do anything the hell he likes.”

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