Senate Democrats

Top 5 Ways that the Bush Administration Is a Nightmare for America’s Children

As children across America go out trick or treating tonight for Halloween, the Bush Administration’s policies should scare them more than ghosts and witches. From the President’s threats to oppose crucial funding for education and juvenile justice programs to the President’s continuing opposition to a bipartisan bill that provides health care for 10 million children, this Administration gives America’s children plenty to be scared of. In the short-term, they should be scared that toys won’t be safe because the Administration has opposed strengthening the Consumer Product Safety Commission. In the long-term, America’s children will be forced to deal with the crushing debt passed on by President Bush. With this Administration, it’s clear that America’s children are getting all trick and no treat.

#5 – Bush Administration Has Threatened To Veto Funding For Juvenile Justice Programs:

President Bush Has Threatened to Veto Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations Bill Which Includes $340 Million in Funding for Juvenile Justice Programs. President Bush has threatened to veto the Senate version of the Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill. The bill includes $340 million for juvenile justice programs, including $20 million for programs under the Victims of Child Abuse Act, $10 million for programs under the Secure Our Schools Act and $10 million for gang prevention programs. [Statement of Administration Policy, 10/4/07; Committee Mark-Up of HR 3093]

#4 – Bush Administration Opposes Strengthening The Consumder Product Safety Commission:

Top Consumer Product Safety Official Opposed Efforts to Strengthen the Consumer Product Safety Commission. “The nation’s top official for consumer product safety has asked Congress in recent days to reject legislation intended to strengthen the agency, which polices thousands of consumer goods, from toys to tools. On the eve of an important Senate committee meeting to consider the legislation, Nancy A. Nord, the acting chairwoman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, has asked lawmakers in two letters not to approve the bulk of legislation that would increase the agency’s authority, double its budget and sharply increase its dwindling staff.” [New York Times, 10/30/07]

  • White House Agreed With Efforts to Oppose Legislation to Beef Up Consumer Product Safety Commission. “Tony Fratto, a White House spokesman, said that Ms. Nord had not coordinated her effort to kill the legislation with the White House. But he said that the administration shared many of her concerns and that Allan Hubbard, President Bush’s top economic adviser at the White House, was preparing to send a letter to Congress ‘that is probably even more forceful than Ms. Nord’s.’” [New York Times, 10/30/07]  

Millions of Toys Have Been Recalled This Year Due to Safety Concerns. Mattel and other major toy manufacturers have recalled millions of toys this year, particularly over concerns about the use of lead paint. [USA Today, 8/3/07; Chicago Tribune, 9/5/07; 9/27/07]

#3 – Bush Administration Has Threatened To Veto Funding For Education, Head Start:

President Bush Has Threatened to Veto Crucial Funding for Head Start and Other Education Programs. President Bush has threatened to veto the Senate version of the Labor-Health and Human Services-Education appropriations bill. The Senate bill provides a $200 million increase for Head Start, the early childhood education program, up 2.9 percent from 2007. The bill provides more than $13.9 billion for Title I grants to local education agencies, an increase of more than $1 billion over the 2007 level, and $500 million for school improvement grants, an increase of $375 million over the 2007 level. The Senate bill increases funding for the Pell Grant program, raising the maximum Pell Grant award to $4,800. The Senate bill provides $12.3 billion for special education programs, $528 million more than last year, and $845 million more than the President’s budget request.  [Statement of Administration Policy, 10/17/07; Senate Appropriations Committee, 6/21/07; Democratic Policy Committee: S. 1710, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, 2008]

#2 – Bush Administration Has Saddled Our Children With Massive Debt:

President Bush Increased Debt by More Than $3 Trillion. In 2001, the national debt was $5.8 billion. On President Bush’s watch, the national debt has now increased to about $9 trillion – an increase of more than $3 trillion in just seven years.  Total debt now amounts to about $30,000 for every man woman and child in the United States. [US Department of the Treasury]  

  • President Bush and the Republican Congress Doubled Foreign-Held Debt. President Bush and the Republican Congress have doubled our foreign debt to more than $2 trillion. It took 42 presidents 224 years to build up the same level of foreign debt. [Senate Budget Committee] 

#1 – President Bush Has No Intention Of Signining Bipartisan Children’s Health Insurance Bill:

President Bush Vetoed Original Children’s Health Insurance Bill. “President Bush vetoed the children’s health insurance bill today, as he had promised to do, setting the stage for more negotiations between the White House and Congress and sparking unusual dismay from some prominent Republicans.” [New York Times, 10/3/07]

President Bush Threatened Veto of Revised Children’s Health Insurance Bill. After vetoing the original Children’s Health Insurance bill, the President threatened to veto the revised bill because he the OMB claimed it did not address the President’s concerns. “Because H.R. 3963 has not addressed in a meaningful way the objections that caused the President to veto H.R. 976, the President will veto this legislation if it is presented to him without significant changes.” [Statement of Administration Policy, 10/25/07]

  • Congress Took Up a New Children’s Health Insurance Bill That Answered Republican Concerns About the Legislation.  “The new version will underscore that illegal immigrants will not have access to the expanded program. It will ease adults off the program in one year, rather than the two in the vetoed version. And it establishes a firmer eligibility cap at 300 percent of the federal poverty line, just more than $60,000 for a family of four…The new bill seeks to allay concerns laid out by 38 Republicans seeking to vote for the next version…To answer criticism that the bill would encourage families with private health insurance onto government-funded health care, the new version adds performance bonuses for states that provide funding to employed parents to cover the additional cost of enrolling their children in their existing private policies.” [Washington Post, 10/25/07]