AMERICA CAN DO BETTER
Democrats are Focused on the American People’s Priorities
while Republicans Try to Distract from Their Failures.
Democratic Priorities Republican Failures
ENERGY Democrats are committed to achieving energy Under the Bush Administration,
independence from the Middle East in the next America’s dependence on foreign oil has
INDEPENDENCE 10 years. The comprehensive Democratic actually increased from 56 % to 65 %, and
proposal would double the percentage of gas prices have more than doubled since
renewable fuels sold in America in six years, 2001. Republicans’ response has been tax
increase the percentage of “flex-fuel” vehicles breaks, subsidies, and handouts for big oil
that run on ethanol or gasoline, invest in companies, rather than investing in
biofuel research, and provide federal incentives renewable resources.
to build biofuels distribution infrastructure
and develop more smaller ethanol and biofuel
plants distributed around the country.
Democrats’ “Real Security Agenda” ensures a President Bush and Congressional
NATIONAL state-of-the-art 21st century military, targets Republicans received 5 “F’s”, 12 “D’s”, and
SECURITY terrorists and thwarts the spread of weapons of 2 “Incompletes” from the bipartisan 9/11
AND HOMELAND mass destruction, immediately implements the Commission for poor progress in terrorism
recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, prevention and readiness. Republicans
SECURITY screens 100% of incoming cargo, provides first rejected a Democratic proposal for 100%
responders with vital equipment, protects scanning of incoming cargo. Furthermore,
Americans from biological terrorism and Bush and Republicans have consistently
pandemics, ensures that 2006 will be a year of underfunded the Cooperative Threat
significant transition in Iraq, and achieves Reduction Program, the nation’s key
energy independence for America. program to collect dangerous nuclear
MINIMUM WAGE Democrats continue to fight to raise the Republicans refuse to raise the minimum
minimum wage to a fair, livable level that wage – even while touting an “ownership
would allow millions of American workers to be society” that minimum wage workers
more active participants in the economy. could never even hope to be a part of. The
Democratic legislation would increase the minimum wage is now at its lowest value
minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25. The in 50 years.
minimum wage was last raised in 1997.
FISCAL Democrats continue to propose fiscally Since 2001, Republicans have raised the
responsible budgets that incorporate the pay- debt limit 4 times to nearly $9 trillion –
RESPONSIBILITY as-you-go (PAYGO) policies that led to record an increase of $3 trillion. In addition,
surpluses in the 1990s. The FY07 Democratic House Republicans also have voted to
budget would have balanced the budget by increase the debt limit by another $653
2012. Democrats would prohibit the billion. Republicans have turned the $5.6
reconciliation process from being used to trillion surplus inherited from Clinton
increase the deficit. into a projected deficit of $4 trillion.
Democrats strongly support reforming Republicans abandoned tax reform after
America’s complicated and confusing tax code. their tax-reform panel’s recommendations
TAX REFORM Real reform must follow several principles: 1) were poorly received. Since Bush took
it must not increase taxes for middle class office, the tax code has increased by
families and working Americans, 2) it must 20,000 pages. Republicans have tilted the
make the tax code simpler, 3) it must make the tax code in favor of the wealthy over the
tax code fairer, so that ordinary Americans middle class. Under the GOP’s latest
have faith in the system and give the middle misguided tax bill, a family making
class and small businesses a level playing field, $40,000 to $50,000 would receive a $46
and 4) it must not increase the deficit. tax cut – compared to $42,000 for people
making more than $1 million.
Prepared by the Office of the Democratic Whip
Democrats’ “GI Bill of Rights for the 21st Over five years, the Republicans’ budgets
Century” makes health care accessible and have shortchanged VA health care by at
affordable for our veterans, ends the disabled least $6 billion. In addition, they have
veterans’ tax, reduces waiting times on voted to nearly double TRICARE
VETERANS disability claims, ends the Military Families pharmacy co-payments, failed to quickly
Tax and increases survivor benefits for families and fully end the tax on disabled
with children, improves pay for senior enlisted veterans and the Military Families’ Tax,
personnel and warrant officers, provides a and voted against TRICARE for Reserves
bonus for those serving in Iraq and and to protect the pay of activated
Afghanistan, strengthens the GI Bill Education Reservists. In his budgets, President
and Job Training Programs, helps homeless and Bush has consistently doubled drug co-
injured veterans, and improves benefits for our payments and imposed new enrollment
National Guard/Reservists. fees.
Democrats’ “Innovation Agenda” would foster a Despite Republicans’ talk about their
INNOVATION “Competitiveness Initiative,” President
new generation of innovators, provide a
sustained commitment to research and Bush only proposes $380 million for new
development, make affordable broadband funding for math and science instruction.
accessible to all Americans within five years, At the same time, Bush’s FY07 budget
achieve energy independence in 10 years, and cuts education funding by $1.5 billion,
promote a competitive small business including elimination of key programs
environment for innovation. such as Education Technology and Gifted
and Talented education.
A major focus of Democrats’ “Innovation President Bush’s FY07 budget proposal
EDUCATION Agenda” is sustaining America’s edge in cuts education funding and underfunds
science, technology, engineering and math. No Child Left Behind by $15.4 billion. In
Democrats’ “10,000 Teachers, 10 Million addition to terminating 42 education
Minds” proposal seeks to aggressively recruit programs, Bush proposed freezing the
and increase the number of math and science maximum Pell Grant for the fifth year in
teachers in schools. Democrats’ FY07 budget a row and eliminating programs to help
alternative rejects misguided Republican cuts disadvantaged students go to college.
and helps make college more affordable by
cutting student loan interest rates.
Democrats have been fighting for a stronger A typical family pays $3,000 a year more
Medicare prescription drug benefit that would for health insurance and there are 6
HEALTH CARE allow seniors more time to make crucial million more uninsured since 2000. The
decisions and allow the government to negotiate Republican response to the health care
lower drug costs. Democrats also have proposals crisis has been: 1) a prescription drug bill
to give small businesses, working families, and that is too confusing for many seniors to
early retirees access to affordable, quality navigate and that slaps a lifetime tax
health care, such as the Small Business Health penalty on many seniors, and 2) Health
Insurance Promotion Act, which creates Savings Accounts that would undermine
affordable insurance pools for small employers traditional health insurance, do little to
and self-employed workers. lower costs and largely benefit the
healthy and wealthy.
Democrats’ “Honest Leadership, Open House Republicans passed a sham
Government” proposal would close the revolving lobbying reform bill that leading editorial
HONEST door between Congress and lobbying firms, boards called a “joke,” and an
LEADERSHIP toughen public disclosure of lobbyist activity, “outrageous substitute for needed
ban lobbyist gifts and travel, shut down pay-to- reform” and that did nothing to end the
play schemes like the “K Street Project,” force GOP’s Culture of Corruption. House and
lawmakers to disclose outside job negotiations, Senate Republicans have failed to move
prohibit “dead of night” special interest forward on a conference report.
provisions, restore accountability to the federal Republicans’ real goal is to simply
contracting process, and prohibit cronyism in provide themselves cover for the
key appointments. November mid-term elections.
Prepared by the Office of the Democratic Whip