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U.S. Democratic Party “Putting Brakes on President Bush’s Lead”

U.S. Democratic Party “Putting Brakes on President Bush’s Lead”

Posted January. 21, 2005 22:52,   


U.S. President George W. Bush’s second term, launched on January 20 with a spectacular inauguration, is facing difficulties from the onset.

Senate confirmation is being held in check regarding key Cabinet member-designates including the secretary of state-designate, and the endorsement process is being delayed for some designated officials.

The Democratic Party, the opposition, is poised to put a brake on various policies that President Bush is pushing forward.

Delay in Appointing Cabinet Members-

Secretary of State-designate Condoleezza Rice was expected to take office on January 20, but the appointment was delayed as the confirmation vote was pushed back at the request of some Democratic Party senators.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee endorsed Rice by a 16-2 vote on January 19. However, the full Senate confirmation was delayed as Democrat Senator Robert Byrd requested additional discussions, putting the full Senate discussion on January 25 and the confirmation vote on January 26.

Because of the situation, Colin Powell, who has already stepped down from his post on January 19, will stay on as the secretary of state for the time being. This has the negative effect of subsequently delaying the appointment of the deputy secretary and under secretary.

The endorsement of Attorney General-designate Alberto Gonzales is also being delayed. Though two weeks have passed since his hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, he has yet to be endorsed.

Democratic Party Senator Edward Kennedy put the endorsement on check, saying, “Attorney General-designate Gonzales did not earnestly and consistently answer regarding the abuse of the Iraqi and Afghan prisoners,” pushing the committee’s vote until next week.

The appointment of Secretary of Homeland Security-designate Michael Chertoff is expected to be delayed a considerable time as his confirmation hearing has not yet been scheduled.

The newly-established director of national intelligence working on the reform of intelligence institutions is yet to be named.

The Opposition’s Hard-line Stance-

House of Representatives Democratic Party leader Nancy Pelosi remarked on January 20, “I personally do not wish to celebrate President Bush’s re-election,” and declared, “I will use all the authority in my hands to fight against the destructive agendas of the Republican Party.”

Senator John Kerry, who experienced defeat in the presidential elections, announced through a statement this day, “The Democratic Party should not back down from its core beliefs,” and urged the Republicans to reach a compromise with the Democrats on key issues such as the tax reform and the appointment of judges.

The Democratic Party is strongly against President Bush’s decision to once again name 20 federal judge candidates who were named but not endorsed in his first term.

It is analyzed that the Democrats’ hard-line stance is partly strategic with the consideration of the off-year election next year.

Therefore, concerns are rising that President Bush could become a lame duck at an earlier time if he fails to compromise with the opposition.

Soon-Taek Kwon maypole@donga.com