An Expanded Bush Second Term Agenda?
During his November 4th press conference, President Bush offered few surprises in highlighting his aggressive second term agenda. Aside from potentially radical (and staggeringly regressive) tax reform, there was little new about Social Security privatization, caps on malpractice awards, and holding the line in Iraq.
Rumors abound, however, that Bush's stalwart GOP allies in Congress have even more dramatic plans for spending the political capital W "earned" during the campaign. Put on the backburner prior to the election, several new pieces of legislation may come to the forefront during the next session of Congress. These are said to include:
Sponsored by Illinois Representative Henry Hyde, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2005, or UVVA II, would extend the original law signed by President Bush in April. UVVA II calls for allowing fetuses to carry concealed weapons. Based in large measure on weapons laws enacted by then Governor Bush in Texas, Hyde's measure would enable the fetus to "pack heat" in a broad range of public venues, such as amusement parks and churches, in addition to the womb. Influenced heavily by the Laci Peterson murder, the measure would have ensured that "Scott tasted hot lead." "Our goal", Hyde notes, "is to let innocent human life protect itself."
Introduced in the Senate by co-sponsors Rick Santorum (PA) and John Cornyn (TX), the Wildlife Protection Act would make it a Federal crime to "advocate, portray, or otherwise describe acts of sex and/or marriage between a man and a dog or box turtle." The WPA would also extend the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act by enshrining in law that no state need recognize another state's marriage of a person and "a mammal, fish, bird, reptile, amphibian, marsupial, or other land, sea, or air-based life form currently existent or yet to be discovered or imagined."
Sponsored by former residential and business exterminator Tom Delay, the EGRA would once again legalize the pesticide DDT for commercial and personal use. The legislation has been stuck in committee, where Delay's GOP colleagues have blocked his amendment seeking the legalization of Zyklon B for "Biblical worldview" research.
Championed by the White House, the DRA would enable the Federal government to increase revenue by taxing all foreigners living abroad.
Co-sponsored by Trent Lott (R-MS) and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, the Strom Thurmond Act would bar Federal funds to any state not displaying both the Confederate flag and the Ten Commandments at all public buildings, facilities and property. STALCA also includes the "Big House" credit offered by Lott, which makes tax deductible all child care payments made to the illegitimate offspring of a taxpayer's domestic servants.