Interest Groups Eye Bush Victory With Agendas in Mind

Susan Jones | Morning Editor | Thursday, November 4, 2004

Interest Groups Eye Bush Victory With Agendas in Mind

( - Interest groups offering their congratulations to President Bush also want him know what they expect from his second term.

The pet projects cover a wide range of topics, as noted below:

Pro-Life/Supreme Court

-- The Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition says his group plans a major campaign to mobilize thousands of people to advance "a pro-life, pro-family and religious freedom agenda."

The group said its first effort will focus on the nomination of a pro-life Supreme Court Justice.

-- Operation Rescue, another pro-life group, urged President Bush to "take immediate and aggressive action to stop the shedding of innocent blood through abortion in our nation." The group said President Bush "owes the pro-life movement a huge debt," since pro-life voters helped re-elect him.

"Please move forward aggressively to appoint pro-life federal judges, and when the time comes, appoint Supreme Court Justices that will strike down the scourge of Roe v. Wade," said Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue.

-- Dr. D. James Kennedy, president of Coral Ridge Ministries, said voters have delivered a moral mandate: "Now that values voters have delivered for George Bush, he must deliver for their values," he said.

"The defense of innocent unborn human life, the protection of marriage, and the nomination and confirmation of federal judges who will interpret the Constitution, not make law from the bench, must be first priorities, come January."

Social, financial security

-- The National Center for Policy Analysis, a conservative think tank, has its eye on Social Security reform.

"This campaign proves that Social Security is fast losing its position as the 'third rail' of American politics," said NCPA policy analyst Matt Moore. "With Bush's re-election and several key victories in Congress, saving Social Security for future generations appears to be on the front burner." The group supports President Bush's call for younger workers to invest some of their SS payroll taxes in personal savings accounts.

-- The American Benefits Council views the election results as a mandate on national security, not on health or retirement security.

Nevertheless, the group said it sees an opportunity "to better ensure Americans' sense of personal financial security."

The challenges for America's private and public health and retirement systems are enormous, the American Benefits Council said. "It is essential that the President and Democrats and Republicans in Congress find common ground on policies that will ensure health and retirement security."

-- The American Council of Life Insurers issued a statement saying that "decisions made over the next few years could affect Americans' lives for many years to come.

One issue President Bush and the administration will have to deal with in the second administration is our nation's growing retirement security crisis," which stems from the fact that Americans are living longer and not saving enough.

"We are eager to work with the president on these and other important topics that will boost Americans' financial and retirement security as well as our nation's economic strength," the group said.


The National Wildlife Federation said it looks forward to working with President Bush and his administration "to address the pressing wildlife and conservation challenges facing the nation."

The group said the test will come quickly: "Will President Bush endorse the McCain-Lieberman bill to reduced global warming pollution and adopt a more balanced energy plan that protects the nation's most cherished wild landscapes like Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Wyoming's Red Desert and New Mexico's Otero Mesa?

"Will he fully enforce Clean Water Act wetlands protections and abandon the current policy that ends those protections for up to 20 million wetland acres? Will he strengthen the current proposal to reduce mercury emissions so that all Americans, including anglers and pregnant mothers, can safely consume fish from the nation's lakes, river and streams? Will he put real money into cleaning up and restoring the great waters of our country?"

The National Wildlife Federation said it "remains optimistic that much good can be accomplished in the next four years."

Domestic agenda

The National League of Cities is calling on President Bush to "work with them to achieve a domestic agenda that ensures access to the fundamentals of American life for everyone -- a safe affordable home, a good education, financial security, and a bright future."

The American Legion says it will press the new Senate for a flag protection amendment protecting the American flag from physical desecration.

Medical liability reform

The American Medical Association said it look forward to continuing to work with President Bush in the months and years ahead to address critical health issues, including medical liability reform, Medicare and covering the uninsured.

Free speech

The Christian Coalition said it will continue concentrating on pro-family legislation -- and also begin working for passage of the "Houses of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act," which ensures free speech for churches.

"Radical liberals have used every trick in the book to try and silence the church. The sleeping giant has been awakened and will refuse to be intimidated by secular fundamentalists," the Christian Coalition said in a statement.


The Anti-Defamation League, noting President Bush's "steadfast" support for Israel, said, "We look forward to his continued leadership in the tradition of bipartisan support for the Jewish State."


The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Transgender Community Center, which describes itself as the largest LGBT community center on the East Coast, says the battle for "equality" is a priority.

"Marriage, the composition of the U.S. Supreme Court, adoption rights and HIV education are just a few of the important issues that are on the line for our community," group members said in a press release.