Bush Talks Health Care, Domestic Policy With Dems
President Bush on Saturday spoke at the annual House Democratic retreat for the first time since 2001 to promote his health care and other domestic policy proposals, the Washington Post reports (Abramowitz/Kane, Washington Post, 2/4).
In a speech to 175 House Democrats, Bush said that lawmakers must address the increased costs of Medicare and Social Security to ensure the long-term financial stability of the programs. Bush also "urged bipartisan action on a host of issues," such as health care, that "could determine the success or failure of his last two years in the White House," the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Epstein, San Francisco Chronicle, 2/4).
According to the New York Times, the "political reality ... requires Mr. Bush to work with Democrats in the final two years of his presidency if he wants his legacy to include legislation like overhauling the nation's immigration and health care systems."
During the speech, Bush said, "I'm looking forward to working with you," adding, "We're going to do big things together" (Zeleny, New York Times, 2/4).
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she was "encouraged" by the speech, adding, "The choice is bipartisanship or stalemate" (Washington Post, 2/4).