DEMOCRATS OFFER COMMON SENSE TO CHALLENGE BUSH’S CATASTROPHIC CONSERVATISM

WASHINGTON – Campaign for America’s Future co-director Robert Borosage said today that the Democrats’ New Direction for America agenda offers voters a distinct choice on basic kitchen table concerns, in contrast to the failed policies of the Republican Congress.

“The Democrats’ agenda is a testament to the failed policies of the right,” said Borosage. “Its proposals are modest and sensible, yet they are a direct indictment of the failed policies of the current Congress. They won’t satisfy the progressive activists that are transforming Democratic politics, but they do offer a distinct choice, not an echo. The fact that Democrats could unify behind a stark challenge to the course pursued by the Hastert-DeLay majority is testament to just how extreme and wrong-headed our current course has been.”

ON EDUCATION: “Democrats would slash the interest on student loans and increase levels of Pell grants. This is in stark contrast with the Republican Congress that cut $12 billion out of the student loan fund this year, while allowing interest rates on loans to rise dramatically.”

ON HEALTH CARE: “Democrats would put the prescription drug plan back into Medicare and require Medicare to negotiate lower prices on drugs. This is a stark contrast to the DeLay Congress which, catering to the drug company lobby, actually prohibited Medicare from using its buying power to get lower prices for seniors.”

ON ENERGY: “The New Direction agenda would invest in a concerted drive for energy independence, focusing on alternative energy and energy efficiency – again a stark contrast to the Big Oil energy policies pursued by the Bush-Cheney administration.”

ON INEQUALITY: “The New Direction would at least raise the minimum wage for workers for the first time in ten years. It is simply obscene that the Republican majority, catering to its big business donors, has blocked the increase for that long while raising their own salaries.”

ON FOREIGN POLICY: “The Democrats’ agenda would finally enact the recommendations of the independent Homeland Security Commission, as opposed to the pork-driven distribution of Homeland Security funds pursued by the current Congress.”

ON IRAQ: “The Democrats – led by two of their most conservative, pro-military members in the House – Ike Skelton and John Murtha – are unified in the need to begin rapid redeployment of the troops and bring the costly occupation of Iraq to an end. This again in stark contrast with the Republican majority which has lashed itself to Bush’s debacle in Iraq.”