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The Bush agenda

The New York Times front-pages that Bush, in a recent executive order, directed each federal agency to have a regulatory policy office headed by a political appointee.  "The White House will thus have a gatekeeper in each agency to analyze the costs and the benefits of new rules and to make sure the agencies carry out the president's priorities."  More: "This strengthens the hand of the White House in shaping rules that have, in the past, often been generated by civil servants and scientific experts.  It suggests that the administration still has ways to exert its power after the takeover of Congress by the Democrats." 

The AP previews Bush's stop at Caterpillar today, saying he'll tout the company as an example "of how his administration's trade agreements and tax breaks can boost global sales and create jobs for U.S. workers…  Others, though, say Caterpillar itself is behind a global sales surge that helped the heavy equipment maker post record profits and revenues for three straight years, creating about 5,000 jobs at its U.S. plants in Illinois, Colorado, Pennsylvania and Tennessee." 

While both are taking steps to tackle the huge issue of the uninsured, the Los Angeles Times says that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's agenda may conflict with Bush's.  "Schwarzenegger wants $3.7 billion a year in new federal funding to cover a big chunk of his healthcare plan for Californians...  The cost of helping states fund their health plans has already attracted the attention of budget cutters because it is complicating President Bush's stated goal of balancing the federal budget in five years.  In his new budget,... Bush is expected to call for a substantial slowdown in federal healthcare spending.  Some of the cuts Bush proposes could affect programs Schwarzenegger is counting on to help pay for his plan."