Bush Describes Second-Term Goals
This is Steve Ember with In the News in VOA Special English.
President Bush has discussed his plans for his next four years in office. At a news conference, the newly re-elected president spoke first of the continuing fight against terrorism.
Mr. Bush urged allies and all Americans to unite in the war on terror. He said "every civilized country" has an interest in the outcome of this war. He also said he will reach out to the European Union and NATO to support development and progress, as well as freedom and democracy.
Mr. Bush said American forces are making progress in training Iraqi troops. He said one hundred twenty-five thousand should be trained in time for elections in Iraq. Voting is planned at the end of January.
Iraq's temporary prime minister, Iyad Allawi, joined a meeting of European Union leaders in Brussels Friday. He received promises of close to forty million dollars in technical aid for the elections. The Europeans also offered other steps, including more money to protect United Nations aid workers.
Diplomats told VOA's Roger Wilkison that the European Union is trying to repair relations with the United States following the election. Almost half the members opposed the American-led invasion of Iraq.
President Bush also discussed other issues when he spoke to reporters Thursday. He promised to work to simplify American tax laws and to strengthen the Social Security system for retired workers. He said tax reform will help make sure the American economy is the most competitive in the world.
The president also called on Congress to pass an intelligence reform law. And he said he would also continue to work on education issues and supporting legal reform legislation.
Mr. Bush offered to work with his opponents. But he made clear that he has enough political support to fight for his positions. Republicans strengthened their control of Congress in the general elections Tuesday. Democrats in the Senate, however, still have enough votes to block legislation.
The president said there will be some cabinet changes, but added that he did not know who they will be. Media reports this week said Attorney General John Ashcroft is likely to resign soon.
Mr. Bush in his new term may also have to name one or more new justices of the Supreme Court. He said he would appoint judges who do not let personal opinion interfere with understanding the law. Five of the nine current members often vote as a conservative majority. They include Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who is being treated for thyroid cancer.
President Bush will be sworn-in for his second term on January twentieth. He won fifty-one percent of the popular vote. Democratic Senator John Kerry received forty-eight percent. Senator Kerry called for unity and national healing. But he said Democrats will continue to fight for issues such as job growth, health care and the environment.
In the News, in VOA Special English, was written by Cynthia Kirk. This is Steve Ember.