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President Bush's second-term agenda would expand not only the size of the federal government but also its influence over the lives of millions of Americans by imposing new national restrictions on high schools, court cases and marriages.
In a clear break from Republican campaigns of the 1990s to downsize government and devolve power to the states, Bush is fostering what amounts to an era of new federalism in which the national government shapes, not shrinks, programs and institutions to comport with various conservative ideals, according to Republicans inside and outside the White House.
Bush is calling for new federal accountability and testing requirements for all public high schools, after imposing similar mandates on grades three through eight during his first term. To limit lawsuits against businesses and professionals, he is proposing to put a federal cap on damage awards for medical malpractice, to force class-action cases into federal courts and to help create a national settlement of outstanding asbestos-related cases.
Abortions are up during Bush's term. Divorces are up during Bush's term. And, thanks to abstinence-only education, it looks like teen sex is also up during Bush's term.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush (news - web sites)'s proposed spending cuts drew worried criticism on Tuesday from the Republican heads of congressional budget committees, and key party members said his priorities were not binding.