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President Names First Director of National Intelligence
Yesterday the President announced the nomination of John Negroponte, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, to be the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). The 9/11 Commission recommended that the management of the nation's intelligence agencies be consolidated, and a strong DNI, with the power to set budgets and determine priorities, be established. Although the final version of the 9/11 intelligence reform bill did not give the DNI all of the power envisioned by the Commission, Ambassador Negroponte will have a clear responsibility to ensure that the intelligence provided to decision makers and military commanders is timely, reliable, and free from political influence.
Learn more about the 9/11 intelligence reform bill.
Kyoto Protocol: Global Community Acts to Curb Global Warming, United States Sits Out
This week, as the Kyoto Protocol goes into effect, the world will take a significant and long-awaited first step toward curbing global warming. But among the 141 participants, there is one glaring absence - the United States. This Administration has repeatedly defied critical environmental commitments and international cooperation, and its rejection of the Kyoto Protocol is an embarrassing display of both. Despite the overwhelming evidence of global warming, the Bush Administration has ignored the threat and failed to take any meaningful steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. While the President and Republican leadership in Congress dismiss the threat of global warming, many Americans are ready to take up the challenge. We have a responsibility to our children to address this issue today, rather than simply pass it on to future generations.
Read Leader Pelosi's statement
Learn more about the Administration's record on the environment
Congressional Democrats Join Americans to Tell Their Social Security Stories
For almost 70 years, the Social Security program has provided Americans with a critical safety net that has kept millions out of poverty. But now with this guaranteed benefit threatened by the President's privatization proposal
that will add trillions of dollars to the deficit, Members of Congress and people across the country are speaking out and telling their stories about the critical assistance that Social Security provided during difficult times in their lives. Their stories, and those of millions of Americans like them, are part of why Democrats are fighting to see Social Security strengthened, not destroyed. Click here to read their stories
Record Trade Deficits Continue
"I am tired of watching ships arrive at the Port of Baltimore filled with cargo for U.S. consumers and then leave empty. We cannot allow a trade deficit of this magnitude to continue; it is causing irreparable harm to American workers, farmers and businesses and it is jeopardizing our economic future."
- Rep. Benjamin Cardin (D-MD)
Last week, the Commerce Department reported that the trade deficit for 2004 was the largest on record, a high of $617.7 billion - a sharp jump of 24.4 percent over the 2003 record of $496.5 billion. The U.S. deficit with China also set a record of $162 billion, up 30.5 percent from last year and the largest imbalance ever recorded with a single country. The trade deficit now accounts for more than 5 percent of the entire U.S. economy - forcing down the value of the U.S. dollar and increasing the amount of debt held overseas. These numbers are a reflection of the damage done to the American manufacturing industry by the President's policies. Other traditionally strong sectors of the U.S. economy - service industries, technology, and even agriculture - have also suffered. House Democrats want fair trade policies that keep jobs here and provide opportunities for America's working families, farmers and small business owners.
Democrats Want Trade Policies That Work