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Although outbursts of lethal violence in Iraq, Israel, and Afghanistan last month continue to threaten the peace of the world, attention in the nation's capital focused on domestic concerns.
Although outbursts of lethal violence in Iraq, Israel, and Afghanistan last month continue to threaten the peace of the world, attention in the nation's capital focused on domestic concerns. Presidential primaries are not many months off, and candidates are intent on establishing a record that voters will find impressivepreferably before the July 4th congressional recess. Republicans seeking to retain the presidency and gain control of both houses of Congress are eager to pass legislation that seems friendly to families and the elderlywhich accounts for the attempts to reinstate child tax credits for working families that they had cut out of earlier tax legislation, and to include a prescription drug benefit in Medicare. All this while retaining the tax cuts President Bush boasts of and keeping the ballooning federal deficit from getting any more attention than is necessary. Making all this a reality will take a great deal of bargaining among Republican Party leaders and in conference committees, and in the days leading up to the recess the outcome was far from certain.
Although presidents have to bargain with legislators, they usually make their wishes known with greater success within administrative agencies. Recent cases in point, of particular interest to pediatricians and parents, include: