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Democrats urge bipartisan solutions to security woes

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Democrats and Republicans must work together, not only on national security issues but also on restoring "America's economic vitality," Rep. Martin Frost, D-Texas, said Saturday.

"Democrats and Republicans are working together on bipartisan, counterterrorism measures to ensure our military, law enforcement and intelligence officials have the tools they need to protect all Americans," Frost said. "And when the president is ready to strike against the terrorists, he will have full bipartisan support."

Speaking in the Democrats' weekly radio address, Frost said, "We need to invest in public health, in the hospitals and emergency officials who are on the front lines of homeland security. And we need to provide airports with professionally trained, well-paid, federal security personnel. The federal government must take responsibility for security at America's airports.

"Democrats are working for a bipartisan economic package, one that is balanced between tax cuts and investments in priorities like public health and aviation security," he said. But he said any proposals must not jeopardize long-term economic health or endanger Social Security and Medicare programs.

"And it must provide an immediate boost to the economy, create jobs and help laid-off workers with health care and unemployment insurance," said Frost, chairman of the Democratic Caucus in the House.

Frost criticized some congressional Republicans, who he said have been pressuring President Bush to fund tax breaks for big corporations and wealthy individuals, instead of targeting more funds for airport security and public health.

In addition, he said, Americans who lose their jobs should get full unemployment insurance and affordable health insurance. "It's not just the right thing to do, it's one of the most important steps we can take to stimulate the economy," Frost said.

Democrats also support a tax cut for American families who did not receive a tax rebate check earlier this year. Frost said tax relief timed to coincide with the holiday shopping season could give the economy a shot in the arm.


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