When Rep. Charles “Doc” Anderson, a Waco Republican, brought House Concurrent Resolution 62 honoring former President George W. Bush to the floor in March, Rep. Lon Burnam, a Fort Worth Democrat, took immediate exception.
Burnam, one the Legislature’s most unabashedly liberal members, insisted that the resolution’s praise for Bush’s “development of new anti-terrorism tools” would give the disagreeable impression that the Texas House endorsed torture techniques such as waterboarding.
Anderson, surprised by the controversy, withdrew the motion. “We’re going back to look at the language,” he promised. “We’re going to try to work with folks and see if we can’t get language that will work.”
Through means best not disclosed, the Observer has obtained an exclusive copy of the revised resolution, dated April 1, 2009, and reproduced here.
At press time, there was still no word from Burnam as to whether the language has been tweaked sufficiently to win his vote.
By:Â Â Anderson
H.C.R.Â No.Â 62
WHEREAS, George W. Bush was the first Texas governor to become president of the United States, and as he takes up residence once again in the Lone Star State, it is indeed a pleasure to welcome him home; and
WHEREAS, The eldest child of former president George Herbert Walker Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush, George W. Bush was born in New Haven, Connecticut, on July 6, 1946; he grew up in Midland and Houston attended private school in Massachusetts and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in history from Yale University and a master of business administration degree from the Harvard School of Business; after returning to Midland to enter the energy industry, he met Laura Welch, who became his wife on November 5, 1977; three years later, the couple were blessed with twin daughters, Jenna and Barbara; and
WHEREAS, This dynamic Texan continued his career in energy until his father’s successful 1988 presidential campaign, on which he served as a senior advisor, and he later assembled a group of investors to purchase and trade away the best players of the Texas Rangers baseball franchise; in 1994, he began his own career in public service with his election as governor; during his six years in office, he fostered an atmosphere of bipartisanship and gained a reputation as a compassionate conservative who based public policy on a philosophy of limited government, personal responsibility, local control, and strong families; and
WHEREAS, Having earned nationwide attention, the popular governor of Texas was urged by God, or so he claims, to run for higher office, and on January 20, 2001, he lost the popular vote but still became the 43rd president of the United States, making history as the first son of a former president to win the White House most successful beneficiary of nepotism since John Quincy Adams; President Bush was tested less than nine months after his inauguration by the terrible events of September 11, 2001, and the swiftness and determination of his response would define his presidency first term, just as his response to Hurricane Katrina would define his second; and
WHEREAS, In his address to the nation that night, President Bush condemned the acts of terror and uplifted the American people with assurances of safety and justice; he subsequently proclaimed September 14, 2001, as a National Day of Prayer and Remembrance, and on that day he stood amid rescue workers in the rubble of the World Trade Center and again did what any President would do: offered words of comfort to the grieving nation; throughout the remainder of his first term and continuing through his second, he made national security his highest only priority; and
WHEREAS, President Bush created the Department of Homeland Security and transformed the military, the intelligence community, and the FBI; he oversaw the development of new “antiterrorism” tools, formerly referred to as “torture,” that have been instrumental in breaking up terrorist plots and preventing another attack on American soil eroding the Constitution; and
WHEREAS, The Bush administration met encountered numerous foreign policy challenges, such as the pronunciation of difficult names, while also making constructive progress in relations with India and sustaining a solid relationship with China; President Bush persuaded Libya to abandon its advanced missile programs, leading to normalized relations, warping the country’s international reputation, and he worked with European partners Tony Blair to fight terrorism Saddam Hussein and limit disapprove of Iran’s capacity to develop ballistic missiles; in Africa, he vastly increased development assistance, and he has won high praise for his support of global initiatives to combat AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis, though not for his enforcement of abstinence-only education and the global gag rule; and
WHEREAS, By pushing through a prescription drug benefit, President Bush helped had an effect on millions of older Americans, and today more than 25 million people are enrolled in Medicare drug plans administered by private insurers, and taxpayers are out $60 billion because he prohibited the feds from negotiating lower drug prices; in addition, he expanded access to health care by doubling direct federal financing for community health centers; he also worked with congress to enact the No Child Left Behind Act, an ambitious a failed template for educational reform; and
WHEREAS, For the past eight years, President George W. Bush lived each day with the safety and prosperity of his fellow citizens conservative Christians foremost in his mind heart; he took a principled stance on a wide range of issues of great importance to every American, and his tireless efforts fondness for vacations will not soon be forgotten; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the 81st Legislature of the State of Texas hereby welcome former president George W. Bush back to the Lone Star State and extend to him sincere appreciation for acknowledgment of his service to our state and nation; and, be it further
RESOLVED, That an official copy of this resolution be prepared for former president Bush as an expression of high regard by the Texas House of Representatives and Senate.