By Associated Press
Democrats said Saturday the nation isn't as safe as it should be because the Bush administration and Republicans in Congress "have failed to back up their rhetoric with robust action."
In his party's weekly radio address, Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the second-ranking House Democrat, presented a list of national security shortcomings. He said ports, chemical and nuclear plants and mass transit systems are still vulnerable nearly five years after the September 11 attacks.
The nation also has not implemented all of the recommendations of the bipartisan September 11 commission, which recently gave the administration and Congress a report card "filled with Fs, Ds and incompletes," said Hoyer, the House minority whip.
"Today, unfortunately, our nation and our people are not as safe as they could -- and should -- be," Hoyer said. "Too often, the Bush administration and Republicans in Congress have failed to back up their rhetoric with robust action."
"The American people want and deserve a change of direction," he said.
Hoyer also faulted President Bush for cutting money in his budget for the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, and said the nation is "more dependent than ever on foreign oil."
"Anti-Americanism is growing, and President Bush has refused to hold civilian leaders in his administration accountable for their incompetence and miscalculations on Iraq," Hoyer said.
He also said the nation "can no longer ignore the dangerous deficits and exploding national debt, which has grown by $3 trillion over the last five years."
"Fiscal responsibility is a foundation for our national security," Hoyer said. "And, we cannot continue to borrow hundreds of billions of dollars every year from foreign countries such as China and Saudi Arabia."