Presidency of George W. Bush
Governor of Texas
President of the United States
The presidency of George W. Bush began on January 20, 2001, at noon Eastern Standard Time, when he was inaugurated as the 43rd President of the United States of America. The oldest son of former president George Herbert Walker Bush, George W. Bush was elected president in the 2000 general election, and became the second U.S. president whose father had held the same office (John Quincy Adams was the first).
After two recounts, Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore filed a lawsuit for a third. The Supreme Court's highly controversial decision in Bush v. Gore resolved the dispute. The Florida Secretary of State certified Bush as the winner of Florida. Florida's 25 electoral votes gave Bush, the Republican candidate, 271 electoral votes, enough to defeat Al Gore. Bush was re-elected in 2004. His second term ended on January 20, 2009.
As president, Bush pushed through a $1.3 trillion tax cut program, and the No Child Left Behind Act, and also pushed for socially conservative efforts such as the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act and faith-based welfare initiatives. Nearly 8 million people immigrated to the United States in 2000 –2005; nearly half entered illegally. During his two terms, the United States lost over six million manufacturing jobs, about one third of the total at the end of the Clinton Administration.
After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Bush declared a global War on Terrorism and, in October 2001, ordered an invasion of Afghanistan to overthrow the Taliban, destroy Al-Qaeda, and to capture Osama bin Laden. In March 2003, Bush received a mandate from the U.S. Congress to lead an invasion of Iraq, asserting that Iraq was in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1441.
Bush also initiated an AIDS program that committed $15 billion to combat AIDS over five years. His record as a humanitarian included helping enroll as many as 29 million of Africa's poorest children in schools.
On his second full day in office, Bush reinstated the Mexico City Policy; this policy required any non-governmental organization receiving US Government funding to refrain from performing or promoting abortion services in other countries.
Running as a self-styled "war president" in the midst of the Iraq War, Bush won re-election in 2004, as his campaign against Senator John Kerry was successful despite controversy over Bush's prosecution of the Iraq War and his handling of the economy.
His second term was highlighted by several free trade agreements, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 alongside a strong push for offshore and domestic drilling, the nominations of Supreme Court Justices John G. Roberts and Samuel Alito, a push for Social Security and immigration reform, his administration's response to Hurricane Katrina, a surge of troops in Iraq, which was followed by a drop in violence, and several different economic initiatives aimed at preventing a banking system collapse, stopping foreclosures, and stimulating the economy during the recession.
The approval ratings of George W. Bush have, at different points in time, run the gamut from high to all-time record low. Bush began his presidency with ratings near 50%. In the time of national crisis following the September 11 attacks, polls showed approval ratings of greater than 85%, peaking in one October 2001 poll at 92%, and a steady 80–90% approval for about four months after the attacks. Afterward, his ratings steadily declined as the economy suffered and the Iraq War initiated by his administration continued. By early 2006, his average rating was near 40%, and in July 2008, a poll indicated a near all-time low of 22%. Upon leaving office the final poll recorded his approval rating as 19%, a record low for any U.S. President.
- 1 Major issues of presidency
- 2 International treaties signed
- 3 Major legislation
- 4 Administration and cabinet
- 5 International trips
- 6 First term (2001–2005)
- 7 Second term (2005–2009)
- 8 Political philosophy
- 9 Environmental record
- 10 Legacy
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 External links
Major issues of presidency
Major acts as president
Foreign Policy Actions
Economic Policy Actions
Domestic Policy Actions
State of the Union Addresses
- First inaugural address (January 20, 2001)
- Second inaugural address (January 20, 2005)
- 2001 address (not officially a State of the Union address) (February 27, 2001)
- 2002 State of the Union address (January 29, 2002)
- 2003 State of the Union address (January 28, 2003)
- 2004 State of the Union address (January 20, 2004)
- 2005 State of the Union address (February 2, 2005)
- 2006 State of the Union address (January 31, 2006)
- 2007 State of the Union address (January 23, 2007)
- 2008 State of the Union address (January 28, 2008)
International treaties signed
George W. Bush signed several international treaties, including but not limited to:
Major treaties President Bush withdrew from
- ABM Treaty (2002) – limited anti-ballistic missile (ABM) systems used in defending areas against missile-delivered nuclear weapons between the United States and the U.S.S.R.
- United Nations Population Fund (2002) – promoted the human right of "reproductive health", that is physical, mental, and social health in matters related to reproduction and the reproductive system.
President Bush vetoed 12 pieces of legislation, four of which were overturned by congress:
- July 19, 2006: Stem Cell Research Enactment Act of 2006
- May 1, 2007: H.R. 1591, U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act of 2007
- June 20, 2007: Stem Cell Research Enactment Act of 2007
- October 3, 2007: State Children's Health Insurance Program Expansion H.R. 976
- November 2, 2007: Vetoed "H.R. 1495"., Water Resources Development Act of 2007. Overridden by House, 361-54 (277 votes needed). Overridden by Senate, 79-14 (62 needed), and enacted as Pub.L. 110–114 over President's veto.
- November 13, 2007: Vetoed "H.R. 3043"., Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2008. Override attempt failed in House, 277-141 (279 votes needed).
- December 12, 2007: Vetoed "H.R. 3963"., Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2007. Override attempt failed in House, 260-152 (275 votes needed).
- December 28, 2007: Pocket Vetoed "H.R. 1585"., National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008. A later version of the bill that changed a minor provision of which the President disapproved was quickly passed by Congress ("H.R. 4986".) and was enacted with the President's approval as Pub.L. 110–181 on January 28, 2008.
- March 8, 2008: Vetoed "H.R. 2082"., Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008. Override attempt failed in House, 225-188.
- May 21, 2008: Vetoed "H.R. 2419"., 2007 U.S. Farm Bill. Overridden by House, 316-108 (283 votes needed). Overridden by Senate, 82-13 (64 votes needed). Enacted as Pub.L. 110–234 over the President's veto. Due to a clerical error, this act was repealed by Pub.L. 110–246.
- June 18, 2008: Vetoed "H.R. 6421"., 2007 U.S. Farm Bill, re-passed by Congress to correct a clerical error in HR 2419. Overridden by House, 317-109 (284 votes required). Overridden by Senate, 80-14 (63 votes needed). Enacted as Pub.L. 110–246 over the President's veto.
- July 15, 2008: Vetoed "H.R. 6331"., Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act. Overridden by House, 383-41 (283 votes required.) Overridden by Senate, 70-26 (64 votes required). Enacted as Pub.L. 110–275 over the President's veto.
Administration and cabinet
Bush's Cabinet had included figures that were prominent in past administrations, notably former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who had served as United States National Security Advisor under Ronald Reagan. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld had served as White House Chief of Staff and Secretary of Defense under Gerald Ford; Rumsfeld's successor, Robert Gates, served as Director of Central Intelligence under George H.W. Bush. Vice President Dick Cheney served as Secretary of Defense under George H. W. Bush.
Bush placed a high value on personal loyalty and, as a result, his administration had high message discipline. He maintained a "hands-off" style of management. "I'm confident in my management style. I'm a delegator because I trust the people I've asked to join the team. I'm willing to delegate. That makes it easier to be President," he said in an interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC in December 2003. Critics alleged, however, that Bush was willing to overlook mistakes made by loyal subordinates.
There was only one non-Republican in Bush's cabinet: Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta, the first Asian American cabinet secretary, who had previously served as Secretary of Commerce under Bill Clinton, is a Democrat. Mineta resigned from Bush's cabinet on July 7, 2006 to pursue "other challenges". Mary Peters, a Republican, was nominated and confirmed to succeed him as Transportation Secretary. At least one other non-Republican was apparently offered a position in the administration but declined. CNN reported that in the transition to his second term, Bush offered the positions of Ambassador to the United Nations and subsequently Secretary of Homeland Security to Senator Joe Lieberman, then a Democrat and currently an Independent Democrat.
On November 8, 2006 (the day after the Democrats took back Congress in the midterm elections), Bush announced plans to replace Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld with former CIA Director Robert Gates. Gates was confirmed by the United States Senate on December 6 and took office as the 22nd Secretary of Defense on December 18.
Bush's first Attorney General, John Ashcroft, was politically controversial, and viewed by many as incompetent. According to the sworn testimony of two FBI agents interviewed by the 9/11 Commission, Ashcroft ignored warnings of an imminent al-Qaida attack. Ashcroft resigned days after Bush's 2004 re-election. Bush's second Attorney General was Alberto Gonzales. In addition to his work on providing guidelines for detainee interrogation methods prior to his appointment, he claimed there was no right to Habeas Corpus for detained combatants. Michael Mukasey succeeded Gonzales and was the country's 81st Attorney General.
Bush's first nomination for Secretary of Labor was Linda Chavez. This nomination came under attack when evidence came to light that she had given money to an illegal immigrant from Guatemala who lived in her home. Chavez claimed that the woman was not an employee and she had merely provided her with emergency assistance due to the domestic abuse the woman had been facing at the time. Chavez's nomination was withdrawn. Instead, Bush nominated Elaine Chao, a former official with the administrations with Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, who was confirmed by the Senate. Chao was the only member of Bush's Cabinet to serve during Bush's entire tenure as President.
Bush's first Secretary of Energy, Spencer Abraham, was controversial at the time of his 2001 appointment because as a senator he co-sponsored S.896, a bill to abolish the United States Department of Energy, in 1999. Samuel Wright Bodman III, Sc.D. replaced Abraham as United States Secretary of Energy in 2005 and remained in this position until January 2009. Bodman was previously Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Treasury.
When Tom Ridge announced his decision to resign as Secretary of Homeland Security, Bush's first choice to replace him was Bernard Kerik, who served as Police Commissioner of the City of New York during the September 11, 2001 attacks. Kerik's nomination raised controversy when it was discovered that he had previously hired an undocumented worker as a nanny and housekeeper. After a week, Kerik pulled his nomination and Bush went on to nominate Michael Chertoff.
Advisors and other officials
- Deputy Secretary of Defense – Paul Wolfowitz (2001–2005), Gordon R. England (2005–2009)
- CIA Director – George Tenet (2001–2004), John E. McLaughlin (acting, 2004), Porter J. Goss (2004–2006), Michael Hayden (2006–2009)
- FBI Director – Louis Freeh (2001), Thomas J. Pickard (acting, 2001), Robert S. Mueller (2001–2009)
- NASA Administrator – Sean O'Keefe (2001–2005), Michael D. Griffin (2005–2009)
- FAA Administrator – Marion Blakey (2002–2007), Robert A. Sturgell (acting) (2007–2009)
- FDA commissioner – Mark McClellan (2002–2004), Lester Crawford (2005), Andrew von Eschenbach (2005–2009)
- National Security Advisor – Condoleezza Rice (2001–2005), Stephen Hadley (2005–2009)
- Deputy National Security Advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan – Meghan O'Sullivan (?–2007), Douglas Lute (2007–2009)
- Ambassador to the United Nations – John Negroponte (2001–2004), John Danforth (2004); John R. Bolton (2005–2006), Zalmay Khalilzad (2007–2009)
- FCC Chairman – Michael Powell (2001–2005), Kevin Martin (2005–2009)
- White House Deputy Chief of Staff – Joe Hagin (2001–2008), Joshua Bolten (2001–2003), Harriet Miers (2003–2004), Karl Rove (2005–2007), Joel Kaplan (2006–2009), Blake Gottesman (2008–2009)
- Director of National Intelligence – John Negroponte (2005–2007), John Michael McConnell (2007–2009)
- White House Counsel – Alberto R. Gonzales (2001–2005), Harriet Miers (2005–2007), Fred Fielding (2007–2009)
- White House Press Secretary – Ari Fleischer (2001–2003), Scott McClellan (2003–2006), Tony Snow (2006–2007), Dana Perino (2007–2009)
- Senior Advisor to the President – Karl Rove (2001–2007), Barry Steven Jackson (2007–2009)
- Chief of Staff to the Vice President of the United States – Lewis Libby (2001–2005), David Addington (2005–2009)
- Counselor to the President – Karen Hughes (2001–2002), Dan Bartlett (2002–2007), Ed Gillespie (2007–2009)
Military nominations and appointments
- Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – Richard B. Myers (2001 –2005), Peter Pace (2005 –2007), Michael Mullen (2007 –2011)
- Chief of Staff of the United States Army – Peter Schoomaker (2003–2007), George W. Casey, Jr. (2007 –2011)
- Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force – John P. Jumper (2001–2005), T. Michael Moseley (2005–2008), Norton A. Schwartz(2008-)
- Chief of Naval Operations – Michael Mullen (2005–2007), Gary Roughead (2007–2011)
- Commandant of the Marine Corps – Michael Hagee (2003–2006), James T. Conway (2006–2010)
Supreme Court nominations and appointments
Bush nominated the following people to the Supreme Court of the United States:
- John G. Roberts – 2005, was first nominated for Associate Justice replacing Sandra Day O'Connor; after the death of Chief Justice William Rehnquist, Bush nominated him for the position of Chief Justice. Confirmed: 78–22
- Harriet Miers – 2005, was nominated upon the elevation of John G. Roberts as the Chief Justice. Her nomination was later withdrawn.
- Samuel Alito – 2006, nominated in 2005 upon the withdrawal of Harriet Miers. Confirmed: 58-42
Court of Appeals nominations and appointments
- Jeffrey R. Howard – 1st Circuit (2002)
- Barrington Daniels Parker, Jr. – 2nd Circuit (2001)
- Reena Raggi – 2nd Circuit (2002)
- Richard C. Wesley – 2nd Circuit (2003)
- Peter W. Hall – 2nd Circuit (2004)
- Debra Ann Livingston – 2nd Circuit (2007)
- D. Brooks Smith – 3rd Circuit (2002)
- Michael Chertoff – 3rd Circuit (2003)
- D. Michael Fisher – 3rd Circuit (2003)
- Franklin Stuart Van Antwerpen – 3rd Circuit (2004)
- Michael A. Chagares – 3rd Circuit (2006)
- Kent A. Jordan – 3rd Circuit (2006)
- Thomas M. Hardiman – 3rd Circuit (2007)
- Roger L. Gregory – 4th Circuit (2001)
- Dennis W. Shedd – 4th Circuit (2002)
- Allyson Kay Duncan – 4th Circuit (2003)
- G. Steven Agee – 4th Circuit (2008)
- Edith Brown Clement – 5th Circuit (2001)
- Edward C. Prado – 5th Circuit (2003)
- Priscilla Owen – 5th Circuit (2005)
- Jennifer Walker Elrod – 5th Circuit (2007)
- Leslie H. Southwick – 5th Circuit (2007)
- Catharina Haynes – 5th Circuit (2008)
- Julia Smith Gibbons – 6th Circuit (2002)
- John M. Rogers – 6th Circuit (2002)
- Jeffrey S. Sutton – 6th Circuit (2003)
- Deborah L. Cook – 6th Circuit (2003)
- David W. McKeague – 6th Circuit (2005)
- Richard Allen Griffin – 6th Circuit (2005)
- Susan Bieke Neilson – 6th Circuit (2005)
- Raymond M. Kethledge – 6th Circuit (2008)
- Helene N. White – 6th Circuit (2008)
- Diane S. Sykes – 7th Circuit (2004)
- John Daniel Tinder – 7th Circuit (2007)
- William J. Riley – 8th Circuit (2001)
- Michael Joseph Melloy – 8th Circuit (2002)
- Lavenski R. Smith – 8th Circuit (2002)
- Steven M. Colloton – 8th Circuit (2003)
- Raymond W. Gruender – 8th Circuit (2004)
- William Duane Benton – 8th Circuit (2004)
- Bobby E. Shepherd – 8th Circuit (2006)
- Richard R. Clifton – 9th Circuit (2002)
- Jay Bybee – 9th Circuit (2003)
- Consuelo Maria Callahan – 9th Circuit (2003)
- Carlos T. Bea – 9th Circuit (2003)
- Milan D. Smith, Jr. – 9th Circuit (2006)
- Sandra Segal Ikuta – 9th Circuit (2006)
- N. Randy Smith – 9th Circuit (2007)
- Harris L. Hartz – 10th Circuit (2001)
- Terrence L. O'Brien – 10th Circuit (2002)
- Michael W. McConnell – 10th Circuit (2002)
- Timothy M. Tymkovich – 10th Circuit (2003)
- Neil M. Gorsuch – 10th Circuit (2006)
- Jerome A. Holmes – 10th Circuit (2006)
- William H. Pryor, Jr. – 11th Circuit (2004)
- John Roberts – D.C. Circuit (2003)
- Janice Rogers Brown – D.C. Circuit (2005)
- Thomas B. Griffith – D.C. Circuit (2005)
- Brett M. Kavanaugh – D.C. Circuit (2006)
- Sharon Prost – Federal Circuit (2001)
- Kimberly Ann Moore – Federal Circuit (2006)
Federal Reserve appointment
On October 24, 2005, Bush nominated Ben Bernanke to succeed Alan Greenspan as Chairman of the Federal Reserve. The Senate Banking Committee recommended Bernanke's confirmation by a 13–1 voice vote on November 16, 2005. With the full Senate's approval on January 31, 2006, by another voice vote, Bernanke was sworn in on February 1, 2006.
He visited six continents: Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America. On one of his two trips to Sub-Saharan Africa, he visited three of the poorest countries in the world: Liberia, Rwanda, and Benin. He was the first sitting president to visit: Albania, Bahrain, Benin, Estonia, Georgia, Lithuania, Mongolia, Qatar, Slovakia, Sweden, and the United Arab Emirates. Bush also made a secret trip to Iraq on Thanksgiving Day 2003 to dine with the troops. His father had made a similar visit to the U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia in 1990. On November 15–20, 2006, Bush made the third round the world presidential flight (after Johnson and Nixon).
The number of visits per country where he travelled are:
- One visit to Albania, Argentina, Austria, Bahrain, Benin, Botswana, Bulgaria, Chile, Croatia, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Georgia, Ghana, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Kosovo, Kuwait, Liberia, Lithuania, Mongolia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Rwanda, Senegal, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Tanzania, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Vietnam, and the West Bank
- Two visits to Afghanistan, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, Czech Republic, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Jordan, Latvia, Peru, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovenia, and Thailand
- Three visits to Egypt, South Korea, and Poland
- Four visits to Canada, China, France, Iraq, and Japan
- Five visits to Germany, the United Kingdom, and Vatican City
- Six visits to Italy and Mexico
- Seven visits to Russia
First term (2001–2005)
Second term (2005–2009)
The guiding political philosophy of the Bush Administration has been termed neoconservative. The specific elements of neoconservative leadership have been itemized in policy papers by leading members of the Project for a New American Century, and is represented in the editorial perspective of the political journal the Weekly Standard. Administration officials chosen from the membership of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) began with the selection of the candidate for vice president, Dick Cheney. Others included Richard Armitage, Zalmay Khalilzad, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Richard Perle, former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz.
In September 2000, the PNAC issued a report entitled Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategies, Forces, and Resources For A New Century, proceeding "from the belief that America should seek to preserve and extend its position of global leadership by maintaining the preeminence of U.S. military forces." The group stated that when diplomacy or sanctions fail, the United States must be prepared to take military action. The PNAC argued that the Cold War deployment of forces was obsolete. Defense spending and force deployment must reflect the post–Cold War duties that US forces are obligated to perform. Constabulary duties such as peacekeeping in the Balkans and the enforcement of the No Fly Zones in Iraq put a strain upon, and reduced the readiness of, US forces. The PNAC recommended the forward redeployment of US forces at new strategically placed permanent military bases in Southeast Europe and Southeast Asia. Permanent bases would ease the strain on US forces, allowing readiness to be maintained and the carrier fleet to be reduced. Furthermore, PNAC advocated that the US-globalized military should be enlarged, equipped and restructured for the "constabulary" roles associated with shaping the security in critical regions of the world.
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George W. Bush’s environmental record began with promises as a presidential candidate to clean up power plants and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In a speech on September 29, 2000 in Saginaw, Michigan, Bush pledged to commit two billion dollars to the funding of clean coal technology research. In the same speech, he also promised to work with Congress, environmental groups and the energy industry to require a reduction of the emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury and carbon dioxide into the environment within a “reasonable period of time.” He would later reverse his position on that specific campaign pledge in March 2001 in a letter to Nebraska senator Chuck Hagel, stating that carbon dioxide was not considered a pollutant under the Clean Air Act, and that restricting carbon dioxide emissions would lead to higher energy prices.
In 2001, Bush appointed Philip A. Cooney, a former lobbyist for the American Petroleum Institute, to the White House Council on Environmental Equality. Cooney is known to have edited government climate reports in order to minimize the findings of scientific sources tying greenhouse gas emissions to global warming.
In March 2001, the Bush Administration announced that it would not implement the Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty signed in 1997 in Kyoto, Japan, that would require nations to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, claiming that ratifying the treaty would create economic setbacks in the U.S. and does not put enough pressure to limit emissions from developing nations. In February 2002, Bush announced his alternative to the Kyoto Protocol, by bringing forth a plan to reduce the intensity of greenhouse gases by 18 percent over 10 years. The intensity of greenhouse gases specifically is the ratio of greenhouse gas emissions and economic output, meaning that under this plan, emissions would still continue to grow, but at a slower pace. Bush stated that this plan would prevent the release of 500 million metric tons of greenhouse gases, which is about the equivalent of removing 70 million cars from the road. This target would achieve this goal by providing tax credits to businesses that use renewable energy sources.
In late November 2002, the Bush Administration released proposed rule changes that would lead to increased logging of federal forests for commercial or recreational activities by giving local forest managers the ability to open up the forests to development without requiring environmental impact assessments and without specific standards to maintain local fish and wildlife populations. The proposed changes would affect roughly 192,000,000 acres (780,000 km2) of US forests and grasslands. Administration officials claimed the changes were appropriate because existing rules, which were approved by the Clinton administration two months before Bush took office, were unclear.
In November 2004, Bush Administration officials asked the United Nations to allow US industries to use an additional 458 tons of methyl bromide, an ozone-destroying pesticide that was slated for elimination by the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. The additional increase request brings the US’s total exemption for the year 2005 to 9,400 metric tons of methyl bromide, more than all other nations’ requests combined, and well over the 7,674 metric tons used by US agribusiness in 2002.
In January 2004, United States Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton approved a move to open nearly 9,000,000 acres (36,000 km2) of Alaska's North Slope to oil and gas development, citing claims from the energy industry that nearly 13 billion barrels (2.1×109 m3) of oil could be extracted from the region. The North Slope borders the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a sanctuary and habitat for migratory birds, whales, seals and other wildlife. Reports from the U.S. Geological Survey, however, estimate that less than one-third of the reported 13 billion barrels (2.1×109 m3) is economically recoverable in the entire 23,500,000-acre (95,000 km2) National Petroleum Reserve.
In July 2005 the Environmental Protection Agency decided to delay the release of an annual report on fuel economy. The report shows that automakers have taken advantage of loopholes in US fuel economy regulations to manufacture vehicles that are less fuel-efficient than they were in the late 1980s. Fuel-efficiency had on average dropped six percent during that period, from 22.1 miles per gallon to 20.8 mpg. Evidence suggests that the administration’s decision to delay the report’s release was because of its potential to affect Congress’s upcoming final vote on an energy bill six years in the making, which turned a blind eye to fuel economy regulations.
In May 2006, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) allegedly blocked release of a report that suggested global warming had been a contributor to the frequency and strength of hurricanes in recent years. In February, NOAA (part of the Department of Commerce) set up a seven-member panel of climate scientists to compile the report. The panel’s chair, Ants Leema, received an e-mail from a Commerce Department official asking for the report to not be released as it needed to be made “less technical.” NOAA would later go on to say that the report was not released because it “was not complete” and was in reality not a report, but a “two-page fact sheet about the issue”.
On January 6, 2009, President Bush designated the world's largest protected marine area. The Pacific Ocean habitat includes the Mariana Trench and the waters and corals surrounding three uninhabited islands in the Northern Mariana Islands, Rose Atoll in American Samoa, and seven islands along the equator.
On January 15, 2009, Bush gave a nationally televised farewell address. He discussed many of his decisions and said that he had kept the country safe since September 11, 2001. He said that the United States must continue promoting human liberty, human rights, and human dignity around the world. One of his final lines was "We have faced danger and trial, and there's more ahead. But with the courage of our people and confidence in our ideals, this great nation will never tire, never falter and never fail." A January 2009 Gallup poll found Bush with an approval rating of 34%, with 75% of Republicans, 28% of independents, and 6% of Democrats registering approval for the outgoing president. In a January 2009 CBS/New York Times poll, Bush received low marks for his handling of the Iraq War and the economy, though about half of Americans approved of his handling of the War on Terror.
Following the end of his second term, Bush kept a low profile, and avoided criticizing his successor, Barack Obama. In 2013 his favorable rating reached 49%, marking the first time since 2005 that more poll respondents approved than disapproved of Bush. In 2015, Bush's younger brother, Jeb Bush, began a campaign for the presidency, and the legacy of George W. Bush loomed large over the younger Bush's campaign. After leaving office, numerous former Bush administration officials wrote memoirs, some of them quite harsh in their judgments.
Polls of historians and political scientists taken after 2005 have generally ranked Bush as a below-average president. A 2005 Wall Street Journal/Federalist Society poll placed Bush as the 19th best president. In 2006, Siena College surveyed 744 professional historians; they regarded Bush's presidency to date as: Great: 2%; Near Great: 5%; Average: 11%; Below Average: 24%; Failure: 58%. Thomas Kelly, professor emeritus of American studies at Siena College, said that "In this case, current public opinion polls actually seem to cut the President more slack than the experts do." Similar outcomes were reported by two informal surveys done by the History News Network in 2004 and 2008. A 2009 C-SPAN survey of historians ranked Bush in 36th place among the 42 former presidents. In a 2015 survey of the American Political Science Association, Bush placed 35th out of the 43 people who had served as president.
- George W. Bush's first term to second term cabinet reorganization
- Domestic policy of the George W. Bush Administration
- "Study: Immigration grows, reaching record numbers". USATODAY.com. December 12, 2005.
- "Immigration surge called 'highest ever'". Washington Times. December 12, 2005.
- "All Employees: Manufacturing". Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. April 27, 2015.
- Powell, Colin (February 5, 2003). "U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell Addresses the U.N. Security Council". The White House. Retrieved May 25, 2006.
- Frist, Bill (January 16, 2009). "Commentary:". CNN.
- Michael Steele, Bush's Africa legacy, 2008-03-27, Washington Times, (5th paragraph)
- "Obama Ends Global Family Planning Restrictions". NPR: National Public Radio. January 23, 2009.
- "Transcript for Feb. 8th". MSNBC. February 8, 2004. Retrieved September 9, 2006.
- U.S. Election results for 2004. Uselectionatlas.org (2004-11-02). Retrieved June 13, 2011.
- The Third Bush-Kerry Presidential Debate transcript, 2004-10-13, Debates.org
- CNN's exit poll showed terrorism (19%) and Iraq (15%) as the third and fourth most important issues behind moral values (22%) and the economy (20%) CNN – U.S. President / National / Exit Poll / Election 2004
- Bush to Sign Economic Stimulus Plan, 2008-02-09, VOA News
- Bush Unveils Foreclosure Relief Plan, 2007-12-06, NPR
- Bush: Bailout plan necessary to deal with crisis, 2008-09-25, CNN.com
- President Bush's Second Term Accomplishments and Agenda, 2005-08-03, The White House
- Charles Krauthammer, Surge Results are Visible, 2007-04-13, Real Clear Politics
- Roper Center (2009). "Job Performance Ratings for President Bush". Retrieved March 9, 2009.
- USA Today (May 20, 2005). "CNN/USA TODAY/GALLUP Poll".
- PollingReport.com. "PRESIDENT BUSH – Overall Job Rating in national polls".
- "The National Economy". americanresearchgroup.com. February 19, 2009.
- Status of Ratifications. Chm.pops.int. Retrieved June 13, 2011.
- Computer Crime – Convention Between the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and OTHER GOVERNMENTS. US Department of State. November 23, 2001. (PDF) . Retrieved June 13, 2011.
- Child Rights. Optional Protocol Between the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and OTHER GOVERNMENTS. US Department of State. New York May 25, 2000
- Microsoft Word – 13095 – Multilateral – Child Rights – May – 25 – 2000 – CS.DOC. (PDF) . Retrieved June 13, 2011.
- Bush, George W. (May 14, 2002). "President Signs Farm Bill". White House. Retrieved September 10, 2006.
- Bush, George W. (August 17, 2002). "President Bush Signs H.R. 4, the Pension Protection Act of 2006". White House. Retrieved September 10, 2006.
- Bush, George W. (October 4, 2006). "President's Statement on H.R. 5441, the "Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2007"". White House. Retrieved October 4, 2006.
- Republican seats at the start of each session of Congress. Independents caucusing with the Democratic Party (Jim Jeffords, Bernie Sanders, and Joe Lieberman) are counted as Democrats for the purposes of this table. Throughout Bush's presidency, there were a total of 100 Senate seats in 435 House seats, so a Republican majority in the Senate required 50 seats (since Republican Vice President Dick Cheney could provide the tie-breaking vote), and a Democratic majority in the House required 218 seats (assuming no vacancies).
- In June 2001, Jim Jeffords left the Republican Party and began caucusing with the Democrats, giving the Democrats a majority. Democrats also briefly had the majority in January 2001, before the swearing in of Vice President Cheney.
- Message to the House of Representatives, December 12, 2007, The White House
- Memorandum of Disapproval for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, December 28, 2007, The White House
- Message to the House of Representatives Returning Without Approval the "Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, March 8, 2008, The White House
- Bush Announces Veto of Waterboarding Ban, March 8, 2008, The Washington Post
- Farm Bill Veto Message to the House of Representatives, May 21, 2008, The White House
- Farm Bill Veto Message, CQ Politics
- Bush vetos farm bill for second time, June 18, 2000, AFP
- Message to the House of Representatives Returning Without Approval H.R. 6124, the "Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008", June 18, 2008, The White House
- Bush to Veto Medicare Bill Tuesday; Override Expected, July 14, 2008, CQ Politics
- Message to the House of Representatives Returning Without Approval H.R. 6331, the "Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008", June 18, 2008, The White House
- Wilber, Del Quentin (June 24, 2006). "Lone Democrat in Bush Cabinet Is Departing". Washington Post. Retrieved November 20, 2006.
- "White House shake-up: Chief of staff resigns". MSNBC.com. Associated Press. March 28, 2006. Retrieved September 30, 2006.
- "New US defence secretary sworn in". BBC News. December 18, 2006.
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- Myers, Lisa (22 June 2005). "Did Ashcroft brush off terror warnings?". NBC News. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
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- Barton Gellman and Jo Becker (June 25, 2007). "Pushing the Envelope on Presidential Power". Washington Post. Retrieved August 30, 2007.
- Egelko, Bob (January 24, 2007). "Gonzales says the Constitution doesn't guarantee habeas corpus". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved June 19, 2007.
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- Mark Helm (January 15, 2001). "Leading Environmentalists Urge Senate to Oppose Abraham". Common Dreams. Retrieved August 30, 2007.
- "As Kerik Faces Court, Questions Persist on Background Check" by William K. Rashbaum The New York Times June 30, 2006.
- "Travels of President George W. Bush". U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian.
- "Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources For a New Century" (PDF). Project for the New American Century. September 2000. Retrieved April 7, 2007.
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- Suzanne Goldenberg: “Bush designates ocean conservation areas in final weeks as president” – guardian.co.uk, January 6, 2009
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- George W. Bush, Decision Points (New York: Crown, 2010) is Bush's own memoir. Others include, in alphabetical order: John Ashcroft, Never Again: Securing America and Restoring Justice (New York: Center Street, 2006); L. Paul Bremer III with Malcolm McConnell, My Year in Iraq: The Struggle to Build a Future of Hope (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006); Dick Cheney with Liz Cheney, In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir (New York: Threshold Editions, 2011); Richard A. Clarke, Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror (New York: Free Press, 2004); Douglas Feith, War and Decision: Inside the Pentagon at the Dawn of the War on Terrorism (New York: Harper Perennial, 2008); Ari Fleischer, Taking Heat: The President, the Press, and My Years in the White House (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2005); Robert M. Gates, "Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War" (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2014); Jack Goldsmith, The Terror Presidency: Law and Judgment Inside the Bush Administration (New York: Norton, 2007); Richard N. Haass, War of Necessity, War of Choice: A Memoir of Two Iraqi Wars (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2009); Karen Hughes, Ten Minutes from Normal (New York: Viking, 2004); Scott McClellan, What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception (New York: PublicAffairs, 2008); Richard B. Meyers with Malcolm McConnell, Eyes on the Horizon: Serving on the Front Lines of National Security (New York: Threshold Editions, 2009); Condoleezza Rice, No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington (New York: Crown Publishing Group, 2011); Condoleezza Rice, Inside the Mind of George W. Bush: 43rd President of the United States of America (2013) is a joke book (all the pages are blank) and was not prepared by Rice; Karl Rove, Courage and Consequence: My Life As a Conservative in the Fight (New York: Threshold Editions, 2010); Donald Rumsfeld, Known and Unknown: A Memoir (New York: Sentinel, 2011); Ricardo Sanchez with Donald T. Phillips, Wiser in Battle: A Soldier’s Story (New York: Harper Perennial, 2008); Hugh Shelton, Without Hesitation: The Odyssey of an American Warrior (New York: St. Martin's Griffin, 2010); Ron Suskind, The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O'Neill (2004) New York: Simon & Schuster,comprises long interviews with O'Neill; John B. Taylor, Global Financial Warriors: The Untold Story of International Finance in the Post 9/11 World (New York: Norton, 2007); George Tenet with Bill Harlow, At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA (New York: Harper Perennial, 2007); Dov S. Zakheim, A Vulcan’s Tale: How the Bush Administration Mismanaged the Reconstruction of Afghanistan (Washington DC: Brookings Institution, 2011)
- Melvyn Leffler, "The Foreign Policies of the George W. Bush Administration: Memoirs, History and Legacy," Diplomatic History (2013) 37#2 pp: 190-216. DOI: 10.1093/dh/dht013
- url=|internetarchive=https://web.archive.org/web/20060207050558/http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110007243%7Ctitle=Presidential Leadership; The Rankings|publisher=Wall Street Journal Online|date=12 September 2005
- See results at "Experts: Bush Presidency Is A Failure Little Chance To Improve Ranking" Siena College Research Institute May 1, 2006
- Walsh, Kenneth T. (17 February 2009). "Historians Rank George W. Bush Among Worst Presidents". US News and World Report. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
- Rottinghaus, Brandon (13 February 2015). "Measuring Obama against the great presidents". Brookings. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
- George W. Bush Administration Appointee Directory
- George W. Bush Administration Nominations by Name or Date
- The Bush Years: High and Low Points – slideshow by The First Post
- George W. Bush Presidency – collection of academic articles on the Bush Presidency.