With republicans resident in the White House and narrowly in control in the House and Senate, both social and economic conservatives have drafted a stunningly long list of legislative priorities. The booklet Priorities for the President, produced by the conservative Heritage Foundation, runs more than 350 pages. The Family Research Council, in its pamphlet Building the Family, Building the Republic, puts forward 19 different legislative proposals for the 107th Congress, ranging from adoption tax credits to the Scouts' Honor Act.

In Washington at the start of 2001, no one was heard chanting the conservative mantra, "Big government is dead." President Bush, on his first day on the job, swiftly earned conservative praise and liberal condemnation by reversing a Clinton-era policy providing federal funds for abortion counseling overseas. The move coincided with the 28th anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision.

In a presidential message read aloud by Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., Bush told thousands of prolife demonstrators in Washington, "We share a great goal: to work toward a day when every child is welcomed in life and protected in law. We know this will not come easily, or all at once. But the goal leads us onward: to build a culture of life, affirming that every person, at every stage and season of life, is created equal in God's image."

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