PRESIDENT Bush, just back from riot-torn Los Angeles, tried to rally national support Saturday for long-dormant administration proposals to bring "hope and opportunity to our inner cities." A centerpiece of Bush's proposed "action agenda" are enterprise zones, which would provide tax breaks and other financial incentives to lure businesses to inner cities and help minorities open their own shops.
Bush also wants to help the poor buy their own homes and reform the welfare system so that recipients would not have their monthly payments deeply cut when they find work.
Bush plans to meet with Republican and Democratic leaders of Congress this week in hopes of obtaining swift approval of an emergency package for inner cities.
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Jack Kemp, who has long pushed Bush to make such programs a top priority, said he is guardedly optimistic a bipartisan agreement could be reached by July 4.
Sen. Bill Bradley (D) of New Jersey, in delivering the Democratic response to Bush's weekly radio address, said Democrats and Republicans must stop playing politics with the poor. "Politics shoulders much of the blame for the past 25 years" of urban decay, he said. "Both parties have contributed to the problem."