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Bush "home' files for bankruptcy

The recession has hit home for President Bush.

The owners of the Houston hotel Bush calls home filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Tuesday after four years of fruitless talks with creditors.

The 300-room hotel is burdened with about $28.6-million in debt, mostly from renovations.

The move was unlikely to affect operations at the property in the exclusive Memorial area because the hotel is under a long-term lease to a hotel company, attorneys said.

A suite at the Houstonian Hotel and Conference Center on the property has long served as Bush's official residence for tax and voting purposes, though he rarely visits Houston and spends much of the summer at his home in Maine.

Texas Democratic party leaders didn't miss a beat in saying the bankruptcy may help Bush understand the economic troubles affecting millions of Americans.

"I think this might help him get the message," said Ed Martin, executive director of the Texas Democratic Party. "Most people understand economic problems when something personal happens to them."

Democrats have accused Bush of maintaining his Texas residence to avoid paying state income taxes, because Texas has none.