House Democratic Leaders on What They Would Like to Hear From the President Tomorrow

 
WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Leaders and several Committee Chairmen released the following comments today on what they would like to hear from the President in his State of the Union Address on Tuesday night:
 
Speaker Nancy Pelosi:
“In the first 100 legislative hours of the 110th Congress, we have set a tone of bipartisanship to address the critical priorities of the American people.  I hope that in his State of the Union Address, the President will offer ideas in the spirit of partnership, not partisanship, so that Democrats and Republicans may continue to work together to take our country in a new direction.”
 
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer:
“Congressional Democrats are committed to working in a bipartisan manner, and I hope that the President will make a similar commitment in his State of the Union Address.  But words are not enough, the President must make proposals that demonstrate his willingness to truly work together.  For example, despite his promises to end America’s addiction to oil, the President has failed to take action and deal with one of the most pressing issues facing our nation.  I hope to hear the President lay out a strong, clear plan to not only end our dependence on foreign oil but to tackle the critical issue of global warming.”
 
Majority Whip James Clyburn:
“The American people voted for an end to the rubber stamp, do-nothing, ethically challenged Congress.  Our widely bipartisan 100 Hours Agenda was the Democrats’ response, and concrete evidence of our commitment to working together in Congress to meet the needs of the American people rather than the special interests.  I hope the President comes before Congress with that change in mind; prepared to debate, rather than dictate the road ahead.”
 
Caucus Chair Rahm Emanuel:
“Year after year, the president has used his State of the Union address to offer a lot of stirring rhetoric, but no real plans for how to change the direction of the country. Hopefully tomorrow night the American people will finally hear some real solutions for the problems in their lives and the issues facing the country.”
 
Congressman John Dingell, Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee:
“The President reportedly has repackaged his tax break gift for America's wealthiest, only this time it's wrapped up to look like a break on health care costs. Congressional Democrats, on the other hand, are looking to expand successful programs like SCHIP (State Children's Health Insurance Program) to help cover our 8.3 million uninsured children - which is more than the combined populations of Iowa, Nevada and New Hampshire. We need to get health care coverage to Americans who need it; not give more tax breaks to the wealthiest.”
 
Congressman George Miller, Chairman of the Education and Labor Committee:
“The President once committed to fully fund the historic No Child Left Behind education law, but that promise is five years overdue.  I hope to hear that the President is rededicating himself to this important law and in particular to re-commit himself to fully fund it.”
 
Congressman Henry Waxman, Chairman of the Oversight Committee:
“A consensus is emerging for mandatory, substantial, and long-term cuts in greenhouse gas pollution.  I hope the President will respond to the call to action by industry, environmentalists, and millions of Americans.  We have a moral responsibility to leave our children and children with a safe climate.”
 
Congressman Barney Frank, Chairman of the Financial Services Committee:
“I would like to hear from the President tomorrow that he recognizes the need for more affordable housing in this country, and I would like to hear him address the need for fairness in our economic policy where economic growth benefits everyone and not just a few.  I would also like to eat more and not gain weight, but I am not optimistic about any of these three things."
 
Congressman Tom Lantos, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee:
"After observing in his 2006 State of the Union Address that America is addicted to oil, the president has done precious little to break the pernicious grip of this polluting, outmoded and costly energy source.  Democrats accomplished more with passing just one piece of legislation last week - the CLEAN Energy Act - than the White House did all year.   Rather than relying on yet another ringing phrase to get attention temporarily on the issue on Tuesday night, I hope to hear the president introduce a 12-step program to end this country's addiction to oil from overseas sources, which distorts our foreign policy and contributes dramatically to environmental destruction."
 
Congressman Bart Gordon, Chairman of the Science and Technology Committee:
The President should use this State of the Union to revisit his unfulfilled promises from a year ago.  Key among those unfulfilled promises: work to insure the U.S. remains a leader in the competitive global marketplace.  A year ago, I commended the President’s announcement of his American Competitiveness Initiative, but that initiative’s misplaced priorities were its failure.  The Science and Technology Committee will do our part this Congress to advance the Democrats’ Innovation Agenda and I hope the President will work with us to quickly enact legislation that makes a real commitment to bolstering math and science education and invests in basic research.  A year ago, the President also vowed to combat this country’s ‘addiction to oil,’ yet everyday our dependence on foreign sources of energy increases.  It’s time we think of new ways to approach this problem.  HR 6 – which the House passed last week – will make a significant down payment for our energy future.  I hope the President will join with us to develop new technologies and sustainable energy sources that make America energy independent.”
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