WASHINGTON, DC - House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement tonight after President Bush delivered his State of the Union Address:
"I appreciate the President's effort tonight to extend an olive branch of bipartisanship to the new Democratic majorities in Congress in his annual State of the Union Address. Bipartisanship is absolutely critical to our ability to make real progress over the next two years - and progress is what our citizens expect and deserve. However, the true measure of the President's commitment to bipartisanship is not the rhetoric he used tonight, but the results that we will achieve together in the months ahead on energy, immigration and health care.
"Unfortunately, President Bush has simply failed to work in a bipartisan way and to deliver on many of the commitments he has made over the last six years. For example, despite repeated pledges, the President has never submitted a credible, balanced budget and he has stood by while the number of earmarks exploded under a Republican Congress. The President must make the first move towards fiscal responsibility by presenting an honest balanced budget next month. It is imperative to the future of our nation that we come together - Democrats and Republicans - and restore fiscal responsibility.
"On many of the other issues he touched on tonight, the President offered little more than vague generalities. The devil will be in the details, and in his willingness to work with Democrats and seek consensus.
"Finally, I am very disappointed that the President insists on pursuing a 'stay-the-course' strategy in Iraq that calls for an escalation in American troops there - against the wishes of top military officials, Congressional Democrats, an increasing number of Republicans and, most importantly, the American people. In the days ahead, Democrats will express our opposition on the House Floor, conduct vigorous, effective oversight of the Administration's Iraq policy, and will make the President justify his proposal to deepen our involvement in Iraq."