WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today regarding the Inauguration of President George W. Bush on Thursday:
“The Inauguration of our President is a majestic moment for our entire nation and a demonstration of the power of democracy for all the world. None of us should take it for granted. And I hope all of us pause to consider the debt of gratitude that we owe to our forebears – many of whom sacrificed their lives so that we may enjoy the peaceful transfer of power – as well as the responsibility that we owe to the generations that will follow.
“I fully expect President Bush to deliver a compelling address that speaks to our common ideals and common aspirations as Americans, and that reminds us of our nation’s unique role in history.
“As President Bush prepares to be sworn in for a second term, I hope that he takes time to reflect on the unfulfilled promises of his first four years in office and recommits himself to them.
“Four years ago, President Bush pledged that he would ‘work to build a single nation of justice and opportunity.’ But then he pushed a divisive agenda that has left our nation more divided than at any point in recent memory.
“He said that ‘[w]e must show courage in a time of blessing by confronting problems instead of passing them on to future generations.’ But then he instigated the most dramatic fiscal turnaround in our nation’s history by enacting a tax program that disproportionately benefits the highest-income taxpayers and forces our children to pay the bill.
“And he said that ‘[w]e will show purpose without arrogance.’ But then he presided over a precipitous fall in America’s standing in the world.
“The next four years hold out great promise and opportunity for our nation. But the real benchmark of success or failure will not be what he says at the beginning of a second term, but what he has accomplished as he prepares to leave office four years from now.”