"Throughout our nation’s history, hope and optimism for the future have always defined the American spirit. Our tradition has been to expand opportunity, and strengthen family and community. A vibrant middle class and an informed electorate have formed the foundation of our democracy.
"Our sense of fairness has insisted that all Americans share in our prosperity and that our government be accountable to the people. As elected officials, our first responsibility is to ensure our national security and to protect and defend the Constitution.
"Our New Partnership for America’s Future reaffirms the commitment of House Democrats to these six core values for a strong and secure middle class: national security, prosperity, fairness, opportunity, community and accountability.
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"Today, these outstanding men and women have described the unmet needs of our country, citing values we all share: economic prosperity for all, national security, safe communities, educational opportunity, a fair health policy, and accountability to the American people. The New Partnership for America’s Future is our pledge to the American people to honor those values. We welcome all Americans to join us in building a strong and secure nation.
"House Democrats are united, focused, and totally committed to taking the bold steps needed to strengthen the middle class that is the heart of our democracy. When the American people entrust us to set the legislative agenda of this House, we will succeed and so will our country.
"We are here to serve the American people. It is their greatness, their fair-mindedness, their commitment to family, and their willingness to hope and dream that sustains our country. For more than 215 years, they have sent their representatives to Washington with a most awesome challenge: Openly debate, and fashion laws and policies that will make our economy sound, our institutions fair and flexible, our society just, our environment protected, our people educated and healthy, our religions and beliefs free from constraint, and our homeland secure from terror.
"There has never been a group of legislators more capable of meeting that challenge than the House Democrats who gather here today. And there has never been a greater urgency.
"This New Partnership is our pledge to build a future worthy of the vision of our Founding Fathers, worthy of the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform, and worthy of the aspirations of our children.
"President John F. Kennedy, delivering his Inaugural Address at this very building, reminded us of the great responsibility that has been given to us as your elected representatives. He said: 'With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth, God's work must truly be our own.'
"And so today, we go forward in a New Partnership 'to lead the land we love.' May God guide us in this work. May God bless all of you. And May God bless America."
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THE HOUSE DEMOCRATS’
NEW PARTNERSHIP FOR AMERICA’S FUTURE:
Six Core Values for a Strong and Secure Middle Class.
Providing all Americans with the opportunity to succeed and to live a secure and comfortable life, including good jobs here at home, affordable health care, a growing economy with stable prices, investment in new technologies, and fiscal responsibility in government.
● Create 10 million new jobs over the next four years ● Reform the tax code to reward companies for creating secure jobs in America, not for outsourcing jobs overseas ● Expand home ownership and affordable housing opportunities ● Invest in our nation’s infrastructure, including broadband ● Enact middle class tax relief ● Make unprecedented investment in cutting edge research, development and advanced technology for the next generation of jobs, products and services to build the American economy ● Assure access to capital for small businesses to create jobs and serve new markets ● Support fair wages with good benefits so no one goes to work every day and comes home poor and dependent on public services ● Approve trade agreements that enforce laws protecting the rights of labor and aggressively expand commerce in products “Made in the USA” ● Build stronger rural communities and sustain America’s rural economy ●
Guaranteeing military strength second to none, stopping the spread of weapons of mass destruction, building strong diplomatic alliances to protect America’s national interests, and collecting timely and reliable intelligence to keep us safe at home by preventing terrorist attacks before they occur.
● Continue building an American military second to none, allied with nations around the world who are committed to freedom and security ● Guarantee that all our forces – regular military, National Guard and Reservists – possess the most effective equipment available ● Integrate our intelligence systems ● Protect our borders ● Make sure that every container and ship is secure before entering an American port ● Inspect all airline cargo ● Prevent the technology of weapons of mass destruction from falling into the hands of terrorists ● Provide firefighters and law enforcement personnel with all the resources and training necessary to ensure our homeland security ● Honor veterans and their families by keeping our commitments to those who have served and sacrificed for our country ● Reduce dependence on foreign oil sources ●
Ensuring equal opportunity for all, including affordable health care for everyone, spending Social Security funds only on Social Security and eliminating tax loopholes so that all Americans pay their fair share.
● Assure health care coverage for every child ● Enact tax relief that is fair to the middle class ● Make health care affordable for every American ● Provide tax incentives to assist employers in offering affordable health insurance to all employees ● Maintain an unqualified commitment to the preservation of retirement dignity through Medicare, Social Security, and sound pensions ● Guarantee a prescription drug benefit under Medicare ● Allow access to lower-cost re-imported prescription drugs and permit Medicare to negotiate on behalf of seniors to reduce the cost of prescription drugs ● Eliminate racially and ethnically based health care disparities ● Assist families and individuals in coping with the care and cost of AIDS, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other chronic illnesses ● Improve the health of rural Americans through expanded regional medical services ● Protect personal privacy: no personal records sent to countries lacking strict privacy laws ● Expand training of medical personnel and medical facilities to serve all communities ●
Providing Americans access to the tools to succeed as they choose: a vibrant public education system, accountable to the highest standards for every school and a chance for all children to reach their potential, including an affordable and accessible college education.
● Provide a high quality early childhood education system, including child care and Head Start, that prepares children for school ● Invest in a fully funded education system that gives every child the skills to succeed ● Fully meet our responsibilities to children with disabilities, language issues, and other special needs ● Assure a well paid, highly trained teacher in every classroom ● Ensure a college education that every qualified high school graduate can afford ● Expand Pell Grants and college student loan programs ● Make college tuition tax deductible ● Provide lifelong learning in a world of unlimited opportunities ● Partner with states and local governments to build and rehabilitate school buildings ● Encourage parental, community, and private sector involvement in enriching our schools ● Support mentoring, tutoring and after-school programs ●
Working together for safe communities free of crime and drugs, supporting local businesses and groups to keep our families safe and our neighborhoods strong, and enforcing our anti-pollution laws to keep our air and water clean and healthy, with polluters paying for the damage they cause.
● Protect the safety of our communities with strong law enforcement and community policing ● Expand affordable, quality housing by protecting the Section 8 program and supporting home construction and rehabilitation ● Invest in better transportation choices to fight congestion, create jobs, and improve the quality of life ● Assure workplaces that are safe from preventable injuries and illnesses ● Enforce the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Clean Air Act ● Require accurate food labeling and product safety ● Clean up pollution and hazards that disproportionately affect low-income communities ● Harness innovative technology to produce safer, cheaper, renewable, cleaner energy ● Protect God’s creations by preserving our great national parks, forests, fragile coastlines and wildlife ● Encourage patriotic service to our country and communities through military service, the Peace Corps, and other public and volunteer service ● Reform immigration policies to promote fairness, family unity, and improved border security ●
Holding those in power accountable for their actions, acting responsibly for our children by restoring fiscal discipline and eliminating deficit spending with pay-as-you-go-budgets, and requiring real consequences for CEOs and corporations who break the law at the expense of those who play by the rules.
● Restore fiscal accountability and end deficit spending while preserving Social Security and Medicare ● Enforce strict penalties for corporate abuse that cheats workers and shareholders ● Govern in the open ● Preserve our national commitment to the Constitutional rights of every American ● Ensure integrity in the electoral process and guarantee that every vote is counted ● Reduce partisanship, restore civility in public debate and respect fair consideration of differing opinions ●