January 28, 2003
Senator Cantwell's Reaction to President Bush's State of the Union Address
Tonight, President Bush speaks before a nation facing grave challenges at home and abroad.
As the President makes the case that Iraq poses a serious threat to international peace and stability, he must continue working to secure international support and allow the United Nations weapons inspection process to work.
Yesterday's report from chief weapons inspector Hans Blix showed that Iraq is not adequately complying with U.N. resolutions, has failed to account for 1,000 tons of chemical agents, and failed to document the weaponization of nerve gas. The report also raised questions about Iraq's production of anthrax and thioglycol, a mustard gas precursor chemical.
Great progress has been made working with the United Nations Security Council over the last two months. Now, the President should allow the inspectors to do their job and further build international resolve. President Bush should exhaust all international efforts before taking military action.
President Bush also speaks to the nation as we face the worst economic conditions in a decade. Yet he has failed to offer the plan we need for economic recovery. We cannot afford a plan that does nothing to stimulate economic growth, benefits only a small minority of Americans, and promises a return to the deep deficits of the past. President Bush and Congress should work together to adjust his plan to make it focused on an immediate boost for our economy and to protect against future red ink.