Rep. Rob Andrews' Statement on State of the Union Address
Once again, President Bush failed to outline real solutions to the problems facing our nation. The last 7 years of the President's term have left our country mired in a war in Iraq, with a job yet undone in Afghanistan, with strained relations with our friends and neighbors around the globe and in the midst of an economic crisis here at home. I believe as many Americans do, that it is time to take our nation in a new direction. It was my hope that the President would join with us to create real solutions to our nation's challenges.
However, that is not what we heard from President Bush tonight. On the topic of Iraq, we continue to hear more of the same rhetoric while today five more Americans lost their lives in that nation's bloody civil war. The President's lack of planning in Iraq was a grave mistake that we have paid for with the blood of our nation's bravest. We need to bring our troops home right now so they are no longer policing a civil war. It is high time that the Iraqi government took responsibility for the stability of their country.
Here at home, the President has failed to outline a plausible plan to address the growing problem of the over 48 million Americans who lack health insurance coverage. This problem has worsened as a result of the struggling economy because as American's try to make ends meet, they are further squeezed by the skyrocketing costs of healthcare. Additionally, struggling employers are being forced to scale-back or eliminate coverage for their employees in this soft economy. As Chairman of the HELP Subcommittee, I am working with the House and Senate Leadership to create real solutions to the ever-worsening healthcare crisis in this country.
Finally, with our Nation on the brink of recession, we need real reform, real fast. I applaud the President for working quickly across party lines with leaders in the House and Senate to develop a robust economic stimulus that would temporarily jumpstart the Nation's economy by putting money in the hands of those who need it most. However, I do not agree with his plan to make permanent the tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 which will primarily benefit the wealthiest one percent of our nation by saddling our children with the bill. We need to allow these tax cuts to expire and start focusing on getting our Nation's fiscal house in order.