PALLONE STATEMENT ON PRESIDENT BUSH'S STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS
U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) issued the following statement in response to President Bush's State of the Union Address.
"I commend President Bush for finally recognizing the need for an economic stimulus plan and his willingness to work with House Democrats to ensure that a bipartisan bill can be passed immediately. Tomorrow, the House will vote on the bipartisan plan that will provide 117 million middle- and lower-income workers a tax rebate to help provide some much needed relief and to help jumpstart the economy.
"Economists say the best way to prevent a recession is to act fast, and that is exactly what the House will do tomorrow. The bipartisan plan is not perfect. I believe that we should have provided more relief to those that have been left behind under the Bush economy by expanding unemployment insurance, increasing food stamp benefits, and assisting states with rising Medicaid health care costs. However, this is a strong bipartisan compromise that deserves strong support tomorrow.
"At a time when the number of uninsured continues to grow and health care costs continue to increase, President Bush refused to offer any new or bold health care initiatives tonight. Last year, Congress voted twice to strengthen the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to ensure that an additional four million children had access to health insurance, but President Bush vetoed both proposals. Based on tonight's speech, it is clear that any significant health care reform is going to have to come from Congress.
"In regards to the war in Iraq, President Bush says the surge is working, but he ignores the fact that the point of the surge was to bring about political reconciliation. To date, the Iraqi government refuses to make any of the concessions necessary to produce real reconciliation. There is no military solution to the war in Iraq. Our troops cannot stay in Iraq indefinitely. We need to bring them home by the end of this year."