Happy New Year! This is the time of year when many of us make New Year's resolutions. I hope the majority in Congress makes a resolution to begin working together on behalf of the American people.
Kentuckians are ready for Congress to implement common-sense ideas that create jobs, make health care more affordable for everyone and keep our homeland safe.
The American people deserve openness, transparency and accountability. Concerned citizens across the country continue to speak out against the majority's plan to pass a government takeover of health care. Congressional leaders are meeting behind closed doors to draft their final plan for health care reform that will impact every American.
I hope the final version steers away from Speaker Nancy Pelosi's House-passed bill, which spends $1.2 trillion dollars, cuts Medicare benefits, includes a $34 billion dollar unfunded Medicaid mandate, and it increases premiums for those already struggling to pay for health insurance.
I will continue to fight against "Cap and Trade' energy legislation, which remains at the top of the majority's agenda. This proposal will raise utility rates for all Kentuckians. Right now, energy costs in Kentucky are some of the lowest in the country, giving us a huge economic development advantage. If this bill passes, Kentucky families and businesses will face even greater financial hardship.
It is important that Congress work to help individuals who are struggling during these difficult economic times and not work against them. Congress should allow them to keep more of their hard-earned tax dollars so they can succeed and grow, creating jobs and helping get our economy back on track.
And although these domestic issues have dominated our debates in recent months, we were again reminded over the holidays that we are still a nation at war. We're fighting a war on terrorism, and the attempted attack to bring down Northwest Airlines Flight 253 was an act of terrorism.
While I agree with the president not to send anymore detainees to Yemen, transferring some of the world's most dangerous terrorists, many of whom are directly linked to al-Qaeda, into the United States poses a great risk to our homeland. The attempted plot should be another signal to the president to reevaluate his long term strategy to close the secure facility at Guantanamo Bay.
We should remain focused on stabilizing the country of Afghanistan and denying the Taliban and al-Qaeda a refuge. Throughout history, Americans have always remained strong and preserved. Our united front, hard work ethic, and patriotism will continue to carry us though.
My resolution this year is to continue to fight against these out-of-touch, fiscally irresponsible policies and push for solutions that will actually help revive the economy. I will also work to ensure our troops have the tools they need to effectively carry out their mission.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas as we welcome a new year and work together to make Kentucky an even better place.