In advance of President Obama's State of the Union address, Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (TX-26), Vice Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittees on Health and Oversight and Investigations and Co-Chair of the Congressional Health Caucus, released the following statement:
"Today is "Fat Tuesday" and is known as the last hurrah before Lent and is the beginning of a long fasting period for some Christians. Many will take the opportunity to indulge in various foods and activities before the long Lenten season starts tomorrow. While the 40 days of Lent is not enough time to solve all our problems, it is a time of reflection and a time to evaluate where we can make changes and improve.
"Tonight, President Obama will make his ninth address to Congress and the American people since taking office just over four years ago. This is his opportunity to provide his plan on where we can change and improve America. We need to see a responsible savings proposal. We need to see a plan that reduces the debt. Finally, we need to see a plan that expands opportunity for all Americans without raising taxes.
"In 2009, there were over 27 million small businesses in the United States, making up over half of our country's employment and generating 65 percent of net new jobs over the past 17 years. America is the land of opportunity, and we need to ensure that our small businesses are provided the environment to flourish and to put people to work.
"I hope President Obama will leave behind these "Fat Tuesday" policies that our country has been on for the past four years, and focus on the spending problems our country is facing. Ordinary Americans are making adjustments and sacrifices every day. In this season of sacrifice and denial, Washington should do the same."