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Christmas Eve Democratic Radio Address

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Christmas Eve Democratic Radio Address
December 24, 2005

Hello. This is Congressman Jim Clyburn, Chair-Elect of the House Democratic Caucus and Representative of South Carolina's Sixth Congressional District.

I also Chair the House Democrats Faith Working Group, and I am honored to speak to you on the eve of Christmas, two days before the beginning of Chanukah and Kwanzaa. This traditionally festive time is a difficult one this year for many Americans.

Last week, hundreds of Americans of various faiths descended upon our Capitol objecting to the immoral document our Republican colleagues call a budget. Many of them were arrested while peacefully protesting the under funding of No Child Left Behind, the cutting of school lunch programs and student aid for low income families, and the slashing of veterans benefits and Medicaid just to name a few of the draconian cuts made in this budget.

Many Americans have family or friends serving in harm's way in various places around the world. Those so affected are in our thoughts and prayers. Every time our nation has gone to war we've called on American citizens from all walks of life to make sacrifices. But not this time. This time while our brave young men and women fight to protect our freedoms Republicans are cutting services to their families back home while giving people of great means unfair and unneeded tax cuts. These brave Americans deserve better.

Our thoughts and prayers are also with those here at home who are suffering in the wake of Katrina, Rita, and Wilma. There will be little joy for many of them during this holiday season. This Republican Administration refuses to provide housing for thousands of disaster victims, while fleecing American taxpayers by giving no-bid contracts to their friends and cronies as Americans along the Gulf Coast continue to suffer. Earlier this year we passed an Energy bill that fails to lower home heating costs but gives billions in windfall profits to oil and gas companies. Americans expect better.

This administration, from its very beginning, seemed to think of itself as above or outside of the law. Their actions have led to scandals upon scandals, indictments after indictments, and investigations throughout the government. And while all of this is going on and being reported in the media everyday there is absolutely no Congressional oversight taking place in Washington. In order to have an America that is strong at home and abroad, we must have a government that is as good as the American people.

A few generations ago, a learned Frenchman came to America in search of what he called America's magic. He said that he could not find that magic while visiting our legislative halls and government facilities. He said that he did not find it on the streets of our cities and in our countrysides. Alexis deToqueville wrote that it was not until he visited our places of worship that he found the magic of America. Mr. deToqueville concluded that America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, it will cease to be great.

There is no better time to be reminded of our nation's goodness than during this season. In this time of giving and sharing, no matter which holiday you celebrate or to which, if any religion, you adhere, working together, America can do better.

This is Congressman Jim Clyburn wishing many of you, a very merry Christmas, and others Happy Chanukah, and Happy Kwanzaa, and still others Happy Holidays.

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