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Rep. Smith's Statement on State of the Union Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Rep. Smith's Statement on State of the Union Speech

U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) released the following statement on President George W. Bush's State of the Union speech:

"In tonight's State of the Union Address, President George W. Bush challenged all of us to work in a bipartisan manner to tackle the many critical issues facing the American people. I hope the new Congressional leadership takes the President up on that challenge. It is time to end Washington's fixation with partisan politics."

"The President made his message to the 110th Congress clear tonight—put partisanship aside and work for the greater good of the American people."

On the Global War on Terror:

"Nobody embodies courage more than our servicemen and women. When terrorists cowardly attacked our nation on September 11th, our brave servicemen and women proudly accepted deployments to the farthest corners of the world to defend the ideals that were attacked that very day. They deserve our continued support, respect, honor and prayers."

"The Global War on Terror is a test of determination, a test of perseverance. I was pleased to hear the President speak in terms of larger context of this war. He showed an understanding that victory will not come through military might alone, but through constant, measured diplomacy. Diplomacy truly is our number one weapon against the terrorists."

"Like most Americans, I want our soldiers to come home—and soon. However, the Iraqis need to take full ownership of their security. Our next step in Iraq absolutely must lead in that direction."

On Energy Independence:

"I was pleased to hear the President call for an increase investment in ethanol production and use. The American people want us to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and ethanol is a clean, environmentally-friendly way to break that addiction. I believe the political will is there to expand production of ethanol and promote energy efficient vehicles that are better for the environment and the American consumer."

On HIV/AIDS and Malaria in Africa:

"As Ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Africa and Global Health Subcommittee, I will work to expand the President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and President's Malaria Initiative and I will fight efforts to weaken these successful programs."

"PEPFAR is the largest international health initiative in history dedicated to a single disease and its effectiveness cannot be denied. The dramatic reduction of HIV-positive adults in Uganda—down from 30% in the early 1990's to just 5% now—shows that when properly implemented, PEPFAR saves lives."

"Malaria is the number one killer of children and pregnant women in Africa. In its short time in existence, the President's Malaria Initiative has proven to reduce the number of deaths from malaria and I fully support his proposal to expand this successful program."

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