Cubin Statement on the President's State of the Union Address
U.S. Representative Barbara Cubin (R-WY) tonight released the following statement on the President's State of the Union Address:
"Tonight the President set the course for our country to revitalize its economy, improve vital services to our nation's veterans, diversify our energy sources, improve our education system and empower Americans with affordable healthcare options. He also laid the foundation to foster new trade opportunities, combat the global killers of AIDS and extreme poverty and continue our efforts to deter terrorism and bring stability to the Middle East. I am hopeful that this Democrat-led Congress will, at long last, come together with the President in the spirit of bipartisanship to deliver common sense solutions for these pressing issues facing our nation. Together I believe we can get our economy back on its feet and keep our nation safe."
"Tonight the President laid out a plan to bolster our economy that will provide incentives from which both consumers and businesses can immediately benefit. The economic stimulus package the President and leaders in the House agreed to last week will increase business investments, spur job growth and give most taxpayers sizeable rebates.
"The economic stimulus plan will deliver rebate checks of at least $300 to almost everyone earning a paycheck. It will allow small businesses to expand, remodel or buy new equipment by providing tax breaks for these investments. Additionally, it will increase the amount of money the government can lend to individuals to buy homes.
"I share the President's philosophy of trusting Americans, especially when it comes to deciding how to use their own hard-earned money. We must make the tax cuts the President and the Republican-led Congress passed in 2001 and 2003 permanent. By allowing taxpayers to keep more of their own money, we empower families and small business owners across the nation to spend their money as they see fit, rather than sending it to Washington.
"America's small business men and women are the foundation of our nation's economy. U.S. businesses pay some of the highest taxes in the world, second only to Japan. The proposals the President laid out this evening will allow small business owners in Wyoming to keep more of their own money and use it to expand their ventures and, hence, create new jobs. History has shown that the best way to encourage an economic turnaround and help preserve jobs is to ensure that job-creators face a lower tax burden.
"While I am encouraged by both the President and Congress's commitment to keeping our economy healthy, I remain wary of the government meddling with the housing market. I do not believe that taxpayer dollars should ever be used to bail out sub-prime mortgage loan lenders. To get our housing market back on track, we need to put more money back into the hands of the American people to ease the financial burden of home-ownership.
"I was pleased to hear the President acknowledge what we in Wyoming already know - that pursuing renewable energy is an important step toward gaining energy independence. Wyoming is our nation's leader of energy production and it is crucial we continue improving the way America generates power through the use of both clean coal technology and renewable sources such as wind and biomass.
"Our focus on diversifying America's energy consumption with new, alternative, and cleaner-burning energy resources should not be focused solely on the "climate change" impact. American consumers can testify better than anyone how rising and unstable gas prices have affected their wallets, businesses and family lifestyles. These economic impacts have nothing to do with greenhouse gasses - they are a result of limited refining capacity, natural disasters and our dependency on foreign fuels. An active coal-to-liquid fuels industry in the U.S. could significantly offset our foreign fuel dependency.
"While the U.S. only has 2 percent of the world's oil reserves, we have 27 percent of the world's coal supply - 40 percent of that being mined in Wyoming. With this massive resource at our fingertips, it is irresponsible not to pursue the careful development of commercial-scale Coal-To-Liquids technology."
The War on Terror
"Nearly five years ago, our nation set forth on a vital and difficult mission to end the reign of a dangerous dictator, bring stability to Iraq and combat the threat of radical Islamists. While the journey has not been easy and there remains much work to be done, there is no denial that the President's troop surge has indeed curbed violence and improved security in Iraq.
"I had the privilege of traveling to Iraq last September and standing shoulder to shoulder with many of Wyoming's brave service men and women. They all agreed that while the situation in Iraq remained critical, real progress is being made. Sectarian violence and civilian deaths are down, security in many contested regions has improved and the Iraqi people have been joining with U.S. forces against Al-Qaeda.
"The lack of progress towards political reconciliation between factions of the Iraq government is frustrating and remains a challenge. Simply put, the Iraqi government needs to be willing to settle its differences. We cannot do that for them. Without the security provided by the troop surge, however, the chances for reconciliation are dismal at best.
"There is no doubt in my mind that the path ahead will be difficult. That makes it all the more important that we put politics aside, build upon the widely acknowledged security gains generated by the troop surge, and bring our troops home after victory, not defeat."
"I stand united with the President to provide our nation's veterans with every opportunity and benefit they have rightfully earned serving our country. While there is no way we could ever repay these brave men and women for their service, we can make taking care of them and their families a top priority.
"I support the President in his efforts to ensure that veterans receive the mental and physical care they need when returning home from war. We must make certain that injured veterans get the first-rate medical care and rehabilitation they need to quickly return to their families. We must improve treatment services, create new VA facilities to reach more veterans in more places and reduce the processing time for veteran disability benefit claims.
We also have an obligation to look after the families of our nation's veterans. I support the President's plan to allow service members to transfer their unused education benefits to their spouses and children. The sacrifices these families have made deserve nothing less than our unwavering support and I intend to spend the next year making sure that's what they get."
"I share the President's strong resolve to ensure that our intelligence agencies have the tools and authority they need to thwart terrorist plots and keep both our country and our vital interests' worldwide safe. While the Democrat-led Congress has spent the past year wasting precious time on political maneuvers, they have failed to heed the calls of Republicans in Congress, the President and the American people to address national security concerns.
"The Protect America Act, a critical anti-terror law that closes loopholes in our intelligence laws, is set to expire in just three days. This Act allows our intelligence community to monitor terrorist communications overseas without fear of legal prosecution while still protecting the rights of United States citizens. If Congress fails to make this law permanent, our intelligence officers will loose the ability to quickly and effectively track terrorists, rendering us blind to our enemies' plans.
"Republicans have been calling on Democrat leaders to pass a permanent fix to our intelligence laws for more than six months. Democrats have continued to stall on this critical national issue and are now planning to extend the Protect America Act for just 30 days, postponing yet again the debate on our nation's safety. The time to act is now, not 30 days from now."