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Roskam's Response to President Bush's State of the Union Address


Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Peter J. Roskam (R-IL) released the following statement:

"Tonight, President George W. Bush delivered his final State of the Union address to the Nation, outlining his vision for the direction for our country in the coming year.

"The people of Illinois' 6th District know all too well that Washington is broken. A city that is often hamstrung with partisan politics, only reduces our ability to come together and find solutions to the problems we face.

"Congress' successes lately, including an economic stimulus package and energy legislation, have been successful when, and only when, we have worked together.

"Specifically, I was heartened to see Congressional Republicans and Democrats start this year by working together to create a short-term solution to address the stock and housing market woes. Congress quickly, and in a bipartisan fashion, crafted a responsible stimulus package that will help spur our lagging economy. While this package did not represent exactly what each side wanted, it showed Congress' ability to work together.

"This stimulus package will help us in the short term, a healthy economy in the long-term must begin with fiscal responsibility.

"Wasteful spending by Democrats and Republicans alike have put an undue burden on future generations. We must reduce federal spending, reform the earmark process, and enact the line item veto. The Constitution gives Congress the power to determine where Federal money is spent, and I believe if a Member of Congress has to be identified with his or her earmarks, that Member of Congress will be much more judicious about earmarking another "bridge to nowhere."

"Additionally, many Americans are worried about the increasing threat of Iran to the stability in the Middle East. The basis for that concern, the reason that Iran is a threat, is because Iran's extremist government controls the fourth largest oil reserves in the world. Every day, Iran brings in $400 million in oil sales to fund its repressive government and aggressive tendencies. As Iranian gun boats threaten our fleet, and gas prices reach new highs, Chicagoland residents are funding both sides of the War on Terror.

"At the end of last year I joined in the bipartisan effort to pass the 2007 Energy Bill, but 2008 holds even greater opportunity to advance our nation's energy policy. We must continue to pursue multifaceted solutions to our energy needs: We need to provide incentives for private industry to create new forms of clean, renewable energy; we need to increase our conservation and efficiency measures; and we must to do more to explore and expand domestically available energy resources; all which put America on a path to energy independence.

"One of the greatest concerns of residents of Illinois 6th Congressional District, and one in which Congress has not worked together, is the problem of illegal immigration. While I was pleased to see the president speak on the need to secure our border, I am frustrated with the inaction by this Congress. I have cosponsored 22 pieces of legislation to control our border, enforce current immigration laws and prosecute employers who employ illegal workers.

"However, the House of Representatives has yet to bring to the floor any legislation to secure our borders and homeland. My frustrations are echoed by colleagues on both sides of the aisle. It is incumbent upon the leadership to heed our citizen's cries for action on this important issue. This only comes by working together.

"Now, 2008 affords both Democrats and Republicans the opportunity to show the American people that we can work together to address many issues that will help lead America to a bright and prosperous future, a future we can be proud to pass on to our children and grandchildren.

"Thanks for listening, and may God continue to Bless America."

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