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Pascrell Statement on Prepared State of the Union Address


Location: Washington, DC


U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-08) New Jersey's only member of the House Ways and Means Committee today made the following statement in advance of the President's eighth and final state of the union address;

"For the eighth time in eight years, the President's State of the Union Address failed to lay out a strong vision for America's working class families. Job losses, long term unemployment, reduced family income and a damaged stock market have forced anxiety around kitchen tables all across the country."

"The permanent extension of tax cuts for the richest of the rich is not the answer. It is an ideological pipedream that is dead on arrival in the halls of this congress. We are moving in a new direction. I was encouraged by the negotiations Speaker Pelosi made with the White House to forge an economic stimulus plan that finally entrusts low and middle income families to motor the economy. These families are the heart and soul of our democracy, unlike the hedge fund managers who this administration protected as democrats sought fiscally responsible means to offset the alternative minimum tax. We have offered new hope and resources to those who need it most. It is only a start, but our business of reinvigorating the middle class is far from finished."

"In the name of fiscal responsibility, I commend the President for finally joining Congress in supporting earmark reform. Unfortunately his plan does little to reverse the damage caused when this administration looked the other way as the Republican led Congress spent like drunken sailors."

"The President also missed an opportunity to soothe anxieties that millions of Americans hold over issues beyond our borders."

"Following a year in Iraq marked by a record number of American casualties and spending, the administration has still not presented an exit strategy from Iraq. The President continues to hope that a haphazard government and force of under-trained Iraqis will one day lead military operations. I fear that such a day is in the far too distant future. While the President boasted of unfound success in Iraq, he rattled a sword at the Iranian government, and reminded us of how late he showed up to the table to negotiate peace between Israeli and Palestinian leaders."

"My disappointment in this speech is surpassed only by the excitement I have for working with a new administration this time next year."

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