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The State of Our Union is Strong

Location: Washington, DC

The State of Our Union is Strong

Washington, Feb 7 - At the start of every year, the President of the United States gives the Congress and the American people a report on the state of the union and sets forth his agenda. President Bush had a lot to talk about in his recent State of the Union Address.

He spoke at a time when we have good news on job growth and the American economy, and just following the successful elections In Iraq. There is much to celebrate, and he acknowledged that.

But President Bush also used his address as an opportunity to talk about challenges that face the nation. He outlined his proposals to address those challenges and urged Congress to fulfill its obligations to achieve results now rather than passing problems to future generations.

As the President pointed out, Americans have come together to accomplish a lot in the past four years, but there is still a lot of work to be done. I look forward to tackling the issues that President Bush outlined, including strengthening Social Security, simplifying our complicated tax system, getting the deficit under control, curbing frivolous lawsuits, reforming energy policies to make America less dependent on foreign oil, making healthcare more affordable for small businesses and families, preparing America's workers for 21st Century jobs, reforming immigration and making tax relief permanent.

One of our top priorities is working to fix the Social Security system before it is bankrupt. The President spent a lot of time in his address talking about Social Security because of its urgency. Now is the time to improve the system for our children and grandchildren. In my roles in Leadership and on the Ways & Means Committee, I am committed to working to find a common sense solution to the problem. The responsible thing is to act now, or we will face significant tax increases or benefit cuts in the future.

The President also outlined his agenda to protect America's families and promote compassion across the nation, including a new outreach effort, to be led by First Lady Laura Bush, that focuses on ensuring a successful future for young Americans, especially at-risk young men. This is an important effort that is consistent with the legislation I have promoted on substance abuse prevention and reducing crime through improved prisoner reentry.

The most powerful part of the President's address came as he paid tribute to the men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice to secure our freedom. Here in Southern Ohio, we've mourned the loss of some of our own. Their sacrifices are changing the world for the better. Freedom is on the march in places like Afghanistan, the Palestinian territories and most recently in Iraq-and we are safer here at home because of it. While these are successes of historical proportions, the path to democracy is a long one and we have more work to do. The President made it clear that he is steadfast in his commitment to our troops, and to the spread of freedom and democracy around the world.

From Social Security to tax relief to the war on terror, all of the issues outlined in the President's state of the Union address affect us here in Southern Ohio. I will work to keep you updated on our progress in Congress. As always, I hope you will contact my office if you have any feedback, questions, or concerns.

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