Congresssman Cole's Statement on State of the Union Address
February 2, 2005
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Tom Cole made the following statement after the State of the Union address, February 2, 2005:
"On the heels of his inaugural address, President Bush used the State of the Union address as a vehicle for driving home his domestic and foreign policy agenda. One thing we have learned about this president is that he does what he says he will do. The next year and the rest of his term will be no different. This president has made it clear he will not coast through the next four years, but will press full speed ahead.
"Tonight the president outlined some brave, yet necessary agenda items and called Congress to the task. I look forward to working with the president to put these ideas into legislation that will make America a safer and better place to live.
"President Bush devoted a good part of his speech to what I believe will be his top priority this year-Social Security. The president made his case why Congress needs to make improvements to the system today, instead of passing the problem to future generations. If we continue with the status quo our children and grandchildren will pay much more into Social Security than what they will receive back in benefits. I believe personal accounts will give our children and grandchildren retirement security that Social Security will not be able to offer in them in the near future.
"It is important to remember that any changes to Social Security will not affect the benefits made to retirees and those nearing retirement. America has made a solemn promise to our seniors and I will work in Congress to make sure that promise is kept. In addition to the president's proposals, I know we will have ideas from both the House and Senate that will formulate the debate on how to move forward on this issue.
"The State of the Union speech would not have been complete without a tremendous tribute to our troops. The president thanked the brave men and women who have made tremendous sacrifices to bring freedom to nations around the world. The success of the elections in both Iraq and Afghanistan, were victories for freedom loving people everyone. This success will not only lead to a safer and more secure Iraq and Afghanistan but a safer America. Because of their service there is a new hope for peace in the Middle East and a more secure country here at home.
"Tonight's address to the nation gave a good perspective on where we have been and a vision for where we are headed. Under the leadership of President Bush, America has accomplished much, but there is still much work to be done."