HALL COMMENTS ON PRESIDENT'S STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS
February 3, 2005
WASHINGTON, D.C. ..."The President laid out a blueprint for a stronger and more secure America in his State of the Union Address, while acknowledging the challenges that lie ahead, both foreign and domestic," stated Rep. Ralph Hall (R-Rockwall) following the President's Address on Wednesday evening. "Congress needs to work together in a bipartisan manner to help meet those challenges."
"Our State of the Union is a time of war, but the successful election in Iraq this week dealt a blow to the terrorists as millions of Iraqis cast their vote for democracy," Hall said. "This was a great victory in the war on terrorism, and we look forward to the day when the people of Iraq assume full responsibility for self-governance and our soldiers can come home. We still have many challenges in Iraq and elsewhere on the foreign front that will require our vigilance."
"We will continue to support our troops in Iraq and around the world and pray for their safe return home," Hall added. "Our hearts go out to the families of those soldiers who lost their lives in service to the Nation. These brave men and women will forever be remembered as true heroes."
On domestic policy, the President laid out a far-reaching agenda that includes most notably his proposal to protect and strengthen Social Security. "Our senior citizens and those nearing retirement will continue to receive all the benefits they have earned under the current system," Hall said. "Devising a new system that will be more beneficial to younger generations will be the subject of many hearings and much debate and input from our citizens before enactment."
"I'm pleased that the President again stressed the importance of passing a comprehensive national energy policy. This is imperative to meet our Nation's energy needs and reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources," Hall said. "As chairman of the Energy and Air Quality Subcommittee, I will work to produce a bill that will be satisfactory to both the House and the Senate."
"Tax reform is another objective that is long over-due," Hall added. "The current tax code is overly burdensome and confusing. We need a plan that is simpler and fairer, and I welcome that initiative."
"I also welcome proposals from the President to grow the economy and to cut the deficit in half in four years," Hall said. "The events of 9/11 and the war on terrorism, combined with a recession, eroded the gains we made in balancing the Federal budget, but I am optimistic that we can return to fiscal solvency once the war is behind us."
"As the President noted, we must take responsibility for the present as well as the future," Hall agreed. "We cannot continue to pass the buck to future generations. The 109th Congress needs to work together to develop bipartisan polices that will ensure America's security for years to come, and I look forward to working with the President to help build support for these."