Pelosi and Reid: We Should Work Together to Take America in a New Direction
'Congress has demonstrated in the last three weeks that great things happen for the American people when we work together. In his sixth State of the Union Address, President Bush once again talked about many of the issues facing our country. It is long past time to stop talking about our problems and start working to solve them. The Congress is delivering results, and doing it in a new way - by reaching across the aisle and putting the American people first. Tonight, we welcomed President Bush's overtures of bipartisanship and we hope to begin working with him to move our country in a new direction.
'Energy independence is a national security issue and an economic security issue. President Bush's goals for energy independence are commendable, but we now must get straight to work on a real national energy policy. In Congress, we have already begun work in earnest on renewable fuels, on global warming, and on shifting energy tax incentives away from Big Oil. We ask the President to join us to take real steps forward.
'Unfortunately, tonight the President demonstrated he has not listened to Americans' single greatest concern: the war in Iraq. The overwhelming majority of Americans, military leaders, and a bipartisan coalition in Congress oppose the President's plan to escalate the war. Democrats, Republicans, and the bipartisan Iraq Study Group have offered the President a plan to end our open-ended commitment to Iraq, transition the U.S. mission, and begin the phased redeployment of American troops. While the President continues to ignore the will of the country, Congress will not ignore this President's failed policy. His plan will receive an up-or-down vote in both the House and the Senate, and we will continue to hold him accountable for changing course in Iraq.
'When it comes to health care, we welcome the President's commitment to help the 47 million people living without health care and the millions more in danger of losing it. However, the President's plan falls short of meeting the health care challenge. Health care is a crisis in costs and coverage, and the President's plan will make both fronts worse for millions of Americans.
'Last November, Americans asked all of us in Washington to work together. Democrats will continue to take America in a new direction by making our nation energy secure, improving access to affordable health care, cutting costs for middle class families, and working to end the war in Iraq.'