Tonight, President Bush did not put forward bold new ideas to lay the groundwork for bipartisan progress on the issues most important to our nation.
Last year, the new Democratic majorities in Congress began to move our nation in a new direction. But we recognize that we must work on a bipartisan basis if we are to achieve the real changes that the American people want — reinvigorating our economy, restoring fiscal discipline, reducing global warming, and responsibility redeploying our troops in Iraq.
While Democrats will continue to reach out to Republicans, we are mindful that the Administration's record over the last seven years has too often been characterized by politics and partisanship. Again tonight, for example, the President demanded that Congress make his tax cuts permanent, while failing to explain how he will pay for his proposal. Democrats believe that following the same irresponsible policies that reignited budget deficits and spiraling debt is neither sustainable nor economically sound, and only threatens our long-term national and economic security. President Bush also did not indicate any intention to work with Congress to forge a new direction in Iraq that will strengthen our nation's security.
However, I appreciate the President noting the success of a bipartisan effort to craft an economic stimulus package to help struggling families and shore up on our economy. I would hope that we would be able to forge such consensus on other important issues facing the American people over the next 12 months.
In the coming year, Democrats will continue to fight for change, and we will strive to work in a bipartisan manner with the President and Republicans to achieve that change.