(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Each week, Democrats conduct a national radio address to discuss issues and legislation currently before Congress. On September 27, 2003, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) delivered the Democratic radio address.
In her address, Murray layed out the clear differences between the Democratic and Republican approaches to our existing economic crisis. Murray encouraged the Administration to make the right decisions in order to ensure that when our troops return there are jobs, health care services, and educational opportunities available to them and their families.
The following is the full text of Murray’s address:
This is Senator Patty Murray of Washington state.
"One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. . ."
We learn these words as children, and they are more than just a pledge. They symbolize the promise of America.
We are one nation under God where people of every faith may worship without fear of persecution, and we are indivisible as a nation. After September 11th, we came together, took on the terrorists, supported our troops, and created the Department of Homeland Security. We know that patriotism has no party. We are neither Republicans nor Democrats in our love for our country or our willingness to protect our freedoms and our way of life.
But there are real differences between the policy priorities of President Bush and those of the Democratic Party. This Administration has turned a blind eye to the needs of average Americans. We see this everyday: in classrooms that are more crowded, because schools cannot afford to hire more teachers; in transportation and infrastructure improvements that aren't being made; in health care problems that keep getting worse; and in the growing numbers of Americans who cannot find work.
Under President Bush, America has lost 3 million jobs, and he is the first president since Herbert Hoover to actually lose jobs - not gain them - in his Presidency. In my own state of Washington, people are hurting. In the last two and a half years, we have faced an earthquake, an energy crisis, and the loss of thousands of hi-tech and manufacturing jobs. Like every state, we are struggling with a state budget deficit, which could force further cuts in education, health care and infrastructure.
This Administration has taken the biggest federal surplus since before World War II and turned it into the biggest deficit in American history – $500 billion.
Every family in America understands the dangers of not balancing your checkbook. And, not only will the President's budget deficit be a burden on future generations, but it is crowding investments we need to make in education, health care, transportation and security today.
At the same time, the Administration has also short-changed our security needs at home. Whether it's support for our police and firefighters or investing in the security of our nation's ports, this Administration has resisted many of our attempts to protect Americans on American soil.
George Bush and the Republican Party have the wrong priorities here at home. They have rewarded big corporate contributors and wealthy individuals with enormous tax cuts, but they oppose extending tax credits to working families who are just trying to put food on the table. While these families struggle to make ends meet, they are watching billions of their tax dollars go to rebuild Iraq.
We all understand the importance of helping the Iraqi people, but it need not come at the expense of our schools, roads, health care, and jobs here at home. Today our families and communities are being asked to do more with less. Americans everywhere are sacrificing to make up the difference. That sacrifice is falling hardest on our soldiers -- the brave men and women who have been sent to Iraq and are being attacked every day. And that is why, while they are fighting for us, we must continue to fight for them.
We have to make sure they come back to a country that has jobs that can support them, health care they can count on, retirement they can look forward to, and education and opportunity for their children. After all, we are strongest abroad when we are strong here at home.
We can do better. Democrats have proposed policies that will get us back on track. We will reverse the favoritism in economic policy. Tax cuts will benefit everyone. Investments will be made in America first, not last. We will provide for America's safety here at home, fully-fund security measures at our ports and borders, and we will support the men and women on the front lines both here at home and abroad.
The Democratic Party stands for these principles. Our policies reflect a balanced approach that improves the lives of every American, not just the privileged few. To me, the pledge of allegiance is a promise of liberty and justice and opportunity for all, and we as Democrats will keep that promise. This is Senator Patty Murray of Washington state.