News Releases

"As I sat in the House chamber tonight, I felt proud to live in a country where our national spirit is vibrant and where we have come together in the face of adversity to move our country forward.

But as we gathered tonight, our nation confronts growing challenges. We face a floundering economy, the possibility of a war in Iraq, and ongoing dangers in protecting the security of our homeland. Many of our friends and neighbors have lost their jobs or their health care. While the state of our union is strong, the state of our nation is anxious.

Tonight, President Bush offered his ideas for our future, and I congratulate him on his speech.

The President said a lot of the right things tonight. But as we have seen in the past, actions speak louder than words.

At last year's State of the Union, the President said his number one priority was jobs. But since he took office, this country has lost 2.1 million jobs.

In 2001, the President signed a $1.7 trillion tax cut, which he said would "provide an important boost at an important time for our economy." But in the last 18 months, Washington state has lost 74,000 jobs.

In the past, the President has spoken eloquently about how we could have it all - massive tax cuts and more spending, all while still saving Social Security, leaving no child behind, and paying off our debt. But we now face growing deficits, and our schools are facing cuts.

It is time for the President to put together a strong domestic agenda to invest in job creation, to expand health care, and to strengthen our homeland security.

The President is right to call for a prescription drug benefit under Medicare. But I am concerned that his approach is to force seniors into restrictive HMOs in order to get the drug benefit. In the past, these approaches have failed in our state, because many rural communities lack the population to sustain an HMO, and therefore would not benefit from this scheme.

In foreign affairs, I will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the President in winning the war on terrorism to protect Americans from harm. We must continue to build global support for disarming Saddam Hussein and the threat he poses to the Middle East and the world. And we must take the steps necessary to reduce global threats to America's national security.

But I will continue to speak out for the families and communities that are struggling at home in Washington state.

By working together to continue our progress we will ensure that the state of our union is strong now and for the future."