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September 8, 2005

Democrat Speaking Out

-- by Dave Johnson

In case the media doesn't report... here is another Democrat speaking out, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (who yesterday called Bush "dangerous.":

Democrats working to ensure security

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)

September 7, 2005

Four years ago, our nation suffered the worst attack in our history. What happened Sept. 11 was not simply an attack against America; it was an assault on our democracy. In the immediate aftermath, we saw Americans overcome grief and devastation to demonstrate that the values that unite us are greater and more enduring than anything that divides us.

It is in this same spirit of unity and accord that Congress came together last week to pass the much-needed supplemental spending bill for victims of Hurricane Katrina, sending a clear and unmistakable bipartisan signal that we would do everything in our power to recover and rebuild after this horrendous natural disaster.

In the coming weeks, we have an opportunity to continue in that spirit, and to do more to make America safer. Sept. 11 is hallowed ground, and the actions of Congress must be guided by that recognition, with a real commitment to a safer homeland. It is an opportunity we cannot afford to miss.

In the past four years, we have learned a great deal about our own vulnerabilities, and we have seen the vulnerabilities of others exposed around the world, most recently in the horrific subway attacks in London. Yet many of the gaps in our security remain unaddressed. Unfortunately, Republicans in Washington continue to ignore the vulnerabilities in our own country while refusing to allocate the resources to make us safer.

House Democrats have made clear our homeland-security principles, which include protecting our police officers and firefighters by guaranteeing that they have the tools they need in the case of a terrorist attack, eliminating gaps at our borders and securing rail and mass transit.

True security also demands energy independence; anything less compromises our freedom. Before the August recess, the Republican-led Congress passed an energy bill full of billions of dollars of giveaways to profit-rich oil companies at the expense of the interests of average Americans, a bill that does nothing to lower skyrocketing gas prices and next to nothing to move us toward greater energy autonomy. Democrats offered and will continue to fight for a different vision: an energy policy for the future that will reduce gas prices, reduce our reliance on foreign oil and reduce pollution.

Security also means standing up for the security of our men and women in harm’s way. Our troops must have the equipment they need to do their jobs effectively and safely. It means war must always be the last option, not the first; that we never send our troops into battle without the most careful consideration, as our national security is directly tied to the level of respect we command on the global stage. It means telling the American people the truth about what is happening in Iraq and having a realistic strategy for success.

Instead of listening to the American people, congressional Republicans have persisted in their abuse of power by shutting down ethics enforcement and stifling House debate. They continue to threaten to undermine Social Security, which has stood for the dignity and independence of millions, with a debt-creating privatization plan. And they have failed to address the economic anxiety that is felt by middle-class Americans. In the process, they proved that they are woefully out of step and out of touch with American values and interests.

Democrats stand united for the American values of hope and opportunity, a strong and secure middle class. That’s why we are working to meet the needs of Americans in retirement: preserving Social Security and protecting the pension benefits that working families have been promised.

Democrats want to offer Americans expanded opportunities for financial security and have introduced AmeriSave, an initiative to provide America’s working families with the tools they need to achieve retirement security without burdening future generations with national debt. This fall, we will work to expand and improve existing retirement accounts.

To expand prosperity, Congress must work to create jobs nationwide. Leadership demands that we make a sustained investment in the education, innovative technology and small businesses of today that will lead to the jobs of tomorrow, and Democrats are prepared to do it. With this commitment, the potential of American minds and the strength of American hands will overcome challenge after challenge, just as they always have.

Democrats return to Congress ready for more discourse and less discord, for progress and prosperity. It is these values of hope and optimism that Americans expect and deserve from their national leaders.

Pelosi is the House minority leader. [emphasis added]

Posted by Dave Johnson at September 8, 2005 8:15 AM

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