"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." Theodore Roosevelt
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi held her weekly news conference, here are her opening remarks; via the newswire:
I come before you to say that unfortunately, once again, this Congress of the United States has missed opportunities to create jobs for the American people. We don't have a transportation bill yet. It is more than two years overdue, which is very sad. We have a situation where we don't have an energy bill, and even the energy bills that are being considered will do nothing to reduce the price at the pump.
The job situation is one where the President is still a net loser in terms of job creation in the private sector. He has the worst record of job creation of any President since the Great Depression. Republicans again have failed to enact this highway bill which would go a long way. But there is much more that needs to be done than just from the public policy side of it. And the President's economic policies have dug us so far into a hole that will take an enormous amount of job creation to dig us out.
The deficits continue to grow. We have a budget deficit that will be over $400 billion this year, and that is with all of the good economic projections. Even more troubling is the $700 billion trade deficit. The combination of these two deficits is debilitating to our economy, makes us less competitive in the world.
So when it comes to jobs, when it comes to health care, when it comes to educating our children, when it comes to energy and reducing the price at the pump, when it comes to building the infrastructure of our country, this Congress has been a failure, and has no results to show yet. Hopefully there will be some opportunity to do something when we come back after the break.
As we go into the Fourth of July, we pay reverence to our veterans. We do every day, but especially on the Fourth of July. And here we are, the President is telling us to fly the flag, and we certainly do each day, and we certainly will on the Fourth of July. But as we fly the flag, we must also fund veterans' benefits. And the sad part of this is that the veterans have had such a tough fight in this Congress and with this Administration to get what is their just due.
In war, the military says that they will leave no soldier behind. So too must we leave no veteran behind when they come home. We have a long way to go to meet their needs. The very least we should do before we leave here is to address the shortfall for the 2005 fiscal year, which is over a billion dollars.
We hope we have made this issue too hot for the Republicans to handle, and that they will bring legislation to the floor today. But even if they do, it is still not law. It is cosmetic, a bill on the floor to take some of the steam out as we go into the Fourth of July holiday. But it still doesn't address the issue as it would have been addressed if they had supported Democratic initiatives over and over again in the appropriations process, which would have stopped this, satisfied the shortfall.
The leader in all of this for us is Chet Edwards of Texas. He repeatedly has joined Dave Obey and others on the floor of the House with initiatives that would address that shortfall. In the spirit of independence that we want for our veterans and the independence of our country, the magnificent document, the Declaration of Independence, we must honor the vision of our Founding Fathers by making policies that also honor and recognize the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform.