January 28, 2008

Whitehouse on the State of the Union: It’s Time for a Change

Washington, D.C. – Responding to President Bush’s final State of the Union address tonight, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) stressed the urgent need for change. He said:

“Throughout seven long years of this administration, it never seemed as though President Bush was really listening to the American people. Unfortunately, his final State of the Union address tonight was no different.

“The President isn’t listening to the millions of Americans who want to bring our troops home from Iraq. He isn’t listening to people like Mike Tracy, my guest at tonight’s speech, whose stories show how desperately we need major reforms in our health care system. He isn’t listening to the young people I saw today, who understand that global warming is a serious and urgent threat and stand ready to take immediate action to address it. He isn’t listening to the seniors I’ve met at community dinners across Rhode Island, who worry they will be unable to afford the prescription drugs they depend on.

“He isn’t listening to the many retired military officers and career intelligence veterans who’ve told me, in no uncertain terms, that torture degrades our standing in the world and is not an effective way to fight terror. He isn’t listening to those of us who believe we can keep Americans safe, but that we must also have strong protections to prevent this administration from systematically violating Americans’ civil rights. And he isn’t listening to the concerns and fears of working families all over this country, who are watching jobs move overseas and prices at home climb higher.

“The state of our union is not as strong as it could or should be, and it appears from tonight’s speech that it will take new leadership, with new commitment to change; a new administration to turn it around.

“There is much we need to do together to repair our country, and I and my Democratic colleagues in Congress stand ready to work hard every day to bring the change America needs. President Bush should join us – not waste more precious time playing politics in the final year of his failed administration.”

Whitehouse was joined by Riverside resident Mike Tracy as his guest at tonight’s speech. Tracy, a cancer survivor, struggled with a misdiagnosis and problems with the transfer of his paper medical records from one hospital to another. His story demonstrates the need for improved health care quality and information technology, issues Whitehouse has made the focus of his work on health care in the Senate.

More information on Mike Tracy: http://www.whitehouse.senate.gov/record.cfm?id=291081&


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