01.23.07

Whitehouse on the State of the Union: It's Time for a Real Change in Course

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse released the following statement in response to President George W. Bush's State of the Union address:

"Last November, the American people voted for a new direction in Washington. I met thousands of Rhode Islanders who told me we needed change, and tonight, the President had a real opportunity to show he was listening. But I'm concerned that this State of the Union will be like so many others from this President: promises that sound encouraging but prove to be empty.

"We need a new way forward in Iraq. Instead, the President has offered a plan to escalate this conflict by sending 21,500 more troops to Iraq. I, like many of my colleagues - Republicans and Democrats alike - believe that would be a terrible mistake.

"We need to consume less gasoline and move to alternative and renewable fuels, and I hope the President makes good on that promise. But this is his sixth State of the Union address, and he never has so far. I look forward to working with my Democratic colleagues in the Senate to end our dependence on foreign oil and combat the effects of climate change.

"We need real health care reform that will make the system work better, cost less, and cover more Americans. But what we heard from the President is another step in the wrong direction that does nothing to help the nearly 47 million people who lack health insurance, and doesn't provide the reform we need.

"Our nation faces serious challenges. I hope the President will truly change course and begin to work with Congress to meet those challenges."

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