Buck McKeon has issued the following statement after President Bush delivered his final State of the Union address:
“Tonight, we heard President Bush call on Congress to act quickly and thoughtfully on matters important to the American people, and I look forward to working with him in the days ahead to address the economic slow-down, national security, education, and many others issues.
“President Bush spoke at length about the state of our economy and the need for Congress to promptly pass an economic growth plan without tax hikes on the low- and middle-income families. In fact, he insisted he will veto any bill that increases taxes. With that, he urged us to promptly pass the economic stimulus package agreed to by Congress last week, because it will make a positive difference as we head into the summer months. There are times when we need to move quickly on legislation, and passing the economic stimulus package is one of them.
“The President also threatened to veto any spending bills that do not contain a 50% cut in earmarks over the previous year. This comes on the heels of the Republican call for a moratorium on earmarks and our request that an Earmark Reform Joint Committee be appointed to rein in earmark spending.“As Senior Republican member of the Education & Labor Committee, I was particularly pleased to see the President’s appeal for the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind. The No Child Left Behind Act was a bipartisan effort from its inception and our children deserve to see it strengthened and sustained. The law is working. Year-after-year, we continue to see test scores rising and the achievement gaps shrinking. I am encouraged by the President’s support and welcome the opportunity to work with Democrats on reauthorizing the law.
“Finally, there was a crucial call from the President for passage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), a law that expires this Friday. Without passage of FISA, Americans will face greater threat as intelligence officers will have their hands tied in monitoring terrorist communications overseas. Democrats have stalled for six months and are now facing a dangerously close deadline. Congress must act immediately to pass a permanent fix to our FISA laws.
“Throughout the State of the Union address tonight, we saw a President who believes in the American people and the prosperity of our nation. Now, it is time for Congress to act and show the American people we can work together to address the issues at hand.”