Sunday, June 18, 2006

A New Direction for America

For years, the GOP leadership has lampooned the Democratic Party for not having any solutions to problems beyond raising taxes. And for all that time, the Democratic Party has let them get away with it. Perhaps this election cycle will be different. Given the devastation of the last five years, I certainly hope so.

Yesterday House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi delivered the weekly Democratic Party radio address. I am posting the address in its entirety because I believe it gives grounds for hope. The transcript was gotten from here.

Good morning. This is Nancy Pelosi of California, Democratic Leader of the House of Representatives.

This week, Democrats proposed a New Direction for America - new priorities that will build a stronger country for all Americans.

A New Direction for America means real security in our neighborhoods, at our ports and airports. Right now, according to the 9/11 Commission, the Republican Administration is getting D's and F's in protecting the American people. We need to be getting A's.

A New Direction means expanding access to affordable health care for Americans. We will begin by lowering the cost of prescription drugs by putting seniors ahead of pharmaceutical companies and HMOs.

A New Direction means broadening opportunity by addressing the soaring costs of higher education. We will begin by making tuition tax deductible and cutting the interest rates of student loans in half.

A New Direction means ending our dependence on foreign oil, and we will begin by energizing America with biofuels that send our energy dollars to our Midwest instead of the Middle East. We intend to achieve energy independence within 10 years.

A New Direction means a dignified retirement for all Americans. In light of the new Republican threat to Social Security, Democrats renew our pledge: no privatization of Social Security.

And a New Direction means expanding economic justice by keeping good paying jobs here at home instead of shipping jobs overseas. We will begin with a commitment to research and innovation, ending outsourcing subsidies, and raising the minimum wage.

For nearly nine years of Republican Congress, American workers have been denied an increase in the federal minimum wage - it has been frozen at $5.15 per hour. $5.15 an hour, despite nine years of rising health care and energy costs and inflation. That is immoral.

Our New Direction means that on the first day we control Congress, we will give Americans a raise by increasing the minimum wage.

Our New Direction for America means turning away from the irresponsible deficit spending by President Bush and the Republican Congress that has added $3 trillion in new debt. We will restore the proven budget discipline that eliminated deficits and generated record economic growth.

The American people are insisting on a New Direction at home and in the war in Iraq.

This week, our nation reached the sad milestone of 2,500 deaths in Iraq. Our prayers are with their families and with our brave men and women in uniform.

The financial cost of the war continues to skyrocket toward half a trillion dollars. For the last three years, the President has continued to ask us to 'stay the course.' Stay the course, despite the continued cost in lives, to our military readiness, and to our reputation in the world.

Americans know and Democrats agree: we must change the course. 2006 must be a year of significant transition. It is time for a new direction in Iraq. At the earliest practicable time, the United States must begin the responsible redeployment of its troops, and the Iraqis must assume the burden of defending their own country.

Democrats are united in presenting a New Direction for America, one that will make our nation as strong as its people, one that brings opportunity, security, and prosperity to all Americans.

From your lips to the American electorate's ears, Congresswoman Pelosi.


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