Nadler's Reaction to State of the Union Address

Jan 20, 2004

New York -- Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) made the following statement in response to President Bush's State of the Union address:

"It is apparent, after listening to the President deliver his State of the Union address, that he has no plan to address the fact that our nation is divided here at home and weaker abroad. The extremist policies of this Administration have hurt hard-working families and have failed to make us any safer than we were one year ago.

"On the domestic front, the President called for increased tax cuts for the wealthy, while middle and lower-class Americans are struggling to find jobs and have decreasing access to quality health care and schools. More than 2.5 million jobs have been lost in the last two years and 43 million Americans lack basic health insurance. Our children suffer from the President's lack of funding for the 'No Child Left Behind Act,' resulting in principals and teachers working to meet increased demands without the resources to do so.

"Internationally, our foreign policy is driven by ideology and has failed to make the American people safer. Rather than hunt to find Osama bin Laden and dismantle the al Qaeda network, the President has drained our resources by starting a war in Iraq -- a war he justified by using intelligence he knew was exaggerated. Our military is stretched to its limits and our troops are not provided with basic equipment, such as body armor to properly protect themselves. At home, efforts to protect Americans from terrorists are under-funded. The Department of Homeland Security's budget is one tenth that of the Department of Defense, and its alerts are draining millions from cities and counties while federal support for local emergency planning and personnel is wanting.

"The Congress has a responsibility to pass legislation that benefits all Americans. We must ensure that the President's extremist right-wing agenda does not continue to harm hard-working Americans here at home and abroad."