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Democratic Response to State of the Union Address

FDCH E-Media
Wednesday, February 2, 2005; 10:53 PM

Following is the Democratic Response to the 2005 State of the Union Address.

REID: I'm Harry Reid from Nevada, the new Democratic leader of the United States Senate.

PELOSI: I'm Nancy Pelosi of California, the Democratic leader of the House of Representatives.

REID: Now that you've heard from the president, I appreciate your taking a few minutes with us as we give our views on how we can live up to the American promise.

I was born and raised in the high desert of Nevada in a tiny town called Searchlight. My dad was a hard rock miner. My mom took in wash. I grew up around people of strong values, even if they rarely talked about them. They loved their country, worshiped God, never shunned hard work and never asked for special favors.

My life has been very different from what I imagined growing up, but no matter how far I've traveled, Searchlight is still the place I go back to and still the place I call home.

A few weeks ago, I joined some friends of mine for a bite to eat at the Nugget, Searchlight's only restaurant. We were sitting down in a booth when a young boy, about 10 years old, named Devon, walked up to us.

Carrying a skateboard under his arm, he said, "Senator Reid, when I grow up, I want to be just like you."

Well, the truth is Devon could probably do a lot better. But the point still holds, and it's this: No one ever had to tell young Devon to dream big dreams. No one ever had to teach him that America is a place of possibility. He knows those things because they're borne deep in all Americans.

In the coming year, I believe we can make sure America lives up to its legacy as a land of opportunity if the president is willing to join hands and build from the center.

It's important that we succeed. It's time that America's government lived up to the same values as America's families. It's time we invested in America's future and made sure our people have the skills to compete and thrive in a 21st-century economy.

That's what Democrats believe, and that's where we stand, and that's what we'll fight for.

Too many of the president's economic policies have left Americans and American companies struggling. And after we worked so hard to eliminate the deficit, his policies have added trillions to the debt -- in effect, a "birth tax" of $36,000 on every child that is born.

We Democrats have a different vision: spurring research and development in new technologies to help create the jobs of the future; rolling up our sleeves and fighting for today's jobs by ending the special tax breaks that encourage big corporations to ship jobs overseas; a trade policy that enforces the rules of the road so that we play to win in the global marketplace instead of sitting by and getting played for fools.

After World War II, through the Marshall Plan, we rebuilt Europe, and they went from poverty to an economic powerhouse. Today, we need to invest in our own nation's future with a Marshall Plan for America to build the infrastructure our economy needs to go -- and to grow.

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