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Democratic Response to State of the Union Address

Despite the administration's rhetoric, airline cargo still goes uninspected, shipping containers go unscreened, and our railroads and power plants are not secure.

Police officers and firefighters across America have pleaded for the tools they need to prevent or respond to an attack, but the administration still hasn't delivered for our first responders.

The greatest threat to our homeland security are the tons of biological, chemical and even nuclear materials that are unaccounted for or unguarded.

The president says the right words about the threat, but he has failed to take action commensurate with it.

We can, and we must, keep the world's most gruesome weapons out of the world's most dangerous hands. Nothing is more important to our homeland security and, indeed, to the safety of the world.

For three years, the president has failed to put together a comprehensive plan to protect America from terrorism, and we did not hear one tonight.

As we strive to close the gaps in our security here at home, we must do more to show our great strength as well as our greatness.

We must extend the hand of friendship to our neighbors in Latin America. We must work to stop the genocide in Sudan. We must reinvigorate the Middle East peace process. And we must bring health and hope to people suffering from disease, devastation and the fury of despair.

We are called to do this and more by our faith and our common humanity, and also because these actions will enhance our national security.

Democrats are committed to a strong national security that keeps America safe, that wins the war on terror and that never again sends our troops into harm's way without the equipment they need.

In our New Partnership for America's Future, House Democrats have made a commitment to guarantee a military second to none, to stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction, to build strong diplomatic alliances, to collect timely and reliable intelligence to keep us safe at home, and to honor our veterans and their families by making sure they have the health care and benefits they have earned.

For those returning from military service, our newest veterans, Democrats are calling for a G.I. bill of rights for the 21st century to guarantee access to education, health care and the opportunity for good jobs.

And we must protect and defend the American people, and we must also protect and defend our Constitution and the civil liberties contained therein. That is our oath of office.

A strong and secure America was our parents' gift to us. We owe our children and our grandchildren nothing less.

Thank you. Goodnight. And may God continue to bless the United States of America.


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