WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi announced today that Governor Gary Locke of Washington state will deliver the Democratic response to President Bushs State of the Union address.
Americas governors are the ones on the front lines in dealing with our nations challenges, and Governor Locke is one of our partys most articulate voices, said Senator Daschle. The challenges faced by Washington state reflect the challenges facing America: promoting economic growth, protecting against terrorism, and providing affordable health care and a good education, and Governor Lockes unique perspective on each of those issues makes him the perfect person to respond to the Presidents address.
The states are the forefront of the war on terrorism and the challenge to revitalize our economy, so its appropriate that we have a governor give the Democratic response, particularly such a strong leader as Governor Locke, Congresswoman Pelosi said. The states are facing their worst fiscal crisis in half a century. House Democrats have responded to that need by providing about $31 billion to the states this year in our economic stimulus plan, while the plan proposed by President Bush disregards the states. Governor Lockes insight on how best to answer the challenges facing the states makes him the right person to respond to the Presidents speech.
Senator Daschle and Congresswoman Pelosi have encouraged Americas Democratic governors to play a bigger role in shaping and communicating the partys agenda.
In addition to delivering the partys response to the Presidents State of the Union message, they have invited the Governors to regularly provide the partys response to the Presidents weekly radio address.
Twelve new Democratic Governors were elected in November and two Democratic
governors were re-elected. In all, Democrats now control 24 of the nations
state houses and represent 53% of the U.S. population
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