Good morning. This is Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi of California, the new Democratic Whip of the House of Representatives.
This week, President Bush delivered his State of the Union address, in which he eloquently stated that our nation remains committed to the war on terrorism and that we will do everything necessary to ensure our nation's security. We Democrats stand shoulder to shoulder with the President. As generations of Americans have before us, we will pay any price and bear any burden to keep our country secure.
And we want to work with the President to revive our economy. Far too many Americans have lost their jobs in the last year, and many more are worried that they will soon lose theirs. We had hoped to hear some new ideas for promoting economic growth, but unfortunately we heard the same tired proposals we have heard before. Clearly, the policies of the Bush Administration have not promoted economic growth. The Democrats have a plan that will stimulate the economy by modernizing our schools, rebuilding our infrastructure and putting people back to work.
For the state of our union to be sound, any decision that we make on the economy must be made in the public interest, not for the special interests. Thatís why I was so disappointed that the President did not mention campaign finance reform in his State of the Union address. In the next few weeks, the House of Representatives will debate this issue, which is vital to our democracy.
The sudden collapse of Enron, which has been so catastrophic to so many people who have lost their jobs and their hard-earned pensions, has clearly demonstrated the need for meaningful campaign finance reform. It is an opportunity that we must seize now.
Everyone who is elected to Congress takes an oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. One threat to our Constitution, indeed to our participatory democracy, is the role of special interest money in the political process today.
A vote for real campaign finance reform will end the corrosive influence of special interest money, and level the playing field so that all Americans can participate and be heard.
We have an opportunity to restore confidence in the political process, to end the alienation of the American people, and give the government back to the people. If we wipe the slate clean, we can create a new architecture for political fundraising in our country that will make politics more wholesome, the grassroots more empowered, and the people more involved.
We call on the President to stand with us on the side of meaningful campaign finance reform to return political power to the American people, where it began, and where it belongs.
This is Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi. Thank you for listening.
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