President Bush has go-getting agenda for '06

Published 9:34 pm Tuesday, February 7, 2006

By By Jo Bonner
In his State of the Union address last week, President Bush championed an ambitious agenda for the upcoming year.
I share his commitment for America to continue to lead the world in human talent and creativity.
The proposals offered in his speech will benefit working Americans immediately and will also provide long term support and stimulus to the economy.
There is ample evidence that we are on the right track and must continue on the policy path that has fostered this tremendous job growth.
I was pleased President and Mrs. Bush chose to honor Coast Guardsman Joel Sayers by inviting him to sit with the first lady during the speech.
Coast Guardsman Sayers is credited with organizing the rescue of 167 people in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and is stationed at the Aviation Training Center in Mobile.
The president also used the opportunity to honor a fallen Marine, by having his parents and wife also sit with the first lady.
SSgt. Daniel Clay, who grew up in Pensacola, was killed by a roadside bomb late last year in Iraq. President Bush read portions of what became SSgt. Clay's final letter to his family:
"It has been an honor to protect and serve all of you … I faced death with the secure knowledge that you would not have to."
What a tremendously emotional moment it must have been for SSgt. Clay's parents-Clarence "Bud" Clay, Jr. and Sara Jo Clay-and his wife, Lisa, to sit with the first lady as the president read to millions of Americans the last words to them from SSgt. Clay.
I was also happy to see the two newest members of the Supreme Court in the House Chamber for the president's speech-Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, who was confirmed by the Senate early last week and became the nation's 110th Supreme Court Justice. The American people should be proud to see such fine additions to our nation's highest court.
I look forward to having the opportunity to look at each of the president's proposals in more detail in the coming weeks.
President Bush has laid out some wide-ranging objectives in his agenda, and it will ultimately be up to Congress with the input of the American people to meet these challenges.
Deficit Reduction Act
Last week, the House passed the Deficit Reduction Act by a vote of 216-214. This was another critical step towards containing the runaway growth of entitlement programs.
As you know the House passed this bill in December; however, after the Senate made minor changes to the bill, it required a second vote in the House before heading to the president's desk for his signature.
The Deficit Reduction Act, through reforming outdated and low performing government programs, achieves significant savings. The $39 billion saved by this plan is a down payment on America's future and a wise plan to return our government to sound fiscal footing.
The legislation also frees up vital spectrum airwaves so that our first responders can better protect our citizens in the event of a natural disaster or terrorist attack.
With the passage of the Deficit Reduction Act, our House majority is reforming government, reducing the deficit, and renewing our commitment to hardworking American taxpayers.
New Majority Leader
Late last week, Republicans elected a new majority leader, Congressman John Boehner of Ohio.
Leader Boehner has called on all Republicans to rededicate ourselves to the issues that are important to the American people-especially jobs and national security.
Congressman Roy Blunt of Missouri will continue to serve as Majority Whip. As an assistant whip, I have worked closely with Roy over the last few years, and I look forward to continuing to work with him.
It is always difficult for friends to compete with each other, and this was a well-fought race. The Republican Conference works well together and will continue to do so.
There is much work remaining for this second session of the 109th Congress. Be assured that we will get behind our new leader and do our best to accomplish the people's work.
My staff and I work for you. Please call if we can be of service.
Jo Bonner is a U.S. congressman. His column appears weekly.

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