Posts Tagged ‘Bush Administration’

No pubic statement from Donnelly on Iraq War Anniversary?

March 21, 2008

A perusal of the region’s news outlets seems to show that Rep. Joe Donnelly chose to stay out of sight on the 5th Anniversary of the War in Iraq.

Remember candidate Donnelly proclaiming how he would not be a “rubber stamp” for the Bush administration?

Now consider Donnelly’s repeated siding with the Bush administration and the GOP on the continuation of this quagmire, this war that “could last 100 years” according to John McCain.

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Donnelly: Bush Administration has work to do

January 29, 2008

The following piece was published January 25, 2008 in the South Bend Tribune.

Bush administration has work to do

By JOE DONNELLY

On Monday, President Bush will deliver his final State of the Union address. Given the near universal importance of keeping and creating jobs, making us less dependent on foreign oil, providing better care for our veterans and making health care more accessible, I’m hopeful the president will touch on each of those issues on Monday.

The Economy

Over the past few months, Hoosiers have felt the full impact of our struggling economy. From rising energy prices and health care costs to mortgage concerns and a volatile job market, the people of north central Indiana are feeling the squeeze in almost every facet of their lives. For these reasons, I support the outline of the recently negotiated economic stimulus package that includes rebate checks for working families, incentives for businesses to invest in new equipment and mortgage lending reforms to ease the burden of the recent mortgage crisis. I hope the president emphasizes in his remarks that we must put aside partisanship and get this done as soon as possible.

We must also recognize that the strength of the American economy is linked to our trade policies. For too long, our government has allowed countries like China to manipulate their currency, steal our intellectual property and illegally subsidize exports at the cost of millions of American jobs. These countries are playing us for fools, and it’s time for the president to use the full weight of his authority to ensure that our businesses have access to foreign markets — just the same as our market is open to foreign commerce — and that our workers have the opportunity to compete on a level playing field.

Energy Independence

Last year, Congress passed and the president signed into law a significant energy package designed to make America less energy dependent. The legislation provides for the first increase in Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards in 32 years — a change that is expected to reduce oil consumption by 1.1 million barrels per day by 2020.

In the coming year, Congress should pass an energy tax package to renew a number of expiring tax provisions designed to promote alternative energy sources and infrastructure — including my own bill that would provide incentives for gas station owners to install E-85 pumps.

At a time when 65 percent of America’s oil comes from foreign sources, we must stay committed to a policy of energy independence. We should not continue to compromise our national security by putting our hard-earned dollars into the pockets of oil country dictators. Investing in a new generation of ethanol, bio-diesel, and other renewable energies right here in Indiana will create jobs and make us safer in the long run.

Veterans

With the Department of Veterans Affairs straining under the pressure of an aging veteran population and new war veterans coming home from overseas, I hope President Bush uses part of his address to call attention to the monumental task of caring for our wounded warriors that lies ahead of us. Veterans’ issues have received scant attention in the president’s past State of the Union addresses. The president will miss an opportunity if he does not reverse that pattern.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, more than 1.6 million brave American men and women have served in Iraq and Afghanistan and approximately 30,000 have been wounded. The Army recently released a report estimating that as many as one in five returning Iraq veterans have suffered a traumatic brain injury. Moreover, disabled veterans of all ages, who often are living on fixed incomes, must wait, on average, a frustratingly long six months before a decision is made on their disability claims. Major changes are needed to fix a disability system that is too complicated and unnecessarily slow.

Health care

Too many Hoosiers can’t afford the rising costs of health care and businesses — particularly small businesses — face increased difficulty maintaining health benefits for their workers. In 2006 alone, 47 million Americans went without health coverage, including more than 9 million uninsured children.

No one has ever suggested that reforming our health care system to bring about universal coverage would be easy. That’s why the president and Congress should start with a smaller, yet important healthcare reform to get the ball rolling. That reform would be expanding and reauthorizing the successful State Children’s Health Insurance Program, which currently provides healthcare to more than 6 million children who otherwise wouldn’t have it. We were close to getting this reform into law in 2007, and we hope the president will sign it into law this year.

If we can work together to get more children insured, then I’m confident the next reform — possibly, making it easier for small businesses to band together to buy insurance for their employees — would come more quickly and easily.