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Friday, January 27, 2006

State of the Union (the first two minutes)

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress: Thank you for your service to the United States of America.

Everyday, in nations around the world, citizens and leaders look to the resources of this nation to promote freedom, respect humanity, and encourage civility. The positive contributions from this government and this nation’s private citizens are felt from Afghanistan to Sri Lanka. We have been given a trust by the people of this great nation and a responsibility more humbling than our individual elections.

Gathering in great halls and making eloquent speeches does not earn the respect or endear the hearts of our citizens. The people of United States and peoples around the world expect results from this government; tonight we have the opportunity to address the world with one voice saying, “We will deliver.”

Five years ago when we met together, our national priorities were excellent schools, quality health care, a secure retirement, a cleaner environment, a growing economy, and a stronger defense. With your help, I have signed into law education reform, clean environment reform, tax cuts for every citizen, a prescription benefit plan, and have strengthened the ability of our military to respond in a rapidly changing world.

During this time, we have been attacked by an enemy seeking to destroy us, the families of our nation, and our allies around the world. With your consent, we have taken the fight to the enemy and have committed to our citizens, “We will defeat the ideology of evil and we will stand against those who threaten our allies.”

Some have suggested that the cost is too high and we should abandon the fight. Proposing that we hand victory to terrorist and desert our friends and allies, they have suggested that we relent in our pursuit of the enemy. This will not happen on my watch.

And yet, while we pursue one enemy we must be vigilant to guard against another that seeks destroy our Union and the strength of this nation from within. This enemy plots and plans in back rooms of this monument to democracy; when unleashed it attacks the foundations upon which this republic was built. This enemy seeks power through partisan bickering and is content only when progress has surrendered its allegiance to the throne of timidity.

While this nation faces the most serious challenges in its history, some in this room are content to trade progress toward a solution in favor of division and partisanship. I reject this ideology and am asking members of Congress to join together in working toward solutions.

Tonight, I will draw your attention to the most serious concerns that face our citizens and our nation. Accompanying this discussion of problems, I am taking the first step toward progress by suggesting solutions. I am asking Congress to take the second step by entering the dialogue of ideas. Without delay, I call upon both houses of Congress to pass a bipartisan, joint resolution committing to address these problems before the end of this Congressional term.

The people of this nation expect nothing less of its government than to end its partisan bickering and work toward solutions…

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