Feb 02 2005

SHELBY STATEMENT ON STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS

U.S. Senator Richard C. Shelby (R-AL) commented on President Bush's State of the Union address before Congress:

Senator Shelby said, “President Bush has laid out an aggressive agenda on domestic and foreign policy issues. I believe he has provided a clear vision for our country which will serve as an important roadmap for the year ahead.”

“I share the President’s commitment to fighting and winning the war on terrorism. He underscored his commitment to our military. I, too, believe we must support our troops and ensure that they have the best equipment, best supplies and best leadership necessary to get the job done. I agree that we must stay the course in Iraq. We cannot cut and run. If we are to ensure freedom and democracy, it is essential that we follow through on our obligation to bring about stability in Iraq.”

“The President’s speech tonight, coupled with his remarks during his Inaugural address, provide the country and the world with a clear understanding of his commitment to halt the rise of tyranny and foster the spread of democracy and freedom abroad. I believe the success of the Iraqi elections, the beginning of a democratic government in Afghanistan, and even democratic elections in the Ukraine demonstrate that hope and freedom will always triumph over terror and tyranny.”

“President Bush discussed the need for Social Security reform, and I commend him for attempting to tackle this critically important issue. I am pleased that he is committed to protecting and maintaining the benefits of current and soon-to-be retirees. I agree that we must work together to strengthen Social Security if we want our children and grandchildren to have a Social Security benefit in their retirement years.”

“Although President Bush outlined a broad proposal for personal retirement accounts, the debate surrounding Social Security reform will continue to evolve, and we must remember that the devil is in the details. I support the underlying principle of personal retirement accounts; however, I am skeptical of any plan that places a significant burden on future generations and could endanger the economic well-being of our country. I believe that significant reforms to a program as large and critically important as Social Security must be cautious and deliberative, and I intend to take such an approach as Congress debates this matter.”

“On the whole, I believe that the President has set forth an ambitious agenda for the coming year. I intend to work closely with him and my colleagues to ensure our homeland is secure, our economy sees continued growth, and the American people continue to prosper,” Shelby concluded.