The Democratic response to President Bush's State of the Union address is being delivered by Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.
In this time, normally reserved for the partisan response, I hope to offer you something more.
An American Response.
A national call to action on behalf of the struggling families in the heartland, and across this great country. A wakeup call to Washington, on behalf of a new American majority, that time is running out on our opportunities to meet our challenges and solve our problems.
On the economy:
Our struggling economy requires urgent and immediate action, and then sustained attention. Families cant pay their bills. They are losing their jobs, and now are threatened with losing their homes.We heard last week and again tonight that Congress and the president are acting quickly, on a temporary, targeted stimulus package. That is encouraging. But you and I know that a temporary fix is only the first step toward meeting our challenges and solving our problems.
On the need to work together:
There is a chance Mr. President, in the next 357 days, to get real results, and give the American people renewed optimism that their challenges are the top priority. Working together, working hard, committing to results, we can get the job done.
In fact, over the last year, the new Democratic majority in Congress has begun to move us in a new direction, with bipartisan action on significant initiatives to bolster our national security, raise the minimum wage, and reduce the costs of college loans.
These are encouraging first steps. But there is still more to be done.
On Charting a New Course:
The new Democratic majority of Congress and the vast majority of Americans are ready - ready to chart a new course. If more Republicans in Congress stand with us this year, we wont have to wait for a new president to restore Americas role in the world, and fight a more effective war on terror.
The last five years have cost us dearly - in lives lost; in thousands of wounded warriors whose futures may never be the same; in challenges not met here at home because our resources were committed elsewhere. Americas foreign policy has left us with fewer allies and more enemies.
On working for the common good:
I know government can work to benefit the people we serve, because I see it every day, not only here in Kansas, but in states across the country. I know government can work, Mr. President, because like you, I grew up in a family committed to public service. My father and my father-in- law both served in Congress — one a Republican and one a Democrat. They had far more in common than the issues that divided them - a love for their country that led them from military service to public service. A lifetime of working for the common good, making sacrifices so their children and grandchildren could have a better future.
On transforming America:
These are uncertain times, but with strength and determination, we can meet the challenges together. If Washington can work together, so quickly, on a short-term fix for families caught in the financial squeeze, then we can work together to transform America.