Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Our Speaker of the House

Mr. Dennis Hastert, The Speaker of the House has a new post on his blog.

posted by Denny Hastert @ 9:11am (12/19/05)

It has been a long night. I know I’m pretty tired and I know our Members are. But it was worth it. Anyone who knows me, knows that I keep my word. Well, we made some promises to the American people. We said we would restrain spending and prioritize government programs. . . that we would make government run smarter and better. We kept our promises. And we have a lot to be proud of.

Overnight, we passed three important bills: the Deficit Reduction Act, the Department of Defense Appropriations and the DOD Authorization bill.

They’re full of good provisions that are going to improve the lives of our families.

Let me tell you just a few of the things in those bills:

  • We’ve got more than $40 billion in savings;
  • Dozens of wasteful government programs were eliminated for a savings of $3.5 billion;
  • There’s a 1 Percent Across-the-Board Spending Cut;
  • And, there’s an Agreement to Explore the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. (Many of you already know how important this is. Ending our foreign dependency on oil will go a long way towards easing our energy problems.);

And those are just the highlights. There’s a lot more good stuff in those bills, including a pay raise for our troops and money to buy body armor and other equipment for our armed forces.

We really do have a lot to be proud of as House Republicans. It’s been a year of accomplishments.

We’ve gotten a lot of bills to the President. And we’ve seen them become law. Like CAFTA (the Central America Free Trade Agreement). It’s going to open more foreign markets in Central America and help our farmers and businesses.

We saw our energy bill become law. As well as the highway bill which is going to improve our roads and create jobs.

Bankruptcy reform was another big issue the president signed. And he signed a class action fairness bill to eliminate frivolous lawsuits.

The REAL ID Act was signed into law to help our law enforcement with the identification process.

And of course, when the hurricanes hit the Gulf Coast, we acted right away. We passed billions of dollars in aid to help the victims and to rebuild that part of the country.

Lookit, House Republicans outlined what we wanted to do. And I think the record shows we got it done.

For me, I think the best Christmas gift I could have gotten is this record of accomplishments. House Republicans did our job.

Now, coming back from the holidays, we have a full plate. We’ve got a lot of legislation sitting over in the Senate that we’re going to push them to act on. We passed a border control bill to secure our borders and keep terrorism out. The PATRIOT Act is sitting in the Senate. We need them to act on that. And there are plenty of others: a permanent repeal of the death tax, pension reform, Hurricane Katrina tax relief, capital gains and dividend tax relief.

We’ve been working hard at the Capitol. And I think America is better for it.

Look at our economy. It’s booming. Consumer prices just fell the most ever in a half a century. GDP is strong. Unemployment is at 5 percent. Home sales are good. And that’s the record we have after back to back hurricanes.

America is improving because House Republicans are passing some real legislation that’s getting to the heart of America’s issues. We’re making this country better.

There’s one more thing I want to talk about and that’s Iraq. I took a break from all the work around here to listen to the President’s speech to the nation last night. He said a lot of good things about what we’re trying to do in Iraq.

I think anyone with questions about what we’re accomplishing there can just focus on the elections we just saw. I know we tend to take things like that for granted but if you really, really think about it, it was pretty amazing.

Democracy has come to Iraq, a place that was once under a dictator – Saddam Hussein. Now, people are standing in long lines and walking for miles just for the right to vote and have a say in their government.

U.S. troops have made that type of freedom possible. I’m proud of them. They know that securing Iraq is key to our efforts to protecting Americans. And they’re going in there and getting the job done. So as we go into this Christmas week, I just want to say God bless them all. I know many of them are away from their families this Christmas. I just want them to know that we see what they’re doing and we appreciate it.

This Republican Congress is going to work hard in 2006 on behalf of the American people and those troops who are giving so much to our country.

Well, I guess that’s it for now. I hope all of you out in blogosphere have a safe and happy Christmas with your families and loved ones. Jean and I sure do wish you all the best.

Until next time, this is Denny.

Just to be clear, Nancy Pelosi is not the Speaker of the House, but she is the House Minority Leader.

Why she is in the minority should be obvious.


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