Just a few weeks after vetoing health care for American children, the president has again threatened to block investing in important domestic priorities here at home.
The Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill that I will manage on the Senate floor this week supports American families, invests in this country's future and reflects our shared values.
This bill funds life-saving research, Head Start, support for K-12 education, home-heating assistance for the poor, mental health and substance abuse services, student financial assistance, job training, and a whole host of other critical domestic needs.
As you know, the president's priorities – enormous tax breaks and our tragic war in Iraq -- have left these essential domestic investments starved in recent years.
President Bush will complain that Senate Democrats want to invest 11 billion dollars more than he requested over the next year to meet these important needs. He will not mention that he wants taxpayers to spend twelve billion dollars in Iraq every month.
Enough is enough. We've neglected these priorities for too long. While I expect that the president's prepared statement on this bill will praise the fiscal discipline of his Party, don't forget that for the six years that Republicans controlled Congress, they drove up $1.5 trillion dollars in new debt and President Bush never once vetoed a bill.
Nearly a year ago the American people spoke, with a decisive voice, and asked the Democrats to lead Congress. We have a responsibility to live up to your expectations and get this country back on the right track.
This responsibility to our home front requires us to fund the programs necessary to build a decent, just society and to stand up to a President who wants to spend hundreds of billions overseas, but veto an additional 11 billion here at home.
Please stand with me on the Health and Education bill and urge your Senator to support the funding bill this week. We continue to show the American people that progressives can and will continue to fight for what matters.
Thank you, as always, for your continued support, your hard work, and your dedication to our principles. I look forward to reading your questions and comments and I will try to respond as soon as time permits.