Gov. Gregoire gives radio address
Here is the text of the governor's address:
Good morning. This is Washington State Governor Chris Gregoire.Republicans are in control of the federal government, but they aren't providing leadership. Since they seem unable to govern, Democrats must step in and take the lead, even if it's not on the federal level.
We Americans have much to be thankful for this holiday weekend. We are especially grateful for the courage and patriotism of American men and women serving away from home and overseas, who weren't able to be with their loved ones this Thanksgiving.
As a nation blessed with so many gifts, it is fitting that we also assist those among us who are in need. With record high energy prices, Democratic Governors across the country are helping those who can't afford to heat their homes. In Washington State, I have asked legislators for additional state funding for low-income home energy assistance to keep our neighbors warm.
In New Mexico, Governor Richardson called a special legislative session to help citizens deal with high energy costs, and they're now receiving rebate checks to help cover rising energy costs. Pennsylvania Governor Rendell announced an agreement to build the nation's first waste-coal-to-diesel plant - a project that will reduce energy bills for Pennsylvania's residents and reduce our nation's dependence on foreign oil.
Democratic Governors are implementing strong, innovative energy policies in our states. We're controlling rising prices and reducing our use of foreign oil by embracing alternative energy sources. For our nation to keep pace with the energy demands of the coming century, we need a comprehensive energy policy - with commitments from the states and federal government.
Sadly, we simply can't rely on the Republican-controlled Congress to create a national energy policy that works.
President Bush and the Republican Congress have the wrong values and the wrong priorities. They continue to cut spending for programs Americans value and need the most.
They are cutting medical care to the most vulnerable. They are cutting education programs and they are putting the dream of a college education out of reach for many people.
Our American values are pretty basic. We want to know their families are safe, that we have access to health care, and that our children can get a good education that will allow them to pursue their career dreams.
But the President and the Republican Congress are out of touch with these values. They are abdicating their responsibility by cutting homelandsecurity, health care and education programs.
It doesn't stop there.
Here in Washington State, the President and Congress have shortchanged the cleanup of the federal government's Hanford nuclear reservation.
The cleanup is the largest in the nation and essential to protecting the environment and economy of the Northwest. But now the Administration is cutting vital funds and is in full retreat from its commitment to clean up the dangerously polluted site.
The Republicans also continue to ignore the dramatic increase in health care costs. In Washington State, I made sure this year that 40,000 children have insurance coverage, and I intend to cover every child by 2010.
Governor Minner of Delaware has launched the first-in-the-nation program to pay for cancer treatment for those who can't afford it. Thanks to Governor Vilsack's leadership, 94 percent of Iowa's children now have health care. And 10 days ago, Illinois became the only state in the nation to offer health care to every single child with the governor's "All Kids" program. These policies are making a real difference for Americans across the country. But we cannot do it alone.
American values are clear. We want a better education for our children, affordable health care, help with skyrocketing heating bills, and good jobs.
Democrats are working to meet those goals. Because we know that together, America can do better.
Thank you and God bless the United States.