House Call - American People vs. The President
Fri May 18, 2007 18:46

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: House Call - American People vs. The President
Date: Fri, 18 May 2007 16:25:35 -0700 (PDT)
From: Speaker Pelosi

House Call - From the House to Your House

May 18, 2007

The American People vs. The President

There is no question that the American people have lost confidence in the conduct of the war in Iraq, and that American families are paying the price for the Republican Administration’s mismanagement of the war. President Bush has time after time failed to heed this call for a new direction in Iraq.

Speaker Pelosi and Leader Reid met with Republican leaders and White House officials regarding the Iraq Accountability Act this morning. Going into the meeting, Speaker Pelosi had hopes to find common ground of accountability and ending the war. Disappointingly, White House officials made it clear that the President will not accept any accountability or responsibility. The President and Congressional Republicans need to negotiate in good faith; if they do not, we are prepared to work through the scheduled Memorial Day recess to accomplish our goals.

The clear difference between Democrats and the President is on accountability. President Bush will not accept accountability or responsibility for what has happened in Iraq. This Congress will restore accountability and strengthen our military in a way that honors our troops and their families - and our veterans. This legislation makes us better able to defend our national interests and secure our homeland. It includes everything the President has asked for the troops, and more. Before commemorating this Memorial Day, we will send this bill to the President that pays tribute to those that have fallen on behalf of our country, and supports those fighting bravely on our behalf. It is time for accountability in Iraq, and a new direction.

Strengthening Our Military & Supporting Our Troops

This week, the House overwhelmingly approved the FY 2008 Defense Authorization Bill, providing the necessary resources and authorities to quickly and efficiently reverse declining trends in training and equipment readiness. It will improve health care for our troops, provide them the best gear and protection, and increase their pay and the benefits they have earned.

The President has threatened to veto the FY08 Defense Authorization Bill and the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy declaring their opposition to a 3.5% pay raise for the troops and an additional $40 per month for widows of slain soldiers, as well as additional benefits for surviving family members of civilian employees and price controls for prescription drugs under TRICARE. Today, Democratic Leaders issued a joint letter to President, urging him to reconsider his objections to the bill giving troops the pay raise they deserve and increasing benefits for surviving spouses of men and women in uniform.

America has the finest military in the world. But we must support their heroic efforts and ensure they are ready and fully equipped. Unfortunately, the Bush Administration’s failed policies in Iraq have depleted our great military and put a tremendous strain on our troops. Under the bill, our troops will get better health care, better pay, and the benefits they have earned.

Read the letter to the President>>
Watch video from the floor debate on The Gavel>>

A Budget That Reflects America’s Values

This week, Democrats in the House and Senate passed a budget out of conference committee that we will now send to the President’s desk for his signature. Our budget restores fiscal responsibility by balancing the budget in five years, protecting middle class families from tax increases, and emphasizing the right priorities for America’s future. In contrast, the President’s Budget remains in deficit far into the future, cuts crucial job training, health care, and college affordability initiatives. It does not adequately prioritize military readiness, cutting funding for first responders and local law enforcement.

Our budget is a statement of our national values, and a blueprint for our new direction for America. It strengthens national security while ending waste, fraud, and abuse. It provides health care for millions of uninsured children, and makes college more affordable. It invests in innovation, providing fresh thinking on reducing global warming and increasing our nation’s energy independence.

Read Speaker Pelosi’s statement on passage of the budget>>

See a side by side comparison of the Democratic Budget vs. the President's Budget>>

Lowering Gas Prices

House Democrats are committed to lowering gas prices to ease the burden on American families. We will increase our nation’s energy independence, and reduce our global warming emissions. On May 8th, we began a series of hearings investigating rising gas prices and energy dependence. This week, the Energy and Commerce Oversight Subcommittee held a hearing focusing on the shutdown of the BP refinery last year, which resulted in oil spikes, and the company’s failure to investing in critical infrastructure. Additionally, the Judiciary Committee Antitrust Task Force held a hearing on whether anticompetitive practices in the oil and gasoline industry are causing record gas prices.

Next week, we will bring legislation on gas price gouging to the House floor. The Federal Price Gouging Prevention Act will make it illegal for anyone to sell oil, gasoline, natural gas, or petroleum at a price that is excessive, and prohibit sellers from taking advantage of emergency circumstances to increase their prices.

Learn about House action on rising gas prices>>

Watch video highlights from the Judiciary Committee hearing on price gouging>>

Supporting Community Policing and Honoring Fallen Officers

This week, the House passed legislation to strengthen the community oriented policing effort (COPS) that has proven to reduce crime nationwide but was underfunded during the previous Republican-led Congress. This bill reinvigorates the program, and keeps our neighborhoods safe by putting 50,000 additional police officers on the street over the next 6 years.

On Tuesday we commemorated Peace Officers Memorial Day, honoring the sacrifice of the brave men and women who heroically gave their lives in the line of duty to protect ours. Passing the COPS Improvement Act this week is one way to honor our commitment to our officers in the line of duty, providing them the necessary tools to keep America safe.

Learn more about the Community Policing Improvement Act>>

Speaker Pelosi: COPS Bill Honors Our Police Officers on This Peace Officers Memorial Day>>

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