January 20,2004

Grassley on the President's State of the Union Address


To: Reporters and Editors
Re: President Bush’s State of the Union Address
Da: Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2004

Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Committee on Finance, made the following commenton President Bush’s state of the union address.

“I appreciate the President’s commitment to fighting terrorism. Terrorists can strike at anypoint, but especially when we let our guard down, and we can’t let that happen. He’s followingthrough on fighting terrorism, bringing peace to Iraq, and helping to rebuild Afghanistan. ThisPresident finishes what he starts.

“On the economy and tax relief, report after report has shown we’ve done the right thing.By letting taxpayers keep more of their own money in 2001 and 2003, we created incentives to work,save and invest. These actions drive economic growth. I'm grateful for a President who recognizesthat any Americans out of work are too many Americans out of work. Those of us in Washingtonneed to do everything in our power to create jobs. That’s not just any jobs, but quality opportunitiesthat pay enough income to sustain families and build careers. Americans are the world’s greatestworkforce. Folks need and deserve to use their abilities and skills to the fullest. I'll continue to workwith the President to advance policies that promote economic growth.

“President Bush’s attention to making health care affordable and available to all Americansis critical. He isn’t resting on the laurels of the Medicare prescription drug law. The Presidentrecognizes, as we’ve found in the Finance Committee, that there’s no one--fits-all solution to theuninsured problem. Americans may be uninsured for different reasons, and so we may have to adoptmore than one approach to fix the problem. Working with the President and others to increase thenumber of Americans with health insurance will be a priority of the Finance Committee this year. For example, in 2002 we created an advanceable, refundable health insurance tax credit for workersdisplaced by trade or whose pension plans have failed. I plan to have a hearing on the administrationof this tax credit to make sure it’s working as planned.

“On charitable giving, I welcome the President’s efforts to strengthen the positive role thatcharities play in our communities. The Senate has passed the legislation that creates tax incentivesto encourage charitable giving. I hope the Senate’s Democratic leadership will stop its efforts thathave prevented us from going to conference and passing this important legislation.

“On Social Security, I hope the President’s call for action will spark an open, honest debateabout the best way to protect and improve the program for the baby boomers and beyond. Aschairman of the Finance Committee, I look forward to working with the President to highlight thepositive ways we can help Americans save more for retirement, and avoid the retirement crisis thatwill result if we don’t act soon.”