Tuesday’s State of the Union address was a first for this presidency.  Delivered to a new Congress controlled by the other party, the president’s speech appropriately acknowledged our new collective responsibility to work together, across the aisle, to find common ground to achieve big things for the American people.  On healthcare, energy, and fiscal discipline, the president outlined bold, responsible policies to improve the lives of millions of Americans.

President Bush was innovative and aggressive in addressing the critical issue of energy independence, one of the most important challenges facing our nation today.  It is a matter of homeland security, environmental security, and common sense, and, while we may not all agree on how to achieve energy independence, the president has appropriately kicked off the discussion with big ideas worthy of debate.

Through encouraging conservation and renewable energy sources, President Bush will put the United States on a path toward freedom from the threat of hostile regimes from whom we purchase energy and toward more certainty in our energy supply, which will provide economic security, as well.

I was pleased to hear the president address the war in Iraq in the context of the Global War on Terror, reminding each of us of the primary role of government – protecting the United States of America.  The president is committed to this goal and to success in Iraq, and we must support him, and our men in women in uniform, as they pursue that critical objective.