Bush Shows He Is Out of Touch with the American People

Tonight we saw a deeply unpopular President struggling to remain relevant and succeeding only in proving how out of touch he is with the American people.

There are millions of Americans who don't have health insurance. The president has had six years to do something about that, and he's done nothing. Now he is proposing raising taxes on middle class Americans to fund a system that still leaves millions uninsured.

Last year, just a week after saying that America is 'addicted to oil' in his State of the Union, the President sent Congress a budget that shortchanged the development of the alternative fuels and technologies needed to make America energy independent. He has had six years to do something about energy independence and global warming, and he's done nothing.

He has had six years to act in a bipartisan fashion, and we know he hasn't done that.

Tonight the President addressed a Democratic Congress, which was a direct result of people going to the polls to reject his failed policy in Iraq. Still, he continues to ignore the American people's mandate to end the war.

He had an opportunity to tell us what he's going to do to end this occupation and bring our troops home, and his refusal to do so only highlights just how out of touch he is with the American people.

He also had an opportunity to tell us what he is going to do to help the survivors of Katrina and to tackle the structural inequality, the endemic poverty, the negligence and the indifference that turned a natural disaster into a human catastrophe. His failure to do that makes it clear how much work we, as members of Congress, have to do.

Finally, our fight against the global AIDS pandemic is perhaps the greatest humanitarian crisis of our time. I am glad that the President mentioned our efforts to fight this disease, but the true test of his commitment will be reflected in his forthcoming budget request to Congress. I hope that he will agree with me on the need to provide $7.69 billion for our Global AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria programs in the coming year.

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