Our Democratic Pledge

This past Saturday, I spoke to the nation in the Democrats' weekly radio address and discussed three pledges that Democrats are making to the country:

1.) We will and must change the way things are done in Washington;
2.) We will work with the President and our Republican colleagues in Congress to forge a new direction in Iraq; and
3.) We will address the concerns and issues that affect the lives of working families.

Let me elaborate a bit more on those pledges. First, Washington has to change the way it does business. Democrats seek to restore civility and integrity to our legislative process, and transparency and accountability to our government. We will reach across the aisle and seek bipartisan consensus whenever possible and pass legislation that ensures ethics and lobbying reform.

Second, the strategy in Iraq is not working. In the days ahead, the Iraqis must make the tough decisions and accept responsibility for their future.

Finally, Democrats pledge to address the concerns and issues that affect the lives of working families:
We will implement the recommendations of the bipartisan 9/11 Commission - because our highest duty is to protect the American people.

Next we will raise the federal minimum wage - because, in America, if you work hard and play by the rules, you should not live in poverty.

Education has always been a high priority among democrats and we will make higher education more affordable - because an educated workforce is the key to our long-term success and security.

Last, but certainly not least, Democrats will allow the government to negotiate lower drug prices for Medicare patients; rollback taxpayer subsidies for the oil industry, and fight to free America from its dependence on foreign oil; and work to strengthen and guarantee Social Security.

As Democrats look to achieve all of these goals it is imperative that we restore fiscal discipline - because it is immoral for this generation of Americans to force our children and grandchildren to pay our bills.

We will do all of this not because we believe in the infinite wisdom of government, but because we believe in the innate goodness of our people and the promise of a brighter future in the land that we all love.