A Test for Tehran-How Civilian Is Their Nuclear Program?

Secretary Rice's announcement that the United States will join multilateral discussions with Tehran clearly indicates that we are willing to go the extra mile to ensure a peaceful solution to the international crisis that Iran has created. This is a test for Tehran, and the world will soon see whether Iran's claims of peaceful intent ring true or hollow.

Iran must immediately halt all nuclear enrichment and related activities, and do so under international inspection, before any negotiation begins, and any diplomatic solution can only be built upon the permanent termination of all such activities.We must pursue a two-track approach - negotiate in good faith, but prepare tough political and economic sanctions if Iran again torpedoes a legitimate peaceful solution. While I sincerely hope that a successful diplomatic solution can be found, I urge the Senate to follow the House quickly and approve the Iran Freedom Support Act. The President should quickly sign this legislation and impose tough sanctions if these talks fail.  


Don't Get Your Hopes Up About Talks With Iran

I fully agree with Secretary of State Rice who expressed today that the Iranian people deserve a future that embraces human rights, freedom, stability, and prosperity. Indeed, we have hoped for decades that Iran's leadership would choose a course to make this possible.

However, time after time, the regime in Tehran has defied the world's demands that it abandon it nuclear ambitions, even heralding its successful production of enriched uranium only a few months ago.


Paulson Nomination--A Positive Statement To Investors

This is certainly a strong statement by the President to reassure our capital markets. I'm very hopeful Paulson will strongly advocate constraining government spending and forcefully articulate the good news about our nation's economic growth, which is a result of continued tax cuts and pro-growth policies.

Farewell to Chairman Hyde

Chairman Hyde has dedicated his career in public service to ideals and principles worthy of a great statesman. His determination to seek truth and justice has earned him the respect of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle. My single regret is that I only had two years to learn from Chairman Hyde, but those are lessons I will carry with me throughout my career. I wish him the best of luck in all his future endeavors.

Where Were These Voices?

It’s tough for me to get too excited about the howls of protest from leading members of Congress on both sides of the aisle. I understand their concerns about protecting the independence of the legislative branch and possible abuse of executive powers. But it makes me wonder: Where were these voices of outrage and righteous indignation when we learned the executive branch was monitoring the telephone conversations of ordinary Americans? Where were they when the executive branch sought more power to search the homes and businesses of ordinary Americans without notification?

At least we know there was a legitimate warrant issued by a judge for the search of Congressman Jefferson’s office. Are my honorable colleagues suggesting that members of Congress or the institution itself should be treated differently in the eyes of the law than those who hold the most important position in America – that of ‘citizen?’ I hope not.

Citizens and Lawmakers--Equal In the Eyes Of The Law

It is absolutely incredible that a Congress that regularly ransacks the files and offices of the Executive Branch finds it so reprehensible when the FBI does to one of its members what it does to any other American citizen -- make a lawful search to gather evidence of a crime following probable cause.

Therapy That Can Help Myself and Others

Every day scientists are breaking new ground in the study of stem cells and bringing new hope and possibility to finding cures for a variety of diseases. Parkinson's disease affects over one million Americans, and I am one of those patients. Parkinson's affects every day of my life.

When I was first diagnosed with this dreadful disease, I was told I would have been able to effectively manage my symptoms for a number of years. Unfortunately, in recent months, the symptoms have become more bothersome, and I have announced plans to retire at the end of this Congress. The decision to retire was a very sad one for me because I believe strongly in serving people.

But Parkinson's will not keep me down. I have been overwhelmed by the encouraging letters I have received by my constituents, colleagues and friends, veterans, and well-wishers from across the nation. I am heartened by your calls and emails.

I have said before that having Parkinson's has made me a better Congressman, and it's true. I know first hand what people go through when battling illness or injury. This is why it is so important to pass a bill that will allow us to perform research on more stem cell lines.

It is past time to allow researchers and doctors access to study these important cells. Because embryonic stem cells are the only cells that have the ability to turn into any cell in the body, their potential should not be ignored. They hold not just the potential to provide direct treatments and cures for today's debilitating injuries and illnesses, but they hold the key to unlocking our understanding of how the body works at the most fundamental level.

The Wait Must End

Last May, the House of Representatives narrowly passed H.R. 810, supporting federally funded embryonic stem cell research. My vote, recorded in support of this bill, reflects my strong views on the potential for stem cell research to benefit society. Stem cells can mature into nearly any type of cell, including nerve cells to repair damaged spines or heart cells to pump blood through the body. The therapeutic possibilities of stem cells are endless. It is my hope that the other body will work with us to support stem cell research. Somewhere out there is a little girl who suffered a spinal injury and is unable to walk. Therapy utilizing stem cells is her only hope. How much longer will she and millions of others have to wait?

Paulson Needs to Continue Progress Made by Snow

Secretary Snow got a lot done as head of the Treasury Department. He was determined to help create jobs and expand our economy. His successor needs to have that same kind of determination, along with a strong sense of tax policy, capital markets, international trade, and currency policy. I look forward to getting to know Henry Paulson through his hearing in the Senate Finance Committee.

Make The Economy Work For All Americans

Under the Bush economy average working Americans have paid a big price. While corporate profits have soared by 85% since President Bush took office, incomes across the board have have stagnated as Americans face twice as high prices at the pump, out of control health care bills, a housing market that’s up 54%, and college tuitions that are 57% more expensive. I hope that new leadership at the helm of the Treasury will put us back on track by making our economy work better for all Americans.