Friday, November 18, 2005

Speaker Hastert Comments on Iraq and Economic Security

To: National Desk, Political Correspondent
Contact: Ron Bonjean or Lisa C. Miller, 202-225-2800, both of Speaker's Press Office, U.S. House of Representatives
WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) today delivered the following remarks made to the House Republican Conference press availability regarding the commitment to economic and national security:
"We had an interesting night last night. We passed a piece of legislation that is certainly one of the first real reform pieces of legislation since we passed Medicare reform in 1997 and the Deficit Reduction Act.
"I tell you, one of the things when you do reconciliation -- and of course that's a technical name for what we do here in Congress -- we don't do that very often. There's a reason. It ain't easy to do. It takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of thought. We have to work with a lot of people.
"We had really a great effort by our whole conference to come forward, to work together, to make sure that we could move this piece of legislation forward.
"What it does is start to turn down the escalating costs of our future costs for our children and our grandchildren. One of the things that we cannot leave to that next generation is a huge deficit that they can't afford.
"So we have to start that work now. The next part of that, the next step that we'll take forward, when we come back, and that's try to make sure that we can keep our economy strong, to make sure that we can do the dividends and the capital gains that will create jobs in this country, that have created jobs and economic growth in the last three years.
"We've had 10 consecutive quarters of growth -- over 3 percent. Last quarter was 3.9 percent. And every time that happens, that creates jobs.
"That's because we worked to make that happen. We will continue to work to make that happen. And, you know, there's another issue that will be on the floor today, and that's to make sure that we support our troops that are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"One of the questions that are out there -- a lot of people say: Look, this is a tough time, we just ought to pull out and leave. We pull out and leave, we strand an effort to make sure that we can tamp down terrorism, to tamp down a dictatorship, that we can stabilize an area in the Middle East.
"And I think that folks ought to just take a look at the news and see what's happened in European countries in the last week or so. Look at what's happening in France, in Paris. When they have an attitude of malaise and, "Well, we can't do it," and they placate and placate, all of a sudden the terrorism is in their back yard.
"We don't want to be fighting terrorism on the streets of Washington, D.C., or Chicago or Minneapolis or anywhere else.
"We need to face terrorism. We need to reach out. I will remember that day on September 11th, 2001, when I looked out my window and saw smoke coming across the Mall from the Pentagon building. We lost almost 3,000 people in 45 minutes.
"We don't want to have that happen again. Our men and women who fight for this country, to wear their uniforms, have made a great sacrifice. We want to honor that sacrifice, we want to make sure there is freedom and liberty in those countries that they've worked and fought.
"And we will not retreat. Thank you."
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/© 2005 U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/

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