WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) today issued the following statement on President Bush’s State of the Union address:
“It was encouraging to see the president place such an emphasis on bringing Congress together to pass legislation quickly to give our economy a boost. While the fundamentals of our economy remain strong, it is important that we provide immediate assistance to workers and families who are struggling with high energy costs and a softening housing market. We also must give small businesses a financial boost in order to help them continue growing and creating jobs.
“In the longer term, I support the president’s call to strengthen our economy by making current tax law permanent in order to stop devastating tax hikes that are scheduled to happen in just three short years unless Congress acts.
“On other important domestic issues like increasing access to affordable health care, promoting alternative energy sources and renewing the No Child Left Behind education law, I appreciated the president’s call to action and am hopeful that bipartisan consensus can be found.
“President Bush also highlighted the national security challenges we continue to face, including the global war on terror. Last year, the president made the difficult decision to send more troops to Iraq to help stop rising levels of violence. With violence in Iraq now falling dramatically and political reconciliation between the Iraqis taking hold, it is clear the president’s strategy worked. Under the leadership of General David Petraeus, our troops have made remarkable progress. They should continue to be given the funding and resources necessary to continue to finish their mission and begin the process of coming home.
“While a stabilized Iraq with a functioning democracy is vital to our national security, President Bush was right to call on Congress to act on the most pressing national security issue currently facing our country: the extension of terrorist surveillance legislation that allows our intelligence community to monitor terrorists’ communication both here and abroad. This critical law, known as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, expires in just four short days. I hope Congress acts immediately to extend this law in order to provide our intelligence agencies the tools they need to keep us safe.”