Last Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) delivered the Democrats’ national Address on the State of the Union. Reid’s speech focused on “critical challenges around the world America must confront.” Pelosi’s speech concentrated on domestic issues, including federal policies to strengthen R&D and global warming. Excerpts from Pelosi’s presentation follow:
“Preparing for the 21st century means bolstering our commitment to keep our nation number one. In our Innovation Agenda, unveiled more than a year ago here at the Press Club, House Democrats made a commitment to competitiveness [see http://www.aip.org/fyi/2005/170.html.] We will provide our nation with the tools necessary to unleash the next generation of growth and jobs.
“In his State of the Union address last year, President Bush spoke of keeping America competitive [see http://www.aip.org/fyi/2006/016.html.] With Democrats in the majority, we must work together with our Republican colleagues to do so - nothing less than America's economic leadership and our national security is at stake.
“Innovation and economic growth begins in America's classrooms. To create a new generation of innovators, we must fund No Child Left Behind so that we can encourage science and math education, taught by the most qualified and effective teachers.”
“Innovation also requires federal grants to our universities, which have long been the spark for great breakthroughs: from the Internet, to biosciences, to fiber optics, to nanotechnology.
“We must commit to doubling federal funding for basic research and development in the physical sciences and modernize and expand the research and development tax credit. And we will bring broadband access to every American within five years, creating millions of jobs.
“These investments, and initiatives to support a thriving small business environment, will allow us to pursue the long-term, trail blazing research that gives rise to new advances, spawns new industries, and creates good jobs here at home.”
“To preserve our planet, God's creation, we must make a serious commitment to combat global warming.
“Global warming is an increasing threat to our world, with implications for our health, food supply, and the survival of many species, and perhaps entire ecosystems.
“The science of global warming and its impact is overwhelming and unequivocal. The American people understand the urgency of the problem of climate change. 2006 was the warmest year on record, capping a nine year warming streak.
“Working with the global, religious, business, and scientific communities, we intend to continue robust research on global warming and produce policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions while simultaneously creating good-paying jobs.
“We want to work with President Bush on this important issue in a bipartisan way. But we cannot afford to wait.”
“Therefore, with openness and participation from all parts of our democracy, we will pass groundbreaking legislation that addresses global warming and energy independence.”