Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senator Charles Schumer held a press conference today to discuss the impact that President Bush’s irresponsible threats to veto appropriations bills addressing critical priorities will have on everyday Americans, including our law enforcement, educators and health care providers.
Joining the Senators were Chief J. Tom Manger, Chief of Police of Montgomery County, Md.; Marsha Smith, a health and physical education teacher at Earle B. Wood Middle School in Rockville, Md.; and Dr. Shubhada Hooli, a pediatric resident, Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC.
“Democrats are offering sound, fiscally responsible bills that invest billions of dollars in research for deadly diseases, in job training and educational programs to make America more competitive in the global economy; and in making both our borders and our communities safer,” Reid said. “President Bush’s veto threats may win him political points, but they do nothing to solve the problems that Americans face every day. President Bush and some Congressional Republicans want this to be a debate about numbers, dollar signs and taxes. They skew statistics and try to mislead Americans. But this is not just about numbers. It is about real people.”
Said Schumer: “The President has said his veto threats help him stay relevant, but all they really do is threaten the priorities most relevant to the American people. For six years, this Administration never met a spending bill it didn’t like. But our schools, hospitals and bridges don’t just need resources when Republicans are running Congress. In fact, they need our attention now more than ever.”
“Major City Chiefs support this proposal to fund the law enforcement agencies of our nation’s population centers, both large and small, through restoration of funding to COPS grants and other similar mechanisms,” said Tom Frazier, Executive Director of the Major City Chiefs Association. “Our ever-expanding range of responsibilities, and an increase in violent crime, makes federal support of local crime suppression efforts more necessary now than ever before.”
Said Smith, the middle-school teacher: “I applaud the Senate for standing up for children and public education. By passing – on a bipartisan basis – an education-funding bill that takes important steps toward meeting the needs of our public schools and the millions of students they serve, the Senate recognizes that investing in our nation’s children today is the only way to ensure a strong nation tomorrow.”
“How can we hope for a healthier, more prosperous nation, when we deny ourselves adequate public health?” said Dr. Hooli, the pediatric resident. “The devastating effects are so clearly seen in our children. A sick child is a child deprived of opportunity, a child kept home from school, with a family that’s unable to work in order to care for their child. Investing in Health and Human Services is an investment in the prosperity and security of our country.”