Washington, DC—Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois delivers this week’s Democratic Radio Address. Last year, voters asked us to take America in a new direction, and Democrats are fighting every day to bring about that change. But Bush Republicans are more committed to standing in the way, and Durbin calls on them to work with us instead of against us.
The text of the radio address, as delivered, is below:
“Hello, this is Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois. Throughout our history Americans have faced challenges and pulled together to find strength and move forward. We’re a ‘can-do’ people. Sadly, Republicans in Washington are determined to make this a ‘no-can-do’ Congress.
“Republicans have decided it’s in their party’s interest to prevent Congress from facing the real challenges of our day. They think the less a Democratic-led Congress achieves, the better it’s going to be for Republicans in next year’s elections. But those elections are 11 months away! And America needs help now.
“The mortgage crisis isn’t just your neighbor’s problem any more – it’s everybody’s problem. Two-point-two million Americans are facing foreclosure, and 44 million families who are making their mortgage payments – a third of all homeowners – are seeing their home values decline because of the mortgage meltdown. Yet, Senate Republicans blocked two bills this week that would help families facing foreclosure hold on to their homes, and keep the mortgage crisis from spreading.
“The same thing happened with a bill to keep dangerous toys out of American stores and homes. Twenty-five million dangerous toys have been recalled this year – that’s an all-time record. And still not one Republican senator would cosponsor a stronger toy-safety law.
“After the Battle of Antietam, President Lincoln was angered when General McClellan wouldn’t go on the attack in the Civil War. Lincoln asked his General, ‘If you’re not going to use your army, may I borrow it?’ I’d like to ask the Republican leaders on Capitol Hill, if you’re not going to use your power to solve the problems facing our nation, may we borrow it?
“The American people elected a new Congress last year to set America on a new course: To restore honesty to government and opportunity to our economy, bring the war in Iraq to a responsible conclusion, and bring our troops home to the heroes’ welcome they have earned.
“Democrats take this mandate for change seriously. And we’ve made a good start. We’ve put the middle class first again – cutting taxes for working people, and raising the minimum wage for the first time in 10 years. We’ve made America safer by implementing the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, which the Republicans had ignored for three years. And we passed the toughest ethics laws in history.
“But as this Congress nears the end of the year, Democrats share your frustration. You’re tired of infighting and inaction in Washington – so are we. It’s time for compromise and cooperation. Forty-seven million Americans still need health insurance, 160,000 brave Americans are still stuck in the crossfire of Iraq’s civil war, gas and oil prices are at record highs, and working families are having a tough time making ends meet.
“It doesn’t have to be this way. Democrats are committed to overriding President Bush’s veto and providing health care for 10 million American children – kids not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid and not lucky enough to have parents with health insurance – and passing a new national energy policy that lowers energy bills and begins to reverse global warming. And we are determined to end the war in Iraq responsibly and bring the fight back to Osama Bin Laden and al Qaeda.
“We hope the Republicans will join us. After all, to paraphrase President Lincoln, what’s the point of having power if you won’t use it to help America?
“Democrats will keep fighting for change. From the Land of Lincoln, this is Senator Dick Durbin. Thanks for listening and have a great weekend.”