Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Democratic Senators Patty Murray, Byron Dorgan and Robert Menendez held a press conference today to discuss eight years of failed Bush-McCain economic policies that have hurt Americans on both Wall Street and Main Street. The Senators discussed Democrats’ efforts to address the meltdown in the financial sector and to urgently pass another economic recovery package that strengthens the middle class.
“Democrats believe that to turn this economy around we must not only address the broader, underlying structural issues in the financial markets, but also strengthen the middle class through another economic recovery package,” Reid said. Democrats are working to lower energy costs, invest in infrastructure that creates hundreds of thousands of good-paying American jobs, and prevent cuts in critical services for millions of Americans. Wouldn’t it be something if just once this Administration would come to my office with the same urgency to help the middle class as they do for Wall Street?”
Said Murray: “It is time for Republicans to listen to what the American people are saying – they’re hurting. They need help. Gas prices are at historic highs, health care and education are costing more and more, and wages are slowing to a crawl. We can’t afford more of the same tired, failed Bush-McCain Republican philosophy that regulating Wall Street is unnecessary and that the way to grow the economy is to give more and more to those who have the most.”
“The energy plan developed in secret meetings with the energy industry by Dick Cheney and the Bush Administration has made us more dependent on foreign oil and has made our economy more vulnerable to the wild price swings of oil,” Dorgan said. “The response by President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Senator McCain is to drill, baby, drill. That slogan is not airing thoughtful energy policy. We should drill in more places but we should do so much more. Good energy policy has to include a national effort in conservation, a moon-shot program to develop renewable energy and long term initiatives to develop battery technology and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. We Democrats are leading the way to do much more than drill. We have developed policies that will make us more energy secure here at home and less dependent on foreign oil.”
Said Menendez: “As this economy has swooned, as Americans have lost their American Dreams and now as the financial markets have been shaken to their core, we’ve seen a definitive pattern in the crucial debate over our economy. Democrats heeded the alarms first, pushed for accountability from the beginning and have constantly looked for new ways to spur the economy. George Bush, John McCain and their party have stubbornly held out for more of the same as so many Americans lost their homes and their dreams.”