Senate Democrats

Democrats Say it’s Time to Reform: Together, America Can Do Better

Reid, Mikulski, Sarbanes Join Democrats Holding Events Across the Country

Washington, DC – Echoing Democrats at events across the country, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, Senator Barbara Mikulski and Senator Paul Sarbanes held a town hall meeting in Baltimore, Maryland Thursday to highlight the Democratic Party’s commitment to reform and make America better. While Democrats are working to increase opportunities for higher education, Congressional Republicans are slashing financial aid and curbing opportunities for students to get ahead. The Senators met with nursing students to discuss their efforts to reform Washington in order to focus the Congress on the priorities of the American people.

“We know America can do better, and we won’t settle for what we see now. America can have a government as good as its people – one with open, honest elected officials who always will always put the American people first,” Senator Reid told the students. “It’s a matter of priorities. Democrats believe the government works for people like you, and that your issues – student loans, high energy prices, safety and security – should be the top priority of the United States government.”

“Belief in the American dream is shrinking. There is a wallet deficit, not a dream deficit. The opportunity ladder is creaky and shaky and isn’t helped by making massive cuts to student aid. America can do better,” said Senator Mikulski. “College is part of the American dream. It shouldn’t be part of the American financial nightmare.”

The Senators held their town hall at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing where they met with three nursing students who shared their stories about how rising tuition and threats of cutbacks to student aid programs is hurting students like them. Christopher Reed, Patrice Pantin, and Julie Story each told the Senators about their own struggles to get the training they need to compete in today’s difficult job market.

“Investing in education by providing affordable opportunities is the best way to ensure that every citizen has an opportunity to realize the American dream,” said Senator Sarbanes. “But the Republicans in Congress are moving to raid student aid, making it more expensive for hard working families to send their children to college. We must do better to reverse the misguided priorities of the Bush Administration that put tax cuts for the wealthiest of Americans ahead of programs that benefit our working class families.”

Reid, Mikulski, and Sarbanes are just some of the Democrats participating in events across the country with the theme “Time to Reform: Together, America Can Do Better.” In Washington, DC, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi unveiled a new piece of legislation to eliminate tax giveaways for energy companies. Senator Lautenberg spoke in New Jersey about how America can do better than a Medicare prescription drug bill that confuses and shortchanges seniors by providing giveaways to drug companies. In Wisconsin, Senator Kohl addressed the need for America to do better than an economy that kicks families out of the middle class and how we can help everyone achieve the American dream. In New York, Senator Kerry discussed a plan to do a much better job protecting Americans from terrorist attack. Senator Murray held four events across Washington State focusing on issues ranging from affordable housing to full funding of veterans’ programs. Senators Schumer and Byrd both addressed the energy independence with members of their local communities.