Washington, DC — House and Senate Democrats joined today to call on the Bush Republican Congress to act to lower skyrocketing gas prices, one of the most pressing issues facing Americans heading into the Memorial Day Weekend driving season. The Democrats released a new report by the Center for American Progress that shows just how much of a burden those high prices are causing for Americans earning the minimum wage. Senators Chuck Schumer and Bob Menendez joined Congressmen James Clyburn and Bob Etheridge to urge Bush Republican leaders in the House and Senate to put aside their partisan agenda in favor of real leadership for the American people.
Unfortunately, Americans have little hope of any leadership out of the Bush Congress this summer. Democrats have announced comprehensive plans to make America energy independent and will be returning home over the Memorial Day Recess to discuss lowering gas prices. Republicans have chosen to ignore such pressing issues in favor of gay marriage, flag burning, and their agenda of division and distortion.
Said Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), “As Americans take their family cars out this Memorial Day weekend, it will be hard for the Republicans to go home and avoid talking about the issues that really matter to their constituents – like 3 dollar a gallon gasoline that is emptying their wallets. While energy independence and relief at the pump is at the top of our agenda, Sen. Frist and the Republicans in Congress want to talk about anything but high gas prices, because that would mean taking their big oil buddies to task.”
“Every time we try to deliver real relief for American drivers, the Republican Congress says no. They’ve given us lots of talk. They’ve held press conferences and given speeches, and talked until they were blue in the face about how we need to lower the price of gas, but when it comes time to actually do something, they are nowhere to be found,” said Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ).
“We have an energy crisis in America but President Bush and his Republican Rubber stamp Congress cannot hear or see the reality past the wall of Big Oil lobbyists and their mountains of campaign contributions,” said Congressman James Clyburn (D-SC). “Democrats have a solution that’s home-grown and American owned and we’re bringing it to the American people over the Memorial Day work period. It relies on American farmers to grow our energy, and fuel our energy independence, strengthening our economy and bolstering our national security.”
“The answer to our fuel crisis is growing in our fields. We can and we must become energy independent. Biofuels provide the opportunity not only for a stable source of affordable fuel, but also for jobs for rural America. Every dollar we invest in biofuels production is a dollar that stays in America and benefits our economy. We need national leadership to make this vision a reality, and our plan will provide the commitment to do that,” said Congressman Bob Etheridge (D-NC)
Democrats believe Americans deserve better than a Bush Republican Congress with little interest in solving the problems that matter most in their lives. Today’s event was a kickoff to a series of events House and Senate Democrats will hold across the country during the upcoming Memorial Day Recess. Bush Republicans in Washington are stuck on the divisive politics of the past, but Democrats are ready with the comprehensive solutions of the future.
Double Whammy, High Gas Prices Hammer Minimum Wage Earners, the new report prepared by the Center for American Progress, is available for download here .