DURING THE FIRST 100 DAYS,
A NEW TONE IS SET IN WASHINGTON
I have often said that lawmakers have a breach to repair with the folks who sent them to Washington to do their business. With each election, we see more disenchanted voters, fewer young voters, and greater cynicism than before. We in Congress are committed to working with President Bush to heal our political wounds, renew a spirit of optimism, and change the way we do business in Washington.
Upon being elected, President Bush said, "Civility is not a tactic or a sentiment. It is the determined choice of trust over cynicism." During his first 100 days in office, the President has worked to set a new tone in Washington, building on his promise to work with both Republicans and Democrats to address the issues that are important to Americans and Tennesseans. He promised to usher in a new way of thinking, and he is keeping his word.
Focusing on his compassionate conservative agenda, he has already presented plans to cut taxes, strengthen our economy, improve schools, empower faith-based and community organizations to help those in need, rebuild our military, and improve the quality of life for our men and women in uniform. During the first 100 days, America has faced some tense situations, particularly overseas, but the President has led with a steady hand without compromising our country's principles.
The President has been decisive, measured, and realistic with regard to foreign policy. He is committed to working with our friends and allies to advance our common security around the globe. During his first 100 days, the President traveled to Mexico and worked to strengthen alliances in our hemisphere at the Summit of the Americas in Canada, guided diplomacy that brought home our crew when they were unlawfully detained after a mid-air collision over the South China Sea, and personally met with more than 20 world leaders to build relationships and discuss common interests and concerns.
Only days after assuming office, the President took his education agenda into various elementary schools, meeting with teachers and visiting with students. One of the top priorities of the Bush Administration is to improve education, because every child in Tennessee and across America deserves a first class education that will carry them toward a bright and successful future. The President and Congress are near an agreement on a comprehensive, bipartisan education reform bill.
Earlier this year, the President submitted his first budget to Congress. It is a good budget that will fund important priorities, reduce historic levels of debt, and provide tax relief to working families in Tennessee and across the country. We have been working to cut taxes across the board while also eliminating the marriage penalty and the death tax and providing education tax credits. The Senate passed the budget with the support of no less than fifteen Democrats, proof that an emphasis on teamwork is yielding results.
Recognizing the importance of bipartisanship, the President has met with members of both parties to discuss the issues. In addition, he has taken his agenda directly to the people by visiting more than half of our states already.
The President's leadership is helping to replace a culture of gridlock and cynicism in our nation's capital with a constructive spirit of bipartisan respect. When debate is focused on shared values, respect, and results, accomplishments will prevail.