Wes Hickman (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)
– U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement:
“The bold vision President Bush laid out in his second Inaugural Address continued tonight in the State of the Union. His message serves as a challenge to the Congress and nation to maintain resolve in the face of serious domestic and international problems.
“The President has clearly shown the Congress and American people that it is now time for problem solving, not political posturing. I hope the Congress will rise to the occasion and work with him making our nation more secure both at home and abroad.
On Foreign Policy:
“The recent successful elections in Iraq and Afghanistan have shown us that freedom is the best antidote to terror.
“The President’s request for patience and determination, in terms of our commitment to the war on terror, is well-founded. I hope Congress will heed his counsel.
On Social Security:
“The President’s focus on Social Security as a national problem demonstrates his willingness to lead where others have chosen to demagogue. We can save and protect the most successful domestic program in history if we act soon. If we delay, the impact of the demographic tidal wave looming on the horizon will swamp our children and grandchildren with a massive amount of debt.
“President Bush is correct in pointing out there are no easy solutions. It’s going to require the President, Congress and American people to make some painful choices and some level of sacrifice. It is clear that he is willing to work in a bipartisan manner to find solutions to save the system from impending bankruptcy.
“In 1983, President Reagan and Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill worked together across party lines to protect Social Security — setting an example for future generations and one we should follow now.
“Social Security must be preserved and strengthened. But we need to be candid about the costs and willing to make the tough choices that real reform will require. If we can agree on this, we can save a vital program for generations to come.”