Maine Senator Susan Collins, Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, and a member of the Senate Appropriations and Armed Services Committee, tonight released this statement following President Barack Obama's first address to a joint session of Congress.
"Our nation is struggling. Our economy is in turmoil. Job losses are mounting and hard-working families are worried. That is why it is critical that Congress work together with our President to help restore our nation's confidence, to get our economy working again, to get people back to work, to ease credit, and to address our current housing crisis. We also need to put in place strong new protective measures to help ensure that the crisis in the financial markets does not happen again. I am pleased to hear the President express support for regulatory reforms similar to those included in legislation that I authored that would that would close dangerous gaps in our oversight of financial markets and lead to comprehensive reform of our financial regulatory system.
"The President is expected to present his proposed budget to Congress later this week. I am pleased that the President tonight focused on renewable energy and energy efficiency as ways to reduce our dangerous dependence on Middle East oil. As the President emphasized, the plan should promote conservation, spur development of alternative energy sources, and expand production of American energy. And, as the President discussed, we need to work together to address the crucial need for access to affordable health care for every American. These issues are too important to be viewed through a partisan political lens. I urge the President and leaders on both sides of the aisle to listen to all ideas as we try to come up with the best plans to help the American people.
"The people of Maine and our country are looking to Washington for leadership during a very difficult time. Our country faces great challenges. We have always risen to meet those challenges, and I am confident that working closely, in a bipartisan spirit, we can work to address the challenges that will determine our country's future."