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H.Doc.108-4 2002 NATIONAL CONVENTION PROCEEDINGS ...


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108th Congress, 1st Session - - - - - - - - - - - - - House Document 
108-1
 
                      STATE OF THE UNION MESSAGE

                               __________

                                MESSAGE

                                  from

                   THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

                              transmitting

                   A REPORT ON THE STATE OF THE UNION

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]


  January 29, 2003.--Message and accompanying papers referred to the 
 Committee on the Whole House on the State of the Union and ordered to 
                               be printed







To the Congress of the United States:
    Mr. Speaker, Vice President Cheney, Members of Congress, 
distinguished guests, fellow citizens:
    Every year, by law and by custom, we meet here to consider 
the state of the union. This year, we gather in this chamber 
deeply aware of decisive days that lie ahead.
    You and I serve our country in a time of great consequence. 
During this session of Congress, we have the duty to reform 
domestic programs vital to our country . . . and we have the 
opportunity to save millions of lives abroad from a terrible 
disease. We will work for a prosperity that is broadly shared . 
. . and we will answer every danger and every enemy that 
threatens the American people.
    In all these days of promise and days of reckoning, we can 
be confident. In a whirlwind of change, and hope, and peril, 
our faith is sure, our resolve is firm, and our union is 
strong.
    This country has many challenges. We will not deny, we will 
not ignore, we will not pass along our problems to other 
Congresses, other Presidents, and other generations. We will 
confront them with focus, and clarity, and courage.
    During the last 2 years, we have seen what can be 
accomplished when we work together. To lift the standards of 
our public schools, we achieved historic education reform--
which must now be carried out in every school, and every 
classroom, so that every child in America can read, and learn, 
and succeed in life. To protect our country, we reorganized our 
government and created the Department of Homeland Security--
which is mobilizing against the threats of a new era. To bring 
our economy out of recession, we delivered the largest tax 
relief in a generation. To insist on integrity in American 
business, we passed tough reforms, and we are holding corporate 
criminals to account.
    Some might call this a good record. I call it a good start. 
Tonight I ask the House and Senate to join me in the next bold 
steps to serve our fellow citizens.
    Our first goal is clear: We must have an economy that grows 
fast enough to employ every man and woman who seeks a job.
    After recession, terrorist attacks, corporate scandals, and 
stock market declines, our economy is recovering--yet it is not 
growing fast enough, or strongly enough. With unemployment 
rising, our Nation needs more small businesses to open, more 
companies to invest and expand, more employers to put up the 
sign that says, ``Help Wanted.''
    Jobs are created when the economy grows; the economy grows 
when Americans have more money to spend and invest; and the 
best, fairest way to make sure Americans have that money is not 
to tax it away in the first place.
    I am proposing that all the income tax reductions set for 
2004 and 2006 be made permanent and effective this year. And 
under my plan, as soon as I have signed the bill, this extra 
money will start showing up in worker's paychecks. Instead of 
gradually reducing the marriage penalty, we should do it now. 
Instead of slowly raising the child credit to a thousand 
dollars, we should send the checks to American families now.
    This tax relief is for everyone who pay income taxes--and 
it will help our economy immediately. Ninety-two million 
Americans will keep--this year--an average of almost $1,100 
more of their own money. A family of four with an income of 
$40,000 would see their federal income taxes fall from $1,178 
to $45 per year. And our plan will improve the bottom line for 
more than 23 million small businesses.
    You, the Congress, have already passed all these 
reductions, and promised them for future years. If this tax 
relief is good for Americans three, or five, or seven years 
from now, it is even better for Americans today.
    We also strengthen the economy by treating investors 
equally in our tax laws. It is fair to tax a company's profits. 
It is not fair to again tax the shareholder on the same 
profits. To boost investor confidence, and to help the nearly 
10 millionseniors who receive dividend income, I ask you to end 
the unfair double taxation of dividends.
    Lower taxes and greater investment will help this economy 
expand. More jobs mean more taxpayers--and higher revenues to 
our government. The best way to address the deficit and move 
toward a balanced budget is to encourage economic growth--and 
to show some spending discipline in Washington, D.C. We must 
work together to fund only our most important priorities. I 
will send you a budget that increases discretionary spending by 
4 percent next year--about as much as the average family's 
income is expected to grow. And that is a good benchmark for 
us: Federal spending should not rise any faster than the 
paychecks of American families.
    A growing economy, and a focus on essential priorities, 
will also be crucial to the future of Social Security. As we 
continue to work together to keep Social Security sound and 
reliable, we must offer younger workers a chance to invest in 
retirement accounts that they will control and they will own.
    Our second goal is high-quality, affordable health care for 
all Americans.
    The American system of medicine is a model of skill and 
innovation--with a pace of discovery that is adding good years 
to our lives. Yet for many people, medical care costs too 
much--and many have no coverage at all. These problems will not 
be solved with a nationalized health care system that dictates 
coverage and rations care. Instead, we must work toward a 
system in which all Americans have a good insurance policy . . 
. choose their own doctors . . . and seniors and low-income 
Americans receive the help they need. Instead of bureaucrats, 
and trial lawyers, and HMOs, we must put doctors, and nurses, 
and patients back in charge of American medicine.
    Health care reform must begin with Medicare, because 
Medicare is the binding commitment of a caring society. We must 
renew that commitment by giving seniors access to the 
preventive medicine and new drugs that are transforming health 
care in America.
    Seniors happy with the current Medicare system should be 
able to keep their coverage just the way it is. And just like 
you, the members of Congress, members of your staffs, and other 
federal employees, all seniors should have the choice of a 
health care plan that provides prescription drugs. My budget 
will commit an additional $400 billion over the next decade to 
reform and strengthen Medicare. Leaders of both political 
parties have talked for years about strengthening Medicare--I 
urge the members of this new Congress to act this year.
    To improve our health care system, we must address one of 
the prime causes of higher costs--the constant threat that 
physicians and hospitals will be unfairly sued. Because of 
excessive litigation, everybody pays more for health care--and 
many parts of America are losing fine doctors. No one has ever 
been healed by a frivolous lawsuit--and I urge the Congress to 
pass medical liability reform.
    Our third goal is to promote energy independence for our 
country, while dramatically improving the environment.
    I have sent you a comprehensive energy plan to promote 
energy efficiency and conservation, to develop cleaner 
technology, and to produce more energy at home. I have sent you 
Clear Skies legislation that mandates a 70 percent cut in air 
pollution from power plants over the next 15 years. I have sent 
you a Healthy Forests Initiative, to help prevent the 
catastrophic fires that devastate communities, kill wildlife, 
and burn away millions of acres of treasured forest.
    I urge you to pass these measures, for the good of both our 
environment and our economy. Even more, I ask you to take a 
crucial step, and protect our environment in ways that 
generations before us could not have imagined. In this century, 
the greatest environmental progress will come about, not 
throughendless lawsuits or command and control regulations, but 
through technology and innovation. Tonight I am proposing $1.2 billion 
in research funding so that America can lead the world in developing 
clean, hydrogen-powered automobiles.
    A simple chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen 
generates energy, which can be used to power a car--producing 
only water, not exhaust fumes. With a new national commitment, 
our scientists and engineers will overcome obstacles to taking 
these cars from laboratory to showroom--so that the first car 
driven by a child born today could be powered by hydrogen, and 
pollution-free. Join me in this important innovation--to make 
our air significantly cleaner, and our country much less 
dependent on foreign sources of energy.
    Our fourth goal is to apply the compassion of America to 
the deepest problems of America. For so many in our country--
the homeless, the fatherless, the addicted--the need is great. 
Yet there is power--wonder-working power--in the goodness, and 
idealism, and faith of the American people.
    Americans are doing the work of compassion every day--
visiting prisoners, providing shelter to battered women, 
bringing companionship to lonely seniors. These good works 
deserve our praise . . . they deserve our personal support . . 
. and, when appropriate, they deserve the assistance of our 
government. I urge you to pass both my faith-based initiative 
and the Citizen Service Act--to encourage acts of compassion 
that can transform America, one heart and one soul at a time.
    Last year, I called on my fellow citizens to participate in 
USA Freedom Corps, which is enlisting tens of thousands of new 
volunteers across America. Tonight I ask Congress and the 
American people to focus the spirit of service and the 
resources of government on the needs of some of our most 
vulnerable citizens--boys and girls trying to grow up without 
guidance and attention . . . and children who have to go 
through a prison gate to be hugged by their mom or dad. I 
propose a $450 million initiative to bring mentors to more than 
a million disadvantaged junior high students and children of 
prisoners. Government will support the training and recruiting 
of mentors, yet it is the men and women of America who will 
fill the need. One mentor, one person, can change a life 
forever--and I urge you to be that one person.
    Another cause of hopelessness is addiction to drugs. 
Addiction crowds out friendship, ambition, moral conviction, 
and reduces all the richness of life to a single destructive 
desire. As a government, we are fighting illegal drugs by 
cutting off supplies, and reducing demand through anti-drug 
education programs. Yet for those already addicted, the fight 
against drugs is a fight for their own lives.
    Too many Americans in search of treatment cannot get it. So 
tonight I propose a new $600 million program to help an 
additional 300,000 Americans receive treatment over the next 3 
years.
    Our Nation is blessed with recovery programs that do 
amazing work. One of them is found at the Healing Place Church 
in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. A man in the program said, ``God 
does miracles in people's lives, and you never think it could 
be you.'' Tonight, let us bring to all Americans who struggle 
with drug addiction this message of hope: The miracle of 
recovery is possible, and it could be you.
    By caring for children who need mentors, and for addicted 
men and women who need treatment, we are building a more 
welcoming society--a culture that values every life. And in 
this work we must not overlook the weakest among us. I ask you 
to protect infants at the very hour of birth, and end the 
practice of partial-birth abortion. And because no human life 
should be started or ended as the object of an experiment, I 
ask you to set a high standard for humanity and pass a law 
against all human cloning.
    The qualities of courage and compassion that we strive for 
in America also determine our conduct abroad. The American flag 
stands for more than our power and our interests. Our Founders 
dedicated this country to the cause of human dignity--the 
rights of every person and the possibilities of every life. 
This conviction leads us into the world to help the afflicted, 
and defend the peace, and confound the designs of evil men. In 
Afghanistan, we helped to liberate an oppressed people . . . 
and we will continue helping them secure their country, rebuild 
their society, and educate all their children--boys and girls. 
In the Middle East, we will continue to seek peace between a 
secure Israel and a democratic Palestine. Across the earth, 
America is feeding the hungry; more than 60 percent of 
international food aid comes as a gift from the people of the 
United States.
    As our Nation moves troops and builds alliances to make our 
world safer, we must also remember our calling, as a blessed 
country, to make this world better. Today, on the continent of 
Africa, nearly 30 million people have the AIDS virus--including 
three million children under the age of 15. There are whole 
countries in Africa where more than one-third of the adult 
population carries the infection. More than four million 
require immediate drug treatment. Yet across that continent, 
only 50,000 AIDS victims--only 50,000--are receiving the 
medicine they need.
    Because the AIDS diagnosis is considered a death sentence, 
many do not seek treatment. Almost all who do are turned away. 
A doctor in rural South Africa describes his frustration. He 
says, ``We have no medicines . . . many hospitals tell 
[people], `You've got AIDS. We can't help you. Go home and 
die.' ''
    In an age of miraculous medicines, no person should have to 
hear those words. AIDS can be prevented. Anti-retroviral drugs 
can extend life for many years. And the cost of those drugs has 
dropped from $12,000 a year to under $300 a year--which places 
a tremendous possibility within our grasp.
    Ladies and gentlemen, seldom has history offered a greater 
opportunity to do so much for so many. We have confronted, and 
will continue to confront, HIV/AIDS in our own country. And to 
meet a severe and urgent crisis abroad, tonight I propose the 
Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief--a work of mercy beyond all 
current international efforts to help the people of Africa. 
This comprehensive plan will prevent seven million new AIDS 
infections . . . treat at least two million people with life-
extending drugs . . . and provide humane care for millions of 
people suffering from AIDS, and for children orphaned by AIDS. 
I ask the Congress to commit $15 billion over the next 5 years, 
including nearly $10 billion in new money, to turn the tide 
against AIDS in the most afflicted nations of Africa and the 
Caribbean.
    This Nation can lead the world in sparing innocent people 
from a plague of nature. And this Nation is leading the world 
in confronting and defeating the man-made evil of international 
terrorism.
    There are days when the American people do not hear news 
about the war on terror. There is never a day when I do not 
learn of another threat, or receive reports of operations in 
progress, or give an order in this global war against a 
scattered network of killers. The war goes on, and we are 
winning.
    To date we have arrested, or otherwise dealt with, many key 

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