Sen. Reid Press Release

Statement by Nevada Senator Harry Reid on
Presidentís State of the Union Message

January 27, 2000

"The President outlined an ambitious vision for the future. Now Congress has to work together to achieve that vision. After seven years of uninterrupted economic growth, rising wages, a booming stock market, budget surpluses and low-unemployment, one might be tempted to rest on past accomplishments. But that would be a mistake.

"Instead, we must tackle the new challenges the President spoke about tonight. Many of these initiatives will benefit a broad cross-section of Nevadans. Paying off the national debt, strengthening Social Security and Medicare, improving education and health care and broadening the circle of economic opportunity for those left behind are important to Nevadans and all Americans.

"For Nevada's seniors approaching retirement age, the President's address is great news. He has challenged Congress to work with him to pay-off the $5 trillion national debt by 2013 and use some of the surplus to extend the solvency of Medicare and Social Security. He reiterated his commitment to a prescription drug benefit as part of the Medicare program and put forth a new $3,000 tax credit for children and other caregivers who provide long term care to seniors. These intiatives will go a long way toward helping cope with the aging of America.

"For Nevadans working to raise a family, the President has proposed his most ambitious agenda to date. From kindergarten to college, the President called on Congress to pass a number of initiatives to help Americans obtain the skills they will need to compete for high wage jobs in our technology-driven economy. Reducing the marriage tax penalty, enhancing the children's health insurance initiative and a child care tax credit are all important initiatives that will make American families strong.

"Finally, I'm pleased the President is building on a law I sponsored to provide contraceptive coverage to federal employees. The new proposal will extend contraceptive coverage to more than 5 million low-income women and provide funding for community based clinics that will encourage them to counsel teenagers to postpone sexual activity. Working together, we can make substantial progress on behalf of the American people."

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