Californians and other Americans are facing difficult times, with record gas prices, increasing health care costs, rising inflation and stagnating wages. Many people have contacted me to express their concern, frustration and anger about the policies of the Bush Administration and Congressional Republicans that have failed our families and taken America in the wrong direction.
Among the issues people are concerned about are college costs rising beyond what talented high school graduates and their families can afford, record budget deficits stealing money from Social Security, a deadly and expensive war in Iraq and serious threats looming from Iran and North Korea.
It’s time for a change.
Across our great nation, Americans are demanding change, and Democrats are taking the lead to turn the country around, creating a New Direction for America.
During the last six years, health insurance costs for California’s families have skyrocketed by 57%, while over 6.5 million in our state cannot afford health insurance at all. This is simply unacceptable.
I believe that Congress must put the priorities of the American people ahead of drug company and HMO interests, making insurance more affordable both for employers and employees.
While California has lost over 300,000 manufacturing jobs over the past five years, and the minimum wage has sunk to its lowest level in half a century, Republicans in Congress give tax breaks to the wealthiest.
At the same time, Californians today must spend a staggering 126% more at the gas pump -- $1,627 more a year per two car family – than in 2001, and prices continue to skyrocket.
It’s time for a New Direction.
Democrats in Congress realize that America needs a New Direction.
I support a legislative agenda that puts the common good first:
To learn more, click here www.house.gov/baca/new_direction.htm
One Year after Hurricane Katrina
Last year Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, claiming many lives, displacing families, destroying homes and disrupting businesses. Americans were saddened by the natural disaster and angered by the Administration’s failure to make adequate plans before the storm hit or respond quickly to assist victims afterwards.
Those who lost their lives, their homes and their livelihoods are still in our thoughts and prayers. I am heartened by the generosity of Americans who helped those in need hundreds, even thousands, of miles away. Many Gulf Coast residents were resettled in the Inland Empire thanks to concerned individuals and organizations in our local communities.
Although progress has been made in the past several months, the Gulf Coast still requires much support and hard work to rebuild, and the federal government must do more to help residents return and rebuild. We must also make sure that communities are prepared for the next major emergency, whether a natural disaster such as an earthquake or hurricane or a terrorist attack.
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