Ehlers: State of the Union "focused on issues and answers"

While many Republicans distance themselves from President Bush, Congressman Vern Ehlers is choosing not to.

"President Bush gave a good speech tonight that focused on issues and answers and stayed away from partisanship and divisions. It is my hope that the members of Congress who listened to the speech can take that spirit of cooperation, set aside partisan differences and work to move our nation forward.

"I was especially heartened by the President’s call to strengthen the math and science skills of our children. Since joining Congress, one of my top priorities has been to improve the math and science standards in our nation’s schools. I agree with the President about the importance of ensuring that our children receive the best education and training possible to equip them for the jobs of the future. This will allow our nation to remain competitive in the world economy. I also look forward to working with the President on his pledge to review and improve the No Child Left Behind Act, as I serve on the Education & Labor Committee, which has jurisdiction on this important legislation.

"I agree with President Bush about the necessity for our nation to reduce its dependence on foreign oil. Although I may not agree with all of his solutions, we certainly agree on the need to develop alternatives to fossil fuels. His proposal to reduce gasoline usage in the United States by 20 percent over the next 10 years is a laudable goal – and one that we can achieve if we truly dedicate ourselves to it. I personally look forward to the opportunity to work to make this goal a reality."

"Finally, I appreciate the President’s call to seek ways to provide health care insurance to the 47 million Americans who don’t have it. There are promising initiatives in the states, particularly Gov. Mitt Romney’s plan in Massachusetts and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposal in California. I hope President Bush and Congress pursue this goal and that, together, we can reach a solution."

For what it's worth: Romney is a likely contender for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination.

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