By Cornelia de Bruin
Triplicate staff writer
In his State of the Union address Tuesday, President George W. Bush raised some "very important issues," but U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson plans to wait for the proof before he weighs in on the speech.
"I will rate the end product, not the speech," said Thompson, a Democrat who represents California's First Congressional District.
Reacting to the same speech, Scott Feller, chairman of the Del Norte County Republican Party, noticed that Thompson was "applauding on one issue, when very few Democrats were."
Both men's comments seemed to strike at the main point that the American people have not been democratically represented for years.
For his part Thompson said the President "raised some very important issues: the reduction of energy consumption, health care, education and immigration reform."
He tempered his approval, however, by noting that they are lots of issues the president has raised in past State of the Union addresses.
"I hope for agreement," he said.
On that issue, Thompson and Feller agree.
"It's time for them to represent We the people,' not we the Congress,'" he said.
Thompson is committed to working with the president, and hopes everything goes well, but noted, "he was talking about some of the problems he's created."
"He's had the power to veto any bill that's come to his desk," said Thompson.
Feller said that voters expressed "a lot of unhappiness" in the last election, but did not "hold anyone accountable for that."
"Government has to be transparent and accountable at all levels," he said. "After the speech I saw many interpretations of the speech, there needs to be a more reasonable discussion and less partisan behavior."
Thompson, who describes himself as a "Blue Dog" Democrat, acknowledged that Bush touched on issues such as fiscal responsibility that he has "been yelling about, but he's had six years."
"This administration has borrowed more money from foreign governments than all other administrations," said Thompson.
Feller, however, stressed that it's time to have a government "that gets back to We the people,' that is transparent, with nothing hidden.