Thompson remains unmoved by State of the Union


By Cornelia de Bruin

Triplicate staff writer

In his State of the Union address Tuesday, President George W. Bush raised some andquot;very important issues,andquot; but U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson plans to wait for the proof before he weighs in on the speech.

andquot;I will rate the end product, not the speech,andquot; 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 andquot;applauding on one issue, when very few Democrats were.andquot;

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 andquot;raised some very important issues: the reduction of energy consumption, health care, education and immigration reform.andquot;

He tempered his approval, however, by noting that they are lots of issues the president has raised in past State of the Union addresses.

andquot;I hope for agreement,andquot; he said.

On that issue, Thompson and Feller agree.

andquot;It's time for them to represent 'We the people,' not 'we the Congress,'andquot; he said.

Thompson is committed to working with the president, and hopes everything goes well, but noted, andquot;he was talking about some of the problems he's created.andquot;

andquot;He's had the power to veto any bill that's come to his desk,andquot; said Thompson.

Feller said that voters expressed andquot;a lot of unhappinessandquot; in the last election, but did not andquot;hold anyone accountable for that.andquot;

andquot;Government has to be transparent and accountable at all levels,andquot; he said. andquot;After the speech I saw many interpretations of the speech, there needs to be a more reasonable discussion and less partisan behavior.andquot;

Thompson, who describes himself as a andquot;Blue Dogandquot; Democrat, acknowledged that Bush touched on issues such as fiscal responsibility that he has andquot;been yelling about, but he's had six years.andquot;

andquot;This administration has borrowed more money from foreign governments than all other administrations,andquot; said Thompson.

Feller, however, stressed that it's time to have a government andquot;that gets back to 'We the people,' that is transparent, with nothing hidden.

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