January 26, 2002
10:06 A.M. EST
Good morning. A few days from now I will go before Congress to report on the
state of the union, and lay out my priorities for the coming year and beyond.
These priorities reflect a single, overarching commitment: To enhance the security
of America and its people.
Government's responsibilities begin with the defense of our nation. Our fight
against terrorism began in Afghanistan, but it will not end there. America must
not rest until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped
and defeated. In this work, our military must have every resource, every weapon
needed to achieve full and final victory.
My budget calls for the largest increase in defense spending in the last 20
years, investing in more precision weapons, missile defenses, unmanned vehicles,
and high-tech equipment for our soldiers on the ground.
I will also seek another pay increase for the men and women who wear our country's
uniform. We will spend what it takes to win the war against terrorism.
A related priority is homeland security. We will pursue a sustained strategy
to protect our people from the threat of terrorism.
The federal government has already acted to increase airport security, investigate
terrorist activity and improve our response capability. In the next budget,
we will do even more. I'll be calling on Congress to nearly double funding for
homeland defense to $38 billion.
We will complete the hiring of tens of thousands of new federal airport security
workers. We will strengthen the border patrol, hire another 300 FBI agents to
help fight the war on terror.
We'll provide more money so that state and local firefighters, police officers
and EMTs have the equipment they need. The American people are on watch against
future attacks, and their government will be as well.
The third key of my budget is to fight the recession and build economic security
for the American people. Government doesn't create jobs, but it can encourage
an environment in which jobs are created.
I'm glad the Senate is finally moving forward, and I urge it to pass a strong
stimulus bill, like one that passed the House last year.
Every budget reflects fundamental choices, and my administration has made choices
to fit the times.
We'll work to create jobs and renew the strength of our economy. We'll protect
our people in every way necessary, and we will carry on the campaign against
global terror until we achieve our goal: The peace that comes from victory.