Good morning. This was an important week for our country and for the world.
The United Nations Security Council voted for a resolution requiring the Iraqi
regime to declare and destroy all weapons of mass destruction or face the consequences.
Here at home, our citizens voted in an election I believe will strengthen our
ability to get things done for the American people. With the United Nations
Security Council resolution passed yesterday, the world has now come together
to say that the outlaw regime in Iraq will not be permitted to build or possess
chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. That is the judgment of the United
Nations Security Council. That is the judgment of the United States Congress.
And my administration will see to it that the world's judgment is enforced.
The resolution presents the Iraqi regime with a test, a final test. Iraq must
now, without delay or negotiations, give up its weapons of mass destruction,
welcome full inspections and fundamentally change the approach it has taken
for more than a decade. The regime must allow immediate and unrestricted access
to every site, every document and every person identified by inspectors. Iraq
can be certain that the old game of cheat-and-retreat, tolerated at other times,
will no longer be tolerated.
Any act of delay or defiance will be an additional breach of Iraq's international
obligations, and a clear signal that the Iraqi regime has once again abandoned
the path of voluntary compliance. If Iraq fails to fully comply with the U.N.
resolution, the United States, in coalition with other nations, will disarm
Republicans and Democrats in Congress are strongly supporting our war against
terror. As the current Congress returns to Washington this week, I hope we can
act in the same spirit of unity to complete some unfinished business.
The single most important item of unfinished business on Capitol Hill is to
create a unified Department of Homeland Security that will vastly improve our
ability to protect our borders, our coasts and our communities. The Senate must
pass a bill that will strengthen our ability to protect the American people
and preserve the authority every President since John Kennedy has had to act
in the interests of national security. Congress needs to send me a bill I can
sign before it adjourns this year.
We also have a responsibility to strengthen the economy so that people can find
jobs. One immediate thing Congress can do to help put people to work is to pass
legislation so that construction projects can get insurance against terrorism
at a reasonable price. This will spur construction and create thousands of good
hard-hat jobs that are now on hold, because projects without insurance cannot
Congress must also show fiscal discipline, as it passes the appropriations bills.
At a time when we're at war, at a time when we need to strengthen our economy,
Congress must control wasteful spending while funding the nation's priorities.
American workers deserve action on these important economic issues. Our economy
has come out of a recession and it's growing. But I'm not satisfied, because
I know we can do better. I want the economy to grow at a faster and stronger
pace, so more Americans can find jobs. So I will work with our new Congress
to pass a growth and jobs package early next year.
Our nation has important challenges ahead, at home and abroad. And we're determined
to build the security and prosperity of America. Thank you for listening.