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Republican weekly radio address

December 28, 1996
Web posted at: 2:00 p.m. EST

U.S. Rep.-elect Kevin Brady, R-Texas

Good morning. I'm Kevin Brady, a new congressman from Texas, and I want to take this opportunity to wish you a happy and successful New Year.

This is an especially exciting New Year for me and my family, because I'll be starting my first term representing the people of the 8th District of Texas. In less than a week, I'll join my Republican and Democratic colleagues from across this nation to be sworn in as the newest members of Congress.

The New Year is a time for new beginnings. It's a time to reflect, a time to improve, and a time to remember what's really important in our lives. This year we in Congress are resolved to work together and cooperate to build a brighter more prosperous future for all Americans.

Right now we have a fresh opportunity for Republicans and Democrats, both in Congress and in the White House, to work together to address the real issues of concern to American families.

Building on past success

Together we are pledged to balance the budget. We are pledged to provide families with tax relief, so they can keep more of the precious dollars they earn. And we are pledged to save Medicare from bankruptcy. Through these initiatives, we can improve the quality of life throughout America by working together for America.

As members of Congress, we should set the example that civility is the rule rather than the exception, that mutual respect is the foundation for our efforts, that fixing the problem is more important than fixing the blame.

This year we have a unique opportunity to build on the success of the last Congress, where bipartisan efforts produced historic welfare reform and reduced wasteful Washington spending.

While serving as a member of the Texas Legislature, I've seen first-hand the benefits of cooperation between Democrats and Republicans, working together to tackle and solve some very complex problems.

Working together

Texas Gov. George W. Bush set the tone for cooperation by working with a Democratic-controlled legislature to rein in lawsuit abuse, to return local control to our schools, discipline to our classrooms and to protect our communities against juvenile crime.

We also worked together on sunsetting government agencies, forcing them to justify their existence or face elimination. Sunsetting works because Republicans and Democrats alike use it to make government programs more efficient. Sunsetting is one of the chief reasons I ran for Congress -- to apply this proven local solution to our growing federal budget.

All across America, state and local governments are finding solutions, and are succeeding by working together.

We can do the same in Congress. This year we will take significant steps that will make a real difference in your life.

We will continue to bring the budget into balance, to rein in the IRS, and to lower interest rates. We must, because today most of us pay more in taxes than for food, clothing and shelter combined. A balanced budget means lower rates on your mortgage, your student loans and your car loans -- an annual savings of $857 for a typical American family.

And it's also a time to restore safety to our streets and neighborhoods by waging a real war on drugs and violent crime. We want parents to be able to spend more time with their children, so we will pass family-friendly workplace policies. We'll work to ensure our children inherit a clean, healthy environment, and receive the quality education they need to survive and succeed in an increasingly competitive world.

We must do these things together, in partnership with governors, state legislators, mayors, school boards, community leaders, churches, and, most importantly, with you and your family.

Abundant resources

The fact is, America has always faced challenges. And we've always met them. America is blessed with abundant resources and a diverse people who have the will and the strength of character to overcome any obstacles we face. History has shown, time and time again, that as Americans we are much better at working together than at working apart.

Most importantly, America is blessed with hard-working, sturdy families. I believe so strongly in family because my family believed so strongly in me. My dad was killed when I was young, and my mom raised five of us by herself.

She taught us -- by her example -- to take responsibility for ourselves, to practice our faith each day, and to give back to the community in which we live. In my family, my mom is a true American hero. And if you look around your family dinner table during these holidays, you'll likely see a hero -- or two -- whose personal sacrifice is the reason for your success and for that of our nation.

America has always been a nation of tomorrows, of unending hope and opportunity. Let us resolve this new year to each do our part to improve the lives of our family, neighborhood and community. In Congress, we are pledged to meet that challenge. We are committed to making America a better place, not just through the next election but through the next generation.

This is Kevin Brady. From my family to yours, happy New Year. And may God bless America.


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