Good morning. You have probably seen the newspaper and television stories anticipating the 100th day of my administration. Ever since Franklin Roosevelt's time, the 100th day has been a media marker. But what we are marking is not 100 days of my Presidency; it is 100 days of Congress and the President working together for the American people.
What have we accomplished so far? I think we're making progress toward changing the tone in Washington. There's less name-calling and finger-pointing. We're sharing credit. We are learning we can make our points without making enemies. Bitterness and divisiveness in Washington poison the mood of the whole country. On the other hand, a culture of respect and results in Washington can change the mood of the country for the better.
We're also moving ahead with an important legislative agenda. There were some last summer who said there's no way anyone could possibly get a tax relief plan through the Congress. Yet the House and the Senate have now both endorsed significant tax relief and are headed toward a final vote.
Tax relief is an important principle. The Federal Government is taking more money than it needs out of the pockets of the people, and we need to return some. Yet tax relief is also an important part of our economic strategy. It will accelerate our economic growth and create more jobs and more opportunity. This has nothing to do with me or my political party. It has everything to do with what is right for the country.
The Senate committee responsible for education voted 20 to nothing in favor of a solid education reform bill. And we'll see results, too, from our initiative to welcoming charities and faith-based organizations into the work of helping Americans in need. We're at work on a plan to increase America's energy supply in the long term. At the same time, we are acting in a commonsense way to defend our environment. We are adopting new, scientifically sensible rules to discourage emissions of lead, to protect wetlands, to reduce the amount of arsenic in drinking water, to curb dangerous pesticides, and to clean the air of pollution from onroad diesel engines.
Internationally, we are building a more peaceful and open world. Our relationship with China is maturing. There will be areas where we can agree, like trade, and areas where we won't agree—Taiwan, human rights, religious liberty. And where we disagree, I will speak frankly.
But it's just as important for us to listen as it is to speak. A week ago, I attended the Summit of the Americas in Quebec City, where I met with the democratically elected leaders of Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. We talked about how we can handle common challenges, everything from education and the environment to drugs, energy, and trade. I said my piece, and I listened, as well. That's how good neighbors behave.
In nearly 100 days, we have made a good start. But it's only a start. On a number of important issues, we have laid the foundation for progress. Now we need to turn a good start and good spirit into good laws. And I urge the Congress to join me in seizing the opportunities of the next 100 days and beyond.
Thank you for listening.