Good morning. This weekend Congress begins its Easter recess. Senators and Members of the House of Representatives return home to meet with their constituents and listen to the people. I hope they'll listen carefully; there are large decisions that must be made when Congress returns.
I have sent Congress an education reform plan that offers greater Federal support to schools but requires higher standards and improved accountability, and I have sent Congress a tax plan that will accelerate our economic growth and leave more money with the people who earned it. Passing these two measures will be a long process that will require many votes in Congress. But the choices Congress makes will shape our country for decades. The tax plan I sent to Congress will help ensure that our children will grow up in a country bustling with opportunities. My education plan prepares our children to take advantage of those opportunities.
These are not routine votes. They are not ordinary business. They are decisions that we cannot afford to get wrong. Important reform is never easy, and it will always be tempting to postpone it. On education, there are some interest groups who don't like the idea of changes. On taxes, there are powerful institutions in Washington that would prefer to keep the people's money for themselves. But I'm committed to moving forward.
The old saying goes: The President proposes; Congress disposes; but in the end, the people rule. If we want higher educational standards, if we're to pass a substantial tax cut, the people must make their voices heard. Many of you have already telephoned your Members of Congress or sent letters and e-mails expressing your support for my education and tax plans, and I want to thank you for doing that. I hope you'll keep it up.
The crucial votes on education and taxes are still ahead, and many Members of Congress are still making up their minds. Don't just send them what you earn; tell them what you think. So I have a suggestion: During the recess, many Members of Congress will be holding townhall meetings, where constituents are welcome to come and express their views. You can find a list of these townhalls at www.bushtaxrelief.com. If your Congressman has a townhall scheduled, I hope you'll consider attending it. Maybe you might want to bring a relative or a friend.
And I hope that if you do go, you'll stand up and let your representative hear from you on school reform and tax relief. It's good citizenship, and it will make a big difference.
Before I close, let me send my best wishes to all who will be sitting down tonight to their Passover seder.
Thank you for listening.