'One month ago today, the American people spoke. They called for a new direction, they called for change. And no where was that need for change more obvious, than of course the war in Iraq. Yesterday, the Iraq Study Group put forth its initiative, which said that the Bush policy in Iraq is a failure and that it's urgent that we act. Co-chairman Lee Hamilton said it's not a matter of months, it should be weeks, even days, when change must take place.
'The American people have asked for change both in our economy, in our budget priorities, and in the war in Iraq, and the Republicans in Congress are in disarray. They are going to leave a mess as they go out. It's been a do-nothing Congress and as they go out the door they are going to validate the decision of the American people that change was necessary - that we must have integrity, civility, fiscal soundness in how we operate the government and how we deliberate in Congress.
'It's really sad. I've said it before and it seems even truer now: the Republicans never miss an opportunity, to miss an opportunity. They have an opportunity now to at least go out the door leaving the House in some level of order, but here we are the morning of the day that we are supposed to adjourn, within 24 hours and we have absolutely no idea what they are up to.
'That will change. Democrats are ready to lead and prepared to govern in a fair and open way to promote a new direction for all Americans. In our first 100 legislative hours, we will raise the mininmum wage, make college more accessible, health care more affordable, promote stem cell research, roll back subsidies to big oil, and protect Social Security. And we would certainly not leave Congress without addressing our obligation to America's veterans who are being ignored today as Congress comes to a close.'