Contact: White House, Office of the Press Secretary, 202-456-2580
11:28 A.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Earlier this week the American people went to the polls, and they cast their ballots for a new Congress. The American people made their decision; I respect the results, and so does my Cabinet. I want to congratulate the Democrat leaders on the victory they achieved for their party.
In a few minutes, Congresswoman Pelosi and Congressman Hoyer will be here for lunch. I'm looking forward to that visit. I'm also looking forward to my visit with Senator Reid and Senator Durban tomorrow. We'll discuss the way forward for our country, and I'm going to tell him what I just told our Cabinet: It is our responsibility to put the elections behind us and work together on the great issues facing
Some of these issues need to be addressed before the current Congress finishes its legislative session, and that means the next few weeks are going to be busy ones. First order of business is for Congress to complete the work on the federal spending bills for this year, with strong fiscal discipline, and without diminishing our capacity to fight the war on terror.
Another important priority in the war on terror is for the Congress to pass the Terrorist Surveillance Act. We also need to pass the bipartisan energy legislation that's now before Congress. And on the foreign policy front, we need to complete the work on legislation that will allow us to cooperate with
As the new members of Congress and their leaders return to
One of the most important challenges facing our country is the war on terror, and
Yesterday I accepted the resignation of one of the original members of my Cabinet, Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. He could not be with us today because he's at
Don has been an outstanding Secretary of Defense, a trusted advisor, and a loyal friend to me and his fellow Cabinet secretaries. I've named a good man to succeed Don Rumsfeld, former CIA Director Bob Gates. Secretary Rumsfeld has agreed to stay until Bob is confirmed, and I'm deeply grateful to Don for his service to our country.
Thank you all very much.
END 11:31 A.M. EST