I think we sometimes forget how vital our local officials, first responders, and public utility companies really are until a disaster like Hurricane Isabel occurs. We rely on them to keep us informed and safe in our communities.
We must ensure that we are prepared for future natural disasters and other potential crises. An effective, operational emergency plan must be in place throughout the commonwealth that incorporates federal assistance to ensure the safety and security of all Virginians.
$1,400 is enough to keep a car full of gas for a whole year; it's enough to buy a new washer and dryer; it's enough to take a needed vacation. This unfair tax discourages couples in love from committing to marriage. I believe that's wrong, and I commend those in the Congress who are working for its repeal.
Our economy is on the rise, and tonight the President discussed the importance of job training and new opportunities so that Americans can continue to grow and prosper within an ever-changing economy.
As I watched and observed the talent, dedication and accomplishments of our local governments, and saw our communities pulling together as a result of the devastation caused by Hurricane Isabel, I was equally proud.
Just two days before Isabel hit Virginia I was in Iraq meeting with our troops. As I talked with our troops stationed there and listened to their individual stories of commitment and courage, I was so proud to be an American and so proud of each and every soldier.
We are continuing to strengthen security in our airports, and have also taken steps to keep Americans safe while flying. Commercial airline pilots are now trained and equipped with firearms in the event of a terrorist attack on-board the plane.
In the coming weeks, as the clean up continues and power is restored, there will most likely be hearings held to understand where the breakdown was in getting more state and federal assistance to help Virginians.