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THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. A few days from now I will go before Congress to report on the state of the union, and lay out my priorities for the coming year and beyond. These priorities reflect a single, overarching commitment: To enhance the security of America and its people.
Government's responsibilities begin with the defense of our nation. Our fight against terrorism began in Afghanistan, but it will not end there. America must not rest until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated. In this work, our military must have every resource, every weapon needed to achieve full and final victory.
My budget calls for the largest increase in defense spending in the last 20 years, investing in more precision weapons, missile defenses, unmanned vehicles, and high-tech equipment for our soldiers on the ground. I will also seek another pay increase for the men and women who wear our country's uniform. We will spend what it takes to win the war against terrorism.
A related priority is homeland security. We will pursue a sustained strategy to protect our people from the threat of terrorism. The federal government has already acted to increase airport security, investigate terrorist activity and improve our response capability. In the next budget, we will do even more. I'll be calling on Congress to nearly double funding for homeland defense to $38 billion.
We will complete the hiring of tens of thousands of new federal airport security workers. We will strengthen the border patrol, hire another 300 FBI agents to help fight the war on terror. We'll provide more money so that state and local firefighters, police officers and EMTs have the equipment they need. The American people are on watch against future attacks, and their government will be as well.
The third key of my budget is to fight the recession and build economic security for the American people. Government doesn't create jobs, but it can encourage an environment in which jobs are created. I'm glad the Senate is finally moving forward, and I urge it to pass a strong stimulus bill, like one that passed the House last year.
Every budget reflects fundamental choices, and my administration has made choices to fit the times. We'll work to create jobs and renew the strength of our economy. We'll protect our people in every way necessary, and we will carry on the campaign against global terror until we achieve our goal: The peace that comes from victory.
Thank you for listening.
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