Last night the President discussed important issues with the American people: homeland security, healthcare, immigration and energy. As I have always said, the first duty of government is to protect its citizens. To this end, I will continue to support our men and women in uniform and make sure they have the tools and support they need to win the war and get back home to their families.

Regarding the rising cost of healthcare, the President rightfully noted that healthcare decisions should be patient-doctor driven, not insurance company driven or government driven. We have the best healthcare in the world but more and more Americans cannot afford it or the ever increasing insurance premiums. The 110th Congress must continue to look for ways to continue to bring quality healthcare to our citizens while helping to ease the burden of the costs.

I was disappointed to hear the President encourage amnesty for illegal immigrants. I have been outspoken on this issue for more than 2 years. We must secure our borders first before we even begin the discussion about what to do about immigration. We must stop illegals from coming to this country and draining our social services and in many cases increasing the crime in our nation.

I agree with the President that we must continue to push for more drilling while at the same time exploring and developing alternative fuels and fuel sources. Biofuels, ethanol, hydrogen power and solar power are all sources which should be developed. Our nation must be less dependent on foreign oilit is a homeland security risk to do otherwise.

The President also emphasized the need for all members of Congress, to work together across the political aisle on behalf of America. The 110th Congress has much work to do. I have always been an independent thinker and I look forward to working with all members of Congress on these issues.