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For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
June 16, 2006
Mrs. Bush's Remarks at a Kyl for Senate Luncheon
Hilton Scottsdale Resort & Villas
1:22 P.M. MST
MRS. BUSH: Thank you all. Thank you, Senator Kyl, for your very kind introduction, and thanks to each and every one of you for the very warm welcome. I'm so happy to be here in Arizona today to have this chance to support your United States Senator in his re-election bid. It's very important that Senator Kyl is re-elected.
I also want to recognize Caryll. Caryll, it's great to see you. Caryll and I saw each other earlier this week in -- at the Senate Spouses Luncheon. John Kyl, the Senator's son is here, as well. And Arlene Kyl, the Senator's mother is here. So thank those family members. Politics, you know, really does end up being a family business. Everyone gets involved, whether they want to or not. (Laughter.) But anyway, it's great that -- it really makes a huge difference for elected leaders if their families are supporting them and with them all the time. And I know that that makes you happy that your son and mother are here with you today.
Cheryl Flake is here, Congressman Flake's wife. I want to thank Cheryl for joining us. (Applause.) Governor Hull is here. She and I campaigned together a lot back in 2000. Thank you very much, Governor, for being here. (Applause.)
Jon Kyl has been a passionate advocate for Arizona families in his 11 years in the United States Senate. As Senator, he's helped improve our country's health care system so that more American families can have access to good medical treatment. Here in Phoenix, he was able to secure $2.6 million for the Translational Genomics Institute, where researchers are working to find cures for melanoma, pancreatic cancer, diabetes, and other devastating diseases.
Senator Kyl has also shown a commitment to women's health by co-sponsoring the Breast Cancer Research Stamp Authorization Act. The Act extended the stamp's expiration date by two years, allowing more money to be raised for breast cancer. This stamp was created with the support of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which was established by my friend Nancy Brinker after she lost her sister, Susan Komen, to breast cancer.
This week, earlier this week, I was at the Komen Foundation's 2006 Mission Conference where they're going to do very interesting work in public diplomacy, really, health diplomacy, by partnering with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Johns Hopkins and MD Anderson to get the word out in Muslim and Arab countries about breast cancer.
When Nancy started the Susan Komen Foundation about 25 years ago, American women didn't talk about breast cancer. It was embarrassing. You didn't remind anyone to get a mammogram or do anything like that, like we all do now. And that's really the way it is in the Muslim world right now. So I'm really happy the Komen Foundation is going to be working with two countries. And we think Jordan and Morocco, actually, will join soon to make sure that women around the world have the opportunity for early detection, because that's the cure so far right now, the closest we have to a cure.
This stamp that Jon Kyl reauthorized to last longer has raised about $48 million for cancer research in the United States. It's raised awareness, it's promoted early detection, and it's helped women find the courage and the hope to defeat breast cancer, women like my mother, Jenna Welch. So thank you very much, Jon, for this legislation. (Applause.)
Senator Kyl's work to improve health care for Arizonans is just one way he's helping families in your state. Making sure your tax dollars are spent responsibly in Washington is another. As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, Jon is a powerful advocate for tax cuts. And last month, with Senator Kyl's support, President Bush signed into law the largest tax relief package in America's history. (Applause.)
These tax cuts have fueled the economy, and they've helped add 5.3 million new jobs since 2003. And that means 5.3 million more Americans wake up every morning with the dignity and the sense of purpose that comes with a job.
Senator Kyl is a determined defender of Arizona's young people, as well. To keep children safe in their communities, the Senator sponsored the Childhelp National Registry Act -- legislation that creates a national database of people convicted of child abuse or neglect. And just this week, Senator Kyl introduced the Internet SAFETY Act to protect young people when they go online.
In his State of the Union address, President Bush announced -- that was the 2005 State of the Union address -- the Helping America's Youth initiative, and he asked me to lead it. Guiding young people as they build the knowledge and the self-respect they need to lead successful lives is at the heart of Helping America's Youth.
Since the President announced the initiative, I've traveled to many parts of our country, visiting with young people and with the adults who are so important to their lives. And one of my first trips was to Phoenix, where I met with Native Americans who are working with their youth to instill their traditional values of self-respect and self-discipline. And this afternoon, I'll visit a play -- attend a play produced by Childsplay and the Maricopa County District Library at a Boys and Girls Club in Guadalupe in the East Valley. This is a play about literacy and libraries that Childsplay has shown or produced all over the country -- all over the state at Boys and Girls Clubs and other places and other schools, with the whole idea of encouraging literacy among young people.
I've also, of course, been to schools and to after-school programs. I've met with mentors and Big Brothers and Big Sisters. I've visited gang intervention programs, where I've met the young people who are leaving gangs and finding jobs.
All of these visits culminated last October at the White House
Conference on Helping America's Youth. At the conference, we introduced
an online, interactive Community Guide. This guide helps concerned
adults learn more about the problems facing youth in their own
communities, and what local resources are available to address those
problems. The website is www.helpingamericasyouth.gov
One of the best ways to help young people is by giving them positive alternatives to dangerous behavior. And there are few activities healthier for young people than exploring America's beautiful landscapes and outdoors. And certainly Arizona is a spot that has plenty of those.
Making sure these natural resources can be enjoyed by future generations is an issue that President Bush and I care deeply about. Yesterday, my husband established a new national monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. The creation of this monument will protect 140,000 square miles of Hawaiian waters and 7,000 marine species that live there, making the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands the largest national monument in America, and the largest protected marine area in the world. (Applause.)
Jon Kyl shares the President's passion for protecting our natural treasures. Earlier this week, Senator Kyl introduced the Las Cienegas Enhancement Act, legislation expanding Southern Arizona's Las Cienegas National Conservation Area. And Jon's bill improves access to Whetstone Mountains, so that more families can go there to learn, to exercise, and to spend time together.
We all know, though, that the well-being of families in Arizona and throughout our country ultimately depends on our ability to keep them safe -- by defeating terrorism and increasing liberty abroad. In the Senate, Jon has been a champion of the men and women of the United States military. (Applause.) Thanks to our men and women in uniform, Afghan women and girls are now free to be able to go to school. And earlier this week, the President met with the new Iraqi government. Iraq's new cabinet is now complete, and our country stands with them as they build a democratic government. (Applause.)
Jon's dedication to the people of Arizona and his achievements remind us of why he must be re-elected. Senator Kyl understands that America faces challenges too important to be reduced to politics.
President Bush has an ambitious agenda for the rest of his time in Washington, and he takes his responsibility to the American people very seriously. Ending our dependence on foreign oil, reforming our immigration system, rebuilding the Gulf Coast, and keeping our country safe from terrorism are not easy tasks, but they're absolutely vital goals. To accomplish them, we must have serious national conversations, conducted with civility and respect. And Senator Kyl is a thoughtful, positive and powerful part of that dialogue. (Applause.)
This is just one reason why Jon is a wonderful leader for Arizona. If you look through his distinguished record of public service, you'll find many more.
Thank you all very much for joining us today. Thank you for your support. Thank you for your generous support of Jon Kyl's re-election. Let's re-elect Jon Kyl to the United States Senate. (Applause.)
Thank you all so much.