Listen Here: Majority Leader McCarthy – 2009 Opening Day Remarks

Mr. Speaker – ladies & gentlemen of the House. Good morning.

Let me begin by congratulating all of you on your recent election. And also, to Representatives Paulsen & Upmeyer on your new positions. I very much look forward to working with both of you.

We have all heard a lot lately about the coming challenges we will face when dealing with this years budget – and there will be historic challenges indeed.

The State of Iowa is seeing various economic indicators – some of which we have not seen since 1933. As the President-Elect has recently said, “Things may get worse before they get better” and thus far, traditional modes of dealing with this recession have not been successful.

With every challenge comes an opportunity, though. As Joseph Campbell said, “At the darkest moment comes the light.”

Of the 46 states currently facing economic hardship, Iowa is in a better position than almost any other state to weather this economic storm. We are one of only a few states that are now net exporters of energy – our investments in ethanol and wind development are beginning to bear fruit and these investments will continue to bring jobs to our state. Our future looks bright.

If we work together this year we can meet these budget challenges…in a way that’s smarter and more efficient than we have done before; while continuing to provide the essential core services that Iowans expect us to provide and maintaining the progress we have made in education and health care.

To do this we must work in a bipartisan fashion – putting aside any hard feelings that may exist from the recent hard fought campaigns. This body has always been most productive when we are working together and when there is meaningful input from all parties. I believe, contrary to what some are saying – we can, and will, have a successful session.

Today, let’s commit to work together, all of us, in a truly bipartisan way to do what’s in the best interest of all Iowans. Thank you very much.