[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents Volume 42, Number 45 (Monday, November 13, 2006)]
[Pages 2036-2037]
[Online from the Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]

Remarks Following a Cabinet Meeting

November 9, 2006

    The President. Earlier this week the American people went to the 
polls, and they cast their ballots for a new Congress. The American 
people made their decision. I respect the results, and so does my 
Cabinet. I want to congratulate the Democrat leaders on the victory they 
achieved for their party.
    In a few minutes, Congresswoman Pelosi and Congressman Hoyer will be 
here for lunch. I'm looking forward to that visit. I'm also looking 
forward to my visit with Senator Reid and Senator Durbin tomorrow. We'll 
discuss the way forward for our country, and I'm going to tell him what 
I just told our Cabinet: It is our responsibility to put the elections 
behind us and work together on the great issues facing America.
    Some of these issues need to be addressed before the current 
Congress finishes its legislative session, and that means the next few 
weeks are going to be busy ones. First order of business is for Congress 
to complete the work on the Federal spending bills for this year, with 
strong fiscal discipline and without diminishing our capacity to fight 
the war on terror.
    Another important priority in the war on terror is for the Congress 
to pass the Terrorist Surveillance Act. We also need to pass the 
bipartisan energy legislation that's now before Congress. And on the 
foreign policy

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front, we need to complete the work on legislation that will allow us to 
cooperate with India on civilian nuclear technology and pass trade 
legislation that will enable us to recognize Vietnam as a member of the 

    As the new Members of Congress and their leaders return to 
Washington, I've instructed my Cabinet to provide whatever briefings and 
information they need to be able to do their jobs. The American people 
expect us to rise above partisan differences, and my administration will 
do its part.

    One of the most important challenges facing our country is the war 
on terror, and Iraq is the central front in this war. Our country now 
has more than 149,000 men and women serving bravely in that country. 
Whatever party we come from, we all have a responsibility to ensure that 
these troops have the resources and support they need to prevail. I'm 
open to any idea or suggestion that will help us achieve our goals of 
defeating the terrorists and ensuring that Iraq's democratic Government 

    Yesterday I accepted the resignation of one of the original members 
of my Cabinet, Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. He could not be with us today 
because he's at Kansas State University to deliver the prestigious 
Landon Lecture and to help dedicate the university's military science 
building as the General Richard B. Myers Hall.

    Don has been an outstanding Secretary of Defense, a trusted adviser, 
and a loyal friend to me and his fellow Cabinet secretaries. I've named 
a good man to succeed Don Rumsfeld, former CIA Director Bob Gates. 
Secretary Rumsfeld has agreed to stay until Bob is confirmed, and I'm 
deeply grateful to Don for his service to our country.

    Thank you all very much.

Note: The President spoke at 11:28 a.m. in the Rose Garden at the White 
House. The Office of the Press Secretary also released a Spanish 
language transcript of these remarks.