Comments On President Obama’s State Of The Union Message To A Joint Meeting Of Congress

I welcome the President’s plans to accelerate the recovery by creating jobs to help working families rejoin the mainstream economy.

Few presidents have faced so many challenges so soon in their terms – and all at once.  President Obama has had to find ways to finish two wars that he inherited, and he has had to avert an economic catastrophe.  Decisive action by the President and others saved the economy from tumbling into the abyss in 2008 and afterward.  Those actions laid the groundwork to bring us out of a deep recession.  Now we need to strengthen the fragile beginnings of the recovery to create jobs and improve the lives of ordinary Americans.  The President’s creation of a commission to target ways to reduce the deficit and promote fiscal prudence will also help pave the way forward.

The President offered strong and straightforward solutions to help hardworking middle-class families who have faced a decade of declining wages, eroding retirement security and escalating health and education costs.  I especially welcome the President’s continued focus on education with his proposals that will mean pocketbook benefits to students and families in Vermont and across the country.  I support the President’s call for a new jobs bill that focuses on small business, green jobs, clean energy, and road and bridge improvements, because we must do more to support small business growth in this country.  Small businesses are the backbone of Vermont’s and the nation’s economy, and a broader economic recovery will only come about by helping small businesses gain access to affordable capital so they can expand their markets and create more jobs.

After a year of legislative obstruction, I hope this new session of Congress will bring some cooperation in finding common ground to reinvigorate the economy and help the nation move confidently ahead.

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