AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler to Attend 2023 State of the Union Address as Merkley’s Guest

Washington, D.C. – Today, Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley announced that his guest to the 2023 State of the Union Address will be Liz Shuler, President of the AFL-CIO.

In the annual address to Congress, President Biden is expected to lay out his priorities for the coming year, including implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Merkley and Shuler fought together to include strong, high-quality labor standards and Made in America provisions in legislation to fund clean energy development and infrastructure projects.

“As the son of a union machinist, I know the difference that a union can make in delivering fair wages and the strong workplace protections that every worker deserves,” said Merkley. “It’s an honor to invite Liz to attend the President’s speech and to hear together how we can all work to put power back in the hands of workers and restore fairness to an economy that has been rigged against working people. In the last two years we’ve made enormous strides investing in a future economy that creates opportunities for everyone not just the billionaires, and I know that Liz, President Biden, and I and all of our colleagues are laser-focused on building on those successes.”

“It’s an honor to attend the State of the Union Address as the guest of my home state Senator, Jeff Merkley,” said AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler. “Sen. Merkley is a longtime champion for working people who has fought shoulder-to-shoulder with us to build an economy that gives everyone a fair shot at a better life. I’m so proud to work closely with the Senator to bring good union jobs to Oregon and across the country. I look forward to hearing President Biden’s vision for turning historic investments in clean energy, infrastructure, technology and other sectors into job creation that will transform our communities and create an economy that works for all.”

Liz Shuler is president of the 58 unions and 12.5 million members of the AFL-CIO, and the first woman to lead the AFL-CIO. A visionary leader and longtime trade unionist, Shuler believes the labor movement is the single most powerful vehicle for progress and that unions are a central force in leading lasting societal transformations. She is committed to busting myths about labor, leveraging the labor movement’s diversity for innovative approaches to social justice and making the benefits of a union voice on the job available to working people everywhere.

Like Merkley, Shuler grew up in a union household in Oregon—her father, Lance, was a power lineman and longtime member of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 125 at Portland General Electric and her late mother, Joyce, worked as an estimator in the company’s service and design department. She is a graduate of the University of Oregon.

Merkley is one of the Senate’s fiercest fighters for workers and unions. The 2022 Inflation Reduction Act borrows strategies from Merkley’s Good Jobs for 21st Century Energy Act to drive the creation of good, family-wage jobs by offering tax incentives to companies who build out our new energy economy using strong pro-worker standards. Merkley also supports the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, comprehensive legislation to protect workers’ rights to stand together and bargain for fairer wages, better benefits and safer workplaces; as well as the No Tax Breaks for Union Busting Act, which curbs corporate union-busting campaigns by denying tax breaks for attempts to dissuade employees from unionizing.