Merkley on 2024 State of the Union Address: America is Strong When Working Families Succeed

Washington, D.C. – Tonight, Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley issued the following response to President Joe Biden’s annual State of the Union Address to Congress and Americans:

“Tonight, President Biden made clear that the strength of our union is only as strong as the foundations working families need to thrive: housing, health care, education, and good-paying jobs.

“By working together for the last three years, we’ve delivered wins for working families on these core priorities. We’ve brought down the cost of prescription drugs and capped the price of insulin for seniors, revitalized manufacturing with good-paying jobs, including two new tech hubs to cement Oregon’s leadership in semiconductor and mass timber production, and made strides toward reducing the growing threats of climate chaos – including dangerous wildfires, smoke, and drought.

“But there’s more we need to do to make sure that working families have the resources they need to thrive.

“We need to fight the corporate greed that is driving up costs. Let’s start by putting the American people ahead of the mega rich by making billionaire corporations and the ultra-rich pay their fair share in taxes.

“We should continue to put patients ahead of Big Pharma, so that the U.S. gets the best price on prescription drugs, not the worst, especially given that Americans invest the most of any country in prescription drug development. I have a bill – the End Price Gouging for Medications Act – which will do just that.

“A core promise of the American Dream for many working families is the promise of homeownership. But lately, we’ve seen hedge funds eating up housing supply which is driving up prices for homebuyers and renters. My End Hedge Fund Control of American Homes Act kicks hedge funds to the curb and makes sure houses in our communities are homes for families, not profit centers for Wall Street.

“I’m with the President: education from universal pre-K to relieving the crush of student debt builds a future for progress and possibility. The SAVE Plan and income-driven repayment for student loans is affordable and is helping cancel debt for over 150,000 borrowers. We must protect this plan so future administrations can’t undo it.

“Tonight, we are also reminded that American values are tied to the fortunes of those both at home and abroad. We can and must ramp up direct delivery of aid to Palestinians in Gaza through airdrops and sea-to-shore deliveries, while continuing to work toward a ceasefire, release of hostages, and lasting peace in the region.

“The state of our union is coming around, but it will take all of us working together to take on the powerful and deliver for the people—our great nation deserves no less.”