Merkley Statement on President Obama’s 2011 State of the Union Address

Washington, D.C. –
Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley issued the following statement this evening on President Barack Obama’s 2011 State of the Union Address:

“While the political landscape over the last two years may have changed, our mission to preserve America’s role as a light for the world has not.  This evening, President Obama laid out a vision that centers not on divisive rhetoric or ideology, but on common aspirations for growth and renewal.

“America has the potential to lead the global economy, but only if we rebuild our own economy in a way that benefits all Americans.  We need to invest in education and innovation in order to give every child the opportunity to thrive.  And we need to promote manufacturing to boost job creation.  The fact is – we won’t have a middle class in America if we don’t make things in America.”

“One specific opportunity for innovation and job growth that President Obama noted this evening is the development and adoption of electric vehicles in America.  I’ve been working with Republican Senator Lamar Alexander to advance legislation along the lines of what President Obama proposed tonight to promote electric vehicle deployment.  By building electric vehicle infrastructure and stimulating research and development we can strengthen national security, reduce global warming pollution, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

“I am, however, disappointed that President Obama did not directly address the foreclosure crisis that continues to harm American families, weaken communities, and hamper prospects for economic recovery.  If job creation is truly a priority, we must move quickly to help families keep their homes and strengthen the housing market.  We did not hear specific plans tonight to fix the foreclosure crisis, but I believe the Administration will partner with Congress to refocus efforts to assist families and recharge the economy.”

Audio of Senator Merkley’s response is available for download: