DEFAZIO RESPONDS TO THE STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS
January 26, 2011
WASHINGTON, DC—U.S. Congressman Peter DeFazio today responded to President Obama's State of the Union address. Following are DeFazio's remarks:
"Americans’ have made clear that their number one priority is the creation of secure family wage jobs, and rightfully so considering that Oregon’s unemployment remains well above 10%. Each $1 billion of Federal transportation investment creates or sustains over 34,000 jobs and $6.2 billion in economic activity. Those are family-wage jobs designing bridges, building roads, and manufacturing American-made buses and streetcars–jobs that can’t be shipped overseas. Investment in infrastructure is one of the few worthwhile uses of deficit spending because the future generations bearing the burden of the cost will benefit from the cost. We cannot win the future, if we do not invest in the future.
For two years, I have been pushing for the reauthorization of a comprehensive 6-year transportation bill that would rebuild our crumbling roads, bridges and highways. The time for talk is over. We need to start pouring concrete today. We urgently need investments to create jobs, improve our long term economic viability which makes us more efficient and our businesses more competitive. I didn’t hear that urgency in the president’s speech.
However, we can’t create and keep jobs at home unless we drastically change our trade policy. President Obama said tonight that we must focus on both creating family-wage jobs and increasing American competitiveness in the world economy, but then lauded his own efforts to pass a Bush negotiated Korean Free Trade Agreement that continues the same failed trade model as NAFTA. Despite promises to the contrary, these free trade agreements have shipped millions of American jobs overseas, devastated American manufacturing, and deepened the long recession. We need to reverse our trade policies. The American middle class cannot afford to keep shouldering the burden of these 'job killing' agreements and I will fight to stop these disastrous policies from becoming law.
I had hoped the president would have been stronger and drawn a line in the sand protecting Social Security and our seniors. Social Security benefits should be off limits when it comes to budget cuts. now forces the federal government to borrow $112 million to replenish the Social Security Trust Fund for the lost revenue
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