January 12, 2016

Wyden Response to the State of the Union Address

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today issued the following statement after the president’s State of the Union address:

“My hope is that Congress uses this moment of reflection to renew our commitment to creating opportunity for all, while protecting and upholding American values.

“Congress must to do more to help working families in Oregon and across the country get ahead by tackling the tough, fundamental issues that are critical to the health of our economy.

“Education has always been the key to unlocking opportunity in America, and Congress must put on a full-court press to lower the cost of college and lift high school graduation rates. I am especially proud to have led the fight to get real traction on this front last year, including making the American Opportunity Tax Credit permanent and giving high schools and teachers new resources to ensure more students earn their diplomas. The president is absolutely right to call for reducing student debt and investing in higher education.

“In creating opportunity and boosting our economy, it’s long past time for a fair and modern tax code that gives everyone a chance to get ahead while allowing us to compete globally. Last year Congress delivered legislation that provides greater economic certainty to working families and small businesses alike, and now our focus must remain on larger reform. Congress must also continue working to strengthen Medicare, especially for those with complex, chronic conditions that are difficult to treat.

“I also agree with the president that opening new markets and exporting American products represents an enormous opportunity to grow jobs and raise middle-class wages. Trade done right must maximize those opportunities for Oregon and the United States.

“Upholding our values also means keeping our nation safe, but never sacrificing our hard-won freedoms. It means making smart choices to attack climate change head-on and expand clean energy. It means doing much more to protect our communities from gun violence, while respecting responsible gun owners. It means hunting down terrorists, but continuing to welcome immigrants and refugees from violent oppression and terror to our shores.”

Audio of Wyden’s statement is available here.