WASHINGTON – In response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) offered the following remarks on a few key topics. Audio and video are available at the links below. Senator Cardin’s guest for the President’s speech was Johns Hopkins University President Ronald Daniels. Johns Hopkins is one of the many world-class universities across Maryland.
“Unfortunately, the American Dream is becoming a fantasy. If you work hard and play by the rules, you should be able to provide for your family and not live in poverty. For far too many of our neighbors and family that just isn’t true today. Our economy has shown many signs of recovery, but it hasn’t reached all Americans so we must do better. Congress has a responsibility to work together and work with President Obama to restore hope in our country and make the opportunity to achieve the American Dream real again. We need to make decisions and stop handcuffing our economy. I agree with the President that only by working together, without the paralyzing partisan gridlock, can we pass the policies and make the investments that will lead to a growing middle class with decent jobs, growing wages and retirement security.
“We’ve seen a growing gap in this country of income and opportunity. We should be united in our commitment to investing in education and job growth, rebuilding our infrastructure and modern schools, helping to increase our competitiveness and bolster our manufacturing sector. All this will increase opportunities, help expand the middle class, and grow our whole economy.
“One of the easy ways to help all working families is to raise the minimum wage, and not just for federal workers and contractors. It injects more money into our economy but also provides a boost of dignity for low-wage workers because they can better take care of their families. Congress should act to raise the minimum wage for all workers in this country now.
“Throughout my career, I have fought long and hard to improve opportunities for savings in our country. I’m proud of the advances we’ve made, but there is more work to be done. I was encouraged by the President’s focus on making it easier for families at all income levels to save for retirement. Today, too many workers just don’t have enough set aside for retirement years. We need to create more opportunities.
“The President has a full plate of international priorities. Thankfully, this will be the year our troops will be coming home from Afghanistan. America is being looked at as a leader internationally to bring about reconciliation and peace in countries that have had difficult times. Our leadership is essential to reduce nuclear tensions in North Korea and Iran.”
“Getting serious about energy efficiency and the environment is good for our economy, good for our health and protects our precious natural resources. The President understands that the science is real and that we have a responsibility to act now to protect our communities. The federal government has a role in ensuring our communities are better prepared for disasters by reinforcing our transportation and water infrastructure and major systems. American innovation also leads the way in protecting our environment globally. There are new markets waiting for clean energy products that are ‘Made in the USA.’ We really can protect our precious natural resources and create opportunities for growth.”
Senator Cardin is a member of the Senate Committees on Finance, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Environment and Public Works (EPW), and Foreign Relations (SFRC). He chairs the U.S. Helsinki Commission, as well as the SFRC Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and the EPW Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife.
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HD Version – HD MD Cardin The State of The Union
SD Version – MD Cardin The State of The Union
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