January 12, 2016

Sen. Whitehouse Reaction to State of the Union Address

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) released the statement below reacting to President Obama’s State of the Union address:

“Tonight President Obama described his vision of the great things this nation can achieve when we work together.  He’s seen how far we’ve come from the worst recession in generations, and he knows that ensuring opportunity for all will continue to grow our economy.  I am thrilled that the areas he highlighted for bipartisan progress were areas where I have coauthored the major bills—to fix our unfair and costly criminal justice system, and to bring an end to the epidemic of heroin and opioid addiction that grips so many communities.  American leadership helped broker an unprecedented international agreement to halt climate change, and we must continue to lead that fight.  I agree that our use of fossil fuels must reflect the costs they impose on taxpayers and our planet.  My proposal to put a price on carbon emissions and return the revenue to the American people would do just that.  And American ingenuity can improve health care for more Americans at a lower cost.

“I also agree with the President that a college education is the key to the middle class, and that we must make college more affordable for all families.  My guest tonight, Ryan Borden from Warwick, took on tens of thousands of dollars of student loan debt to become a teacher in Rhode Island.  He loves teaching, and he’s going back to school be an even better educator.  But he told me that it will be years before he sees any return on that investment.  We have to stop saddling the next generation—and our economy—with crippling debt.

“I’m fighting for these things in the Senate, alongside Democrats and Republicans.  The President isn’t about to give up on these goals.  Neither should we in Congress.”



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