Today, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement after President Barack Obama delivered the State of the Union address:
"I commended the President for laying out a plan to create jobs, cut the deficit, hold big banks accountable, and make our economy work for the middle class again. House Democrats have stood firm in their commitment to middle-class families by lowering taxes and jumpstarting our economy -- and we will continue to work with President Obama to deliver results for struggling Americans," stated Rep. Clarke.
President Obama's policy initiatives include:
* making it easier for students to pay off their loans,
* helping families with soaring child care and elderly care costs, and
* giving all workers more tools to save for their retirement.
"These common sense initiatives will build on the recent work of House Democrats, including the Jobs for Main Street Act passed in December, to help Americans who are struggling to make ends meet. The Senate is working on a similar jobs measure now," stated Rep. Clarke. "Democrats have a record of creating jobs while reducing the deficit -- we've done it before and we will do it again."
"While we remain fiscally responsible, Congress must ensure that critical programs that serve our constituencies are not cut. A discretionary spending freeze can mean no additional money for HIV/AIDS research, education, social services, community development block grants, mortgage mitigation, community health centers, breast and prostate cancer screening, etc.... These programs disproportionately impact people of color and the poor and many of them have been traditionally underfunded," added Rep. Clarke. "To adequately reduce spending, Congress needs to look closely at our defense spending which includes the acquisition of some outdated weapons systems with little relevance to 21st century challenges."
"As we move forward, I will continue to work with the White House to ensure that Americans see the change that they desperately voted for in the 2008 presidential election. I applaud President Obama's commitment to putting middle class Americans first and for holding Wall Street accountable," concluded Congresswoman Yvette Clarke.