U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp released the following statement ahead of the President's State of the Union Address:
As the President prepares to give his State of the Union address tonight, I'm hoping that he will address a number of the pressing issues we face as a country.
For starters, I'm hoping that the President will address the growing need for economic stability in our country. Our fiscal house has been out of order for far too long. The path we are on is simply unsustainable. I am hoping to hear the President present a bipartisan plan that will find long-term solutions to address our nation's fiscal challenges.
The best thing we can do for our economy is get Americans back to work. One way to do this is to pass a long-term farm bill. Sixteen million jobs hang in the balance with this bill. A new Farm Bill must be passed this year to provide farmers the certainty they need to keep growing America's agriculture economy and driving our economic recovery. The bill also reduces the deficit by $23 billion, which is even more than sequestration would do if it goes into effect.
Another thing I am looking to hear from the President tonight is his energy plan for the country. You know, in North Dakota we do it right. We understand that the best energy plan is an "all of the above" energy plan. We can't rely on just fossil fuels, or just clean coal or just any one plan of action.It is so important that we continue to improve our energy infrastructure, so I am hoping the President will announce plans to approve the shovel-ready Keystone XL Pipeline. This project means jobs, increased energy security, and the certainty that comes from dealing with our neighbors to the north. The Keystone XL Pipeline approval would be a significant step forward to achieving a diverse energy plan and securing our energy independence.