Tonight, Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI-4) released this statement following President Barack Obama's State of the Union address to Congress.
"Tonight the President set an aggressive agenda for America. His plan to refocus our efforts on bringing about solid economic growth for all Americans through manufacturing, infrastructure, clean and renewable energy, skills training for American workers, and a renewed commitment to education are critical to this country moving forward.
"With the recent success of the manufacturing sector adding nearly 500,000 jobs over the past three years, I was glad that he is committed to continuing to strengthen this sector of our economy. Manufacturing is an important part of the economy in Wisconsin, and it will be important to invest in this industry to ensure that we have more good jobs here at home and are able to compete in the global economy.
"His plans to invest in clean energy and decrease our dependence on foreign oil will be necessary to help our businesses compete as well as reducing energy costs for American families. It is my hope that we will allow for greater research and development in this area to spur greater investment in clean and renewable energy.
"I was particularly pleased with the President's announcement of the return of 34,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan within a year. It is not as quick a timeline as I would like but shows his commitment to keep his promise to formally end this war by 2014. I am eager to hear more in the coming days about when the rest of our troops will be home for good and will continue to work with my colleagues to bring all our troops home soon and safely so we can focus on the many other pressing priorities facing our nation that he outlined in his speech.
"His "back to basics' approach to education will be critical in preparing our young people with not only the academic prowess but the real world skills needed to compete for the jobs of today and tomorrow. I believe greater investments in program such as TRIO would go a long way in fulfilling this vision for our educational system.
"Additionally, I applaud and support the President's plan to prevent and reduce gun violence in our communities. Unfortunately, my home state of Wisconsin has seen a rash of gun violence over the past year, including a shooting at a local area Sikh Temple which left seven people dead and a shooting in Brookfield that took the lives of three members of our community. We cannot turn a blind eye to the rampant gun violence that plagues our nation. We must implement common sense strategies to build safer neighborhoods for everyone.
"While some may dismiss the President's message as simple fodder for liberals, I believe that the message he gave this evening was --as the young people say -- "real talk.' We are facing tough times, and the only way that our country will thrive is with bold new ideas. With the looming sequester and a fragilely recovering economy, Congress must put aside their petty differences and work to enact concrete solutions that will help all Americans. We cannot cut our way to solvency on the backs of the poor and working class as Republicans would suggest. We must create an even playing field that provides greater opportunity for all.
"It's time to barbecue or mildew; and I for one am ready to go to work on behalf of the American people. So let's get to work."