U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) issued the following statement this evening following President Obama's State of the Union address:
"We need a rising, thriving middle class, as the president posited this evening, and we can achieve it with the right policies in place. Affordable energy, a robust manufacturing sector, and innovative health care solutions are all key ingredients.
"We are a nation blessed with many resources, and with recent advances in technology and innovation, the once unthinkable is within our grasp -- North American energy independence. Our recent energy boom has resulted in job growth that has defied the economic downturn. We must continue fostering policies that ensure access to affordable, stable energy for years to come and create thousands of jobs in the process. One such policy is approval of the Keystone XL pipeline -- a critical link between Canada's rich energy supplies and American energy refineries, small businesses, and families. With a stroke of the pen, the president could unleash this $7 billion private sector investment. Yet nowhere in this evening's blueprint for the president's policy vision was this critical middle class jobs project.
"We also must get our spending under control and responsibly deliver the necessary savings to ensure our kids and grandkids have the same opportunities as generations past.
"The Energy and Commerce Committee continues its work to deliver solutions that unleash job growth across all sectors - health care, manufacturing, telecommunications, and energy. We have a great responsibility to modernize government as we enter the innovation era to prevent obsolete government barriers from holding back growth. Washington does not always know best, and we will continue partnering with our states to advance civic initiatives that benefit broad populations. We have the solutions to restore the middle class and get folks back to work."