U.S. Senator Mark Kirk released the following statement today on President Obama's State of the Union Address:
"I share the President's optimism that America's brightest days are ahead of us. His willingness to improve economic stability should start with bipartisan proposals, like the shared pain of the entire Simpson-Bowles plan, not just a piece of it. If we can put aside our political differences and work together to pass a long-term solution, we would avoid the pending sequester and send a strong signal to our creditors that America remains a stable place to conduct business.
"In the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre and horrific gang violence on the streets of Chicago, we should work as a nation to reduce gun violence and save lives. I am proud to sponsor legislation with New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) to dry up the supply of illegal weapons to dangerous drug gangs which are responsible for 80% of homicides in Chicago each year. Additionally, I believe we can pass a universal background check bill this year to keep guns away from criminals and the mentally ill, while protecting law-abiding citizens.
"In the coming year, I will continue to press for the toughest possible sanctions to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability, curb its ballistic missile program and end the regime's abuse of human rights. Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism and its pursuit of nuclear weapons poses a direct threat to America's national security.
"Finally, I invited physical therapist, Mike Klonowski, tonight to highlight that there are good people in the world who are working every single day to make a difference in the lives of others. If we enact this kind of commitment to others in Congress, I know we can solve our nation's problems."