Congresswoman Corrine Brown made the following statement regarding President Obama's 2012 State of the Union address:
"I commend President Obama during these challenging times for his tremendous efforts towards keeping our nation's economy on the road to recovery. Indeed, when President Obama took office in January, 2009, our nation had dipped into the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression: the housing market was in utter distress, our nation's deficit had expanded exponentially, the banking sector was near collapse, and unemployment had risen dramatically.
Yet today, because of many of the policy prescriptions implemented by the Obama administration, our nation continues to move in the right direction, and unemployment figures have hit their lowest point since the onset of the economic crisis. Under the President's leadership, the economy has added 3.2 million private sector jobs over the last 22 months. In stark opposition to the Republican Party's goal of cutting our federal budget while maintaining huge tax breaks for the upper 1%, President Obama's vision will continue to keep our nation's resources focused on key investments in manufacturing, education, and of course, our number one resource, our nation's people.
Along with my colleagues in the Democratic Caucus, I believe that the number one priority remains, beyond a doubt, creating well paying jobs for the American people and making sure our nation's economy stays on the right track. That said, the majority of the legislation moving through Congress should be introduced to do exactly that: facilitate job creation and strengthen our country's middle and working class, not decimate health care reform or make drastic reductions to our education and transportation and infrastructure system, the main agenda item advocated by my Republican colleagues.
I wholeheartedly believe that transportation and infrastructure investment is key to our recovery. Indeed, according to Department of Transportation figures, for every billion dollars invested in transportation-infrastructure, over 44,000 well paying jobs are created. One prime example of the potentially positive impact infrastructure spending can have is the courthouse in Los Angeles, which I recently toured. Construction of this courthouse would serve as a perfect way to create up to 5,000 well paying construction jobs and jobs in related industries, as well as make the facility safe for the American public, which is of course, the government's chief responsibility. Indeed, this is a project that will give an immediate, major boost to the city of Los Angeles and its economy. I know first-hand that in my district, the Orlando courthouse, which was the first courthouse to be re-built in the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing, was constructed to make significant changes to address heightened safety issues, create well paying local jobs and improve the surrounding area.
As President Obama outlined tonight, it is critically important for our nation to continue to focus on the economy, as well as on job creation for the nearly 13 million unemployed Americans (just over 912,000 live in the state of Florida). At the same time, I will continue to fight to ensure that Congress provides the necessary funding to secure America's competitiveness and economic prosperity, particularly in the transportation reauthorization bill which will be introduced in the next few weeks. To me, the plan put forward this evening by President Obama is a huge step in the right direction."