From Rep. Mike Honda, D-San Jose:
I applaud the President’s talk tonight regarding jobs and technology. We must ensure the resilience of the American worker, and the adaptability and innovation inherent in our economy, to keep us at the forefront of global competitiveness.
This is the Silicon Valley way of life and business, where the manufacturing sector employs 1 in 5 workers (more than twice the national average), where breakthrough ideas are cultivated, and where the world’s most successful visionaries and businesses call home.
If we renew our national commitment to winning the manufacturing jobs of the future, bringing Silicon Valley sense to Washington, and employ strategies that play to our nation’s natural strengths, we should see a new golden age of American manufacturing.
That is exactly why my legislative platform, introduced this week, will reinvigorate a critical component of our national economy by focusing on three components: Next-generation technologies, startups and small manufacturers, and re-shoring production lines from overseas.
• The Market Based Manufacturing Incentives Act empowers an apolitical commission of private-sector experts to designate the next generation of disruptive, market-changing technologies.
• The Scaling up Manufacturing Act, endorsed by the American Small Manufacturers Coalition, the American Chemical Society, and Silicon Valley’s own Applied Ventures, provides support to this nation’s entrepreneurs at the most critical stage of their business’s growth. This proposal stops offshoring before it ever starts, keeps our bourgeoning businesses here at home, and helps turns ideas into success stories.
• The Re-Shoring Bonus Deduction Act is a draft proposal aimed at promoting growth in domestic manufacturing among this nation’s most established and global enterprises. We should reward companies that bring jobs back to the United States and contribute to our nation’s economic growth by employing American workers.
Additionally, my STEM agenda for the 113th Congress supports Obama’s SOTU call for leadership in these fields. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics must be infused into our public school curriculum, emphasized within the clinical teaching preparation programs and applied into vibrant learning experiences in the classroom.
In order to keep Silicon Valley competitive and stocked with highly-skilled, creative workers, we must improve STEM education coordination on a national scale. For our nation to remain a leader in scientific advancement and technological innovation, this is what is required of us, nothing less. It is time to step up and STEM it.
From Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Napa:
“The state of our union is getting stronger, but we have more work to do. Whether it’s creating jobs, getting our fiscal house in order, fixing our broken immigration system, or putting policies in place that respect the Second Amendment while also reducing gun violence, our nation faces big challenges. We won’t overcome these challenges as Democrats versus Republicans – we must meet them together as Americans.
“We need to put people to work fixing our roads, bridges, overpasses and waterways while also building an economy that can compete long-term by investing in new industries like clean energy. To get our fiscal house in order, we need a balanced approach that focuses on job creation, makes sure taxpayers are getting the most bang for their buck, and reforms our tax code so everyone pays their fair share. We need to avoid manufactured crisis that do nothing but hurt our economy. And, we need a bipartisan, comprehensive fix to our broken immigration system.
“Finally, tonight President Obama once again called on Congress to pass legislation that will reduce gun violence. Last month the President acted by signing a series of executive actions that will have a meaningful impact on reducing gun violence. But as we know, the policies that would have the greatest impact require congressional action.
“Whether you’re an NRA member like Elvin Daniel, the guest I hosted at tonight’s State of the Union, a hunter and gun owner like me, or one of the millions of Americans who have never fired a gun, we can all agree that when thirty-plus people die every day from gun violence that it’s time for Congress act. My task force is already acting. Last week we released a comprehensive set of policy principles that both respect the Second Amendment Rights of law-abiding Americans and will prevent gun violence. We’re using these policy principles to develop and influence legislation in both the House and Senate and are working to get legislation based on these principles signed into law.
“But this can’t just be a Democratic effort. It’s time for our colleagues on the other side of the aisle to work with us and use the principles we developed to put laws in place that respect the rights of lawful Americans to own firearms and make our schools, neighborhoods, communities and country safer.
“As the 113th Congress moves forward, I will continue working to overcome the challenges we face. And I am confident that if we put the partisanship aside and work together then our nation has even better days ahead.”
More after the jump…
From Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez:
“The President laid out a bold, common sense and critical agenda to grow our economy, strengthen the middle class, and reduce inequality in America. I applaud his call to raise the minimum wage, to reform taxes to ensure the wealthiest pay their fair share, and to ensure an affordable and quality education at all levels, from early childhood through college. I am ready to work with him to reduce global warming, reform our immigration laws, and reduce gun violence. I hope my Republican colleagues are ready too. The President told Congress to stop manufacturing partisan fiscal crises that undermine our economy but join him instead to create manufacturing jobs that will grow the middle class. I couldn’t agree more.”
From House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco:
“Tonight, President Obama spoke directly to the American people about solutions to our most pressing challenges: how to create growth with jobs, strengthen the middle class, and responsibly reduce the deficit. His agenda is a reflection of the fundamental American values of opportunity, equality, and fairness for all. His proposals reflect a core vision shared by House Democrats: that a strong, thriving middle class is essential to a strong, prosperous America.
“The President’s objectives match the priorities of House Democrats. It is time to create jobs through manufacturing, investments in education and training, and support for clean energy jobs and a modern infrastructure. It is time to heed the President’s call for real progress to reverse the rising tide of climate change, enact comprehensive immigration reform, and prevent gun violence.
“Democrats agree with the President that vigorous debate is a sign of the strength of our democracy, but endless debate is not the path to progress. Let’s work together and act now to create jobs, spur economic growth, bolster the middle class, and bring down the deficit in a balanced way.”
From Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Pleasanton:
“Tonight President Obama presented a vision for America that will move our economy forward and help create jobs. Our economy is on the right track, but more must be done to put us on a sustainable path forward. I will join the President to fight for policies that will strengthen our middle class and pursue balanced deficit reduction measures. The burden of deficit reduction should not be shouldered by the middle class and seniors.
“I am proud that in the Bay Area we are an innovation center leading the world in technological achievements, and I commend the President for recognizing the high-growth opportunities in the clean energy sector. As the Ranking Member of the Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee on Energy with two national laboratories in my district, I believe federal investments in clean energy are smart for our economy and our environment, enabling us to create jobs and address the threat of climate change.
“Growing our economy also includes fixing our broken immigration system. We need to allow high-skilled workers educated at American universities an opportunity to stay and help build our economy and create jobs. We also need to create a pathway to citizenship for workers already part of our communities.
“Tragically, we have too often had to mourn the victims of mass shootings and as a prosecutor I often saw impact of gun violence on our communities. As the President stated, the time is now to take common-sense measures to reduce gun violence including closing background check loopholes. I am working with my colleagues in the House to ban access to military-style assault rifles, which already exists under California law.
“We have big challenges facing our country, but I have never underestimated our ability to do big things. I am hopeful that Congress will come together to move our economy forward.”
From U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.:
“The president tonight correctly focused on jobs and the economy. Congress must work to reform the tax code and make investments that promote jobs and growth while continuing to bring our deficit under control. I was pleased the president talked about investing in manufacturing, educating our workforce and cleaner energy to fight climate change, all of which are necessary for our middle class to compete in a global economy.
“I also believe Congress must confront the looming sequester cuts, which could cost California more than 200,000 jobs if fully implemented. I support the president’s call for a more responsible package of spending cuts and revenue measures that will lead us to fiscal sustainability without crippling our economic recovery.”
“The president tonight repeated his call for Congress to pass commonsense reforms to our nation’s gun laws. I appreciate his leadership in the ongoing struggle to remove weapons of war from our streets and require universal background checks. It’s only through reasonable laws like the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013, which the president supports, that we will finally begin to see a decline in the terrible mass shootings that have devastated families and traumatized the nation.”
“I’m pleased the president outlined steps to fix our broken immigration system in ways that are fair and sensible. We must meet the needs of families and workers while providing effective enforcement and security at the borders, and we have to include a pathway to earned citizenship.”
From Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland:
“Tonight the President made a powerful case for Congress to finally act to create jobs and grow our economy. Part of this effort must be lifting millions out of poverty and into the middle class. Erasing the scourge of poverty in our nation is an economic and moral imperative.
“As co-founder and co-chair of the Out-of-Poverty Caucus, I will continue to push for a national strategy to eliminate poverty, starting with the goal of cutting poverty in half in ten years. The President’s support for raising the minimum wage and tying it to the cost of living, as well as universal, high-quality, pre-Kindergarten education are critical pieces in that plan.
“Tonight the President made a big announcement about ending the war in Afghanistan. I have been working towards bringing all of our troops home right away, but the President’s plan to bring 34,000 troops home this year is an important step towards complete withdrawal. I know that there is no military solution in Afghanistan, and this announcement underscores the President’s commitment to an accelerated withdrawal and ending the war at the end of 2014.
“We must reject the calls for thousands of troops to stay on the ground in perpetuity. If there is any residual force beyond 2014, they must be extremely limited in scope and scale.
“Finally, now is the time for action, and we must join President’s call for an AIDS-free generation, gun violence prevention, comprehensive immigration reform, aggressive action on climate change, strengthening education, and getting America back to work.”
Not from the Bay Area, but for balance – from House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio:
“Four years after the president first addressed a joint session of Congress, Americans are still asking, ‘where are the jobs?’ Tonight, he offered them little more than more of the same ‘stimulus’ policies that have failed to fix our economy and put Americans back to work. We cannot grow the middle class and foster job creation by growing government and raising taxes. Washington has a spending problem that threatens the prosperity of every child, every family, and every small business in America. The president had an opportunity to offer a solution tonight, and he let it slip by. We are only weeks away from the devastating consequences of the president’s sequester, and he failed to offer the cuts needed to replace it. In the last election, voters chose divided government which offers a mandate only to work together to find common ground. The president, instead, appears to have chosen a go-it-alone approach to pursue his liberal agenda.
“Senator Rubio rose to the occasion tonight and presented a positive alternative to the American middle class. His vision for growth, opportunity, and prosperity is rooted in the understanding that it is our people, not our government, that continues to give us confidence in America’s future.”
From U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.:
“Our No. 1 priority must be keeping our economy growing, and President Obama laid out a bold roadmap for doing just that. He made absolutely clear that we can’t afford to lose 1 million jobs, which is exactly what would happen if we allow the sequester’s devastating automatic spending cuts to go into effect next month.
“We should also heed the President’s call to invest in a job-creating infrastructure plan, raise the minimum wage, and train our workers for new manufacturing and clean energy jobs. He made an eloquent case for fixing our nation’s broken immigration system, reducing gun violence and ensuring that no American voter is forced to wait in line for hours to cast a ballot. And I agree with President Obama that Congress should give every responsible homeowner in America the chance to save $3,000 a year by refinancing at today’s low rates by passing my bill.
“The President is right – we must do more to combat climate change, and Superstorm Sandy was a wake-up call. It is happening before our eyes, the science is clear, and we must act before it is too late. I am committed to working with my colleagues on a comprehensive solution, and I strongly support the President’s efforts to move forward with executive actions to address this serious threat.”
From Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo:
“The American people heard a true leader tonight speak in terms people understand about issues people really care about. President Obama reminded all Americans who we are as a country and he reminded me who I fight for in Congress.
“I join with the President in fighting to give American a living wage, bringing our men and women home from the Afghan war, voting on common sense gun crime laws, reshoring our jobs from overseas, investing in clean energy technology and innovation, supporting research and development, and embracing the immigrants who live in our neighborhoods with a pathway to citizenship.
“The President made it clear that if Congress fails to do its job, the President will act by executive action.”