“Each year the State of the Union provides an opportunity for the President to lay out a framework for our National agenda and begin a discussion that will put us on a path to an even stronger America. A nation is only as strong as its infrastructure and a renewed focus on this nation’s human and physical infrastructure is long overdue.
“It begins with our children. Education and community can provide the stepping stones that lift our kids out of the most challenging of environments. The President reminds us about America’s promise - the ability of those who go to school, play by the rules and work hard to achieve the American Dream. Providing safe and effective schools, reducing blight in our urban centers, and giving communities the tools to be more self sufficient lays the foundation for our nation’s future.
“Tonight the President announced tens of thousands of our troops will at long-last come home. We’ve spent $150 billion rebuilding Iraq and Afghanistan. But we spend just $52 billion a year on roads and bridges in America. Our antiquated transportation infrastructure is costing our economy dearly and delaying its repair is a missed opportunity to put people back to work. That is pathetically weak. I was pleased to see the President propose a “Fix-It-First” program which recognizes that it is time to do some nation building here at home.
“America once led the world in education and scientific research. Robust investments in biomedical research benefits society not just for the good it does in developing cures and medical breakthroughs, but for the quality jobs it creates and the boost it provides to our economy in Western New York and across the nation. We need to give our scientists the tools to innovate here at home.
“And as we look to compete we must recognize that “Made in America” is more than a label it is our ultimate economic ambition. Western New York’s rise came by way of manufacturing roots. While the needs of industry have changed with time, the potential to create jobs and grow the middle class by capitalizing on today’s manufacturing needs must be developed.
“Each of these issues - educating our children, investing in infrastructure, keeping America competitive – doesn’t carry a partisan label. The public loathes Washington’s political gridlock, and I don’t blame them. Americans deserve thoughtful but respectful debate that produces results. I agree that as we look to lift the nation, as we tackle our nation’s challenges, we owe it to this and future generations to find common ground.”