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Congressman Sires Statement Reacting to the State of the Union Address

Feb 6, 2019
Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Congressman Sires released the following statement following the President’s State of the Union Address last night:

“Last night, the President made a sweeping speech addressing a range of issues essential to the American public and called for greater unity in government. However, in his speech, he failed to present real achievable solutions that will bolster American security, prosperity, and well-being.

I appreciate that the President mentioned the need to revitalize our nation’s infrastructure, as much of our infrastructure is in a state of critical disrepair that poses a threat to the safety of our communities and the efficiency of our economy. This Administration continues to espouse rhetoric about rebuilding our infrastructure, but words are not enough - now is the time to act. The Administration has failed to propose a realistic solution to the infrastructure crisis. The White House’s previous infrastructure proposal was merely an outline short on details and unrealistic in scope.

The nation cannot endure much longer without a comprehensive infrastructure investment. My district knows this need well. We are home to a key section of the Northeast Corridor, which still operates on century-old infrastructure. Without federal assistance, we will not be able to repair and upgrade the Hudson River Tunnels that see nonstop traffic and generate billions of dollars in yearly economic activity. I hope that the President will commit to his call for bipartisan action on infrastructure and work with Congress to draft a bill that addresses our nation’s aging infrastructure.

Unfortunately, we once again witnessed once again the President’s bombastic and fear-mongering rhetoric directed at immigrants, many of whom who have sacrificed everything to flee a life of violence. Diversity is one of our greatest strengths and relying on falsehoods to push an ineffective policy that runs counter to American’s founding ideals is not the immigration reform we need. Our country was built on the contributions of immigrant communities, and any proposals to change the system must offer meaningful reforms and solutions to the actual challenges of immigration policy.

The President says he welcomes immigrants who come here legally, yet consistently advances policies which contradict this sentiment. Under this Administration, we have seen the number of immigrant visas decline and changes to the high-skilled worker visa program which have created new disruptions in the process. Additionally, the President has placed new limits on asylum seekers that make it more difficult for innocent families fleeing persecution. If the President is truly committed to addressing immigration in our country, he will work with Congress to propose legislation that focuses on effectual reforms.

This is the beginning of a new Congress and a new year. The President says he stands ready to work with Congress to achieve historic breakthroughs for all Americans. While I hope this is true, actions speak louder than words and I look forward to seeing if the President can commit to being a reliable partner in improving the lives of all Americans.”