Elected Dem Leaders and Union Chief Hail Obama's State Of The Union Speech

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Democratic elected officials and a union leader applauded President Obama for embracing a solidly middle class agenda in his state of the union address tonight.

"Tonight we saw a confident President Obama lay out a bold and optimistic vision for our country's future. And he has good reason to be confident - the unemployment rate has fallen to 5.6 percent, we have had the longest streak of recorded private sector job gains in American history and the deficit has been cut by nearly two-thirds," said Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), after the president's speech tonight.

The senator added: "I strongly support his plan to boost the middle class by raising the minimum wage, tripling the child care tax credit and investing in our infrastructure. I agree with the President that we should set our sights higher than helping Canadian special interests build the Keystone tar sands pipeline and instead pass a long-term transportation bill that will support millions of jobs.

"I also applaud him for standing up to Republican threats to repeal Obamacare, repeal Wall Street reform and break up millions of loving families by repealing his immigration executive orders.

"His comments on climate change were a breath of fresh air. He clearly understands that we must act now to protect our families and future generations from the worst impacts of climate change.

"The President showed his leadership when he talked about America leading a united world in confronting the threat of terrorism. Now Republicans in Congress must stop playing politics and pass a Homeland Security Appropriations bill that protects the American people."

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08) also cheered the president for standing up against Republican intransigence.

"In the face of unprecedented GOP obstruction, President Obama has led a successful rescue of the American economy," Jeffries said. "The President took office at the outset of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Today, our country is experiencing a sustained period of economic growth and job creation, the unemployment rate has drastically declined and the stock market is way up. President Obama has advanced a bold set of proposals to strengthen the middle class and empower those who aspire to be part of it. It’s time for Congressional Republicans to get on board so we can keep this country’s economic locomotive moving forward.”

"Tonight, we applaud the president's agenda and vision that at the core strives to strengthen all working families across the country," union leader, Rocio Saenz, said. "The president's agenda stands in sharp contrast to the Republican Congress’ show of contempt for 53 million Latinos during last week's House vote when Republicans voted to deport immigrant children who have lived here all their lives and undo the little progress we’ve made to fix the immigration system."

Saenz, who is Executive Vice President, the Service Employees International Union's (SEIU), added:

"We have come far on several issues, but none more than the promise delivered by our president to millions of families who will be able to remain with their loved ones and the home they have built in our nation. Just as the president affirmed today, we too will move forward and protect the immigration action that the American public supports and families, among them a growing and powerful Latino and Asian American community, everywhere rejoice.

"While the president has led us to major milestones, there is still much to achieve to strengthen and improve the lives of millions of working families. From raising the minimum wage to equal pay, there are significant issues that Congress needs to tackle for the good of the people, not the politics of skewed partisanship. We hope this new Republican Congress can work together with the president to make new milestones for our nation. 2016 is not far, and there are many listening and watching—old, new and aspiring Americans—at the ready to deliver their own promise."


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