Press Release ● Congress
For Immediate Release: 
January 12, 2016
Contact Info: 

Mariel Saez 202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement tonight after President Obama delivered his final State of the Union address:

“Tonight, President Obama reminded Congress and the nation that what makes America great is the spirit of service and hard work that manifests from realizing we are all bound together by a common cause.  Every time our nation has been called to answer a challenge we have met it by embracing the values that unite us in strength and by rejecting what might divide or weaken us through fear or mistrust.  To meet the fundamental challenges of the twenty-first century, the President laid out a vision in which America is made stronger by ensuring that everyone has a fair shot at economic opportunity and security, that technology is harnessed to help us solve critical problems, that we continue to lead the world through strength and by example, and that our politics are kept free from demagoguery. 

“The President was right to make it clear that, for all that’s been accomplished over the past seven years, a great deal of work remains unfinished.  Incomes for working Americans aren’t keeping pace with the growth enjoyed by those at the very top.  Our criminal justice system locks away non-violent offenders for years instead of encouraging rehabilitation and a return to society.  Climate change threatens our long-term health, safety, and prosperity while sowing conflict over resources.   Overseas, instability and old hatreds feed new threats to America and our allies, while our adversaries present new challenges to America’s global security and economic leadership. 

“The trials we face demand that Democrats and Republicans in Congress work with this President in the same spirit of service and common purpose that has seen us through every difficulty in our nation’s past.  Just as Americans across the country have made tough decisions, worked hard, and reached a helping hand to one another in times of need throughout our economic recovery, we who serve in government must show that we can do the same as we work to move this country from recovery to resurgence.  That means rejecting extreme partisanship and striving to find common ground.  It means not ignoring or putting off the thorniest issues and hoping they will somehow solve themselves.  And it means making sure our politics are a reflection of America’s best attributes and not its worst.   

“Like the President, I disagree with those who claim that America is in decline.  For generations of Americans, moments like these have tested us and made us better.  So too must we view our challenges not as a cause for fear or despair but as an opportunity for leadership and renewal.  I look forward to working with the President, with fellow Democrats in Congress, and with responsible Republicans in the months ahead to make sure we see the state of our union grow stronger in the years to come.”