WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement after President Obama delivered the State of the Union address.
“My number one priority and the heart of what I have always fought for is to create jobs and grow the economy. The middle class, and those looking to join the middle class, must have the tools and opportunity to pull themselves up and fulfill the American dream. As someone who grew up in poverty, I know the hard work and determination it takes to succeed. I also know that without ladders of opportunity, hardworking families will continue to fall behind and young kids growing up like I did will watch the American Dream slip farther out of their reach. One way we can immediately help working families is by raising the minimum wage and I applaud the President for making it a priority, as I have been calling for.
“I also strongly back the President’s focus on expanding education, skills training and high-tech manufacturing. I have long pushed to ensure workers can receive the training they need to secure good jobs and employers have access to a workforce with the skills that are needed for them to expand, boost our economy, and out-compete the global competition. To get our country moving again, we have to work to reinvigorate our manufacturing base. We must put Iowans to work while maintaining and investing in the infrastructure that is critical to our communities’ well-being and economic development.
“What was not discussed enough tonight was the need to advance our rural communities and our renewable energy sector. Far too often these are left behind by Washington. Our rural economy and renewable energy sector have created good jobs and brought economic development to rural Iowa. Washington must also work to serve our veterans with the dignity and honor they deserve, including securing a good job when they return home after serving our country.
“Of course, none of these priorities will be possible if Congress doesn’t put aside the partisan gridlock and ideological divisions that have threatened our economy time and again. Iowans know how to work together to get things done. It’s far past time for Washington to learn from our great state and get to work on the real priorities of Iowa families and job creators. I look forward to working with the President and people on both sides of the aisle to move our country forward.”