Warner, Kaine, Hurt comment on State of the Union

mark warnerU.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) released a statement tonight following President Obama’s final State of the Union address.

“I’m glad the President laid out the remarkable progress we’ve made over the last seven years and acknowledged that we are living in a time of extraordinary change,” Sen. Warner said. “Twenty-first century innovation and technology is disrupting and transforming every aspect of our lives, from the way Americans work to the security threats we are forced to confront.”

“The President is right that all of us in Congress are responsible for putting aside divisive rhetoric and working together to solve problems. We are at our strongest when we view our nation’s challenges and opportunities not as Republicans versus Democrats, but as the future versus the past,” said Sen. Warner.“Moving forward, I believe that we must seize the opportunities and confront the challenges of this new economy in order to make it work better for more people​ in Virginia and across the country.”

Sen. Warner is an honorary co-chair of The Aspen Institute Initiative on the Future of Work, a year-long nonpartisan effort to identify concrete ways to strengthen the social contract in the midst of sweeping changes in the 21st-century workplace and workforce.

“I believe that we can and we must find a thoughtful way to balance the imperatives of safety, security and privacy in protecting Americans from terrorists using 21st century technology and social media platforms to avoid detection,” said Sen. Warner, a former technology executive who is on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Sen. Warner recently teamed up with House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) to propose a national commission on security and technology challenges in the digital age.

 

tim kaineU.S. Senator Tim Kaine released the following statement after President Obama delivered his final State of the Union address tonight.

Tonight, President Obama reflected on the significant progress our country has made over the past seven years and challenged us to reach higher. After assuming office in the midst of a global fiscal collapse and two open-ended wars, President Obama has patiently worked to rebuild a more sustainable economy, inspire an innovative and cleaner energy future, advance the equality and health of all citizens and reinvigorated diplomacy as a major measure of American strength. Challenges remain, at home and abroad, but the American spirit is strong and it stands in stark contrast to the histrionic pessimism emanating from a few headline grabbing presidential candidates.

“I appreciate President Obama’s renewed call for Congress to finally come together to recognize ISIL as our enemy and authorize the use of military force against the terrorist group, but I’m disappointed another State of the Union has gone by without action from our country’s elected leaders on this critical issue – one that has left our servicemembers deployed to fight over the past 17 months without the most important signal of support we can offer.

“I am also pleased the President touched on the issue of opioid abuse – a growing epidemic in Virginia and the reason I invited Don Flattery, a resident of Alexandria, to be my guest tonight. Don lost his son Kevin – a 26-year-old graduate of the University of Virginia – to an opioid overdose in 2014. Don is such a powerful advocate because his story shows us that this epidemic goes beyond shocking statistics; it’s impacting families from all walks of life and robbing us of young people like Kevin who have incredible potential. I’m hopeful Congress will soon take action to help stop the opioid addiction crisis by increasing access to the life-saving drug Naloxone, addressing the overprescription of opioids, ensuring those in need have affordable treatment options and improving prevention efforts in communities across the country.”

 

robert hurtCongressman Robert Hurt (R-Virginia) tonight released the following statement in response to President Obama’s annual State of the Union Address.

“I appreciate President Obama’s coming to the Capitol tonight to deliver his final State of the Union Address to the Congress and to the American people.  While the President and the Congress are focused on the same objective – building a stronger America for our children and grandchildren – we have drastically different visions of how to achieve this goal.

“Today, the United States faces serious challenges: a sluggish economy defined by stagnant wages, an unsustainable fiscal path, and grave national security threats at home and abroad.  In the House, we have and will continue to pursue a bold, pro-growth jobs agenda that makes it easier for our small businesses to create the jobs we so desperately need.  We will continue to look for opportunities to reduce our nation’s spending and to implement the necessary fiscal reforms to keep current programs solvent rather than allowing them to proceed on an unsustainable path.  We will continue to pass legislation to ensure our national security – like the legislation we passed earlier today with bipartisan support to strengthen sanctions against North Korea.  In the House of Representatives, we are working across the aisle to address these critical issues, and it is time for the President to join us.  He could have used his final State of the Union Address to present bipartisan legislative ideas or detail his strategy to defeat the Islamic State, but rather the American people heard more empty rhetoric from a President who has consistently failed to lead.

“For the last seven years, the President’s legacy has been marked by executive overreach and refusal to heed the will of the American people.  It is my hope that in his final year as President, he will work with the Congress, rather than around us, to promote policies that will allow our farmers, our Main Street businesses, and our working families to succeed.  We have a tremendous opportunity to work in a bipartisan, bicameral way to advance real solutions to these challenges, and the President should join us in these efforts.  I look forward to finding the common ground the President spoke of tonightto build a stronger and safer America for future generations.”

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