(Washington, DC) Congresswoman Corrine Brown made the following statement regarding President Obama’s 2013 State of the Union address:
“I commend President Obama during these challenging times for his tremendous efforts towards keeping our nation’s economy on the road to recovery. Indeed, when President Obama took office in January, 2009, our nation had dipped into the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression: the housing market was in utter distress, our nation's deficit had expanded exponentially, the banking sector was near collapse, and unemployment had risen dramatically.
Yet today, because of many of the policies implemented by the Obama administration, our nation is moving in the right direction, and the unemployment rate has hit its lowest point since the onset of the economic crisis. Under President Obama’s leadership, the economy has produced millions of private sector jobs. In fact, in the last three years America’s manufacturing sector has added nearly 500,000 jobs, while in my state of Florida the unemployment rate has declined for 25 consecutive months, while monthly job growth has been positive in 14 of the last 18 months, and its year-over-year growth has been positive for 29 months in a row. Indeed, in stark opposition to the Republican Party’s goal of cutting our federal budget while maintaining huge tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, President Obama’s vision will continue to keep our nation’s resources focused on key investments in infrastructure, manufacturing, education, and of course, our number one resource, our nation’s people.
I agree with President Obama that our nation’s number one priority remains, beyond a doubt, creating well paying jobs for the American people. That said, the majority of the legislation that advances through Congress should be introduced to do exactly that: facilitate job creation and strengthen our country’s middle and working class.
And I wholeheartedly believe that transportation and infrastructure investment is integral to our recovery. Indeed, according to Department of Transportation figures, for every billion dollars invested in transportation-infrastructure, over 44,000 well paying jobs are created. Moreover, wisely chosen infrastructure spending should not increase the national debt over time, since upfront expenditures are paid back through tolls and user fees, greater economic development, or all three.
As President Obama outlined tonight, it is critically important for our nation to focus on the economy, as well as on job creation for the more than 12 million unemployed Americans. At the same time, we also need to ensure that Congress provides the necessary funding to secure America’s competitiveness into the future and present economic prosperity. And to me, the plan put forward this evening by President Obama is a huge step in the right direction.”