WASHINGTON, DC – Tonight, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) released the following statement on President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address:

“President Biden delivered a strong, spirited, uplifting State of the Union address. 

“His principled leadership and policies have made a positive difference and America is better off today than it was four years ago. 

“Since taking office, President Biden has racked up impressive accomplishments that have had a positive impact on people’s lives: lowering prescription drug prices; investing in infrastructure; boosting the economy; and presiding over record job growth. 

“He’s delivered historic investments to prevent pollution; combat climate change; and create new high-tech manufacturing jobs across the country.  These investments have resulted in more jobs, better wages, and rising living standards for working Americans.

“By helping veterans who have long suffered from the effects of toxic burn pits, he kept a promise to those who risk their lives on our behalf.

“He took action to provide relief to families struggling with student loan debt and fix a student loan system that was not delivering for hardworking Americans.

“And on President Biden’s watch, we passed the first major gun safety law -- including my ‘red flag’ provision -- in over thirty years to help keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals.

“None of this came easy.  It was achieved amidst difficult circumstances – President Biden deftly steered America out of the pandemic, turned around a weakened economy that was in tatters, and has expertly navigated not one, but two major foreign conflicts that could threaten global stability. 

“President Biden made progress by being a president for all Americans – someone who puts the interests of Main Street over Wall Street, and the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our nation above all. 

“Tonight, President Biden reminded the nation how far we’ve come and laid out a positive blueprint for more progress.  His opportunity agenda would help build more decent housing, improve education for our children, and ensure access to affordable health care for all.  He outlined solutions to rein in special interests, eliminate junk fees, and restore faith in a government that works for the people and serves justice.

“I was especially pleased to hear his emphasis on restoring tax fairness.  His words echoed my proposal – The Stop Subsidizing Multimillion Dollar Corporate Bonuses Act (S.3155) – to ensure that hardworking U.S. taxpayers are not forced to subsidize lavish executive compensation packages.  Instead, we must put those funds to work helping hard working Americans.

“On the national security front, he has resolutely made America safer and stronger.  He has steadfastly supported Ukraine in the face of Putin’s unjust invasion.  America must continue backing the democratic forces whose struggles are directly tied to our own security.  This requires a President who will lead the free world in standing up for American values, not someone who sucks up to Putin and invites him to attack our NATO allies.

“Joe Biden will defend our democracy, not take away people’s rights and reproductive freedoms.

“President Biden has been a voice of reason and a stabilizing force, not someone who will push America toward chaos and calamity. 

“He has made historic investments in education to improve schools, not ban books. 

“He is a steward of democracy and the rule of law, not someone who is openly authoritarian and wants to use a second presidential term to trample the Constitution and weaponize the federal justice system to pursue personal vendettas.

“Joe Biden has kept his promise to protect Social Security and Medicare, not privatize Social Security and curtail Medicare benefits for older Americans, which some on the other side continue to try and do.

“Others talked about infrastructure week, President actually got a Bipartisan Infrastructure Law done.

“Some think the federal government should turn its back on cities, towns, and states and shift more burdens onto state and local governments.  But President Biden knows the federal government can and must be a reliable partner.  The federal government can and will meet its responsibility to help those in need.

“He’s already got a bipartisan border security deal in place to strengthen our border.  But shamefully, some Republicans don’t want any more progress at this point in an election year.  That kind of short-sighted partisanship is what created the problems at the border in the first place.  Americans shouldn’t have to wait. The President rightfully challenged those Republicans to step up and actually support real border enforcement rather than block it.

“At the end of the day, every State of the Union is a speech.  Action and deeds trump rhetoric.  Joe Biden’s presidency has been historically productive so far and he’s not done yet.”