In response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday, night all three of Southwest Washington’s congresswomen pledged to avoid partisan gridlock and work together to improve the nation.
“The president outlined a number of initiatives tonight for which he will need help from Congress,” U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, said in a statement. “While he and I don’t always agree on the government’s role in helping individuals and small businesses, Americans are expecting us to work together to find common ground. I remain ready and willing to do just that.”
The president hit on many topics that will likely receive Republican push-back. The agenda he outlined includes many key Democratic priorities, including raising the minimum wage and ending tax breaks for the wealthiest citizens. In addition to pushing to bolster the middle class, he spoke of acting on climate change and overhauling the nation’s immigration system.
“I am very glad that President Obama laid out an agenda that puts well-paying middle-class jobs first and would offer opportunities to all families in Washington state and across the country who want to work hard and succeed, not just the wealthiest few,” U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said in a statement. “Republicans control Congress and can decide to push us toward more gridlock and dysfunction if they want, but if they are willing to come to the table to get results for the families and communities we represent, I am ready to get to work.”
For the first time in his presidency, Obama gave his address to a Republican-controlled Congress. The president made it clear he would not be afraid to use his veto power.
U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., praised Obama’s plan to lower the cost of community colleges and make higher education more affordable.
Cantwell said that although the economic recovery is gaining momentum, there are still not enough Americans who are benefitting from the growth.
“We must work across party lines to strengthen the middle class through investments in workforce training, more affordable higher education, and a focus on manufacturing jobs,” Cantwell said in a statement.