Press Release

Congressman Cuellar Applauds President's Final State of the Union Address

Cuellar commends president's commitment to a stronger bipartisan culture on Capitol Hill

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Washington, January 13, 2016 | Riley Brands ((202) 226-0507) | comments
Today Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28) offered his thoughts on President Barack Obama’s final State of the Union address delivered Tuesday evening.

The address touched on a number of topics but centered on four main questions:

• How do we give everyone a fair shot at opportunity and security in this new economy?
• How do we make technology work for us, and not against us – especially when it comes to solving urgent challenges like climate change?
• How do we keep America safe and lead the world without becoming its policeman?
• How can we make our politics reflect what’s best in us and not what’s worst?

Throughout the address, the president called repeatedly on Congress to heal the wounds that have driven apart both sides of the aisle and expressed his regret that the rancor between the two parties had only grown stronger during his administration.

“The president’s address yesterday evening was not groundbreaking in its proposals,” Congressman Cuellar said. “However, it served as an excellent capstone to his presidency. By focusing on the need to work together rather than the need to satisfy niche constituencies, we can move America forward and not hold it back.

“The United States is the greatest nation on Earth, but it, too, faces its fair share of challenges. We have made great gains in the areas of expanding health coverage and creating strong job growth, but issues remain – closing educational achievement gaps, building a new energy landscape, developing a new international trade agreement, and dealing with national security threats abroad cannot be solved with name-calling or political one-upmanship.

“Every State of the Union speech, we hear the same call for bipartisanship, but there is typically not enough follow-through for it to be more than a line in a speech. This past year and throughout my time in Congress, I proved that members from both parties can come together to address our nation’s challenges. From addressing the Central American immigrant situation and lifting the ban on crude oil exports, to securing funding for a new federal courthouse in San Antonio, and increasing customer service standards at federal agencies, 2015 was a banner year for bipartisan achievement in the House.

“But work remains to be done. With the president in his final year of office, we cannot lose sight of the goals yet to be accomplished or ignore the threats that remain.

“As the president said last night, the state of our union is strong, but it can be made even stronger.”