WARWICK, R.I. - Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) offered the following statement in response to President Obama's State of the Union address, delivered this week in the House chamber.
"I was pleased to hear the President focus on what I believe is the number one issue facing the people of Rhode Island, and families cross the country: strengthening our economy. We must put our energy and our ingenuity towards creating good jobs for those who need them today, and ensuring that even better jobs will be waiting for generations to come.
"I agree wholeheartedly with the President that increasing our competitiveness in a global economy is critical, and I appreciate his emphasis on the importance of education to these efforts. We simply cannot talk about improving our economy without talking about improving education.
"I was particularly glad to be joined in the House chamber tonight by the new mayor of Providence, Angel Taveras. He has spoken forcefully about the role that education can, and must, play in our children's lives and in our economic future. I share that belief, and I plan to focus this year on initiatives and efforts that will help ensure our students are prepared and inspired to compete in an ever-changing economy, and to be the best in the world.
"As the President rightfully noted, our nation must get serious about long-term plans to reduce our deficit, and I support his call for cuts that do not come on the backs of our most vulnerable citizens. I was also pleased to hear that he will push for increased investments in infrastructure, which will put people to work while improving our competitive edge.
"Finally, I greatly appreciated the President's remarks about the importance of working together in a bipartisan fashion to solve the problems we face. Our challenges demand the best efforts and ideas of all of us, and there is no time to waste. But I have always believed that it is our challenges that bring out the best in America, that spur us on to ever greater achievements. If we can harness the talent, energy and imagination of America's families, businesses, workers, educators, innovators, and elected officials, there is no limit to what we can accomplish."