Pocan Statement on State of the Union
WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02) today released the following statement on the President’s State of the Union address. Pocan’s guest for the speech was Brian Krueger, a constituent from Mount Horeb, who recently lost his emergency unemployment insurance due to Congressional inaction. Earlier this month, Pocan joined with Rep. Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) to encourage their colleagues to invite a constituent who has lost unemployment benefits to the President’s speech.
“The President tonight laid out a strong vision for our country—one of increased opportunity, reduced income inequality and greater economic growth. He also importantly pointed out that while our economy continues to improve and recover from the worst recession since the Great Depression, too many people are still struggling just to get by. Until our economy works for every American, not just those at the top, we will not see widespread American prosperity.
“I was pleased that President Obama laid out important initiatives that will help get Wisconsinites back to work and jumpstart our local economies. But the onus is on Congress to act. The President is using his executive authority to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 for new federal contract workers, providing thousands of Americans with a livable wage. Now Congress must honor a hard day’s work by raising the minimum wage for the millions of Americans who are struggling to provide for their families.
“The President also talked about ways to help the long-term unemployed re-enter the workforce. Now Congress must, finally, end the hardships for millions of Americans and extend emergency unemployment insurance for more than 30,000 Wisconsinites fighting to find a job. That includes my guest for tonight’s address, Brian Kreuger of Mount Horeb, whose family is on its last savings since he lost his unemployment benefits in December. Brian, and thousands of people in Wisconsin, don’t have time to wait for Congress to act.
“As the President said, “we are stronger when America fields a full team.” We cannot continue to leave hard working Americans behind and hope to tackle the challenges of our time through innovation and ingenuity. Like our Wisconsin motto, it is time for our country to move Forward. But we can only do that if we work together to expand opportunity for every single American.”