State of the Union: A Thriving Middle Class Powers Our Nation

Written by

U.S. Rep. Charles B. Rangel
U.S. Rep. Charles B. Rangel The Honorable Charles B. Rangel is serving his 22nd term as the Representative from the 13th Congressional District, which stretches from upper Manhattan to northwest Bronx. A founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus, he made history as the first African American member of Congress to lead the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. He is a member of the Joint Committee on Taxation.

President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address was a renewed commitment to rebuilding our nation. Strengthening our economy is essential to our stability, and can only be accomplished by creating jobs, rebuilding our middle class, and investing in our future.

The President’s initiative to improve our economy centers on rebuilding the middle class. A thriving middle class is the engine that powers our nation. We must create jobs by making America a magnet for manufacturing and development in programs such as clean energy.

We must ensure that our workers have the skills and education they need to succeed and earn a decent living. Teaching our kids real world skills that today’s jobs require is essential for our future, and we must work to bring the cost of college within reach for more Americans. This must be done while responsibly reducing our debt and deficit in a balanced way without asking our seniors and middle class to bear the whole burden. It also must include a path to citizenship for those hard working immigrants helping our economy grow.

I applaud the President for keeping his promise to bring our troops home from Afghanistan. Reducing our troops by another 33,000 is a step in the right direction, and I thank him for bringing the fighting to an end. We must question every decision that puts our fellow citizens in harm’s way and the availability of weapons that do so. With over 6,600 men and women fallen in the wars abroad and 1,200 gun deaths in the past three months at home, it is time to stop this preventable bloodshed.

The state of our union is strong, but here in Congress, there is a long path ahead to improve upon what has already been done. The President’s plan to improve our economy coupled with the social reforms ahead domestically will create an equal America that we can be proud of. I will continue to support the President in his job-creating initiatives, and will work each day to better the lives of the citizens of the Thirteenth district. The American people deserve real leadership not partisanship. Democrats are eager to work with Republicans to find solutions, not sequesters.  We urge our Republican Colleagues to join our efforts.

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