WASHINGTON, DC — Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI), a senior member of the House Committees on Armed Services and Homeland Security, responded to President Joe Biden’s first State of the Union address Tuesday night outlining the pandemic and political challenges facing America.
“Tonight, President Biden clearly laid out his optimistic vision for building a better, stronger America, while also speaking directly to the American people about the serious challenges facing our country. We are emerging from a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, war has broken out in Europe, families are facing higher costs, and our nation is becoming increasingly divided. But with the entire country watching, President Biden reminded Americans that when we all come together, we can accomplish extraordinary things. As the President always says, it’s never a good bet to bet against the American people. I look forward to partnering with the President for the remainder of this Congress to deliver results for the American people, and especially Rhode Island’s Second Congressional District,” Langevin said in his remarks.
“Overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic has been a struggle for all Rhode Island families. Sadly, nearly 950,000 Americans have died from this horrible virus, and millions more have been infected. Yet thanks to the rapid development of life-saving vaccines, the selfless dedication of thousands of health care workers and first responders across Rhode Island, and the tireless work of President Biden’s Administration, we have reached a new phase in this pandemic. We are making sense of this new normal and resuming our lives, while still being mindful to protect our most vulnerable friends and neighbors. And the Biden Administration is undertaking the necessary preparation for the possibility of new variants, by expanding testing capacity, stockpiling antiviral pills, and increasing mask supplies.
“I was proud to support President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which will soon deliver billions of dollars for Rhode Island to repair our crumbling roads and bridges, upgrade our public transit, expand access to broadband internet, and so much more. I also proudly worked with President Biden to pass the American Rescue Plan Act, which fueled the fastest job growth in American history and helped the American economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic faster than any of our peer nations. But like the President acknowledged, we still have a ways to go.
“I was glad to hear the President address the lingering economic effects of the pandemic, which include increasing costs for Rhode Island families. I applaud President Biden’s plan to strengthen our supply chains and invest in our domestic manufacturing capabilities, so that the technologies of tomorrow – like semiconductors and electric vehicles – are produced right here at home. We also must act with a sense of urgency to reduce the costs burdening working families, such as increased costs of child and elder care, prescription drugs, and other everyday expenses. And we should do so in a fiscally responsible way, by tackling inflation and reducing the deficit at the same time.
“From the heart of our own democracy, President Biden vowed that the United States will always stand with democracies around the world in our collective struggle to combat authoritarianism. The President reaffirmed the United States’ ironclad commitment to the courageous people of Ukraine, and he demanded that Vladimir Putin be punished for inciting this premeditated, unprovoked aggression. I give President Biden tremendous credit for rallying the international community and leading the charge to impose unprecedented sanctions on Russia. As the war in Ukraine rages on, I am confident that President Biden will continue leading the free world in support of the Ukrainian people.
“It is a relief to know that we have a President who is committed to tackling climate change. President Biden has already issued bold executive orders to combat climate change, and I fully support the President’s initiatives to tackle the climate crisis. I also applaud President Biden’s commitment to making our communities safer by reducing gun violence. Congressional action on gun safety legislation is long overdue, and I’ll continue urging my Senate colleagues to take up these vital bills to crack down on gun crime and save innocent lives.
“Since I was first elected, I have always tried my best to work across the aisle with my Republican colleagues to get things done. I know President Biden shares my commitment to bipartisanship, which is why I’m excited to partner with him on accomplishing his Unity Agenda. In these polarized times, we must come together to beat the opioid crisis plaguing millions of American families, combat the youth mental health crisis, and as always, support the brave women and men in uniform who have served our country. I am also deeply supportive of the President’s Cancer Moonshot Initiative, so that we can end that terrible disease once and for all.”
Congressman Langevin’s virtual guest for President Biden’s State of the Union was RIDOT Director Peter Alviti.
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