WASHINGTON, D.C., February 13 - Congressman Rubén Hinojosa has responded to President Obama's State of the Union address.
He said he is pleased with the focus on manufacturing, helping the middle class, making higher education more accessible and affordable, and passing comprehensive immigration reform.
Hinojosa, D-Mercedes, Texas, is chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Here is his statement in full:
President Obama is continuing his plan to keep America strong by making it a magnet for jobs. His plan to create jobs in America is also a part of strengthening our Middle Class. Our hard working citizens are the backbone of this great country. That is why they must earn a decent wage for their hard work in order to create a good living for their families.
Signs of our economy improving are already evident. Over the last three years, over 4.9 million jobs were created in the private sector and the housing sector is showing signs of renewed strength. Sales of new and existing homes are up by 8.8 percent, and 12.8 percent respectively from last December.
This is done through investing in people, infrastructure, manufacturing, clean energy and education. Investing in infrastructure will create jobs and allow us to be a leader in the competitive field of the global economy. Investing in manufacturing will attract businesses to our nation which will create more jobs. Investing in clean energy will lower our bills on energy costs and will create more jobs. Last but not least by any means investing in education will create the best and the brightest workforce in the world.
Throughout the years, I have worked hard to make higher education more accessible and affordable for our middle class and low-income families. President Obama has shown he is committed to this endeavor. Just in Fiscal Year 2012, Congress appropriated $221 million for Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI's). Colleges and Universities such as University of Texas-Pan American, the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College have benefited from these targeted investments in the past several years. These are excellent resources in our communities that already provide quality education and training.
We are a nation that was built by people who worked from sunup to sundown. We must invest in our people by offering job training and creating a skilled workforce. That is why I worked to bring necessary funding to create the Rapid Response Manufacturing Center in McAllen. This is the way of the future in Deep South Texas. This project is a great example of how creating jobs and a trained workforce at the same time can help boost our economy.
I hope to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to authorize the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and help American workers acquire the education and training they need to access good family sustaining jobs and careers. I am also dedicated to working to increase literacy rates particularly for low-wage workers immigrants, and our least education youth and adults.
I met with President Obama at the White House just a little over two weeks ago and I am here to tell you that the President is 100 percent committed to signing into law Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR). The President told me CIR was long overdue. We will work in a bipartisan manner to develop a path to earned citizenship. As an original co-sponsor of The Dream Act, I believe the almost 700,000 children, who were brought to the country through no fault of their own, want to make a contribution to our nation. Those who have not committed crimes, have done well in school, and who have fought for our country are an asset to our country and we should not turn our backs on them. This country is made up of so many immigrants who over the centuries worked hard to earn their way and respect in this country, though they faced prejudice and racism and religious persecution. These immigrant children are already showing us what they have done and now they want to show us what more they can do to contribute to our great country. It’s a country they consider theirs as well.
President Obama wants to build an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy. We must keep the middle-class strong and be fair when it comes to taxation. We must not create an environment that creates more hardships for our seniors, our veterans and our working families.
As Americans we must all work towards a common goal. We can debate and disagree on issues but when it comes down to it we must come up with real solutions. Keeping America number one is our goal and I join President Obama in making that happen.