North Jersey lawmakers expressed their support for President Joe Biden’s first State of the Union Address. Below is a collection of federal and state lawmakers with their views of the President’s speech
Sen. Bob Menendez
“President Biden took office just two weeks after the Trump-backed Capitol insurrection and at the height of a global pandemic. In his first year in office, President Biden’s leadership has placed our country on the path towards recovery from the unprecedented effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, building a more prosperous and equitable future for Americans.
“With more than 200 million Americans vaccinated in the last year, Democrats have delivered unprecedented financial support for hard-working families, helped small businesses rebound from the brink of collapse, all while creating more than 6.6 million jobs. Under his leadership, Congress also passed a transformative bipartisan law that is delivering long-overdue investments in our nation’s infrastructure while creating jobs and economic opportunity for communities long overlooked.
“Tonight, as the Kremlin dictatorship slaughters its way into Ukraine in the largest ground war in Europe since the Second World War, we are reminded the state of our Union is inextricably linked to the health of democracy across the world. So long as peace endures, our own sons and daughters are less likely to have to be sent abroad to fight to defend our freedom, and the freedom of our allies.
“The Biden administration’s actions to date to hold Vladimir Putin to account for his illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine are a clarion call for the United States to continue reinvigorating our alliances; stand up to our adversaries; repair the State Department and other agencies, and renew American leadership on the global stage. For this, President Biden deserves immense credit for his adept diplomacy that has brought the international community together in a way we have not seen in decades; to stand for human rights, international law, and a principles-based world order. However, the fight for the future of Ukraine is far from over, and we must spare no effort to make this illegitimate war costly for Putin, Russian elites, and the Russian economy. I look forward to continuing advancing the forward-leaning diplomacy animated by our values that President Biden is pursuing.
“Here at home, there is more we can do to rebuild a fairer, more sustainable economic future for working people, not just those at the top. I support President Biden’s call tonight for lowering costs for American families, strengthening our supply chains, and boosting our domestic economy by increasing our productive capacity. I also echo President Biden’s call to make the wealthiest Americans and corporations pay their fair share, which will unleash our ability to invest in universal pre-K, affordable childcare, and permanently expand the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit.
“As we look ahead, Congress must work with President Biden to accelerate our transition to a clean energy economy which will protect American families in New Jersey and across the country from the worst impacts of the climate crisis. And, as we continue our work towards a more perfect Union, we cannot forget the well-being of the millions of undocumented immigrants who remain critical to our nation’s success. We must pursue all options to achieve inclusive and humane immigration reform for the largest number of undocumented immigrants to help decrease workforce shortages and boost our economic recovery. And we must end the xenophobic policies of the previous administration and reform our immigration system once and for all.
“I look forward to working with President Biden to tackle these issues, deliver real results for the American people, and continue making strides towards strengthening the State of our Union.”
Rep. Tom Malinowski
“Tonight, President Biden called on Americans to unite in defending freedom in the world, and building a more resilient economy at home. As America emerges from the pandemic, while confronting a new national security crisis in Europe, we must bring home manufacturing supply chains and become less dependent on foreign supplies of energy. As the president said, it’s time to ‘make it in America’ – to lower costs for American consumers, to reduce our vulnerability to global upheaval, and to regain the strength our nation needs to lead the world. I look forward to working with him to pass the America COMPETES Act, including bipartisan provisions I co-authored to bring manufacturing of critical technologies back home to America.
The United States is experiencing the fastest job growth in our history, the fastest economic growth in nearly 40 years, and a faster recovery from the pandemic than every other advanced nation. But we must be straight with the American people that Putin’s invasion of Ukraine will affect our economy, including by contributing to rising gas prices. President Biden is rightly calling on Congress to send him legislation that softens the blow.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, signed into law last year, is funding investments in our ports, airports, and transportation infrastructure that will enable goods to move faster and cheaper, reducing supply chain bottlenecks. The America COMPETES Act will help even more, by funding an aggressive effort to end the microchip shortage that has spurred rising prices of cars and other consumer goods, as well as my proposal to support domestic manufacturing of other goods critical to our supply chains. These bills will create good-paying jobs in New Jersey, while reducing our reliance on countries like China and Russia in times of crisis.
From solar panels, to microchips, and the aerospace technologies that will take America back to the Moon, our district is already a leader in manufacturing the technologies America needs to be more competitive, and to win the race to a clean energy future. While I agree with the president’s immediate efforts to reduce gas prices, by releasing oil from our reserves and encouraging key U.S. partners to increase oil production, it is simply not possible to drill our way to energy independence. Transitioning to renewables has long been important to protect our environment. But it is also a huge economic opportunity for our state and, in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a national security imperative as well. The only way to break free of foreign energy blackmail, whether from Russia or any other country, is for America to become the world’s clean energy superpower.
The world is uniting with America to meet a challenge abroad, and I’m hopeful that Americans will rise to the challenge by uniting as well. I look forward to working with President Biden to advance his agenda for building a better and stronger America.”
Rep. Josh Gottheimer
From here at the #SOTU, President Joe Biden highlighted the need to reduce the cost of everyday expenses for hardworking families.
To take this issue head on, I’ve launched an “Affordability Agenda for Jersey” — to cut costs, tackle supply chain issues, lower prescription drug costs, restore the State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction, and make life more affordable for our families and small businesses.
I’m glad President Joe Biden and I agree that we need to fund — not defund — the police.
Defunding our police & cutting budgets doesn’t lead to safer communities. That’s why my bipartisan Invest to Protect Act places an emphasis on investments in recruiting and retaining the best talent, training, safety, transparency, & mental health of police officers. It’s backed not just by local police officers, but by the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association Inc, the NJ State PBA, the State Troopers Fraternal Association of NJ, and many more.
As President Joe Biden mentioned tonight, we must expand access to health care services and benefits for veterans impacted by environmental exposures.
That’s why I think it’s inexcusable that 240,000+ veterans have signed up for the VA’s burn pit registry, but 70% of claims have been denied.
I’ve co-sponsored the bipartisan Honoring our PACT Act of 2021 which would secure benefits and primary care for veterans exposed to toxic substances while serving overseas — covering veterans dating back to 1991 & Operation Desert Storm, through America’s more recent post-9/11 conflicts.
The bill would expand the VA’s benefits and services to roughly 3.5 million veterans.
Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr.
“Internationally, the Congress must stand with President Biden in support of Ukraine and against Russia’s violent warmongering,” said Rep. Pascrell. “We are eager to pass any and all comprehensive military and humanitarian aid to assist Ukraine in its fight for survival. President Biden has deftly led the free world in united opposition to Russia. The fight ahead is long and I applaud this administration for not forgetting our Ukrainian friends in this dark hour.”
“President Biden’s address is right to highlight the strength of America. The Democratic Congress’s passage of historic stimulus and transportation packages has resuscitated the economy. In 2021, the United States added a record number of jobs. Jobless claims have been at their lowest level in nearly 50 years. At long last, the covid virus is in unquestionable retreat. Our communities are reopening and our schools are in session. But millions are hurting. Their lives cannot be made whole solely by quoting statistics; inflation cannot be defeated by invoking spreadsheets. Our Democratic agenda is an optimistic blueprint for a modern world: to bring jobs home, to expand health care, to prioritize the environment, to care for seniors, to reopen our society, and to shield democracy in America and fight despotism abroad. Now let’s pass that agenda and show what we’re made of. I’m ready.”
Gov. Phil Murphy
“Tonight, President Biden put forward a bold and broad vision to build a better America and prove that we are stronger than the challenges we face.
“The President outlined an achievable plan to manufacture more things in America, strengthen our supply chains, and reduce the cost of everyday expenses, including gas and child care. His unity agenda shows that we are at our best when work together to tackle longstanding problems like the opioid epidemic, mental health, Veterans health care, and finding a cure for cancer. And his forceful support for a free and democratic Ukraine against Russian aggression showed that principled American leadership on the global stage is back.
“The past year has not been without its headwinds. But tonight, President Biden made a clear and hopeful case that the state of our union remains strong and resilient.”