Washington, DC – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet released the below statement following the President’s jobs speech delivered before a joint session of Congress:
“No speech can be a catalyst for job creation, but the President presented many useful ideas. What we need now more than ever is for Democrats and Republicans to work together in a serious way. In town halls in red parts of the state and blue parts of the state I held last month, Coloradans reaffirmed their complete and completely justified frustration with Washington. They want to see the cartoonish debates replaced with serious discussions about how to move our economy forward. Our economy is stagnant. Companies are producing at the same levels they were before the recession but we have 14 million unemployed workers. Other than politics, nothing is stopping us from moving forward on numerous ideas – from Democrats and Republicans – that can help our economy grow and create jobs. To provide some commonsense examples:
• Reform our tax code in a manner that increases our competitiveness and creates jobs;
• Enact a long-term extension of the research and development tax credit and devise a long-term national strategy to support basic and applied research;
• Create an infrastructure bank, which would partner with the private sector to take a comprehensive and nonpolitical approach to infrastructure funding;
• Create a “clean energy” Race to the Top so we can incentivize states to promote clean energy investments while creating thousands of new jobs
• Create a process to review and streamline regulations that have become too cumbersome or have outlived their usefulness;
• Modernize and update our FDA laws for the twenty-first century so our biotech and medical device companies can get safe products to market as quickly as possible.
• Allow a portion of research funding allocated to universities to be used for getting new technologies to market;
• Reform and strengthen our public education system by bringing our schools into the 21st Century and ensuring they are preparing more students to excel in college and a global economy;
• Facilitate the transfer of new technologies developed in federal labs and universities to existing manufacturers; and
• Promote the development of broadband in rural communities through increased collaboration between the public and private sectors.
“Others have tremendous ideas as well. The question is not about a shortage of ideas; it is a question about whether our elected leaders and political parties have the will to rise above the senseless political debate in Washington.
“I hope everyone is listening to the voices in their town hall meetings.”