January 20, 2015

Congresswoman Lee Applauds President’s Policies to Help Families

Washington, DC – Following the President’s State of the Union address, Congresswoman Barbara Lee released this statement:

“In this evening’s speech, the President laid out a clear plan to help American families by growing our economy, creating good-paying American jobs, ensuring quality educational opportunities and working to address economic inequality.

As the chair of the Democratic Whip’s Task Force on Poverty, Income Inequality and Opportunity, I know that the most important issue to the American people is creating good-paying jobs that are ladders of opportunity into the middle class. 

Community colleges are the route to a better economic future for many, especially those from low-income communities and communities of color.* 

We must build a modern workforce ready to compete in our 21st century global economy. Access to a high quality education improves students’ lives and creates greater opportunities for them to contribute to their communities, our economy and our nation.

Additionally, I am pleased that the White House took my recommendation to invite Alan and Judy Gross.

I am pleased to hear the President renew his commitment to ending our failed policies toward Cuba. I look forward to working with the President and my Congressional colleagues to end the failed embargo, lift the travel ban and pursue trade opportunities that create American jobs and benefit both the Cuban and American people.

Finally, I am also pleased to hear President Obama discuss the need for a Congressional vote on war. The 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for the Use of Military Force (AUMFs) are blank checks for endless war. Tragically, they are again being used to authorize another war in the Middle East; a war that has lasted more than eight months. 

It is past time to repeal these blank checks, re-establish the Constitution’s system of checks and balances and develop a real, comprehensive strategy to degrade and dismantle ISIS and other terrorist organizations.

I look forward to working with all my colleagues to advance this agenda to create good-paying jobs and strengthen the economic future of American families.”

*BACKGROUND: In California, 46 percent of community college students are “underrepresented minorities” compared with less than 25 percent in the University of California system.  Nationally, nearly half of all African Americans college students and 56 percent of Latino college students attend community colleges.


Congresswoman Lee is a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committees, the Steering and Policy Committee, is a Senior Democratic Whip, former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and co-chair of the Progressive Caucus. She serves as chair of the Whip’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity.