Durbin Statement On President Obama's State Of The Union Address

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] –U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement in response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address:

Few people can make the case for strengthening America’s middle class like President Obama. Tonight, the President laid out a vision for our country that puts working families first, and I couldn’t agree more. 


The President called on Congress to expand access to college and make it more affordable for millions of students across the country. His proposal would make two years of community college free for responsible students and help provide a path to a solid educational foundation without the debt.  That may be a moonshot idea in this Congress, but it would improve the lives of millions of Americans in one fell swoop.


The President announced plans to reduce mortgage insurance premiums at the Federal Housing Administration to help bring homeownership within reach for more Americans—many for the first time.  That will benefit homebuyers, homeowners, and taxpayers alike.  


The President urged Congress to pass a bill to allow workers in businesses with 15 or more employees to earn up to seven paid sick days each year. Current law allows workers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off, but many Americans simply can’t afford to lose that kind of income. This proposal would be an absolute game-changer for families in Illinois and across America, and any pro-family Member of Congress should agree.


America is doing better—our economy is growing, unemployment is at an eight-year low, and the number of people without health insurance is falling. But too many Americans are still struggling, and we must recommit ourselves to solving our biggest challenges to help more working families achieve the American dream.