Jan 12 2016
Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement in response to President Obama’s final State of the Union address:
“I think what we saw tonight—President Obama’s final State of the Union—was the speech the president has wanted to give for years.
“Rather than a laundry list of policies that we know a divided Congress can’t agree on, we heard President Obama’s vision for the country. He talked about how far we’ve come over the past seven years, but more importantly he talked about where he sees our country moving. I think his speech was inspiring and powerful, and the country should listen carefully.
“The president is right, we’re faced with sharp rhetoric and an entrenched partisanship that often scuttles those solutions that are possible. But the president is also right that this doesn’t have to be the norm. That when we do rise above these divisions, there are pathways to address many of the most important challenges that face us.
“I share the president’s view that our country has great potential in the years ahead. To achieve that potential, we must confront the tough issues head on—whether it’s immigration or gun safety, climate change or job creation. Democrats and Republicans alike have to roll-up our sleeves, find common ground and compromise. It’s why the American people sent us to Washington.
“President Obama’s final State of the Union reminds me how much he has achieved, but also how much work lies ahead. It’s my hope the speech will remind my colleagues what’s possible when we work together.
“ISIL remains a potent, global threat, and I believe we need strong, decisive action to destroy it. The president outlined the administration’s actions to combat ISIL, all of which are vital. But time is not on our side, and I believe more may be necessary to truly confront and eliminate these dangerous terrorists.
“I strongly support the president’s renewed call to close Guantanamo. It’s an ugly stain on our history, it emboldens extremists, it weakens our international standing and it’s expensive. I will continue to do what I can to overcome congressional roadblocks and enable the president to finally shutter this facility.
“The president’s economic record—as well as the overarching economic principles he described—deserve our acclaim. Unprecedented job growth has added 14.1 million jobs over the past 70 months. We are emerging from the recession, implementing reforms for reckless Wall Street practices, and helping working families move ahead. This is precisely what we need to encourage long-term growth.
“President Obama made great advances on two of the more vital issues of our day: health care and climate change. Thanks to his work, 17 million more Americans have health insurance and 129 million Americans with a preexisting condition can no longer be denied coverage. We’re also taking real steps to confront climate change by reducing carbon pollution from power plants and making significant investments in renewable energy. We have to build on these successes, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress to accomplish that."