“We have several urgent issues that need addressing”: New York lawmakers discuss the state of the union

New York lawmakers want President Biden to address inflation and the economy.
Published: Mar. 1, 2022 at 10:58 AM EST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - New York lawmakers are focused on top issues including the economy and the pandemic as President Joe Biden is set to deliver his first State of the Union address,

“We have still an unstable economy because of COVID, because of supply chain issues and because of rising costs of various goods due to both the pandemic and the supply chain issues,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). “Because of that, we need economic growth measures and we need commonsense legislation that helps people.”

Gillibrand has been focused on legislation to address cybersecurity, voting rights, and measures to protect victims of sexual assault in the workplace. She has also backed measures to add transparency and limits to stock trading among lawmakers and leaders.

In 2022, she would also like Congress to work to pass elements of the ‘Build Back Better’ bill, which had promised to provide families with child tax credits and expanded family leave before the legislation stalled in the Senate.

Gillibrand told the Washington News Bureau she specifically has four goals.

“We do need to revisit the ‘Build Back Better’ framework for some really important economic investments. We need to invest in affordable housing. It’s a huge issue all across my state. Homelessness continues to be a concern and unsafe, poor quality housing is a reality for too many families,” she said. “Second, we need to invest in lowering the cost of medicines and health care. And that’s something that has strong support in Congress. Third, we need to lower the costs of things like daycare and child care. Affordable daycare, universal pre-k are still on the table. And last, we need to address global climate change in a way that grows the economy, tax benefits for green companies, tax benefits for energy efficiency, ways to help American businesses go green. All those ideas are part of our original ‘Build Back Better framework.’”

Gillibrand expects President Biden to address the economy in his State of the Union address, including job creation, education and health care. She also believes national security concerns are critical after Russia invaded the Ukraine. Gillibrand believes the president also needs to discuss U.S. relations with China.

Rep. Tom Reed (R-Va.) is more focussed on domestic issues, especially the need for job creation and actions to control inflation and the pandemic.

“I think the first and foremost is get COVID in the rearview mirror in regards to the public health threat, but most importantly, getting us back on our feet, economically, getting the inflation that we’re seeing in the economy under control. That hurts the American taxpayer. That hurts the American day to day worker. I mean, they work harder for less. They may have a larger check, but doesn’t go as far. And I’ll tell you, that is something I think you’re going to have to keep a close eye on is getting it in the rearview mirror and taking care of this inflation while igniting the economy to give people good paying jobs that can take care of themselves and their family,” he said.

Reed acknowledges people across the country have divided opinions over how to solve the issues the country is facing. He urgently feels the need for everyone to come together.

“I mean, I always believe in America and I and I still believe our greatest days are ahead of us, but we’re dealing with some difficult times. We’re a very polarized nation. We’re a very divided nation. And as Abraham Lincoln said and the Bible says, a house divided against itself cannot stand. And we need to fight the extremism. We need to stand up to it, that vocal minority, and really ignite the silent majority of the American voter and bring them together because we have some huge problems, not only today, but they’re coming down the pipeline that if we don’t face it united, we’re going have a difficult time getting through it,” he said.

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