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U. S. Senator Chris Murphy’s Comments on President Obama’s State of the Union Address

“The president laid out a strong agenda for the years ahead, but now, it’s up to Congress to step up and fight for the middle class by supporting these policies.”


Report by Paula Antolini
Jan20, 2015 10:20PM EDT

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) released the following statement after President Obama delivered his annual State of the Union Address to Congress:

“President Obama delivered a hopeful speech this evening, as he outlined various common-sense solutions that will set our nation on a better path forward. America’s economy is recovering and more individuals are getting back to work, but the bottom line is that too many middle-class Americans are still struggling to pay the bills. Our country needs to do more to expand financial opportunity and security for more people in order to make sure this economic recovery doesn’t just benefit the already affluent. That’s why the president’s plans to cut taxes for the middle class, make community college available to those willing to put in the work, and offer paid sick leave to hard working individuals will go a long way in helping everyone succeed.”

“I’m particularly pleased that the president proposed a new plan to make the first two years of community college and technical school free. The reality is that the exorbitant costs of a college education prevent millions of kids and adults from getting a degree and the opportunities that come with it. People in Connecticut deserve an affordable education that truly prepares them for success in the 21st century, and we should do everything we can to support them.”

“I also want to commend the president for coming to Congress to seek authorization for the use of military force against ISIL and his ongoing diplomatic efforts to ensure Iran never obtains a nuclear weapon. We all agree that Iran must never become a nuclear power, and the talks we are now engaged in are our best hope for achieving that goal. The U.S. and our partners have been making significant progress, and it would be deeply harmful for Congress to impose new sanctions now and risk giving the Iranians an excuse to walk away from the table.”

“I was most proud, tonight, to be accompanied to the president’s address by my friend Susie Clayton of North Canaan. Susie is a two-time, 29 year breast cancer survivor who was unable to maintain health insurance before passage of the Affordable Care Act. But now, her nightmare is over: she’s on a plan that she and her family can afford, and she can be confident that her insurance company can never drop her or raise her rates just because she had cancer. Susie’s story isn’t unique – she represents millions of families who lost everything just because they had a loved one who got sick. But today, thanks to President Obama’s continued leadership on health care reform, access to affordable, quality health care is a right afforded to all Americans.”

“The president laid out a strong agenda for the years ahead, but now, it’s up to Congress to step up and fight for the middle class by supporting these policies. The start of a new Congress is the perfect time to put politics aside and work together to give Americans, like Susie Clayton and millions of others across the nation, the opportunities they deserve.”

Susie Clayton, Murphy’s guest to the State of the Union, made the following statement after President Obama’s address: “As a two time breast cancer survivor, not having health insurance was never an option for me. So before the Affordable Care Act was passed, I was forced to pay tens of thousands of dollars a year just to stay insured because of my ‘pre-existing condition.’ I had to stay in jobs that didn’t fit, dip into my family’s savings, and deplete our retirement funds, just so I could maintain health care coverage. But once the Affordable Care Act passed, that all changed for me. Instead of paying over $1,500 per month for coverage, I found a plan online that was only $87.44 for similar coverage. That was a lifesaver for me and my family. I’m so proud that my U.S. Senator, my governor, and my president are committed to giving people like me the chance to finally get affordable health care. It was an honor to attend President Obama’s State of the Union address tonight and hear him recommit to the Affordable Care Act – it has truly changed my life.”

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