Mikulski Statement on President Obama’s State of the Union Address

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) today issued the following statement on President Obama’s State of the Union address:
“In last night’s address to the nation, President Obama laid out a domestic agenda to help American families get ahead, not just get by. He focused on jobs and opportunity for the middle class so everyone, not just a lucky few, gets a fair shot at the American dream.
“That’s what I’m fighting for, too. When I travel through Maryland, people tell me they’d love to have more time with their kids and more money in their checkbook.  American families need a raise.
“That’s why I support the President’s proposal to expand and simplify the child care tax credit by tripling the maximum childcare and dependent tax credit from about $2,000 to about $6,000. I also support his proposal for a $500 tax break for families with two parents working outside the home. Both would go a long way to putting more money in the family checkbook.
“We need to give families a raise by expanding and simplifying tax breaks for sending their kids to college and helping more Americans take advantage of them. I support tuition free community college for students who work hard and play by the rules. But I also support increasing tuition tax credits and reforming Pell Grants.
“I’m glad the President supports an infrastructure bank. So do I. It gives American companies a strong incentive to bring home profits they’ve earned overseas. That revenue will fund investments in rebuilding American infrastructure, including our roads, bridges, ports and clean water plants, creating construction jobs today. We need a tax code in this country that supports employers who want to bring jobs back home.
“We also need to continue making investments that build America’s technology advantage. Maryland is home to major federal agencies promoting research and discovery. Our civil service is coming up with new ideas that lead to new products and new jobs in the private sector. I’m thankful to them and to all federal employees.
“Finally, for those who have a job, we need to close the wage gap between men and women doing the same job. That’s why I’ll keep fighting for the Paycheck Fairness Act. Earning equal pay for equal work gives working families a raise. And, right now, if you work full-time at minimum wage, you’re still are in full-time poverty. President Obama and I agree, it’s time to increase the minimum wage.
“I look forward to working with my colleagues across the dome and across the aisle to give families a raise in their personal checkbooks, and to do it in a way that is affordable and achievable.”