WASHINGTON – Tonight, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) released the following statement reacting to President Obama's State of the Union address:
"Tonight, the President delivered an honest assessment of the strong state of our union and provided a plan to build on our past success to ensure a stronger America – one, as the President said, that is 'built to last.' The President's blueprint for a stronger America parallels many of my goals and initiatives for the First State, specifically our need to rebuild the American workforce, to support and strengthen our recovering economy and to reinvest in American ingenuity so we can maximize our nation's great potential.
"While we have made a lot of progress in putting people back to work with 22 straight months of private sector job growth, more needs to be done. One of my top priorities this year will continue to be supporting initiatives that spur job growth and create a nurturing environment where businesses in Delaware and beyond can grow and preserve jobs.
"One thing that has struck me about this economic recovery is that it is being led by a different sector of our economy. In the past, we've seen recoveries driven by the housing market, construction, and consumer spending. However, this recovery is being led by our manufacturing sector, as well as an increase in our exported goods and services, specifically within the agriculture industry. Many of us remember a time – not that long ago – when this nation built everything. And with this economic recovery we have seen a resurgence of the signature 'Made in America.' We are building and growing things in America again, and our economy has produced 29 consecutive months of growth in our nation's manufacturing base. Companies like General Electric are investing in skilled American workers to build advanced technologies. And America's auto companies – once on life-support – are back with full force, building new plants, rolling out new models and hiring thousands of American men and women.
"Right behind the muscle of our manufacturing industry is the success of our nation's farms and livestock. From the soybean fields in Harrington to the chicken growers in Millsboro, and across our nation to the crops in the South, Midwest, and West, we are producing the foods sold and enjoyed around the world. Between the strength of our manufacturing and agriculture industries, we are on track to meet and even exceed the President's goal of doubling our exports by 2014.
"When I travel up and down Delaware, I see countless examples of our nation's great achievements and our boundless potential. I see it in our schools, in our workforce and in our businesses. When we set our minds to it and work together, this nation can achieve great things. The President's 'to do' list for 2012 and beyond is an ambitious one, but these are attainable goals that we should strive for.
"Over the coming weeks and months, Congress must look for ways to come together and resolve our differences in order to strengthen our nation. Every day, I try to bring the spirit of Delaware to Washington, D.C. to get results. That spirit of cooperation and common sense is one we need more than ever in our nation's capital."