Peters Statement on State of the Union

WASHINGTON, DC U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) issued the following statement after President Obama delivered his last State of the Union address:

“Tonight, President Obama touched on what makes the United States so strong - the spirit of the American people. Our vibrancy and vitality and our resiliency and resolve have carried America through many victories and many challenges.

“While there is still work to be done to fully recover from the financial crisis, our economy had made significant strides over the last several years. As a Senator from Michigan, I am particularly proud of the resurgence of our auto industry, which saw record high auto sales last year and is now on the verge of a new frontier in technology. We must continue to leverage the investments being made by the private sector to ensure new technologies like connected cars that will transform the way we get around are tested and deployed here in America. However, I remain concerned that the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiated by the Administration fails to address currency manipulation and puts our auto industry and manufacturers at a disadvantage.

“I also know that at a time of great uncertainty, many Americans are anxious about our safety. I share those concerns, which is why I was pleased the President addressed the emerging security threats facing America and our allies. The United States must ensure proper implementation of the nuclear agreement reached by the P5+1 last year, and work to hold Iran accountable for not only compliance with the terms of the agreement, but their other activities that contribute to further instability in the region.

“As a member of the Homeland Security Committee, I also remain incredibly concerned about the global threat presented by ISIS, which requires a global response from the entire international community. While Congress and the Administration must do everything we can to keep Americans safe, I do not believe that includes closing our doors to refugees fleeing the brutal violence ISIS inflicts on communities in Iraq and Syria.

“Michigan is home to a vibrant Arab American community, which includes some of the most patriotic individuals I know and whose contributions to our culture and economy are invaluable. That’s why I was proud to have Hassan Jaber as my guest for tonight’s address. As Executive Director of ACCESS, an Arab American non-profit whose work includes support for refugees settling in America, Hassan Jaber has been a voice for those fleeing violence and persecution. I’m proud to stand with Mr. Jaber and so many other Michiganders in support of our refugee community and against the divisive and offensive rhetoric that has been directed at our Muslim friends and neighbors.

“We will only build on the progress we have made and meet the challenges ahead by working together side by side. The American people are tired of partisanship and gridlock, and it is time for Congress to work in a bipartisan way to move our country forward. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in 2016 to ensure that more people can achieve the American Dream.”