Washington, D.C.— Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today released the following statement on President Biden’s State of the Union address:
“President Biden inherited from Donald Trump a country in crisis, and tonight he gave a powerful speech on the progress made in vaccinating more than 200 million Americans and ending the pandemic, rebuilding the economy and achieving the best job market for workers in a generation, and winning the fight between democracy and authoritarianism at home and around the world. “President Biden rightly called on Congress to pass legislation that would lower energy and health care costs for American families, end U.S. reliance on oil and gas from countries ruled by tyrants like Vladimir Putin, and fix a broken tax code that allows billionaires to pay lower tax rates than nurses and firefighters.
“President Biden urged Congress to pass our clean energy tax package. This is our last chance to prevent the most catastrophic effects of the climate crisis, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has provided a stark reminder this week of the urgent need to free ourselves from the need for oil and gas from despots. Enacting our package of clean energy tax incentives, which would lower emissions by the power sector by more than 70 percent, is essential for the climate, family budgets, and global security.
“Democrats also must deliver on our promise to lower Americans’ health care costs, which are crushing family budgets. That means using the bargaining power of fifty million seniors in Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices, and expanding the Affordable Care Act’s tax credits for affordable health coverage. “President Biden also charted a course for what health care looks like after a pandemic. That starts with ensuring nursing homes are safer for frail seniors and making care at home more accessible. I was also pleased that the President has joined bipartisan members of Congress in our effort to improve the nation’s mental health care. The pandemic has taken a devastating toll on Americans’ mental health, and it’s time for action.”