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Meng Issues Statement Ahead of State of the Union Address

Feb 4, 2020
Press Release
Congresswoman hopes president’s message tonight will highlight key kitchen table issues to unify nation
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY), a member of the House Appropriations Committee—which funds all federal agencies and programs—issued the following statement ahead of President Trump’s State of the Union speech tonight.
“The State of the Union is an opportunity to bring together the nation around our shared values and norms; it is a time to heal divisions and speak to our better angels. This evening, I hope President Trump will address three critical issues that affect all Americans: health care, paid family leave, and infrastructure.
Everyone deserves access to affordable, quality health care. Many Americans confront astronomical health care and prescription drug costs or fear they may lose coverage because of pre-existing conditions—forcing people to decide between purchasing life-saving medications or heating their homes; paying their mortgages or feeding their families. These are impossible choices; it is simply wrong. The House Democratic Majority has advanced a bold agenda to rein in the cost of prescription drugs and has pushed back against attempts to undermine the Affordable Care Act. Hearing the President’s vision on this issue is important.
In addition, many Americans lack paid family leave benefits and are forced to choose between caring for a loved one or keeping their job. This is wrong. Last year, Democrats successfully secured 12 weeks of paid family leave for federal employees. This is just the first step and all workers should have this benefit. That it is why House Democrats are proud to champion legislation like the FAMILY Act (H.R. 1185) which would ensure families don’t have to make the cruel decision between caring for a loved one or their job.
Lastly, our infrastructure is crumbling—literally—across the nation. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave a D+ for U.S. infrastructure. It is time for our nation to address this issue in a bipartisan fashion. We need a bold infrastructure package that creates good paying jobs for Americans, preserves the environment, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. This should not be a partisan issue; rebuilding our nation is in everyone’s interest.
Health care, paid family leave, and infrastructure affect all Americans. I hope the President will speak to these issues and chart a path that works For the People.”
Meng’s State of the Union guest tonight is Mr. Abdul Quddus Chaudhry of Flushing, Queens, a security officer at New York’s LaGuardia Airport and member of 32BJ SEIU, who has been fighting for workers’ rights.