“Tonight the President made a powerful case for Congress to finally act to create jobs and grow our economy. Part of this effort must be lifting millions out of poverty and into the middle class. Erasing the scourge of poverty in our nation is an economic and moral imperative.
“As co-founder and co-chair of the Out-of-Poverty Caucus, I will continue to push for a national strategy to eliminate poverty, starting with the goal of cutting poverty in half in ten years. The President’s support for raising the minimum wage and tying it to the cost of living, as well as universal, high-quality, pre-Kindergarten education are critical pieces in that plan.
“Tonight the President made a big announcement about ending the war in Afghanistan. I have been working towards bringing all of our troops home right away, but the President’s plan to bring 34,000 troops home this year is an important step towards complete withdrawal. I know that there is no military solution in Afghanistan, and this announcement underscores the President’s commitment to an accelerated withdrawal and ending the war at the end of 2014.
“We must reject the calls for thousands of troops to stay on the ground in perpetuity. If there is any residual force beyond 2014, they must be extremely limited in scope and scale.
“Finally, now is the time for action, and we must join President’s call for an AIDS-free generation, gun violence prevention, comprehensive immigration reform, aggressive action on climate change, strengthening education, and getting America back to work.”
Congresswoman Lee is a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committees the Steering and Policy Committee, is a Senior Democratic Whip as well as the Whip of the Congressional Progressive Caucus(CPC), where she serves as the Co-Chair of the CPC Peace and Security Task Force.