Statement by Senator Mark Pryor on President Obama’s State of the Union

The state of our union is better this year.  We are creating manufacturing jobs for the first time since the late 1990s, our auto industry is making a comeback with GM at the helm, consumer confidence is up and domestic oil production is higher than it’s been in eight years.  And for the first time in nine years, Americans are no longer fighting in Iraq.  

Yet, we have too many Arkansans receiving an unemployment check when they’d rather be earning a paycheck.  We need the President, Republicans and Democrats to create an environment that leads to new economic opportunities in America. The President’s commitment to enable more businesses to hire, more entrepreneurs to innovate and more students to graduate prepared for a 21st Century job should be shared by both parties in Congress.  I hope to work with him and my colleagues to achieve these goals in 2012.

While I share the President’s interest in growing our energy capacity, we must also embrace the potential that already exists. We cannot afford to forego traditional forms of energy. I disagree with his decision to postpone the Keystone pipeline. I believe in this day and age, this project can be done in a responsible way that protects the environment.

Despite predictions otherwise, I am hopeful Congress and the White House can deliver results this year. My six point solution to job creation offers common-sense initiatives to strengthen our country’s future.  We can find common ground and put our nation on a stronger path for tomorrow.