“In his final State of the Union address, President Obama spoke of his leadership out of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. His administration, together with partners in Congress, has advanced policies that grew our economy and created new living-wage jobs. With 14 million new private sector jobs created over the past 70 months, and the longest continued period of private sector job growth in our history, our nation is looking forward to the future with renewed hope. As Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, I truly believe the President understands the responsibility the United States has as a global leader and that we must continue to call for inclusive governance around the world. The Administration has taken important executive actions on immigration, and recognizes the need to fully address immigration reform. I continue to call for this important action to be taken before the end of his term. To address climate change the Administration has taken significant steps to ensure the well-being of future generations.

“As the Representative for the Ninth Congressional District of Washington state, I am proud that our state has been a leader on many of the policy areas the President highlighted this evening. Washington state has been a leader in raising the minimum wage and combatting climate change. We have recognized the need for comprehensive background checks for gun sales and the importance of addressing mental health to keep our nation safe. We also celebrate that we are a nation of immigrants and refugees, and that our diversity continues to make us stronger.

“Tonight, as we turn our attention to the great deal of work that remains, I will be focusing on creating broad-based economic opportunity for all and addressing inequities in our society. We must expand access to education at all levels. Reforming our criminal justice system and increasing affordable housing and accessible transportation options are a necessity in making opportunities equitable for all. To keep families together and ensure the safety of our nation, we must enact comprehensive immigration reform. And as free and fair elections are the cornerstone of our democracy, we must recommit ourselves to guaranteeing the right to vote in a just electoral system for all Americans.

“I look forward to continuing to work with the Administration and with my colleagues in Congress to bring our country together and ensure that we make government work better for everyone.”