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Republican SOTU Response


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Good evening. My name is Kyle Fitzgerald. I’m a Senator from Texas, and I’m the newly elected Senate Majority Leader. 

First of all, I want to congratulate President Obama on completing two terms as President. It’s a tough job, and being able to do it for eight years is remarkable. He should be thanked for his service. But unfortunately, after those eight years, the state of our union is not nearly as strong as it should be. It’s certainly not as strong as he would like everyone to believe. 

Let’s look at the data. Income inequality is higher than it’s ever been since before the great depression. Wages are stagnant. In fact, wage growth in February of last year was the same as it was in February of 2010 – before the so-called “recovery” took place. Meanwhile, the richest Americans keep getting richer. Last year the top 1% of Americans took home 22% of all income. The Walton family – the owners of the Wal-Mart retail chain – own more wealth than 42% of American families. The policies of the Obama Administration the last eight years have not leveled the playing field for working families and the American middle-class. Instead, they have made the situation worse and put you and your family further and further behind the wealthy elites. 

Why is this happening? The reason is very simple. We are operating within a global economic order that puts the interests of wealthy elites, multinational corporations, and the rest of the world ahead of your own well-being and the well-being of the American people. 

We have a broken immigration system that has allowed millions of undocumented people to enter this country in violation of our country’s laws so that big corporations and other unscrupulous employers can hire them under the table at cut rate wages with no benefits – dragging the rest of America’s workforce down in a race to the bottom.

We have a rigged global trade system that has resulted in the outsourcing of millions of good American manufacturing jobs to China, Mexico, and many other countries who rely on sweatshop slave-labor and manipulated currencies to gain an unfair advantage over American industry.

And we have an onerous system of taxes and regulations that make America’s economy less competitive than our global rivals. Our corporate tax rate is the highest in the world, and energy regulations have shut down America’s coal industry while China and North Korea produce more coal than ever before with no safety or environmental standards. 

President Obama’s answer to these problems? Keep doing what hasn’t worked before. Once again, he praised his proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement – even after we’ve seen how NAFTA and other trade agreements have stripped our country of its jobs and wealth. Unfortunately, TPP has the potential to be worse than any other trade agreement. This agreement would further expand the incentives to outsource American jobs, gut Buy American policies, and escalate income inequality even more. In fact, the Center for Economic and Policy Research estimated that all but the top 10% of American workers would experience lower wages once TPP takes effect. Fewer jobs and lower wages – that’s what TPP offers our country. 

There’s a better way forward. Instead of more unbalanced trade agreements and more foreign investment, it’s time to start taking care of ourselves for once. It’s time to put America First.

It’s time to stand up to China’s currency manipulation, IP theft, and other unfair trade practices that have cost our country millions of jobs. In fact, it’s time to stand up to unfair trade across the globe wherever it happens and protect American workers. 

It’s time to fix our broken immigration system. And when I say “fix” I don’t mean give amnesty to millions of people who broke the law. I mean increase security at the border, protect American workers with national e-verify for all employers, end the practice of sanctuary cities, and enact a merit based immigration system that reduces the number of unskilled low-wage immigrants entering our country in favor of the higher-skilled specialists our country needs in the 21st Century. 

And it’s time to lower taxes across the board for both individuals and businesses and can grow our economy. It’s time to bring our corporate tax rate to a more competitive level and offer tax relief for middle-class families. It’s time to re-think our byzantine regulations and get our coal miners back to work. It’s time to mine coal in West Virginia instead of China. 

I know it’s an election year, and as the President said, expectations are not high for accomplishing much of anything right now. However, I am open to working with the President on shared priorities. Two things in particular caught my attention. One is addressing our growing opioid crisis. This is a crisis that is affecting millions of Americans across the country and across all socio-economic demographics. The other is providing additional tax relief to lower-income workers without children – the one demographic most likely to be taxed into poverty by our onerous tax laws. Mr. President, my door is open for us to work on these shared goals. And on the issues we don’t agree on, Senate Republicans will continue to fight for our values and to put America First. I’m looking forward to a very productive 2016 on Capitol Hill. 

Thank you for watching, God bless America, and good night. 

Former President Kyle Fitzgerald

Three-Time Republican Nominee

Nobel Peace Prize Winner

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