Rep. Andy Levin Statement on SOTU and Democratic Response

February 4, 2020
Press Release
Rep. Levin praised Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer as an outstanding leader of his state and the future of the Democratic Party,

Congressman Andy Levin, vice chair of the House Education and Labor Committee and a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, made the following statement after attending the State of the Union address tonight:

“Listening to the State of the Union address tonight, I could not stop thinking about the more than 275 bipartisan bills passed by the House this Congress that are stuck in the Senate. House Democrats have worked tirelessly to craft legislative solutions to problems faced by everyday Americans. In return, President Trump and Mitch McConnell have simply and stubbornly obstructed progress.

“Among the legislation passed by the House are numerous bills that would protect people with pre-existing conditions, lower the cost of prescription drugs, raise the federal minimum wage and take action on climate change. The House Democrats’ For the People agenda would transform health care, infrastructure, the economy and transparency in elections to help restore the American Dream and rebuild the middle class in our country.

“While House Democrats put in the work, President Trump shouts empty words.

“The President claimed that he improved Americans’ health care, but his relentless legal assault on the Affordable Care Act shows that his words are flat-out false. If successful, Trump’s lawsuit would completely eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions. During his campaign, President Trump said he would “negotiate like crazy” to bring down the cost of prescription drugs—but he won’t even consider H.R. 3, the bill passed by the House to do exactly that.

“President Trump promised to be a champion for working people, but opposes the Raise the Wage Act, which was passed by House Democrats to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour gradually over five years. Under this president, the United States has gone the longest period of time without a raise to the minimum wage since it was established over eighty years ago.

“I was also sorely disappointed to hear no mention of gun violence prevention—specifically Extreme Risk Protection Order laws that may have saved the life of Mary Miller-Strobel’s brother Ben. Mary joined me as my guest at the State of the Union tonight. Her brother Ben was a veteran who took his own life with a gun, despite urgent pleas by Mary’s family to prevent local gun shops from selling him one. An Extreme Risk Protection Order could have saved Ben’s life, and to hear nothing from the President about working to advance legislation legalizing those orders was deeply saddening and frustrating.

“In the final year of his term, I have little faith that President Trump will work with Democrats to make real change for working families in America.

“Governor Whitmer, by contrast, inspired tremendous hope that Democrats will continue working hard to make real, measurable improvements to the lives of Americans who are frustrated with crumbling infrastructure and stagnant wages. Michigan’s governor represents the future of the Democratic Party, and tonight she articulated our values, our goals and our plans to achieve them. I appreciate Governor Whitmer’s leadership and applaud her for a standout Democratic Response.”