Senator Collins' Statement Following The President's State Of The Union Address

WASHINGTON, DC – Following President Obama’s State of the Union address this evening, Senator Susan Collins released the following statement:
      “Tonight, we heard the President call for members of Congress to work together to address important issues facing America both at home and abroad in order to grow our economy, enhance national security, and ensure hardworking Americans’ paychecks go further. This type of collaboration is just what people in Maine expect, and what I have always worked to accomplish.
      “I am hopeful that this call for cooperation will also mean that vetoes and executive orders that circumvent Congress are methods the President will avoid. It is imperative that we work together, build good will, and engage in debate that advances our nation.
      “I am pleased that the President has indicated support for legislation to guard against the nation’s increasing vulnerability to cyber-attack. Along with former Senator Joe Lieberman, I authored legislation in 2012 to protect critical infrastructure, our electric grid, water and sewer systems, transportation and financial networks. The threat is not just to our national security, but also to our economic well-being. The evidence of our vulnerability is overwhelming, and we cannot afford further delay.
      “It is concerning, however, that the President still has not provided a clear strategy for the very real terrorist threat we face from Islamic extremists. We must develop a plan to address home-grown terror. This includes Americans who leave the United States and are trained abroad, only to return with the intention to do harm. It is incumbent upon the President to lead us in developing policy that protects not only the citizens of this great nation, but also the ideals on which we are built.
      “I have already begun work this Congress with a bipartisan focus in introducing the “Forty Hours is Full Time Act” with my Democratic colleague Joe Donnelly of Indiana. This common-sense legislation would help ensure that millions of American workers do not have their hours, and their paychecks, reduced. It is my hope that the President will join us in supporting this measure.
      “In addition, I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate and with President Obama on the priorities I have outlined as Chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging. Given that far too many Americans are not financially prepared for retirement, addressing retirement security should be a high priority for our nation.
      “For this reason, I will again join with Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) in introducing the “Retirement Security Act,” to encourage small employers to offer retirement plans, encourage employees to save more for retirement, and ensure that low-and middle-income taxpayers are able to claim tax benefits for retirement savings already authorized by law.
      “I was encouraged tonight by the President’s focus on collaboration and bipartisanship to move our great country forward. I am hopeful that the President will support the proposals that Congress sends to his desk. We must work together to tackle the many important issues facing hardworking Americans.”