WASHINGTON — Last night, President Biden gave the first State of the Union address of his presidency. He covered a wide array of topics, from the current crisis in Ukraine to ongoing domestic concerns like the economy and health care, highlighting the accomplishments made in the past year and the plans he has for the year to come.
Common Defense Political Director Naveed Shah released the following statement:
“The past year has been challenging, and recent events have escalated what was already a tense situation. Even amidst the multiple crises of our time, President Biden has been firm in his commitments, both in the accomplishments made in the past year and in acknowledging the work that still needs to be done to address these compounding crises.
“We just ended a decades-long war in Afghanistan, and we cannot engage in another one. As veterans, we know that war always causes more suffering than it alleviates and creates more problems than it solves. We urge President Biden to focus on supporting the Ukrainian people and de-escalating the conflict. We are never beyond diplomacy, and we will continue to encourage efforts to target those responsible for this conflict: Putin, his fellow kleptocrats, and Russian military elites.
“The recent report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change makes it clear the government is not doing enough to protect our communities and our country from the ravages of a warming world. Bold, transformational action is required to meet this crisis. Among the many consequences of unchecked global warming will be an increase in violent conflict, including more crises like the war unfolding in Ukraine. President Biden has made some important steps to mitigate climate change, such as investing in electric vehicle infrastructure, and prioritizing environmental justice at the EPA, but much more needs to be done to fully address the scale of the climate crisis.
“Looking forward, we fully support President Biden’s plans to invest in working families here at home, especially his policies to support our veterans. President Biden has been a steadfast supporter of the veteran community, and we deeply appreciate his commitment to care for the many veterans who were exposed to the toxic effects of burn pits. Additionally, policies like lowering prescription drug prices, expanding access to affordable health care–including mental health care–and lowering costs of child care are vital for veterans and their families, many of whom struggle to make ends meet after returning from service.
“While much work still needs to be done, we should pause to acknowledge the major accomplishments of the past year. We ended America’s longest war, saw the fastest job growth in nearly 40 years, supported working class people in the pandemic recovery through the American Rescue Plan, and invested in critical infrastructure through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
“As we look toward this next year and the upcoming midterm elections, Common Defense will focus on mobilizing and training veterans across the nation to advocate for the end to all forever wars, bold action on climate, and investment in America’s working families–because only by working together will we create a society where liberty and justice truly are for all.”