U.S. Senator Chris Coons of Delaware

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  • Video: Senator Coons previews SOTU on CNBC

    Calling on the President to "continue to fight for American manufacturing," Senator Coons appeared on CNBC's Kudlow Report on Tuesday to share what he hopes to hear in President Obama's fifth State of the Union address tonight. Watch the full interview below:

    Tags:
    CNBC
    Manufacturing
    President Obama
    State of the Union
    Video
  • SOTU Analysis: Rebuilding America

    In this series of blog posts, Senator Coons' legislative staff shares their analysis of the President's State of the Union address with Delawareans.

    State of the Union

    In his State of the Union address, President Obama reaffirmed his commitment to strengthening our economy by rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure. Improving our nation's infrastructure is critical to ensuring our long-term competitiveness in the global marketplace.

    President Obama proposed a “Fix-It-First” program to "put people to work as soon as possible on our most urgent repairs, like the nearly 70,000 structurally deficient bridges across the country."  He also stated that "to make sure taxpayers don¹t shoulder the whole burden, I¹m also proposing a Partnership to Rebuild America that attracts private capital to upgrade what our businesses need most: modern ports to move our goods; modern pipelines to withstand a storm; modern schools worthy of our children."

    Senator Coons believes we must make critical investments in our nation's infrastructure to ensure that goods can reach markets, employees can access jobs, and businesses are incentivized to invest in new production facilities here in the United States. He also believes that we must leverage private investment to do so. That's why Chris has supported the creation of a national infrastructure bank to bring more private investment into infrastructure projects. A national infrastructure bank would help state and local governments finance repairs to their critical infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, tunnels, airports, railways, energy networks, water and sewer systems.

    Chris is also a leading advocate for deepening the Delaware River from 40 feet to 45 feet in order to accommodate larger cargo vessels. This project is expected to bring an additional 75,000 direct and indirect jobs throughout the Delaware Valley, as well as an increase of 2.5 million tons of cargo per year to the area¹s ports. Chris is also a cosponsor of the bipartisan Harbor Maintenance Act, a revenue-neutral bill that requires the fees collected from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund to be used for just that purpose, maintaining ports nationwide.

    Chris is also a strong supporter of Amtrak and high-speed rail development and he fought hard for a long-term reauthorization of the transportation bill. He was proud to support the bipartisan Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, which provides $105 billion for the nation's surface transportation programs through fiscal year 2014, and will save and create around three million jobs nationwide.

  • SOTU Analysis: Opening new markets to American goods

    In this series of blog posts, Senator Coons’ legislative staff shares their analysis of the President’s State of the Union address with Delawareans.

    State of the Union

    In his State of the Union address, President Obama reaffirmed his commitment to opening up fast-growing new markets around the world to American goods and services, creating new trade opportunities that will help American businesses grow and create jobs. 

    President Obama proposed that we “complete negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” which would “boost American exports, support American jobs, and level the playing field in the growing markets of Asia.”  He also announced that the he will “launch talks on a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union, because trade that is fair and free across the Atlantic supports millions of good-paying American jobs.”

    Senator Coons has been working hard to help open new global markets where Delaware companies can sell their goods and services. As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Africa, he is working to ensure that these fast-growing new markets with burgeoning middle classes are open to American products to help strengthen our economy here at home.   

    Gaining access to markets all over the world has been instrumental in helping the American economy grow and prosper over the last century.  To continue our economic recovery, Chris believes it is crucial that we continue to create better access to international markets and help American business and workers by removing barriers to our goods and products.

    In particular, markets in both Asia and the European Union present important opportunities for Delaware's poultry companies to expand their exports. This trade will allow us to make progress in breaking down barriers to Delaware's poultry exports.

    Tags:
    Delaware
    Economy
    State of the Union
    Trade
  • SOTU Analysis: Educating our children

    In this series of blog posts, Senator Coons’ legislative staff shares their analysis of the President’s State of the Union address with Delawareans.

    State of the Union

    In his State of the Union address, President Obama proposed making high-quality preschool education available to every child in America.  Research shows that high-quality early education can have a meaningful impact on a young person's life.  

    Senator Coons is a strong believer in the importance of early childhood education.  He is a co-sponsor the Supporting State Systems of Early Learning Act, legislation authored by Senator Bob Casey to promote state investment in early learning and help states build and strengthen systems of high-quality early learning and development programs.  

    Delaware is a national leader in early childhood education and in December 2011 was named a winner in the Race to the Top — Early Learning Challenge.

    In addition to investing in early learning, President Obama focused his State of the Union remarks on meeting the critical challenge of making higher education more affordable and accessible for more students – something Chris has been working on since before he was elected to the Senate.

    President Obama called on Congress to "change the Higher Education Act, so that affordability and value are included in determining which colleges receive certain types of federal aid” and announced the launch of a new White House college scorecard to help students and parents see where they can get the most “educational bang for their buck.”

    Chris worked with Republicans and Democrats to introduce the American Dream Accounts Act, legislation that would help increase the number of low-income students able to access and complete a college education.  

  • SOTU Analysis: Leading the way in energy innovation

    In this series of blog posts, Senator Coons’ legislative staff shares their analysis of the President’s State of the Union address with Delawareans.

    State of the Union

    In his State of the Union Address, President Obama emphasized the importance of scientific research and development, praising innovation and declaring that “we need to invest in the best ideas.” Senator Coons is a passionate believer in the importance of basic and applied science and is a strong supporter of innovative products being developed in Delaware.

    President Obama called attention to innovative 3D printing that “has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything.” In Delaware, the revolution has already begun. At the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, scientists such as Tariq Rahman and Whitney Sample have used 3D printing to create customizable assistive devices to help children overcome mobility challenges. These cutting edge innovations gave five-year-old Emma Lavelle plastic appendages that allowed her to play and hug her mother for the first time.

    Last night, President Obama called for “a level of research and development not seen since the height of the Space Race.” He specified that today, no area holds more promise than investments in American energy. Delaware is once again leading the way, with energy research that is truly paradigm-shifting.

    The University of Delaware was named as an Energy Frontier Research Center by the U.S. Department of Energy. An award of more than $17 million dollars will be used to find more efficient ways to convert complex molecules from biomass into chemicals and fuels. UD is also at work fueling innovation in partnership with Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) and the Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation with transformational projects like super-strong magnets and hydrogen-fuel cells.  As a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and a leading champion of ARPA-E, Chris will continue to support these game-changing initiatives.    

    During a recent visit to the University of Delaware’s STAR campus, Chris test-drove a car built by a joint project between the UD and NRG Energy. The car allows rechargeable battery-operated vehicles to also serve as a source of power to the electrical grid. With scientists such as UD professor Willett Kempton leading the way, Delaware at the forefront of realizing the President’s vision. 

    Tags:
    ARPA-E
    Energy
    Innovation
    Research
    Science
    State of the Union
    University of Delaware
  • SOTU Analysis: Responsibly reducing our deficit

    In this series of blog posts, Senator Coons’ legislative staff shares their analysis of the President’s State of the Union address with Delawareans.

    State of the Union

    In last night’s State of the Union address, President Obama underlined the importance of responsible deficit reduction.  He reminded Americans that “over the last few years, both parties have worked together to reduce the deficit by more than $2.5 trillion – mostly through spending cuts, but also by raising tax rates on the wealthiest one percent of Americans.  As a result, we are more than halfway towards the goal of $4 trillion in deficit reduction that economists say we need to stabilize our finances.”  He said is now time for Congress to “finish the job” and end the cycle of “drifting from one manufactured crisis to the next.”

    Senator Coons, a member of the Senate Budget Committee, believes that our national debt and deficit are dangerous and unsustainable

    Democrats, Republicans and independent experts all agree that excessive debt hurts our competitiveness and crowds out critical investments in our country's future, in areas like education, infrastructure, research and development.  That’s why Chris believes it is essential for members of both parties to come together and support balanced, responsible deficit reduction to get our nation’s finances back in order. 

    Tags:
    Budget
    Debt
    Deficit
    State of the Union
  • SOTU Analysis: The next generation of manufacturing jobs

    In this series of blog posts, Senator Coons’ legislative staff shares their analysis of the President’s State of the Union address with Delawareans.

    State of the Union

    In last night’s State of the Union address, President Obama said that while “our economy is adding jobs…too many people still can’t find full-time employment.” 

    Senator Coons agrees, which is why he has been working closely with Delaware businesses to find innovative ways to help them grow and create jobs, even in a tough economy. Along with the other members of the Delaware Congressional delegation, he hosted nine job fairs in two years, connecting employers ready to hire with 10,000 Delaware job seekers

    Chris believes more must be done to support and sustain American innovators—especially in the manufacturing sector.  If we want to stay competitive in a global economy, we have to invest in job training programs and policies that create cutting-edge, high-quality jobs.

    In his address, President Obama noted that our manufacturing sector has added about 500,000 jobs over the past three years and announced three new “manufacturing hubs,” while challenging Congress to create a network of fifteen of these hubs to “guarantee that the next revolution in manufacturing is Made in America.”

    Chris has worked hard on incentivizing the growth of America’s advanced manufacturing sector and has urged Congress to pursue policies support the growth of high-tech and clean energy manufacturing in America. 

    He has met with Delaware manufacturers and turned their ideas into legislative action, building bipartisan support for new tax credits to support local manufacturers and ensure quality  products are “Made in America, Manufactured in Delaware.” 

    For example, Chris introduced the Startup Innovation Credit, a bipartisan bill that would allow innovative startup companies to take advantage of the successful Research and Development Tax Credit.  He is also an original cosponsor of the Bring Jobs Home Act, which offers tax credits from companies that relocate their manufacturing operations from abroad back to the United States. 

    Tags:
    Economy
    Jobs
    Manufacturing
    State of the Union
  • SOTU Analysis: Improving elections and making voting easier

    In this series of blog posts, Senator Coons’ legislative staff shares their analysis of the President’s State of the Union address with Delawareans.

    State of the UnionIn last night’s State of the Union address, President Obama zeroed in on the importance of protecting “our most fundamental right as citizens:  the right to vote.” He said that “when any Americans – no matter where they live or what their party – are denied that right simply because they can’t wait for five, six, seven hours just to cast their ballot, we are betraying our ideals.”

    That is why just after the election, Senator Coons introduced the FAST Voting Act to help states improve their elections and make voting faster and more accessible to all voters. Chris’ bill would create a competitive grant program to encourage states to aggressively pursue election reform, with the states that demonstrate the most comprehensive and promising reform plans earning a greater portion of the grant funding.

    President Obama shared the story of 102-year-old Desiline Victor, a Floridian who waited for hours to cast her ballot on Election Day. The crowd patiently waiting at the polling pace cheered when she finally received her “I Voted” sticker.

    Chris believes that voters like Desiline should not have to wait hours to exercise their fundamental right to vote for the candidate of their choice.

    Last night, President Obama announced he is creating a non-partisan commission to improve our elections process, led by one Republican and one Democrat who are experts in the field. Chris supports this non-partisan approach, and is hopeful the commission will build on the work of election commissioners from around the country, both Republicans and Democrats, who want to do better for their constituents.

    Tags:
    Elections
    FAST Voting Act
    State of the Union
  • SOTU Analysis: Investing in energy efficiency

    In this series of blog posts, Senator Coons’ legislative staff shares their analysis of the President’s State of the Union address with Delawareans.

    State of the Union

    Last night in his State of the Union address, President Obama identified a key driver of economic growth that is both powerful and straightforward to implement: increasing the energy efficiency of our homes and businesses, where over 40% of our nation's energy is used.

    President Obama announced he is setting a new goal of cutting in half the energy wasted by our nation’s homes and businesses over the next twenty years. Energy efficiency saves money, creates jobs, protects the environment and promotes energy independence.

    Senator Coons has been a leading voice on energy efficiency in the Senate. In the last Congress, he co-sponsored the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act with Senators Shaheen and Portman to promote energy efficiency, as well as legislation to raise the standard for energy efficiency in our household appliances. In the current Congress, he will work with his colleagues to to ensure that a strong program to maximize energy efficiency becomes law.

    Chris is a congressional vice chair of the Alliance to Save Energy, a nonprofit organization that promotes energy efficiency. A recent report released by the Alliance outlined policies that can double how effectively our economy uses energy by 2030. Doing so will bring a 100% return on investment, add 1% to the nation’s GDP, save the average household $1000 per year and create 1.3 million jobs around the country.

    Tags:
    Energy
    Energy Efficiency
    State of the Union
  • SOTU Analysis: Affirming a strong U.S. foreign policy

    In this series of blog posts, Senator Coons’ legislative staff shares their analysis of the President’s State of the Union address with Delawareans.

    State of the Union In his State of the Union Address, President Obama laid out clear foreign policy goals to promote security, stability, and democracy.   As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Coons shares these goals and is working to protect America’s interests abroad and defend against global security threats. 

    Chris shares the President’s view that a strong foreign policy rooted in American values must aim to promote democracy and freedom, protect human rights, defend U.S. interests abroad, and increase U.S. investment and trade globally. 

    Regarding security, President Obama noted that “different al Qaeda affiliates and extremist groups have emerged – from the Arabian Peninsula to Africa.  The threat these groups pose is evolving.  But to meet this threat, we don’t need to send tens of thousands of our sons and daughters abroad, or occupy other nations.  Instead, we will need to help countries like Yemen, Libya, and Somalia provide for their own security, and help allies who take the fight to terrorists, as we have in Mali.  And, where necessary, through a range of capabilities, we will continue to take direct action against those terrorists who pose the gravest threat to Americans.”

    As Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations African Affairs Subcommittee, Chris has worked to highlight these evolving security threats, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.  Regarding Mali in particular, he has called for a strong and comprehensive U.S. policy to address the al Qaeda takeover of Northern Mali, which has become the largest territory controlled by extremists in the world.  He has also welcomed the strong multilateral, international response to the situation in Mali at the United Nations while offering continued U.S. support for ongoing French-led military operations aimed to deprive al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb of a safe haven in Northern Mali.

    Regarding democracy, the President said that “in defense of freedom, we’ll remain the anchor of strong alliances from the Americas to Africa; from Europe to Asia. In the Middle East, we will stand with citizens as they demand their universal rights, and support stable transitions to democracy. We know the process will be messy, and we cannot presume to dictate the course of change in countries like Egypt, but we can -- and will -- insist on respect for the fundamental rights of all people. We’ll keep the pressure on a Syrian regime that has murdered its own people, and support opposition leaders that respect the rights of every Syrian. And we will stand steadfast with Israel in pursuit of security and a lasting peace.”

    Chris is one of the strongest voices in the Senate advocating for democratic reform and good governance, especially in Africa.  He has chaired hearings on this critical subject with specific attention to the Democratic Republic of Congo.  He has also voiced his pressing concern about ongoing violence and violations of human rights in Syria, where he has urged the U.S. to take a stronger role in providing humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people, refugees, and responsible leaders of the Syrian opposition.  He also recently gave a speech on the Senate floor demonstrating his strong support for the Syrian people, urging the Obama administration to consider military options aimed at degrading Assad’s air force. 

    Regarding Israel, Chris has been a steadfast supporter of the ironclad relationship between the United States and Israel and has urged international leaders to support a mutually agreed-upon and negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as opposed to unilateral Palestinian action at the United Nations.

    Tags:
    Africa
    al Qaeda
    Foreign Policy
    Foreign Relations Committee
    State of the Union
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