Press Release

Gillibrand Previews State Of The Union Address

Mar 7, 2024

Today, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand held a video press conference ahead of President Biden’s State of the Union address to share what she hopes to hear from the president about his major accomplishments over the past year and his vision going forward. Senator Gillibrand is expecting the president to address his historic victories to protect and expand labor rights, his major investments in the nation’s infrastructure, his work to take illegal guns off our streets and bring down the cost of prescription drugs, as well as his plan to fight for reproductive rights as they come under attack across the country.

The full text of Senator Gillibrand’s remarks as prepared for delivery is available below. Video is available upon request.

Hello everybody. Thank you for joining us.

This evening, I’ll be attending President Biden’s State of the Union address with my guest, Billie Jean King. A tennis legend and equal rights advocate, Billie Jean has used her platform and talents to advocate for equal rights and Title IX. She was instrumental in securing equal prize money in men’s and women’s tennis at the U.S. Open and spearheaded the formation of the Women’s Tennis Association. She also brought worldwide attention to pay equality throughout her career and in her “Battle of the Sexes” match against Bobby Riggs.

In honor of her lifetime of achievement, I introduced bipartisan legislation to award Billie Jean King the Congressional Gold Medal, which has never been awarded to a woman athlete.

I am proud to stand up for her, as she stood up for us, and I’m excited for her to join me as we get an update on President Biden’s major accomplishments and vision for the future.

President Biden has delivered major investments in infrastructure and domestic manufacturing that have created jobs in New York and across the country.

This administration has invested billions of dollars in New York’s public infrastructure and helped to reconnect and revitalize our communities from Buffalo to the Bronx. I’ve traveled across New York discussing these transformative investments.

I helped pass the CHIPS and Science Act, which made a major investment in American semiconductor manufacturing. Because of this, Micron announced a huge investment in memory chip manufacturing in Syracuse. And GlobalFoundries, a leader in global semiconductor manufacturing, has relocated its headquarters from Silicon Valley to Saratoga County, where it has invested billions of dollars in its manufacturing plant.

President Biden has also played a crucial role in helping to address the high cost of prescription drugs. Through the Inflation Reduction Act, the Biden administration allowed Medicare to negotiate drug prices and capped insulin at 35 dollars per month for Medicare beneficiaries.

I know President Biden will discuss additional efforts to lower the costs of prescription drugs and on investing in areas like child care, health care, elder care, paid family leave and on reducing and eliminating student debt.

I also expect President Biden to highlight the extraordinary impact of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which included key provisions from my bill to make gun trafficking a federal crime. Already, my statute has helped get over 2,000 illegal guns off our streets and led to charges against more than 270 defendants.

I also expect President Biden to talk more about his work to protect our communities through funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program. With the recent rise in antisemitism and hate-fueled violence across the country, it’s more important than ever to provide the resources and supports needed to keep our communities safe. I’m pushing for historic funding for the NSGP in this year’s funding package.

But it’s not just our communities that are under increasing threat. With the Supreme Court’s recent decision overturning Roe v. Wade, women’s rights are under attack as well. Tonight, President Biden will touch on his work to protect our reproductive rights and call for the

restoration of Roe v. Wade.

We also need to provide the resources families need to care for the children they have or intend to have. I’ve long fought to expand the Child Tax Credit so that families have the support they need to raise their children. And I’m grateful that President Biden has made restoring the COVID-era expansion of the Child Tax Credit one of his top priorities.

We also need to make sure families can take time off work when they need to. The United States is the only developed country in the world that doesn’t have a statutory paid leave policy. It’s high time workers had the ability to take the time they need without fear of losing their job.

Workers are no longer willing to sacrifice themselves or their families to meet their employer’s bottom line. It’s why so many of our nation’s workers have begun to organize and bargain for the better wages, better benefits, and better treatment they deserve on the job. President Biden will talk about his work to support these efforts, and I look forward to working more with his administration to stand up for our workers.

Finally, President Biden’s speech tonight will touch on the need to support our aging population and his work to strengthen Medicare and Social Security. This is an issue that is very important to me and one that I have worked on extensively through my Strategic Plan for Aging.

Overall, I believe that despite the many challenges we’ve faced over the past year, the state of our union is strong. And I know we’ve made extraordinary progress in our fight to build back from the pandemic. Tonight’s speech comes at a pivotal moment for our nation and world. But I know that it will be a powerful one. I look forward to hearing more from President Biden on his plans for the future and I’m happy to take your questions.