News Releases

Supports calls for fair workplace policies, economic security, investments in lifesaving research
Murray on veterans: “The State of our Union is to a great extent determined by how we treat those who have sacrificed so much for the rest of us.”

Video with excerpts of Senator Murray’s statement here


(Washington, D.C.)—Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) released the following statement in response to President Obama’s final State of the Union address to Congress. Senator Murray was accompanied by Ernie Butler as her guest, originally from Washington state, who is the Director of Sports and Recreation for Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), and is a veterans advocate, former Air Force Staff Sergeant and pararescueman.


“Tonight President Obama made it very clear that while we have made some real progress for Washington state families and the economy over the past seven years, and we are moving in the right direction—there is still so much more we can do to support workers and help the economy grow from the middle out, not the top down.


“So I join President Obama’s call for Democrats and Republicans to work together in this divided government, put politics and partisanship aside, and focus on how we can help the families we represent. Last year we showed that bipartisan work was possible when we finally fixed the broken No Child Left Behind law and reached another deal to restore investments in middle class priorities—and now we need to build on that.


“I was especially glad to hear the President lay out a vision for restoring economic security and stability for working families across the country. From raising the minimum wage so workers’ incomes can increase, to allowing workers to earn paid sick days so they don’t have to choose between their paycheck or caring for themselves or their loved one when they get sick—these are just a few of the many steps we need to take to support women, seniors, workers, and families and help our economy grow from the middle out, not the top down. And I join the President in hoping we can make progress on them.


“In addition to policies to increase economic security, helping our economy grow from the middle out will also depend on students getting a good education so they can earn their ticket into the middle class. I will continue working on efforts to reduce college costs and make sure more students can graduate without the crushing burden of student debt, and I am hoping that Republicans will join us at the table to get this done.


“I also agree with President Obama that while we’ve made important progress in recent years toward building a health care system that works for families and puts their needs first, we have much more to do. I am very hopeful this work can include bipartisan efforts to improve our mental health system and tackle the challenge of opioid abuse, and I look forward to working with Vice President Biden and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to continue strengthening investments in lifesaving, world-changing medical research.


“I am very glad that President Obama talked about threats from terrorists facing Americans both at home and abroad and that he made it clear that our highest priority must be keeping our families and our country safe.


“As my guest for the State of the Union, I brought Ernest Butler, a paralyzed veteran from Washington state who has dedicated himself to helping other veterans with serious injuries. The State of our Union is to a great extent determined by how we treat those who have sacrificed so much for the rest of us. So I am going to keep fighting, every single day, to make sure our country upholds its promise to take care of veterans long after they return home and never turns its back on those who so bravely fought for our freedom.”