What Rep. Costa wants to hear from the president tonight

Rep. Jim Costa

Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, represents a district (CA-16) battered by the housing collapse, the paring of government jobs and the turtle-paced economic recovery.

As a Blue Dog Democrat, he has been critical, at times, of President Barack Obama’s economic policies — especially his administration’s failure to reduce unemployment and to address shrinking middle-class incomes.

He also believes that Obama has failed to deliver on campaign promises, and that Congress has focused on political victories more than solutions.  Here is what Rep. Costa says he wants to hear from the president tonight in his State of the Union Address. (Costa’s remarks were released in a statement at 9:35 PST this morning).

Says Costa:

“The President will stand before a nation that is still wondering if leadership in Washington has the vision and will to chart a course for real prosperity in the 21st Century. Strengthening the state of our union means kick starting job creation, strengthening the middle class, and drawing a roadmap for how the United States will continue to lead the global economy.

“During the last 4 years, we have been embroiled in partisan bickering and failure to deal with the big issues of our day. From reining in our national debt to providing certainty for American businesses and families, Washington has shown an inability to think months down the road, much less years. Winning the future means focusing more on results and less on who wins the day’s news cycle.

“The President must show leadership and willingness to compromise tonight. He needs to lay out a plan to get our fiscal house in order, pass a 5-year Farm Bill, reform our broken immigration system, and attract good paying jobs by investing in our water and transportation infrastructure. More importantly, I hope that once the speech is over that the President has the ability to put his words into action.”

Immigration reform has backing from both parties

Following the election, it appears that both Democrats and Republicans are looking for a way to reform the nation’s broken immigration system. We’ll see if that translates into an immigration reform bill that can get thriough Congress and get signed by the president.

This is a good time to press the issue. As we say in today’s editorial, “The timing is right as a combination of border enforcement and the economic downturn has meant that the United States has “net zero” migration for the first time since the 1960s.”

Although the topic was mostly ignored in the presidential election campaign, things have changed since President Barack Obama was re-elected. Now Obama and House Speaker John Boehner seem to be on the same track when it comes to immigration reform.

Here’s more from the editorial:

“President Barack Obama in his election night victory speech said ‘fixing our immigration system’ would be a priority. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said, ‘This issue has been around far too long … A comprehensive approach is long overdue, and I’m confident that the president, myself and others can find the common ground to take care of this issue once and for all.’”