As Americans prepare to tune into tomorrow’s State of the Union Address, many are wondering what’s in store for 2012 in Washington, DC.  Prior to the speech, Western New York Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) outlined some of the actions he would like to see addressed in the year ahead:

Infrastructure

For the last decade we have spent billions rebuilding places like Iraq and Afghanistan.  Now is the perfect time to create jobs by making large scale investments in American infrastructure.  A New America Foundation report, the “The Way Forward”, makes the case that investing $1.2 trillion over five years in rebuilding our infrastructure will create 27 million jobs.  That is more than the 22 million jobs created in the 1990’s which raised so much revenue that our federal budget reached a record surplus.  In 2012 we should focus on nation building here at home.

Healthcare

We must refocus our national commitment to developing research toward the goal fighting serious diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s.   The only failure in medical research is when we quit, or when we are forced to quit because of lack of funding.  In 2012 we should honor the pledge so many Members of Congress made to give the medical community the resources they need to conduct groundbreaking cancer research.  Working toward promising treatments and cures not only saves precious lives but it saves money.

 Made in America

Americans used to make things and sell them to the world and now is the time to regain our competitive edge.  Approval of China Currency reform legislation would serve as a critical step in the creation of local jobs and provide a level playing field for American business.

 Research & Development

The United States has long been a leader in innovation.  We should be rebuilding our standing in the competitive global marketplace by educating the next generation of innovators through affordable education as well as encouraging innovative discovery at U.S. businesses.  This year we shouldsimplify, extend and enhance tax incentives for research and development into the next generation of technological breakthroughs.

Worker Training

We should revamp and make a substantial commitment to our worker training programs to ensure that no American manufacturer chooses to send work overseas for want of highly trained workers.

Energy

Our country’s dependence on foreign oil is not just an environmental issue; it is an economic issue and a matter of homeland security.  The rising cost of gasoline is a challenge for already economically strapped consumers and small business.  These challenges will only increase unless and until we take a serious approach to the development of alternative energy.

Cooperation for Our Country

Western New Yorkers know that good things don’t always come easy; it takes hard work.  Congress must recognize that our nation’s future is not partisan issue.  The manufactured crises and brinksmanship of the last year did real damage to the American economy.  We cannot allow that to occur again.  Our Representatives may never reach a finish line if they can’t even cross an aisle.  Most important to our national agenda is a sincere bipartisan effort to build a stronger America.