Chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman attended the 2014 State of the Union address yesterday evening in the chamber of the United States House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. The President of the United States gives this address annually to a joint session of the U.S. Congress, to report on the condition of the nation and outline his domestic and international priorities.
In yesterday’s address, President Barack Obama focused on several legislative priorities which affect the business community and manufacturing industry—including immigration reform, energy, and a skilled workforce. A key highlight of the address included a specific call for bipartisan support of long-term investment in the U.S. transportation infrastructure system.
"I'm extremely pleased with the emphasis on long-term infrastructure investment by President Obama,” said Oberhelman. “There seems to be growing optimism that Congress can provide bipartisan support for a significant package that would invest in America's transportation infrastructure, and make companies like Caterpillar more competitive in the long term.”
Oberhelman was invited to the event as a guest of U.S. Congressman Aaron Schock (IL-18), whose district covers several Caterpillar facilities throughout Illinois.
"It was a true privilege to attend such an important and serious event,” said Oberhelman. “Watching Members of the Supreme Court, Members of Congress, Presidential Cabinet members and the leaders of our armed forces file in to the chamber is something I'll never forget, and I want to thank Congressman Schock for inviting me to attend "
Oberhelman wasn’t the only Caterpillar employee attending last evening’s event. Gary Manier, Caterpillar employee and Mayor of Washington, Ill., attended as a guest of U.S. Senator Mark Kirk. Manier’s community of Washington was devastated by a tornado last November and was recently declined Public Assistance aid by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Senator Kirk, along with Congressman Schock, are leading efforts to convince FEMA to reconsider its rejection of disaster assistance for Washington and the surrounding area and presenting new data to inform that decision.
“I was honored to have the opportunity to attend the State of the Union as Senator Kirk’s guest,” Manier said. “Senator Kirk has been a strong advocate for our recovery effort, and I’m truly grateful for his hard work for our community.”
Click here to view an editorial Doug Oberhelman authored with the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President Jay Timmons, outlining key initiatives the President and Congress need to implement to support and grow the U.S. economy.