Engel Statement Commemorating Martin Luther King Day 2017

Engel Statement Commemorating Martin Luther King Day 2017

Washington D.C.—Congressman Eliot L. Engel, a top member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, issued the following statement in commemoration of Martin Luther King Day:

“This Martin Luther King Day, as we watch the Obama Administration wind down, I wanted to reflect on the progress we’ve made as a country throughout his Presidency and think about what it means for our work going forward these next few years.

“Dr. King talked throughout his life about racial and economic equality. He talked about expanding voting rights, and making sure that working people got a fair shake. Of course, he also talked about the injustice and violence facing the black community, and the need for true civil rights for all Americans. He said, ‘The goal of America is freedom,’ but he sadly wrote those words from a Birmingham jail cell.

“We can all be proud of some of the ways we’ve reached for Dr. King’s goal together in the last eight years. We achieved nationwide marriage equality for our LGBT family and friends. We made lifesaving healthcare available to millions who couldn’t afford it before. We lifted American families away from the threat of a second Great Depression and created more than 11 million jobs. And we saw one of Dr. King’s dreams realized when we elected an African-American to be President of the United States.

“It’s strange to think that President Obama is more optimistic now than he was in January 2009, as he said in Chicago last week. But this was part of the point of Dr. King’s letter from that Birmingham jail: when we come up against enormous obstacles, the solution is to work even harder, and have faith that our work can change things.

“I am committed to pressing forward this Congress with an ambitious agenda to make America’s elections fairer, safer, and more open; reform the justice system; expand access to healthcare; protect America from cyber threats; reduce carbon emissions; and safeguard America’s values, both at home and abroad. And when need be, I will fight as hard as I can to protect the advances we’ve made so that our country can continue moving forward rather than back. President Obama’s mounting optimism is a testament to our ability to get these things done – to get closer to Dr. King’s goal – if we all work together.”