The freshman representative went at the GOP.
The freshman representative went at the GOP. Photo: Delia Ramirez for Congress

Rep. Delia Ramirez lays out dream vision for government and calls out Republicans in Working Families Party SOTU response

The first-ever elected Latina representative from the Midwest delivered the WFP’s State of the Union response.


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“The contrasts are clear. And the stakes are high. We can stop the rightwing attack on our rights and our democracy. We can win a government that has working people’s backs,” said Illinois U.S. Rep. Delia Ramirez in her Working Families Party response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night, Feb. 7. 

Recently inaugurated Arkansas Governor and former White House Press Secretary under President Donald Trump, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, delivered the SOTU response on behalf of the Republican party. 

The first ever Latina from the Midwest to serve in Congress and freshman representative delivered WFP’s SOTU response with an inspiring speech that outlined a vision for a government that has the backs of the country’s working families. 

“The Working Families Party is everyday people coming together to fight for what we all need. No matter your race or where you were born, we all want to earn enough to thrive, not just survive, and leave a better world for future generations,” said Ramirez. 

“WFP works to elect candidates who take that fight to the halls of power,” she added. 

The SOTU address was a success for Biden, as he discussed accomplishments from the last Congress and made an effort to reach across the aisle to continue helping the U.S. recover from the pandemic and its consequences, as Ramirez demanded the administration and Democrats do more, and called out the GOP. 

“Even while oil companies and grocery chains were making record profits, the Republicans want to blame higher prices on workers who got their first raise in a generation,” she said. 

Ramirez highlighted some of the administration's top moments, including the infrastructure bill for roads and bridges, and infrastructure for clean water and electric vehicles, the Inflation Reduction Act, and Biden’s Executive Order to cancel up to $20,000 in student loan debt.

“The Biden administration and Democrats in Congress took important steps,” Ramirez said. “Those things will make a difference, but let's be honest, it is still too hard for too many families in this country to make ends meet.” 

Ramirez went at her Republican colleagues, unlike the President’s more bipartisan approach in front of a divided Congress, and called out Republicans for their policy stances and bills that have made it through the GOP-controlled House. 

She discussed when Democrats controlled the House and they passed Biden’s full Build Back Better plan. 

The plan included funding to make child and eldercare and community college more affordable — House Democrats voted to extend the child tax credit, putting $300/month in the pockets of working parents, but not the GOP. 

“Every Republican was opposed,” she said. “And just enough corporate Democrats joined them to block that bill.”

“What I want to say to President Biden and all my fellow Democrats in Congress is that we have two jobs. We must stand up to the extremism of the MAGA Republicans,” Ramirez added. We have to show working people what Democrats will deliver for working families if they put us in control.”

Ramirez also called on the President to use more executive authority to reduce drug prices and to stand behind renters and hold landlords accountable for rent price gouging and housing discrimination.

“If Republicans in the majority are as interested in working class families as they claim, they’ll stand with us. But if they don’t, Americans will see who is on their side, and Republicans will pay the price at the ballot box,” she said. 

While on the topic of immigration, Ramirez cited that 12 million immigrants still lack legal status and face deportation. She discussed her husband Boris, a DACA recipient who has lived in the U.S. since the age of 14, longer than he lived in Guatemala. 

Ramirez said that her husband, like the tens of millions of other immigrants, has been waiting for over a decade to have a pathway to citizenship, saying that “both Democrats and Republicans have failed them.” 

She called the issue a personal one as also the daughter of immigrants and empathizes with the uncertainty and fear. She called on the President to extend protections from deportation for all undocumented people and provide access to work permits.

“Republicans like Sarah Huckabee Sanders want to politicize a humanitarian crisis at the southern border, making Americans fear people who are coming here to escape violence and poverty, like my parents did almost 40 years ago,” she said. 

The Latina representative even brought up Rep. Ilhan Omar’s recent ousting from the House Foreign Affairs Committee last week in regards to Republican leadership in the last month. 

“All I’ve seen from them is a determination to destroy the economic security of families like mine, take away the precious freedoms we still have, and target some of our bravest champions, like Representative Ilhan Omar,” she said. 

Ramirez made sure to demonstrate some optimism in Democrats retaking the House in 2024 and highlighting other new Working Families champions such as Becca Balint from Vermont, Greg Casar and Jasmine Crockett from Texas, Summer Lee from Pennsylvania, and Maxwell Frost from Florida.

“We can retake control of the House of Representatives in 2024. What we can’t do, is do it alone. It takes a movement,” Ramirez concluded. “It takes working people locking arms to speak up for what we all need.” 


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