Responses to President Obama’s State of the Union address

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Lawmakers sound off after President Obama’s State of the Union speech:

Congressman Luke Messer:

WASHINGTON (January 28, 2014)—Today Congressman Luke Messer responded to the President’s fifth State of the Union address.  Rep. Messer called on the President to focus his policy efforts in 2014 on the real problems facing our nation including wage stagnation, government overreach and lack of educational opportunity:

“The President’s policies put a Band-Aid over a gaping wound.  The President failed to acknowledge that under his administration real dollar wages have declined, and tonight we heard the same tired solutions that simply are not working: more government, more spending, more taxes, and more debt.  Those are not the answers to America’s future.

“We can all agree that someone working full time and playing by the rules should not live in poverty.  To fix this problem, we need a growing economy.  Too often, the President’s policies instead grow government, raise taxes and kill jobs.

“If the President truly wants to make 2014 ‘a year of action’ then we must address the very real issues facing our country—wage stagnation, government overreach and a lack of educational opportunities that will produce a skilled labor force ready to work in the 21st Century.

“I agree that 2014 should be ‘a year of action,’ but the kind of action we take matters.  It’s time to stop bickering and it’s time to stop looking for quick-fixes.  Instead, we must work toward long-term solutions that move America forward.

“No government program can replace what a good job means for the future of a family or this great nation.”

Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks:

“House Republicans know that 2014 is the year we must get Americans working again. We’re committed to pro-growth policies that will increase our workforce participation rate and ensure upward mobility for all Americans. We’re for streamlining and improving our inefficient workforce training system so people can attain the skills they need to earn jobs that pay higher wages. We’re for building the Keystone XL Pipeline because we know this important project means more hires today and lower energy costs tomorrow. We’re for an economy that gives everyone a fair chance to succeed.

Tonight, President Obama presented a vision that relies too heavily on government intervention in the private sector. It’s one that will impose unfair burdens on job creators and the hard working Americans they employ. I believe the majority of Americans want to see an economy with less government roadblocks standing in the way of success.

I look forward to the year ahead, and I urge the President to recognize that progress for the American people can be made by working with rather than around Congress.”

Congressman Marlin Stutzman:

U.S. Congressman Marlin Stutzman issued the following statement this evening, following the President’s State of the Union address.

“Americans don’t want empty slogans and bigger government. Over the past five years, families have paid a high price for this administration’s broken promises—smaller paychecks, health insurance cancellation letters, and fewer jobs. This isn’t what a recovery looks like but it’s the same, worn-out approach the President outlined tonight.

“House Republicans are offering an alternative. We’ve worked to empower families, expand opportunity, and end ObamaCare’s pain. We’ve passed dozens of jobs bills—many with bipartisan support—to help get Americans back to work. If President Obama is serious about making 2014 a year of action, he should call on his party’s leaders in the Senate to give these common-sense bills the up-or-down votes they deserve.”

Former Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee:

I think our country has gone horribly off track under President Obama and his speech tonight has only reinforced my opinion. It is going to take strong leadership to steer the country back in the right direction.

Everyday I am asked if I will run for President, and while I am giving that question some serious thought, one of my most important and immediate concerns for our country is that the next Republican President won’t have a Republican Senate and House majority to help get his/her agenda through the Congress. (Just imagine if Harry Reid is still Senate Majority Leader) That’s why I’ve been talking more and more about my PAC because I want to make sure a Republican President has someone to work WITH in Congress!

If that’s something you are also concerned about and believe like I do that it is essential for getting anything done, then you understand why we ask you to help us financially. It’s not because I like to ask for money—it’s that I want to HuckPAC to be on the front lines to move Harry Reid to the back of the room!

Congressman André Carson:

Our country has long been defined by the determination of the American people to redefine their future through education and hard work.  Regrettably, as our wealth gap grows and unemployment remains high, this fundamental American goal is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve.

Tonight, President Obama laid out a vision for the future of our country that overcomes these obstacles and once again puts the American dream in reach for all Americans.  He made clear that by raising the minimum wage, expanding access to quality education from pre-K to college, and increasing domestic manufacturing, we can move towards a robust economy that will mean real opportunity for our families and communities.

The President also rightly called out our lack of progress on critical issues like job creation, education, immigration, and tax reform.  I am hopeful that his call to action will be a wakeup call for those in Congress who focus on political games instead of finding real solutions to our nation’s problems.

Despite our political and economic struggles, I agree with President Obama that we have reason to be optimistic.  Over the last five years, the American people have prevailed through the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.  While we face difficult times ahead, I am confident that by pursuing the President’s proposals we can continue our recovery and create new opportunities for Hoosiers.

Senator Dan Coats: 

“Rather than use this speech to unite our country, the president turned to more political division and even vowed to circumvent the people’s representatives to change existing law with the stroke of his pen.

“President Obama again demonstrated tonight that he is good at making promises, but Hoosiers know that promises don’t matter, actions do. The actions taken by his administration have led to increased spending, more taxes, job losses and a shrinking workforce. After five years of this failed strategy, it’s time for a new game plan and new ideas.

“I have put forward a 10-point plan – The Indiana Way – based on bipartisan ideas I gathered from Hoosiers that will strengthen Indiana and our country. Rather than ignore Republican solutions, the president must recognize that in a divided government our country needs a leader that will work with both parties to create the opportunities Americans deserve.”

Rep. Todd Rokita:

“With Americans worse off by every objective measure than when he took office, I hoped that the President would have at least acknowledged tonight that many of his policies have failed, and demonstrate leadership by changing course.   Instead, we heard more divisive class warfare, and more promises to continue the tax, spend and regulate agenda that is killing jobs and disproportionately hurting Americans at the lower end of the economic ladder.   Most troubling, we heard the President promise to bypass Constitutional checks and balances entirely and govern by executive decree.

We are fighting for all people so that they can build better lives for themselves and their families.  Our ideas are the best way to help the greatest number of people.  Over 40 House-passed jobs bills sit untouched on Harry Reid’s desk.  Jobs, spending and health care will continue to be our policy priorities and I will continue to do everything I can to hold the President accountable for his troubling efforts to bypass our Constitution and the rule of law”.