Lawmakers react to State of the Union Address - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Lawmakers react to State of the Union Address


MADISON (WKOW) -- Many lawmakers are reacting to President Barack Obama's State of the Union Address Tuesday night.

Their statements are below:

State Rep. Jeff Fitzgerald (R-Horicon)

"On Tuesday, January 24th President Obama delivered his third State of the Union Address to a Joint Session of Congress, at a time when our nation faces 8.5% unemployment, a historically high national debt of $15 trillion and rising, and a lingering recession that has left our economy and our citizenry in a malaise that rivals that of the late 1970's. 

For decades, we as a nation have judged our Presidents during specific milestones.  One of those milestones is the President's first thousand days in office.  However, I believe that this President will be judged on the most previous thousand days of his presidency.  Ironically, when the President took the podium within the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol Building to deliver his State of the Union, it marked the one thousandth day since Senate Democrats last presented a formal federal budget plan for our nation.  

Since April 29, 2009 a lot has changed in our nation, and not for the better.  Over that time our federal government has spent 9.4 trillion dollars on an ill-advised and failed economic stimulus, the beginning stages of ObamaCare, and countless pet projects that have added $4.1 trillion to our gross federal debt.  Yet, through all this economic chaos President Obama and Senate Democrats have turned a deaf ear to the problems that plague our nation.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has even stated that it would be "foolish" for Senate Democrats to produce a budget.  

I know that Senator Reid is from Nevada, but here in Wisconsin we expect responsible and accountable government.  I have spent the last 12 years of my life as a member of a body that is required to pass a balanced budget each legislative session, and this last year as Assembly Speaker I worked to pass the most fiscally responsible and taxpayer friendly budget in our state's history. To see the irresponsible and foolish behavior of our President and Congressional Leaders at a time of crisis, it reaffirms my decision to seek election to the United States Senate.  

During his speech, the President laid out his plans for America's future, he spoke with great promise, and possibly of hope for times to come. But I ask, how can our nation plan for a promising and hopeful future when we are plagued by uncertainty, ever increasing debt, and a leadership that has failed us at every turn?"


U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wisconsin)

"We appreciate that the President is focused on the right things for our country:  increasing our economic output and decreasing unemployment.  In Wisconsin we're particularly happy about his focus on manufacturing since our state's economy and employment, more than most any other state, is dependent on a strong manufacturing base.  The President also recognizes that education is the foundation of our country's future, whether it means providing all students access to a quality education or ensuring that workers have opportunities for job retraining.   I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to grow our economy and job market."


RNC Chairman Reince Priebus

"Tonight, President Obama delivered his State of the Union address. The speech was new, but it seems like we've heard it all before. Promises to create jobs. To fix the economy. To do things differently.
"For three years, the president has made promise after promise. And more often than not, he's broken those promises.  Barack Obama has treated his presidency like a campaign—willing to say anything to keep his job, unwilling to do anything to create jobs for Americans.
"Last week, we saw yet another example of the president's misplaced priorities. President Obama had a chance to create at least 20,000 jobs by authorizing the Keystone XL energy pipeline. But he said no. He said no to jobs and no to energy security and affordability—just to please his liberal political base. 
"Compare that to Solyndra. The president loaned half a billion dollars of taxpayer money to a company backed by political allies. It went bankrupt and laid off workers." 

U.S. Senate Candidate Tommy Thompson (R-Wisconsin)

"The real ‘deficit of trust' is between the American people and President Obama. This is a president who is bereft of constructive ideas, with no real answers to our languishing economy.  After pursuing a failed liberal agenda, the Obama Administration is now left to relying on divisiveness rather than on unity.  The president's call for 'fairness' is thinly veiled class warfare that will not create a single job or put food on the table of a single family.
"It is time that we unite this country around common-sense solutions that promise long-term economic vitality and a new prosperity for our people.  We must summon the courage to address our fiscal crisis through entitlement reform and shrinking government.  And we must simplify taxes and reduce regulations, releasing private enterprises to begin investing and hiring again.

"This won't happen through platitudes and pitting one class against another.  It will happen by reshaping government and allowing the American entrepreneurial spirit to thrive again.  It is time for change in Washington."

U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin)

"President Obama did a fabulous job of laying out a blueprint for building a stronger America both in the short term and in the long term. 
The President tonight was very much in touch with what's happening in this country and what I've been hearing as I travel around the state.  He understands the frustrations citizens have with the disconnect between the policy debates in Washington and people's real lives.  He called on Congress to act swiftly to help revive our manufacturing industry by ending incentives for companies to outsource jobs, providing targeted incentives for businesses to create jobs here at home, and ensuring that our students and workers get the education and training needed to fill those jobs.  
I support President Obama's efforts to restore the values that made this country great – fairness for all and responsibility from all."

State Rep. Kelda Helen Roys (D-Madison)

"Tonight, President Obama offered his strong, forceful, and populist vision of how to move our country forward in the face of continued Republican obstruction.  I welcomed his intent to pursue executive orders in areas where legislative action is not possible, and his willingness to confront failed Republican policies. The President's focus on education and income inequality was welcome news for the million of Americans struggling to regain economic security.  Investments in education, and the creation of a highly skilled workforce are essential components of building a 21st century economy capable of providing the American dream.
There are areas I certainly would have liked to see a different approach taken, including a stronger emphasis on clean energy over fossil fuels, and the use of a greater range of economic policy options beyond tax code changes.  But I believe that the President succeeded in laying out a program that will lead to a stronger America, and a successful 2012 campaign."
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