(WLNS) – After President Obama released his State of the Union Address Tuesday night, America began to release their reactions regarding his take on bettering the lives of citizens. Here are a few comments from local congressmen, senators and chairmen.
“Tonight, President Obama proposed more tax hikes on the American people. This economic recovery has been historically slow, and Americans have no desire to pay more for a big government agenda. The president should work with Republicans in Congress to cut spending, taxes and regulation, and lessen the burden of government on hard working Americans, in order to create more, better-paying jobs.”
Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus:
“As the last election made clear, Americans want a less intrusive government that spends their money responsibly, yet tonight President Obama gave another speech calling for more taxes and more spending. Americans who listened to President Obama likely feel President Obama isn’t listening to them.
Instead of working with Republicans on bipartisan initiatives that are popular with the American people, he’s taking the same old go-it-alone approach on policy that has defined his presidency. The way to grow the economy for the middle class is to have a simpler tax code to encourage innovation. Sending more money to Washington isn’t the answer. We should let families and states make decisions that are right for them. The tax code should be made simpler, fairer, and flatter. That’s good for economic growth and job creation. Tax reform could and should be a bipartisan pursuit, but again, the president has signaled he only wants to do it his way.
The Democrats’ top-down, one-size-fits-all approach just doesn’t work. President Obama should take up real bipartisan proposals that are already on the table—like building the Keystone Pipeline and restoring the 40-hour work week that ObamaCare destroyed. Of course, the president wants to tell Americans that we shouldn’t worry about the economy, but the truth is we still have the lowest labor force participation rate since the Carter years. More needs to be done to get more Americans into the workforce—and to create more opportunities for those already in the workforce. Republicans hope the president will join us in pursuing that goal.”
Congressman Bill Huizenga (MI-02):
“Tonight, the President unveiled his plan to raise taxes on families and small business owners across West Michigan. President Obama’s proposal makes it harder for the single mother in Wyoming, who is already working two part time jobs, to send her kids to college; makes it more difficult for the farmer in Hart to pass along the apple orchards and asparagus fields, that have been in his family for generations, to the next generation; and makes it tougher for the innovative entrepreneurs in Muskegon to turn their startups into thriving small businesses.
Instead of raising taxes on hardworking Michiganders, President Obama should focus on working with Republican majorities in the House and Senate to reform our broken tax code, foster an environment where good-paying private sector jobs can be created, and address concerns over the nation’s growing debt and the entitlement programs which drive it.”
Congressman Tim Walberg:
“President Obama missed an opportunity tonight to rally the country around bipartisan solutions. Instead, the President gave a speech overlooking the American people’s overwhelming rejection of his policies last November. The American people deserve better than more of the same flawed top-down policies. The challenges of our time require new solutions that empower hardworking Americans, not grow the size of Washington’s bloated bureaucracies by raising taxes and creating more unfunded programs. In the first few weeks of the new Congress, the House advanced solutions to boost wages, lower energy costs, and grow a healthy economy from the bottom-up. I hope the President will instead join our efforts in a serious and practical way to increase opportunity for every American.”
Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05):
“Tonight the President outlined proposals to help strengthen America’s middle class and grow our economy – proposals like rebuilding our country’s crumbling roads and bridges, reinvigorating America’s industrial cities, making college and child care more affordable, and providing sick leave for workers. These proposals aren’t Democratic or Republican initiatives – they are proposals to help better the lives of working families, ensuring they can afford to send their child to college and putting more money in the pockets of workers.
Our country is the most prosperous when everyone – not just the wealthy – feels the benefits of economic growth. Yet while we have seen our economy recover since the Great Recession – 58 straight months of private sector job growth – too many of Michigan’s working families have seen their wages remain flat. Congress can get to work immediately on bipartisan initiatives that provide more opportunity and bigger paychecks for working families, not just the wealthy – initiatives like passing a jobs bill, raising the federal minimum wage, increasing middle class tax credits and lowering the cost of college and technical programs.
These focus areas ought to be things that Democrats and Republicans can find common ground on. It’s my hope that Congress can work together on these initiatives so our country remains competitive in a global economy in manufacturing, education and innovation.
While I agree with the President on many of his proposals, I disagree with him when it comes to fast-tracking new so-called ‘fair trade’ deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership he pushed for in tonight’s speech. Like the last ‘free trade’ deal, TPP could mean the loss of thousands of manufacturing and automotive jobs. My hometown of Flint, Michigan, knows all too well the damaging effect that these trade deals have on our economy. One only has to look back to the last trade deal to see that these bad deals don’t help the American worker – instead they do the opposite, hurting our country’s competitiveness and contributing to a race to the bottom when it comes to wages and exports.”
U.S. Senator Gary Peters:
“In the six years since our nation faced its toughest economic crisis in decades, our economy has made great strides toward recovery. We must keep working to ensure that middle class families, and those aspiring to get there, are also benefitting from our economic recovery.
Many middle class families feel squeezed, and are finding it harder to feel like they are getting ahead. Improving the child care tax credit, expanding paid family leave and making home ownership more affordable are all positive steps that will help boost middle class families. Congress and the President must work together to focus on creating jobs, growing the economy and strengthening the middle class so that America is truly a country where if you work hard and play by the rules, you can build a better life for yourself and your family.
Our nation faces serious challenges, and we must address those challenges together. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to find meaningful, bipartisan solutions to our nation’s toughest problems.”
U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow:
“President Obama laid out a clear plan to keep our country moving forward by investing in the very people who helped to build it. We’ve come a long way and I will keep fighting until every family in Michigan and across the country feels the recovery and has a fair shot to get ahead.”