Republicans Respond to President's State of the Union Address

Republicans Respond to President's State of the Union Address

Rick Crawford, John Boozman, and Tim Griffin react to the Obama's speech.

Boozman Response

“I am disappointed that President Obama did not bring any new, specific ideas to the table to address the biggest issue facing our nation—jobs. His focus seemed largely on other issues at a time when everyone in Washington should be focused like a laser beam on how we can create an environment that can put more Americans back to work and in well-paying jobs. We need to work together to jumpstart job growth in the private sector, but the President must lead by example.”

“We have got to get our fiscal house in order. We are less than three week away from drastic across-the-board cuts that President Obama proposed and agreed to and while he talked of the need to avoid the sequestration, offered little in terms of specifics on how we can achieve that goal. The House has already passed two bills that have languished in the Senate and the President has yet to introduce a plan of his own to avert the sequestration to Congress. The reality is soon all our resources will be consumed by serving the debt. We can’t afford that, and sequestration is not the optimal solution, but we must reduce spending. However, the cuts can, and should be done, in a smarter way.”

“President Obama discussed his ideas for immigration reform, many of which we’ve heard before. I’m glad that members on both sides of the aisle are involved in these reform discussions. There are some key provisions that I would like to see in a reform package and the President touched on some of those including securing the border and enforcing the laws on the book. However, he continues to push amnesty, which is a policy direction I cannot support. We must not reward people for breaking the law, so I will continue to oppose amnesty proposals. In the meantime we can accomplish some of these ideas with current legislation.”

“I would disagree with President Obama’s contention that his law has brought down health care costs. They are skyrocketing, largely because the law does nothing to contain costs. That is going to hit home as Americans will see their premiums rise under this law. The only way to stop this trend is to institute market-based reforms instead of allowing the government to dictate our health care needs.”

Gun control
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, friends and all those affected by unimaginable tragedy like Newtown. We must have an open and honest discussion about the state of mental health care in this country and the root causes of this senseless violence, but new gun laws are not the answer. I will continue to fight to protect our Second Amendment right.”

Griffin Response

“President Obama is obsessed with raising taxes, and no matter how rosy he makes them sound, his big government proposals underscore Washington’s spending addiction. Instead of presenting a plan to prevent the Obamaquester, or submitting a proposal to turn his rhetoric about a ‘balanced approach’ into arithmetic that actually balances the budget, President Obama offered little more than tried-and-failed stimulus spending and higher taxes. Arkansans know higher taxes stifle opportunity and make it harder for folks to find jobs.”

Last month, Griffin sent a letter to President Obama, asking him to present the cold, hard facts about the country’s financial situation. He requested the President state: 1) the national debt as of the day before the State of the Union address; (2) the change in national debt since the date of the previous year’s State of the Union address; and (3) the per person share of the national debt. Griffin also requested the President to state clearly the years Medicare and Social Security are expected to go bankrupt.

During Obama’s presidency, the federal debt has increased by more than $5.8 trillion, reaching a record $16.4 trillion.

In September, Griffin supported a measure that would have repealed the across-the-board Obamaquester spending cuts, scheduled to take effect on March 1, 2013. The House-approved plan would have replaced them with equal or greater spending reductions by targeting wasteful programs.

Earlier today, Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf testified before the Senate Budget Committee, saying it’s hard to score Obama’s proposal to replace the Obamaquester because he hasn’t “seen a specific proposal.”

Crawford Response

“Tonight we heard President Obama’s vision for America. The President believes more government is the solution to every problem facing our country. When I talk to folks back home in Arkansas, they tell me big government is the problem. My constituents are burdened with excessive regulations and they are concerned about our country’s massive national debt. President Obama did little tonight to ease the challenges we have in Arkansas.

“For too long Republicans and Democrats have kicked the can down the road instead of addressing the great uncertainty created by our national debt. If we truly want to grow our economy and create good paying jobs, we must enact permanent spending controls that will force Congress to live within our financial means and restore certainty to our fragile economy. Statutory efforts to control spending can be changed over time. Permanent spending controls would be an unbending addition to the Constitution that could not be ignored or altered.

“In Arkansas, common sense tells us we cannot spend money that we do not have. Unfortunately, common sense is not so common in Washington these days. During my time in Congress I have become convinced that temporary laws are not the solution to our nation’s long-term economic health. If we want to ensure America’s place as the World’s only remaining super power, we must take decisive action to end deficit spending.”

Excerpts of the President’s State of the Union Address

As Prepared for Delivery

“It is our generation’s task, then, to reignite the true engine of America’s economic growth – a rising, thriving middle class.

It is our unfinished task to restore the basic bargain that built this country – the idea that if you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, what you look like, or who you love.

It is our unfinished task to make sure that this government works on behalf of the many, and not just the few; that it encourages free enterprise, rewards individual initiative, and opens the doors of opportunity to every child across this great nation of ours.”

“A growing economy that creates good, middle-class jobs – that must be the North Star that guides our efforts. Every day, we should ask ourselves three questions as a nation: How do we attract more jobs to our shores? How do we equip our people with the skills needed to do those jobs? And how do we make sure that hard work leads to a decent living?”

“Tonight, I’ll lay out additional proposals that are fully paid for and fully consistent with the budget framework both parties agreed to just 18 months ago. Let me repeat – nothing I’m proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime. It’s not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth.”
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