Illinois Congressmen Respond to Obama's State of the Union Speech

Following are responses to the President’s State of the Union address from several US Congressmen from Illinois. Roskam, Dold, Kinzinger, Hultgren, Manzulo, and Walsh.

From Rep. Peter Roskam (R, Illinois 6th District):

“I was hopeful for tonight’s speech, but unfortunately, it was a missed opportunity to turn the page on three years of broken promises and failed policies. Rather than commonsense solutions, Americans heard a campaign speech of broad platitudes supporting the same policies that have made our economy worse. The President spoke about American energy yet didn’t reverse his indefensible decision to deny the creation of 20,000 new private-sector union jobs from expanding the Keystone Pipeline. And while he spoke about taxes and jobs, he missed an incredible opportunity to push for comprehensive tax reform – a proven solution that could unite this entire country and unleash American business innovation – last passed in an election year. Republicans stand ready to work the White House and Senate Democrats on genuine solutions that would help small businesses. A good place to start is with the nearly 30 House-passed jobs bills gathering dust in the Senate.”

From Rep. Joe Walsh (R, Illinois 8th District):

“The President’s address tonight did not give much “hope” to restoring economic security and creating American jobs. We heard the same ole’ message from the President: more spending, higher taxes, and over regulation. Big government does not and has not worked.

“Since Obama has taken office, he has kept American families in a downward economic spiral with no hope of recovery. We need to get the government out of the way so small businesses can create the jobs we need to get this country back on track. If the President is so serious about creating jobs, why did he reject the Keystone XL Pipeline which would have created more that 100,000 jobs? He is clearly not serious about our economic recovery.

“As Chairman of the Small Business Committee’s Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access, I would encourage the President to work with us to create a program that does not punish job creators, but incentivizes them. America needs less government jobs and more private sector jobs. “

From Rep. Robert Dold (Ill., 10th District):

“Coming from a large manufacturing district, I was pleased that the President focused on manufacturing and job-training. I was also pleased to hear the President mention Master Lock, headquartered in Illinois’ 10th District, for their work to bring jobs home,” said Dold. “Everyone can agree that jobs and the economy are the most important issue facing our country today, so now is the time to work together, find common ground, and start moving our nation forward. The President must work to unite the country, not divide it. We need to focus on putting Americans back to work and start putting people before politics and progress before partisanship.”

Background Information:

According to the National Association of Manufacturers, Rep. Dold represents the number one manufacturing district in the country. As a small business owner, Dold continues to focus on getting the 10th District back to work and has held numerous manufacturing roundtables and job fairs. Dold is also a proponent of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education which would help unemployed and future workers gain good-paying jobs in the manufacturing field.

Dold was recently ranked by Congressional Quarterly as the number one Republican who finds common ground with the President and is an original supporter of the No Labels movement which seeks to end the gridlock in Washington.

Congressman Dold participated in the bipartisan seating movement in Congress and sat next to Congressman John Carney, a Democrat from Delaware.

From Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R, Illinois 11th District):

“Tonight, folks around the country turned their focus to Washington and looked to the Leader of the Free World for direction. However, rather than laying out a blueprint for our nation’s future, President Obama took advantage of an opportunity to advance his own re-election agenda. The president offered more of his same failed policies – higher taxes, more spending and onerous regulations; which has lead to record-high unemployment rates, mounting debt and an overreaching government.

“These policies have hurt our economy and it’s time to hold Washington accountable for its actions.

“Under the Obama Administration, our national debt has increased by $4.6 trillion – which means every man, woman and child’s share has increased by nearly $14,000 since Obama took office.

“In his 2011 State of the Union speech, President Obama warned that ‘at stake is whether new jobs and industries take root in this country, or somewhere else.’ This is a fear I hear nearly every day in Illinois. That’s why I was deeply disappointed to see the President’s Administration block the Keystone XL Pipeline – particularly after his own jobs council yesterday called for an ‘all-in approach’ to energy policy that incorporates expanded oil and gas drilling in addition to advancing energy projects such as pipelines.

“This pipeline would directly create 20,000 manufacturing and construction jobs and 118,000 total jobs. In addition, we would see 830,000 barrels of safe and secure oil each day from our friends to the North, which means we will need less oil from countries we can no longer rely on and are not friendly to the interests of the United States.

“Unfortunately, like tonight’s State of the Union address, the Keystone pipeline is a missed opportunity and is yet another major example of the President placing politics before the people. The fact is that someone will benefit from the oil out of Alberta. If it’s not the United States, it will be China – and it will be American businesses and consumers who will suffer the consequences from our inaction.

“We can’t continue to follow the same failed agenda that has driven job creators further into doubt and uncertainty. The road to refueling our economy and creating jobs means tackling our debt head on, simplifying the tax code, reducing onerous regulations, and increasing domestic energy production, making our nation more energy secure, which would help lower costs at the pump and create jobs here at home.

“In just one year, the new House Republicans have fought to put the brakes on the Obama Administration’s spending spree. We’ve changed the conversation from how much to spend to how much to cut.

“We’ve also made clear to the president that it is high time that we cut up the government’s credit cards and draw a hard line to stop the government from overspending, which is hampering our economy’s ability to grow and thrive. We must get the government to stop spending more money than we take in and focus our efforts toward growing the private sector, where jobs are created.”

From Randy Hultgren (R, Illinois 14th District):

“I had high hopes for the President’s speech tonight – that he would put the country and the American people ahead of his own reelection and his liberal base; but unfortunately his priority tonight was divisive rhetoric, rather than working across the aisle for a better America,” said Hultgren. “Moreover, the President once again decided to chase straw men. The efforts of the House Republicans are not, as he suggests, acts of obstruction, but rather we are remaining true to the principles of smaller government, less spending, and lower taxes, which are fundamentally incompatible with the taxing, spending, borrowing, and government-growing policies of his administration.

“It is also deeply disingenuous for the President to claim that he supports American energy, just days after he rejected a pipeline that would have immediately created at least 20,000 good-paying jobs for hard-working Americans, and had the support of groups across the ideological spectrum. Like this speech, the President’s decision on the Keystone XL pipeline put his liberal base and his reelection efforts before the interests of the American people.

“In addition, I was astounded to hear the President imply that Congress has attacked our nation’s investment in basic scientific research. Nothing could be further from the truth – I, along with many of my colleagues, have fought for robust funding for basic scientific research and high-energy physics. In contrast, it is the President and his Administration that have chosen to emphasize politically-motivated research and government boondoggles, such as the loan guarantees to Solyndra; the money wasted on that green crusade could have instead funded Fermilab’s Tevatron for the next thousand years.

“I am also disappointed by what the President did not say. After 1,000 days of outrageous inaction, I had hoped that he would call on the Senate to do their duty and pass a budget. A budget is not only a statement of principles and a governing document, it also forces us to make tough choices about our priorities and what we can and cannot afford. The Senate’s refusal to pass a budget, and the President’s refusal to call them to account, once again shows his commitment to politics over governing.”

Rep. Hultgren’s guest for the State of the Union address was Marine Corporal William Becker, of Sycamore. Corporal Becker served two tours of duty in Afghanistan and has recently completed his four year enlistment in the Marine Corps.

From Rep. Don Manzulo (R., 16th District):

“If the President is serious about wanting to help our employers put Americans back to work, he must stop talking about the two things that will keep Americans on the unemployment lines and extend our difficult times – tax increases and excessive government regulations. Employers are not going to create jobs when they could face huge tax increases and unnecessary regulatory burdens in the near future. We need to reduce the cost of doing business in this country and help make our employers more competitive so they can expand and create jobs. My American Jobs Agenda offers solutions that would put our great nation back on the path to prosperity.

“The President also needs to get serious about cutting wasteful Washington spending and shrinking the size of government so we can strengthen our economy and give our employers the confidence they need to invest in their businesses. Today marks the 1,000th day the Senate has gone without passing a budget. That’s unacceptable. I strongly encourage the President and Senate Democratic leaders to take a look at a budget I supported last year – the Republican Study Committee budget – that would have cut $9.1 trillion over the next 10 years while strengthening Social Security, saving Medicare, reforming the tax code, and balancing the budget in 9 years. It’s time for Washington to start living within its means and end the massive borrowing from China and other countries that is saddling future generations of Americans with massive debt.”

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