Delegation Reactions to State of the Union
Washington, D.C. – Here is a look at reaction from members of Oklahoma's congressional delegation to President Obama's State of the Union speech:
Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Okla.:
"I was pleased to see President Obama chose to focus much of his first State of the Union address on our country s ailing economy. Although Oklahoma has fared better than the rest of the nation, much of our country is suffering through our current economic troubles and it is time that we concentrate on improving our economy, creating jobs, and reducing Americans tax burden rather than a trillion-dollar government takeover of our health care system or a $600 billion energy tax.
However, many of the proposals he announced tonight appear to be in direct contrast with each other. For example, he proposed a three year freeze on all discretionary, non-defense spending while also proposing a 6.2 percent increase in education funding and promoting his estimated $800 bill to $1.2 trillion government takeover of health care."
Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla.:
"The agenda President Obama outlined tonight essentially promises more of the same: more spending, more burdens on American businesses, and more symbolic measures that do nothing to provide real solutions to the challenges we face.
I agree with the president that overcoming our problems requires a fresh approach and a spirit of cooperation. The American people have made it clear that they are tired of wasteful Washington spending and politics-as-usual. Unfortunately, President Obama and congressional Democrats appear committed to the same costly policies that have deepened the deficit and stifled economic growth for the past year.
Whether the issue is health care, energy policy or jobs, the Democrat answer remains the same: more spending, higher taxes and bigger government. "
Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.:
"President Obama is right to be concerned about the size of our debt and the scope of our economic challenges. Unless Congress changes course quickly, future generations will inherit crushing debt, high unemployment and limited opportunities. We simply can t go on as we have and expect a robust recovery to take root. We ve spent too many years borrowing money we don t have to spend on things we don t need.
"However, if President Obama wants to become the transformational leader he is capable of being, he needs to recognize he was given a mandate to unify the country, not drive through the agenda of the ideological left. This has been a year of hyper-partisanship in Washington because the President and congressional leadership have chosen a hyper-partisan, ideological agenda that has divided America. If the President brought the political center of the country together he may not always get my vote but the country would be better off. Still, I make no apologies for saying no to the obscene abuse of taxpayer dollars that takes place as a matter of course in the United States Senate."
Rep. Mary Fallin, R-Okla.:
"I am glad the president focused his remarks on jobs and the economy, but I think Americans would agree he is about 12 months too late. For the past year, Americans have clearly asked this Administration to focus on these two issues, but their concerns have fallen on deaf ears. Not until a political shot heard round the world from Massachusetts did Americans finally get this president s attention.
The reality is that jobs will continue to vanish until the president abandons his liberal, big government ideas and realizes the best thing government can do to create jobs is to get out of the way. Otherwise, his renewed emphasis on job creation is just more empty rhetoric America can t afford."
Rep. John Sullivan, R-Okla.:
"Tonight s speech can be defined more by what President Obama didn t tell the American people, than by what he did. Right now it is clear that the American people are fed up with what is going on in Washington they are not buying the tax, borrow and spend big government solutions that the President, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are selling - and neither am I. Tonight, President Obama had the opportunity to go back to the drawing board, and show the American people that he heard their message loud and clear, however he failed to do that. Instead of changing course, and taking divisive issues such as his healthcare plan and his cap and tax plan off the table, he reiterated his support for the same partisan policies that has stoked their ire of families and small businesses across the country. When voters in Massachusetts elect the candidate who promises to kill the nationalized healthcare bill, what makes the Administration think voters anywhere else support it?
"Since taking office one year ago, the President has increased the public debt by $1.5 trillion dollars, and his current budget proposal would triple our debt to over $17 trillion by 2019 spending levels under this Administration have put our economy in a hole, and the American people are demanding that they stop digging. In spite of the Democrat led spending spree, which they promised would create jobs, our national unemployment rate stands at a staggering 10%. Where are those jobs?"
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.