President Barack Obama delivered Tuesday night his final State of the Union Address. Obama’s speech covered job creation, touted Obamacare, and covered reducing the country’s deficit and cutting carbon emissions.
As expected, Missouri’s Congressional delegation have mixed reviews of the President’s speech.
Southeast Republican Missouri Congressman Jason Smith released the following statement:
“The president continues to lead from behind on our nation’s national security. Last night was his opportunity to show he understands the challenges and threats facing our country. It was his chance, his moment, to use his most public forum to reassure Americans that our government will meet a hostile and changing world with the same security and leadership we have known for generations. It was the president’s opening, during a prime time delivery, to provide strong reassurance to Americans that we will defeat ISIS, prevent a nuclear Iran, and won’t back down to aggressors such as North Korea, China and Russia,” said Smith.
“Instead we heard none of that. There was no plan for addressing the very serious and real threats facing this country. There was no talk of how dangerous the threat is from ISIS and how we will actually defeat them; no mention of how to root out an ever strengthening Taliban. The president celebrated his catastrophic nuclear agreement with Iran, yet made no acknowledgement of their continued antagonistic military actions, including the current detainment of 10 U.S. navy sailors. The president focused on a rehash of some of the greatest failed policies of the last 7 years of his Administration. He tried to take a victory lap of self-congratulation for low gas prices; but then criticized the very source of energy which keep the lights on in Missouri; he talked about the burden of federal red tape on business, but then discussed an aggressive regulatory agenda over the next year. It’s hard to take serious a presidential speech which fails to address the issues at the forefront for millions of American families, national security and safety of their loved ones,” said Smith.
West-central Missouri Republican Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer also voiced his displeasure in the President’s address:
“It’s a disappointment, but not a surprise, that President Obama chose to use his last State of the Union address to advocate for more government control and regulation. Thankfully, the American people have just one more year left to endure the Obama Administration and its agenda. In stark contrast from the president, House Republicans will continue to pass legislation that will respect the Constitution, provide economic opportunities for all Americans, create jobs, reduce unemployment, stop the out-of-control bureaucracy, and keep Americans safe – both at home and abroad,” said Luetkemeyer.
U.S. Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill took a different perspective:
“The President reminded Americans we have a lot to be proud of, putting Americans back to work and building a stronger economy that’s the envy of our allies. But he also reminded us that it’s not enough,” said McCaskill. “We’ve got work to do to raise family incomes, tackle the costs of college debt and prescription drugs, combat drug addiction, and make government more accountable to its people. So let’s surprise Americans who are rightfully skeptical of this Congress—let’s skip the typical canned reactions and empty criticisms of this President, and let’s instead roll up our sleeves, re-discover compromise, and work together to achieve concrete results for those who sent us here.”
Northern Missouri Republican Congressman Sam Graves released the following statement:
“I hope the President will make good on his pledge to work with Congress to expand our economy, secure our education system, and confront the threat from radical Islamic terrorists,” Rep. Graves said.
“There are places where we could have found common ground with this President over the past seven years, but instead he has chosen to bypass Congress in order to get his way and has damaged the very trust he talked about being so critical. That is why, I am introducing legislation to block funding for President Obama’s executive orders on gun control announced last week and for the remainder of his time in office.”
West central Missouri Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler released the following video statement in response to President Obama’s final State of the Union address:
“The President’s comments looked through a distorted lens, because we do still have too many Americans out of work. In fact, we have less people working today than back in the 1970s. We have too many people from the 4th District who have lost their healthcare due to his failed healthcare policy,” said Hartzler. “Americans don’t feel safer in the world right now due to his failed foreign policy. So that means we have a lot of room to grow and we have a lot of opportunities ahead of us.”
East-central Missouri Democratic Congressman Lacy Clay supports the President’s message:
“President Obama has reminded the American people of the remarkable progress that we have accomplished under his leadership, and how far we still have to go to ensure a future where every American family enjoys security, prosperity, peace and equal justice for all, instead of just for some,” said Clay.
“I share President Obama’s bold, optimistic vision of an America where working families are once again able to reach their dreams, where 100% healthcare coverage becomes a reality, where voting rights are restored and protected, where clean air and safe water are preserved for future generations, and where our nation finally overcomes intolerance and ignorance to become one American family.
Our nation is stronger and safer because of President Obama’s courageous leadership. I look forward to helping him make his final year in office productive, historic and powerful.”
President Obama wrapped up his final State of the Union address with a forceful statement of confidence in the future of the United States.
“I believe in change because I believe in you,” Obama said. “That’s why I stand here as confident as I have ever been that the State of our Union is strong.”