Indiana congressmen respond to Obama's State of the Union
Indiana's representatives in the U.S. Congress responded Tuesday night to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address.
Rep. André Carson (D)
"The President's State of the Union Address aptly reflected the priorities of a nation ready to take on the many challenges before us and the apprehensions of an American people who are weary of the political strife in Washington. In the coming months, we must avert yet another economic crisis by replacing sequestration with measures that create jobs, grow the economy, and reduce the deficit. Additionally, we will be charged with the responsibility of ending the war in Afghanistan, enacting comprehensive immigration reform and doing our part to reduce gun violence throughout this nation.
"These are immense challenges that present dire consequences if we fail to act. The politics will not be easy, but Republicans and Democrats must come together to ensure our nation continues to pursue the prosperity and progress that have defined us for generations."
Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R)
"Over the past four years, President Obama has championed more government and less freedom. We've seen the result. Washington's cycle of payouts, deficit spending, and tax hikes have put our country $16 trillion in debt and our men and women in uniform face devastating cuts to our national defense in just a few weeks.
"Instead of proposing solutions to tackle our nation's problems, the president continues his drive to increase dependency on the federal government. His agenda, from raising taxes to universal health care to restricting the right to keep and bear arms expands Washington at the expense of Hoosiers.
"Unfortunately, there was no indication tonight that the President is willing to change course.
"Americans can ill afford the same failed policies of borrowing, spending and bailouts of the past six years. Our nation's strength isn't found in Washington. It's found in the common sense, values, and freedoms that Americans live out each day. Washington could learn by watching how we balance budgets in Indiana. House Republicans are ready to work toward real solutions that empower families, unleash the creativity of entrepreneurs, and save the American dream for generations to come."
Rep. Todd Rokita (R)
"Once again the president has offered us empty promises and divisive rhetoric. I wish it were different, I wish I had a leader to work with.
"Our country was founded on the idea that we will have the freedom to live as we choose and the opportunity to succeed through our hard work, innovation, and helping each other.
"The president's speech fails our founding ideals in two fundamental ways. First, he continues to offer false solutions to the terrible plague of gun violence in our country. Taking away law-abiding Americans' 2nd Amendment rights will make no one safer. It will only make the situation worse, as his ideas have done in other countries.
"But the most disturbing issue is the president's continued refusal to seriously address the crushing debt facing our nation. Under his watch, our debt has grown by $6 trillion, while our economy has cratered with long-term unemployment at Depression-era levels, while food and gas prices have all doubled.
"There is a better way. Through smart, limited, constitutional government, we can reclaim our birthright as Americans to live in an exceptional nation.
"In the coming weeks, I will be working to show that better way. First, I will work to pass a real balanced budget, one that will actually pay for our national priorities, and allow Americas the opportunity to succeed.
"Then we must move forward on the issues we must face; including an economy that is being choked by crushing debt and federal regulations run amok, and an education system that needs reform."
Sen. Dan Coats (R)
"While I am pleased President Obama finally has turned his focus back to the ongoing jobs crisis, I am disappointed that he continues to call for higher taxes to pay for more spending. We have heard many of these words before, the real test will be to see if the president finally will lead and act on pro-growth policies.
"This is certainly not the 'balanced' approach the president has been promising the American people. If the president was as committed to reducing the debt and growing the economy as he is to spending and taxing, our country would be in a much stronger position today. President Obama and Congress must do more to reduce the nearly $16.5 trillion debt, $6 trillion of which was added under this administration alone.
"President Obama also mentioned he is willing to restructure programs like Medicare. He has made this commitment before, but we have yet to see action. I hope this time will be different, and the president will offer a specific plan. Hard-working Hoosiers and millions of Americans have spent a lifetime paying into our health and retirement security programs. If we don't take steps to restructure and save these programs, we will lose the ability to provide benefits for current and future recipients.
"The president must lead on these critical issues and work with Congress to enact real spending reforms. The best investment we can make in America's future is to restore our fiscal health by removing the burden of excessive debt and taxation hindering opportunity and economic growth."
Rep. Susan Brooks (R)
"While I echo President Obama's call for increased bipartisanship, it is my sincere hope that moving forward his actions will finally match his rhetoric. We do need to work together to create jobs, cut spending and lower our crippling national debt.
"But doing so will require real leadership from the President and Senate Democrats. That starts with a budget plan reflecting a firm commitment to balancing our nation's overstressed checkbook.
"Time and again, Republicans in the House have proposed bold and thoughtful solutions for dealing with the biggest challenges we face. It is my sincere hope the President and his colleagues in the Senate Majority are finally willing to step up to the challenge as well."