- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 29, 2014

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech from members of Mississippi’s congressional delegation:


Sen. Thad Cochran, Republican: “The American people deserve opportunities to have quality jobs that empower families to provide for their children and get ahead. The Obama administration’s determination to increase the role of government in our lives has done the opposite. People in Mississippi and across the nation are doing their best to withstand the effects of policies that have driven workforce participation to its lowest level in almost 40 years. Government mandates and regulations are clearly not the answer. Instead of trying to ignore the Congress, President Obama should work with us to help families and businesses get ahead by easing the government’s burden on them.”


Sen. Roger Wicker, Republican: “President Obama used the prime-time moment to set forth a big-government agenda - not bipartisan solutions. After five years of the Obama administration, Americans are tired of waiting for recovery. The economy is still weak, dragged down by anemic growth and high unemployment. A fundamentally flawed health care law has forced families across the country to deal with canceled insurance policies, higher premiums, and fewer choices. At a time for leadership and cooperation, the president continues to threaten unilateral executive action instead of offering to work with Republicans and Democrats. The President continues to advocate the politics of jealousy rather than promoting a message that would inspire economic growth.

“Republicans have a number of ideas to re-ignite the economy and put Americans back to work. Empowering the private sector to create jobs, achieving a real market-based health care reform, and tapping into America’s rich energy potential are a few ways to start. The best welfare program is a jobs program. The best unemployment program is one that stimulates job growth. Both political parties have an interest in creating jobs and more opportunities for the American people. The president should meet Republicans in the middle to achieve these goals.”


1st District Rep. Alan Nunnelee, Republican: “There seems to be a disconnect between the president’s words and his actions. The president has provided numerous delays, waivers, and executive orders to friends of Obamacare, yet he is leaving a law on the books that has done nothing but stifle economic growth and increase costs for individuals. I know, and the people of the 1st District of Mississippi know, that the power and drive of America is in the individual, not in Washington. The federal government should create an environment that allows for economic growth and job creation, it cannot dictate it. However, once again, the president fails to realize that a successful ‘year of action’ is not a liberal agenda that leads to more government.

“If his disastrous plan was not bad enough, he actually highlighted his path to disregard the Constitution and circumvent congressional action to force his agenda through executive orders. The president may not take his oath to the Constitution seriously, but I do.”


2nd District Rep. Bennie Thompson, Democrat: “President Obama spoke to the American people presenting solutions to grow the economy, strengthen the middle class, and to empower all those hoping to join the middle class. His proposals reflect a core vision shared by House Democrats: that a strong, thriving middle class is essential to a strong, prosperous America. I look forward to and support legislative action that will echo the president’s decision to increase the minimum wage and make similar increases available to all Mississippians and Americans. It is time to create jobs through manufacturing, make investments into our education system and promote affordable, accessible health care. It is time to answer the president’s call for real progress. I urge my colleges to stand together and act now to create jobs, and help more Mississippians and Americans find work and the economic security they deserve.”


3rd District Rep. Gregg Harper, Republican: “The president’s attempt to intimidate Congress by abusing executive power demonstrates a serious unwillingness to work with the coequal legislative branch of government. If the president is serious about helping people, he will swap his recycled campaign-style speeches for action on issues that create equal opportunity for success and self-reliance. Hard work has always been America’s formula for individual success.”


4th District Rep. Steven Palazzo, Republican: “We face many challenges as a nation. And in the House, we’ve acted multiple times to address those challenges and get the American people back to work in good-paying jobs. The president can actually use his phone and his pen to work with us on serious solutions: He can choose to pick up his phone and tell Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to take up the dozens of jobs bills we’ve passed. Bills that would move things like the Keystone pipeline forward and create thousands of jobs. Bills that would relieve individuals and small businesses from crushing Obamacare regulations, taxes, and mandates. The president can also stop issuing veto threats, and use his pen as it was constitutionally intended: to sign legislation - passed by the peoples’ elected representatives - into law. These are matters of credibility for the president. This Administration’s failed policies and numerous scandals have hurt the very people he now says he wants to help. I think Americans need to see their president take responsibility for these actions, reverse damaging policies, and bring new resolve and respect to the lawmaking process.”

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