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Northeast Ohio lawmakers react to State of the Union speech
Renacci, Gibbs say more work needs to be done; Fudge applauds new proposals

Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
Northeast Ohio lawmakers are reacting along party lines to President Obama’s State of the Union Address. 

Republican Congressman Jim Renacci of Wadsworth:
“The strong economy the President described tonight drew a stark contrast with the harsh economic realities that hardworking individuals and families in Ohio’s 16th district continue to face. The President’s health care law is raising costs, cancelling plans, and turning full-time work into part-time work for too many. Higher taxes and increased federal regulations are stifling our small businesses and preventing them from growing. Our labor force continues to shrink and the participation rate is the lowest it’s been since 1978. 

“I was encouraged to hear the President mention the need for tax reform and an all-of-the-above energy policy; however, his proposals lacked substance. I was disappointed that the President failed to address our growing $17 trillion debt, which is threatening the very future of this country, and did not acknowledge our seniors or the Social Security and Medicare programs that they rely on. Lastly, I was troubled by the President’s stated intention to circumvent Congress, which represents a disregard for the legislative process outlined in our Constitution."

“I look forward to working with the President and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to restore economic stability so that we may pass on a better America with more opportunities to future generations.”

Republican Congressman Bob Gibbs of Holmes County:
“From the Keystone Pipeline to the SKILLS Act, the House has worked to pass bills and initiatives that would create jobs and provide Americans with the resources they need to get back into the workforce. The number one priority of the American people is jobs but in December alone, for every one person who found a job, more than four stopped looking for work. The latest jobs report confirmed that our economy continues to struggle."

“The current policies that the President has in place continue to stifle job creation and continue to create uncertainty in the market place. The median household income has fallen by $3,795 under President Obama, falling from $55,958 in January 2009 to $52,163 in November 2013. You deserve better."

“House Republicans have presented the Democrat-led Senate with numerous policies to encourage the development of a responsible budget and reduce the outrageous spending culture in Washington. Our national debt has surpassed $17 trillion and the President did not offer a plan as to how he will alter his spending habits this evening. It is time for our colleagues on the other side of the aisle to step up to the plate and offer up solutions to strengthen our economy."

“With this ‘Year of Action’ we can get Washington out of your doctor’s office, out of the job market and away from the gas pump- to make life better for hardworking Americans. The tired slogans and empty promises will not bring more jobs and certainty to our nation’s economy. The House has acted on behalf of the American people and will continue to work in your best interest.” 

Democratic Congresswoman Marcia Fudge of Cleveland:
“The policy proposals presented tonight to enhance retirement security, implement job training programs, make college more affordable and create high-tech manufacturing jobs are promising,” said Congresswoman Fudge.  “I stand with President Obama to help advance his agenda to grow the economy, strengthen the middle class and empower all those who believe hard work should pay.”

“I look forward to better days for those left behind in our nation’s uneven economic recovery.  I encourage the President to use his power where he can, but hope tonight inspires my colleagues in Congress to work together for the sake of all Americans.  We must come together in collaborative, bipartisan efforts to better govern this nation.

“Congress should meet the most pressing needs of the American people by addressing income inequality and passing a jobs bill.  I am pleased that the President will raise the minimum wage for federal contractors — and hope that Congress will raise the minimum wage for all people, restore the emergency unemployment insurance program and pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the near future.”


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