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Statements from local politicians on State of the Union
Content was originally published by KUSA 9news on January 12th, 2016.
KUSA - Statements sent to 9NEWS by local politicians about President Barack Obama's final State of the Union address:
REP. JARED POLIS (D-COLORADO)
"Tonight the President urged Congress to make 2016 a year of action, and I echo that call in the strongest terms possible.
"Under seven years of President Obama’s leadership, our nation has made extraordinary progress in several areas – a historic international climate accord, a DREAMer program that has helped over half a million Americans build lives in this country, a modern education law to replace the outdated No Child Left Behind, historic civil rights gains for LGBT Americans, and 70 consecutive months of job growth.
"But our work is far, far from complete. Because of congressional inaction, our economy is still suffering under a broken immigration system that has needlessly torn apart thousands of families and forced millions of aspiring Americans to live in the shadows. Students in every state are forced to make an impossible choice between forgoing a college education and taking on a lifetime of debt. Startups and small businesses in my district and across the country are hampered by a byzantine tax code that stifles innovation and unfairly burdens middle-class families.
"President Obama outlined a strong vision for how our nation can build upon the progress of the last seven years and continue growing an economy that promotes innovation, works for working families, and gives every American access to a high-quality education. But he also made it clear that we can’t achieve these goals without looking past our political differences and instead focusing on the values that unite us as a country. Only by working across the aisle to find common ground can we ever expect to reach our most ambitious goals and tackle our most difficult challenges."
REP. ED PERLMUTTER (D-COLORADO)
“Seven years ago, President Obama took office and was confronted with the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Our economy was falling off a cliff, businesses were rapidly shedding jobs, and the U.S. auto industry nearly flat lined. With a calm and steady hand President Obama led us back from the brink. Today, the national unemployment rate has fallen to 5 percent, the stock market has risen to over 16,000, the manufacturing sector has added 878,000 jobs, and more than 14.1 million new private sector jobs have been created. Housing prices have continued to rise over the past four years and have helped bring more than 7.2 million households back above water."
“I’m proud of the progress we’ve made under President Obama and particularly in Colorado. Our future is bright but I recognize there are still too many Coloradans struggling to pay for child care, finance college tuition, or save for retirement. My focus will continue to be on the hardworking families in the 7thCongressional District and across Colorado. This means continuing to invest in major Colorado priorities such as infrastructure, transportation, and education and creating jobs of the future in the renewable energy, high-tech manufacturing and aerospace sectors. I have supported President Obama’s efforts on behalf of working middle class families over these past seven years but there is more work to be done to increase stagnant wages and salaries, make home buying and college more affordable, and provide workers paid sick and family leave.
“Colorado is thriving because of its strong, diverse and innovative economy with new jobs in technology, aerospace, tourism and healthcare. As one of the top places for business and a top destination for millennials, Colorado’s economy is projected to continue growing throughout 2016 and beyond.
“As a country and as a state, we have come a long way over the past seven years and we must continue to build on this positive momentum. As President Obama outlined in his speech, the choices we make today will impact future generations. Through innovation, education, collaboration and bipartisanship, I am prepared to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to create new jobs for the future, transform how we power our nation, and protect our homeland as we continue to work toward a better, brighter tomorrow.”REP. SCOTT TIPTON (R-COLORADO)
“President Obama gave a damage control speech tonight. Americans are fed up with seven years of the President’s go it alone overreach that disregards the Constitution and excludes any ideas that aren’t his own.
“Ask the American people if they are better off than they were seven years ago when the President took office. Is the economy stronger, has access to affordable and high quality healthcare improved, and are we safer from domestic and foreign security threats? The answer to these questions is a resounding no. This is the unfortunate result of a divisive Presidency and failure of leadership. It’s time to move the country forward with fresh ideas that restore the opportunity of the American Dream.
“The people’s elected representatives in the House and Senate are working to empower Main Street, not Washington. To do that, in the coming months we will return to regular order, something the President has stood in the way of for too long.. For the first time in years the House will pass all 12 appropriations bills, presenting a critical opportunity to reform spending and to repeal and defund this Administration’s overreaching rules and regulations. We will be passing legislation to put Americans back in control of their futures, restore the opportunity to earn a good paycheck, access affordable healthcare that works for them, and know that their country is safe.
“We have many challenges ahead, but we have just as many opportunities. We are working to right the course and undo seven years of misguided and failed policies that have set our country back. This is the land of opportunity, it’s time to make that true once more.”
DIANA DEGETTE (D-COLORADO)
“I found myself reflecting tonight on how far the country has come since President Obama took office amid troubling times. The national unemployment rate is half what is was seven years ago, more than 17 million Americans who previously lacked health coverage now have it, and people who saw their retirement savings gutted by the Great Recession have seen those savings restored after 70 consecutive months of job and economic growth. We clearly have much more to do to make America more prosperous, just, and equal, but those achievements will come because the progress of the last seven years made them possible."
KEN BUCK (R-COLORADO)
“I share the President’s concerns about creating jobs, keeping Americans secure, and reducing gun violence,” Congressman Buck stated. “But I differ with the President on how we solve these problems. We need to reduce regulations, defend Constitutional rights, and limit government overreach if we want a prosperous, secure, and free country going forward.”
DENVER MAYOR MICHAEL HANCOCK
"For the past seven years, President Obama has put the American people first by setting in motion an agenda that will benefit the country for generations to come. The United States under his leadership has been a nation of accomplishment, reviving an economy and once again setting ourselves on a course that benefits the middle class and leads the world in every possible way. For seven years, this President has taken on the challenges we’ve faced because it was necessary to preserve our safety, prosperity and way of life today and well into the future. I couldn’t be more proud of his commitment and dedication to 'We the People,' and to our great country."