Oregon officials' reaction split along party lines
Wyden, Kitzhaber back president, Walden critical
The reaction from Oregon lawmakers and the governor to President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night broke down along predictable party lines. Here are their statements, in full:
Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore.:
“In over forty town hall meetings in just over a year, I’ve heard from hardworking taxpayers throughout Oregon that they want good jobs that pay the bills, that they are concerned about health insurance premiums going up, not down, and they are worried about the government borrowing and spending so much.
“I’m disappointed that the President didn’t do more tonight to extend an olive branch to work with Congress to solve the country’s problems. Instead, he doubled down on his agenda from the past four years: more spending, more debt, higher taxes, and a bigger federal government more involved in our lives than ever before. This approach has not produced a strong economy or the kind of family-wage jobs that Americans need and deserve. The federal government must stop throwing up barriers to job creation and learn to live within a budget.”
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.:
“President Obama laid out an economic vision that includes rebuilding our infrastructure, strengthening American manufacturing and overhauling the tax code. If Congress is serious about creating jobs, there is no better place to start than tax reform. Bipartisan tax reforms like the ones I have been working on would create a simpler, more business-friendly tax code that would increase tax revenue without raising tax rates. In fact, we would lower corporate tax rates to make American businesses more competitive – helping businesses to create jobs that pay middle class wages.
I am also pleased that the President supports the principles behind the Student Right to Know Before You Go initiative I've drafted with Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla. We need to work together to ensure that parents and students get the most bang for their educational buck. We will soon be reintroducing the legislation to make sure this happens.
President Obama also got it right tonight by highlighting the importance of national infrastructure as a way to create jobs and rebuild our crumbling bridges and highways. You can't have big league economic growth with a little league transportation system. I have always believed that private investment follows public investment. That is why I've teamed up with Senator John Hoeven, R-N.D., to champion the Transportation Regional Infrastructure Project bonds. These bonds, like their predecessors, Build America Bonds, will save local government millions of dollars in financing public works projects. It is time for Congress to build on that success.
Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber:
"The President delivered a compelling vision for America and a comprehensive plan to grow the middle class. I am proud to be a part of it, and Oregon stands ready to do our part. Our partnership with the administration on health care and education innovations offers a model for federal flexibility and local accountability that can help lead the way to a more prosperous future."
It is past time for Congress to take action to address the issue of climate change and the associated health and environmental impacts. Only Congress has sufficient tools to address the global nature of the problem and pursue a solution that will reduce domestic emissions while also keeping us competitive in the world market. I will continue to work to pass laws to address climate change by increasing clean energy use and reducing America’s carbon footprint.”
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