President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union Address and response from U.S. Sens. John Boozman and Tom Cotton and U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman, all Republicans.
U.S. Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark):
“This is yet another missed opportunity. President Obama has a chance to work with Congress in areas where we can find common ground. We are ready, willing and able to do so and I believe there are ample opportunities for us to get things done for the American people. However, the tone the President struck seems to indicate that he is focused on what he wants, not what the American people want.
“Tax reform is a perfect example of an issue that the American people are calling on Washington to address, where we can indeed find common ground, and instead the President proposes more of the same rate hikes that failed time and time again. We are pushing for true reform that makes the tax code fair, simple and reduces the burden for working Americans while creating an environment where the economy can flourish. We can make that happen with constructive cooperation, but we need everybody to come to the table.
“Americans voted for change last November, but the President’s speech unfortunately was more of the same, raising taxes to create more government programs as opposed to making the programs we already have work efficiently and effectively. Arkansans have been forced to cut their spending significantly last few years because of the President’s economic policies. They want Washington to do the same thing.
“Earlier in the day, Boozman spoke on the Senate floor about how President Obama could use this opportunity to change the culture of Washington and work with Congress to make Washington work for the American people, not foster more gridlock.
U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark)
“Tonight it’s evident that President Obama learned little from November’s elections. The policies and ideas he put forth are from the same tax and spend playbook he’s been using for the last six years. Unfortunately, his strategy has made the lives of hard-working Americans more difficult with fewer jobs and lower wages.
“It’s difficult to understand how President Obama doesn’t see that Arkansans don’t want—and can’t afford—more of the same failed policies. They want an efficient, accountable government that can do more with less. And they want a government that prioritizes our safety and will stand up to the grave threats we face around the world. In light of the last several months, it is particularly disappointing the national security ‘strategy’ President Obama laid out tonight contained little more than strong rhetoric and appeasement.
“But my colleagues and I understand what the President doesn’t. Rest assured, we are ready to change course.”
U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark)
“While President Obama gave a good speech with nice words about the middle class, this is yet another reminder that his words and his actions do not match up. It is hard for me to take the president’s talk of strengthening the middle class seriously when he proposes tax increases on college savings accounts that benefit the middle class. Increasing taxes, coupled with promises to veto legislation promoting energy price stability and restoring the 40-Hour work week shows me that he is simply continuing to talk out of both sides of his mouth.
“The voters spoke in a loud, clear voice in November when they voted to increase the Republican majority in the House and gave the Senate its first Republican majority since the president took office. We heard our constituents. Unfortunately, the president appears to have turned a deaf ear and remains focused on campaigning for his legacy—not governing the country.”