Utah Congressmen comment on State of the Union address

President Barack Obama, State of the Union address, Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 2015 | Photo capture YouTube, St. George News

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Utah’s congressmen released statements in response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address. Below are those issued by Congressmen Chris Stewart, Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee.

Rep. Chris Stewart

The President missed an opportunity tonight. Rather than come to Congress with realistic proposals about how to restore American leadership in the world and increase domestic economic growth, Mr. Obama delivered another speech filled with proposals that ask for higher taxes and a bigger government. Seven times he has come to report on the State of the Union and seven times he has asked for higher taxes.

The President’s speech severely undervalued the importance of our national security, and it’s unfortunate that with the growth of terrorist extremist groups, he is more focused on creating expensive government programs which will only increase our country’s debt.

The American people elected the largest Republican majorities in generations in November. I hoped the President would listen to the American people and work with, not around the Republican controlled Congress to enact real tax reform and national priorities.

Stewart also released a video message which may be viewed here.

Sen. Orrin Hatch

Tonight, the President missed a real opportunity to put forward a bold economic vision that meets the demands of the American people and puts an aggressive jobs agenda center stage. Rather than outlining pro-growth policies that would provide more opportunity for hard-working families and job creators that have been left behind in the Obama economy, the President slipped back into the role of Campaigner-In-Chief.

From overreaching regulations to higher taxes that fuel more government spending to premature veto threats and a refusal to enforce laws he doesn’t agree with, President Obama’s unilateralism and refusal to set politics aside further demonstrates his unwillingness to work together and reach lasting solutions for the American people. Our country deserves something other and better than the President’s politics of division. It’s time for all of us—Republicans and Democrats alike—to come together and unite behind an agenda that will move America forward.

On Taxes:

A $320 billion tax hike to fuel more government spending is not going to promote a healthy economy or improve the standard of living for working Americans and their families. Calling for expanding the death tax and raising the rates on capital gains, like the president did tonight, makes clear this White House is more about redistribution and populist class warfare than about actual bipartisan tax reform. In fact, if anything, these misguided proposals would only further clutter up the tax code and make it more confusing for taxpayers. By putting poll-tested politics ahead of sound policy embraced by both parties, the President regrettably distanced himself from achieving tenable bipartisan results.

Republicans stand ready to act and implement smart policies that will allow hard-working taxpayers to keep more of the money that they earned, spur capital investment, and create a better environment for job growth. We can achieve these goals through a bipartisan remake of the code that creates a simpler, fairer, more efficient tax system that encourages savings and investment and puts American job creators at a competitive advantage. I hope the President comes to the table with a more serious proposal.

On Trade:

The President’s strong call for the renewal of job-creating Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) is welcome but long overdue. Swift action on TPA will jumpstart a robust trade agenda that will help America gain greater access to growing overseas markets and hold our trading partners accountable through the negotiation and enactment of strong trade agreements.

To have a healthy economy, the United States must engage with other nations through trade. Ninety-five percent of the world’s consumers live outside the United States. These potential customers account for 92 percent of global economic growth and 80 percent of the world’s purchasing power. American workers need fair access to those markets. Democrats in Congress can now either work with the President and Republicans to pass TPA and empower our country to compete or they can throw up more roadblocks and cast uncertainty on our country’s trade agenda.

On Healthcare: 

The President’s failure to acknowledge how Obamacare has restricted patient choice, wasted taxpayer dollars, and hampered job creation further illustrates how out of touch he is from working American families. Make no mistake, Obamacare is not healthy for taxpayers, patients, or the economy. I will continue to work with my colleagues on bipartisan solutions to strike away Obamacare’s provisions that both parties see as egregious and replace them with patient-centered reforms that will lower costs and increase high-quality care.

On Social Security:

Despite calls for urgent action to seriously confront Social Security’s financial challenges from Social Security’s trustees, which include members of the President’s own Administration, it is disappointing that the President still refuses to engage on the issue. With Social Security facing $25 trillion in unfunded liabilities, the failure of the President to even engage with Congress in dialogue is a true disappointment.

Building a Strong Middle Class:

If the President is serious about helping middle-class families, I’m eager to work across the aisle on legislation that will help build the foundation for broadly shared prosperity. That’s why I’ve championed regulatory reforms like the SCRUB Act, which targets outdated and ineffective regulations that are holding back job creation and weighing down family budgets. Based on principles embraced by President Obama, it’s a powerful, fair, and bipartisan means to reduce the unnecessary costs that the federal government imposes on Americans.

On Immigration:

The President’s refusal to enforce existing immigration laws runs contrary to longstanding constitutional norms, as he himself previously acknowledged. Unlike the President, I remain committed to the tough work of formulating long-term legislative solutions for our broken immigration system. I hope that the President will embrace my bipartisan, high-skilled immigration bill, which is exactly the sort of common-sense, measure we need to help rebuild trust and cooperation on this vitally important issue.

On National Security:

Despite the President’s rush to withdraw from our commitments and responsibilities abroad, we face a world full of dangers. The expanding threat of radical Islamic terror in Europe and the Middle East, Russia’s growing belligerence, and North Korea’s continued provocations shows that America’s enemies aren’t on the run after all. The President must level with the American people about these threats and articulate a meaningful strategy to keep America safe.

On Innovation and Technology:

President Obama has a long history of taking the tech community for granted by bowing to union bosses and trial lawyers on issues such as high-skilled immigration and patent troll legislation. Many of these issues represent areas in which a great number of Republicans and Democrats actually agree. If the President is serious about creating jobs, we should start by working together on such issues where there is bipartisan, bicameral agreement.

On Cybersecurity:

While the President’s long-awaited proposals on cyber-threat information sharing are a step in the right direction, we need a comprehensive strategy. Such a plan would include providing incentives to encourage the private sector to work with us in this effort. It must also strike the right balance between protecting our nation’s computing infrastructure and protecting individual privacy rights. We also need unity of effort in our approach, rather than our current patchwork system spread across several government agencies. In addition, we need to make sure our strategy is correct. I look forward to helping address the numerous issues involved in such a strategy through legislation in the Senate.

The President also spoke about the importance of protecting student data privacy. I look forward to him working with us on my bipartisan ‘Protecting Student Privacy Act,’ which will accomplish much of what he has called for tonight.

On Education:

The President’s proposal on higher education would give the Department of Education greater control over community colleges in participating states, while also rerouting funding away from helping low-income students attend a variety of higher-ed institutions, beyond community college. The President’s price tag for this proposal is $60 billion, begging the question of where he would get that money and who would ultimately be missing out. We must do better for those seeking better education.

On Energy:

Much of our recent economic progress is related to the recent drop in gas prices. The President should work with Congress to ensure abundance, affordability, and security in our energy future. He can start by allowing the Keystone XL Pipeline to move forward.

 Sen. Mike Lee

Hello.  I’m Senator Mike Lee.

In the State of the Union tonight, the president talked a lot about the challenges we face as a country, and I appreciate that he finally acknowledges that the middle class is being squeezed.

But unfortunately, he has chosen to double down on the failed policies that have prevented so many Utahns and hardworking Americans from getting ahead in the first place.

We know these are not serious proposals because the president is not serious about getting them through Congress.  For him, it’s all 2016 partisan politics now, and Republicans shouldn’t waste time debating the merits of the president’s political talking points.

Instead, Republicans must take advantage of the opportunity the American people have given us. We should be developing and proposing real solutions that address America’s growing Opportunity Deficit.

We have anti-poverty initiatives, tax reform that works for working families, innovative new models of higher education, and a number of other solutions that will create jobs and improve our economy.

So as the President tries to divide Americans and distract them from the failures of his administration, we shouldn’t take the bait.  Instead, Republicans are going to move forward on a positive agenda. I look forward to the opportunity the American people have given us to meet the challenge of our time.

Thank You.

Lee also released a video message which may be viewed here.

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20 Comments

  • NO INFO AVAILABLE January 21, 2015 at 2:38 am

    I think the guy that was shown sleeping was pretty much the only person that showed any common sense at all. LOL.

  • Big Guy January 21, 2015 at 7:49 am

    Congressmen?!? I’ll bet Utah’s Congresswoman responded to the President’s speech as well, although since she doesn’t represent southern Utah, I’ll give the “St. George News” a pass.

    • Bender January 21, 2015 at 11:07 am

      Lemme help you out BIG GUY. Mia Love’s Tea Party response:
      * Obama anti-Christ
      * Death panels something, something
      * Global warming hoax
      * Founding fathers Christian, infallible
      * We are Jesus nation
      * No taxes, don’t touch my Social Security and Medicare
      * Mess in Middle East Obama’s fault

  • Wally January 21, 2015 at 7:57 am

    I think what the president really wanted to say would have taken 3-5 minutes. He really wanted to tell everyone that he wants to be king of the united states, cancel the next election and not do these silly speeches anymore. He wants to continue to stomp on the rules of this position and do whatever he wants to do regardless of what the Senate, Congress and american people think. This guy will go down in history, or whats left of it, as the worst thing to ever happen to the good ol’ USA.
    Go ahead and say whatever you want to these comments. However, know that it is all true, and it will be just a matter of time before everyone else figures this out.

    • mesaman January 21, 2015 at 7:21 pm

      I missed the address and it was my fault. I thought it should be telecast on “Smoking Gun, stupidest criminals”. Same content only I enjoyed what I watched.

  • arts and letters January 21, 2015 at 8:13 am

    What could President Obama have possibly said that would garner anything positive from Utah legislators? If he’d said he’d do everything they wanted, they’d still have found something to batter him on. It’s politics, of course. But sometimes, it seems like way more than politics – more like personal attacks. He’s a good man who has brought the country out of the mess the Republicans left it in under George Bush. I realize that Republicans can’t afford to acknowledge that, but they can at least behave like adults and respect the man and the office. It’s their choice and they should be listening more closely to the younger generation of voters who have moved past old-line politics and have more generous attitudes. The next election will be an interesting one.

    • Shawn January 21, 2015 at 11:43 am

      Yes the should listen to the voting public. Remind me Who is running the House and Senate? What is Obama saying he will do to everything the House and Senate try and pass.

    • Big Guy January 21, 2015 at 1:47 pm

      1. If Sen. Hatch supported “…everything [you] wanted, [you and the other left-liberals on this site] would still have found something to batter him on.

      2. I’ve missed the “personal attacks” on the president from other elected officials. Objecting to his policies, no matter how strongly, is not a personal attack.

      3. The mess you to which you refer arose with subprime mortgage lending. In the mid 2000s, both parties touted the increasing numbers of homeowners as a good thing. The most telling one liner of that era: Barney Frank (D-MA), when told by a Bush administration official in 2007 of the great risks being incurred by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, responded: “I’m willing to throw the dice on that.” He along with both parties rolled snake eyes and the rest of us got stuck with the bill.

      4. The “younger generation” to whom you refer spoke very clearly last November: Obama got significantly less support from them than in previous elections, probably because they can’t find jobs.

      5. The next election will be interesting and likely see Republican majorities in Congress trimmed back and possibly erased in the Senate.

      • mesaman January 21, 2015 at 9:48 pm

        Thank you, Big Guy. This script was starting to read like the Saturday Spectrum’s vent page; the one where the whinos can vent their frustrations for having moved into an area that hasn’t moved to the left in fifty years or so. You might think they knew that before they migrated, or is it immigrated, here.

        • Bender January 22, 2015 at 11:43 am

          Yep, BIGGUY is the go to man for looney right wing apologetics.

          • Bunny2015 January 22, 2015 at 12:17 pm

            he seems to be in some sort of state of self denial. very strange…

          • Big Guy January 22, 2015 at 12:38 pm

            BENDER, on occasion you are better than trash talking, but not this time. Have anything to say about the specifics in my post? Or have you recognized they are true and you just want to take out your frustration?

  • sagemoon January 21, 2015 at 8:44 am

    Republicans vs. democrats. Ugh. You people realize there are other political parties out there, right? America does not have to be a two party system. Take a close look. You may be surprised to learn neither the republicans nor the democrats share your values.

    • tc rider January 21, 2015 at 9:23 am

      your right, but in the end all we can do is try and pick the lesser of the two evils, when you have a culture that brainwashes one side as pure demonic evil, you will not find much common sense, and you end up with places like colorado city, cliven bundys ranch and waco texas.

  • NO INFO AVAILABLE January 21, 2015 at 10:59 am

    I got that confused with looney tunes oh well neither one was important anyway

  • Bunny2015 January 21, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    i always just vote the way my church tells me to

  • UTCOWBOY January 21, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    I would prefer watching No Filter.!

  • Dave Francis January 22, 2015 at 11:43 am

    DO YOU REALLY WANT TO PAY EXTRA TAXES TO SUPPORT THE ILLEGAL ALIEN INVASION? AMERICA HAS A 18 TRILLION DOLLAR DEFICIT OF WHICH 7 TRILLION IS OBAMA’S BABY?
    Wherever there is cause–there is an effect and that is at least a hundred billion dollars annually, being drained off supporting illegal aliens already here. Then with no real restrictions on enforcement with Obama’s ‘Catch and Release’ unknown numbers are arriving each day through unsecured regions along the 2.000 odd miles along the Southern border. It’s no wonder Obama wants to tax the rich, with his feeble excuse to assist the middle class. We should ask the majority leader Harry Reid, why he didn’t clamp down on the huge fraudulent child tax credits, as illegal aliens are using their kids as a pawn to steal $7 billion dollars from the middle class taxpayer.
    THIS IS NOT JUST ABOUT FIXING OUR BORDER ANYMORE—IT’S ABOUT NATIONAL SECURITY?
    Then we have the ‘Anchor Babies’ which is another significant amount of taxpayers money, that is taken from taxpayers as illegal aliens certainly know the laws better then most Americans. This based on the misinterpreted citizenship law, manipulated away from the real law for slaves in the emancipation doctrine. They must have a guide to Federal and taxpayers money, most probably so does the ‘freeloaders’ who also live as parasites of the taxpayer host. They also must have a guidebook to the state and federal money, which under Obama can collect thousands of dollars.

    Each child under the law collects at least a $1.000 dollars per child and in California it’s even more. The fact that $1.000 dollars per child is conveyed in foreign families and the lawmakers in Congress don’t seem to care, as long as they get deep pockets from their campaign donors and special Interests. Another manipulated law is ‘Chain Migration’ that has got out of control, because although people are financial sponsored by immigrants family members, then soon enough the money dries up in most cases and the sponsored fall upon the state an government to survive.

    California is weighed down with millions of illegal aliens and it’s a strain on taxpayers. The wacko governor “Moonbeam’ Jerry Brown has granted drivers licenses to these people, plus if you read the Department of Social Services from Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich. Reporting the taxpayers is paying out over $1.1 Billion dollars a year in pandering to foreign nationals. That is why the real record of the states expenditures is carefully hidden by the morons in Sacramento?

    The unerring fact is Congress is not willing to seal the border, as that where conies get their cheap labor or otherwise future votes. Although for Democrats illegal or legal voting doesn’t seem to matter. Some Democrats and the entrenched liberal progressives actually applaud illegal aliens voting in Citizens ONLY elections.

    We used to be a nation of law, but King Obama has crippled our sovereignty, our rule of law and his communist tendencies has thrown our constitution into chaos. Obama must have his own band of laws, because he has distorted them all. Forcing Americans into Obamacare, which is monetary spiraling upwards?

    Look, politics is dirty. Obama and his Democrat and even the GOP heavyweight party are going to lie, cheat and steal. Are you going to let that happen? Think about it—how many are at least millionaires?

    The liberal left is claiming the Tea Party is dead even as our newly elected Congressmen are being sworn in. Now, you can’t have it both ways can you? These are Constitutionalists who have sworn to uphold edicts of our founding fathers. We’ve known all along that the TEA PARTY is getting stronger. Do you know why? Because of good Americans like you, who gained the upper hand in the last election?

    Truth is, there’s only so long the opposition can lie before the truth comes out. It looks like some are starting to face that hard reality. We must dismantle this “machine” (bloated overreaching government and ever growing agencies that should be under state control) they have put in place and restore America’s liberty once and for all. You want the same don’t you? This is our shot and we have to take it.

    Without an Obama run country we can finally end scandals like Benghazi, the fast and furious, IRS targeting, NSA spying and amnesty for illegal aliens. We can restore true order and balance of power—and serve up real justice.

    We can not sit around anymore. We must fight back. Ted Cruz said today: American Dream is slipping away. He also stated in his speech, that we should abolish the IRS and its 100 thousand staff and introduce a Consumer of flat tax, thereby everybody pays. NO EXCEPTION! NO ESCAPE! EVEN THE DEADBEATS WHO ARE THE PARASITES IN OUR SOCIETY PAY FOR WHAT THEY CONSUME. NO SPECIAL PRIVILEGES FOR THE WEALTHY OR POLITICIANS ANYMORE? WE ALL PAY!

    Don’t be fooled by the respite Washington, thinking you can sit back patiently and do—nothing? We urge you to call your Representative and Senators (the Capitol Switchboard is 1-866-220-0044) and ask them to keep up the pressure on their state and federal lawmakers. Every time an illegal alien slips past our unsecured border, we, the taxpayer must support them. Learn more at NumbersUSA or Alipac on this toxic subject. If neither party will seal the border, than agriculture, big business and all the special interests should be forced to pay—not Taxpayers?

    • Koolaid January 22, 2015 at 1:01 pm

      Your sources for your claims in your somewhat long post? Have you been drinking at the tea party koolaid well?

    • Bender January 22, 2015 at 2:03 pm

      WALL OF TEXT. TL;DR (too long, dint read). Probable rant.

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