Area legislative reaction to State of the Union speech

Staff report

Sherrod Brown

Democratic U.S. Senator from Ohio

“President Obama outlined a clear vision for expanding American opportunity, and I’m ready to get to work building a future where anyone who’s willing to work hard and play by the rules can succeed. We’ve come a long way in the last eight years – the auto industry is soaring back and our economy is growing. But we have more work ahead of us to make sure working families across Ohio, and across the country, are benefitting from that success. This year I will continue pushing forward to expand tax cuts that allow working people to keep more of their hard-earned money, fighting against trade deals that threaten American jobs, and finding ways we can work together to deliver results for Ohio.”

Rob Portman

Republican U.S. Senator from Ohio

“The President has a choice: he can give a political speech or he can focus on working with Congress to achieve results in his final year. I hope he chooses accomplishments- Washington is already too polarized and it’s hurting the families I represent.

“Ohioans are deeply concerned about the future- what’s happening with jobs and wages and how to better address the terrorist threat. These are areas that we can and should work on together.

“On terrorism, it’s time for the President to address the growing threats around the world. It’s critically important that we protect the homeland and this will require both American leadership and a comprehensive strategy to defeat ISIS and other enemies and keep Americans safe.

“We also need to work to protect and create jobs here at home. Too many American companies have left our shores and we need to take steps to address our broken tax code so that we can keep these jobs and their tax dollars here in the U.S.

“Lastly, we also need to work together to lift up those who have fallen on hard times. This includes addressing the heroin and opioid epidemic that is affecting too many communities all across the country, including in Ohio. I will continue to push my legislation, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, which takes a bottom-up approach to this epidemic.

“I remain committed to working with anyone, Republican or Democrat, toward commonsense solutions that address these issues.”

Jim Jordan

Republican U.S. Representative from Ohio

“For the past seven years, the Obama administration has systematically eroded the Constitutional freedoms of the American people while failing to secure our borders and protect our country from the growing threat of terrorism. I was hoping to hear the president chart a different course for his final year in office, but unfortunately I think we can expect to see more of the same executive overreach that led to his administration targeting our First Amendment rights through the IRS‎, our religious liberty through Obamacare, and our Second Amendment freedoms through unconstitutional executive actions.

“It’s time for Congress to act. Republicans must advance bold conservative ideas to help the ordinary Americans who will be left to foot the bill for this administration’s tax and spend policies. We need to show the countless Americans who believe Washington has forgotten them that we are listening. We need to pass bills to simplify the tax code, reform our welfare system, and replace the failed Obamacare program with patient-centered healthcare. These policies will restore hope, and show that Republicans are ready to lead.”

Pat Tiberi

Republican U.S. Representative from Ohio

“As President Obama addressed the nation, Americans and central Ohioans watched and listened for solutions that would provide relief to the growing uncertainty they feel every day. Families are facing sky-high healthcare costs, veterans are still waiting to receive care, businesses are struggling to comply with additional Washington regulations, and Americans and our allies are worried about the looming terror threats abroad. There should be a sense of urgency and a real willingness to work with Republicans to address these problems that threaten our prosperity and national security. But tonight, President Obama again came up short.

“His first question was ‘how do we give everyone a fair shot at opportunity and security in this new economy?’

“Well, under the president’s economy, wages are stagnant, labor force participation is at a near recovery low, and Obamacare is reducing full-time employment at a rate of 2 million workers over the next decade. We cannot continue on this path.

“After this State of the Union, he may have one foot out the door but my focus remains the same— to advance a pro-growth agenda, driven by the free market and a fairer tax code, to give families, workers, and job creators the certainty they need and deserve. Only then will the state of our union be strong.”

Staff report