NC delegation reacts to State of Union address
U.S. Senator Richard Burr, Republican
“President Obama’s State of the Union address tonight sounded a lot like rhetoric we have heard from him in years past, but as we have learned, actions speak louder than words. It is time for the President to stop lecturing Congress and face the facts – his policies have failed, and they are making our economy worse. Our national debt is at an all time high, unemployment is rampant, and federal spending threatens to bankrupt our entitlement programs and will bury the next generation of Americans in debt.
“Many of the challenges the President addressed tonight are the direct result of expanding the size and scope of the federal government and increasing the debt limit in hopes of putting our economy back on the right track. However, as families in North Carolina and across the nation know, throwing money at our problems is not the way to address our economic issues.
“Words alone will not turn our economy around and put America back on the right track. I hope the President will work with Congress to reform our entitlement programs so they are viable for future generations of Americans and fix our tax code so that we can promote job creation, encourage economic growth, and provide a prosperous, fiscally sound future for American families.”
U.S. Senator Kay Hagan, Democrat
“Our growing debt is among our nation's most pressing problems. We need a long-term plan to get our fiscal house in order that will responsibly reduce our deficit and give our business owners certainty so they can invest in creating jobs. And though we must get serious about cutting spending, sequestration is not the way to accomplish that. The indiscriminate cuts would be especially damaging to North Carolina's economic recovery because of ourstrong military presence.
"I was glad to hear the President's focus on manufacturing, a key aspect of North Carolina job growth. We’ve lost hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs in the last decade, and it is time we reversed that trend and focused on ways to bring good-paying manufacturing jobs back to North Carolina. Our outstanding community college system will serve as the foundation for that manufacturing resurgence as they continue the work of training ourpeople and preparing them to compete in a 21st century global economy.
"This year I will reintroduce my America Works Act to close the skills gap by getting industry and community colleges working together to create national, portable credentials that will take the guessing game out of the hiring process. My top priority is putting North Carolinians back to work, and legislation like the America Works Act will help middle class families get back on their feet.
"We won't have the workforce we need to meet the challenges before us if we do not make important investments in education – from early childhood and K-12, to community colleges and our world-class universities."
U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-9
"Tonight, President Obama once again promised to focus on jobs. He’s made the same pledge time and again, yet over 12 million Americans still don’t have a job. His policies create more and more red tape that strangles businesses and tax increases that slow the economy. That’s not how you create jobs.
"A recent Goldman Sachs study found the tax increases that President Obama pushed through in January will slow the economy for at least six months. Just last week, national media reported on how those same tax increases are squeezing the middle class, hurting the very same people President Obama claims to protect.
"The government has a spending problem, and the trajectory of that spending problem is such that President Obama’s buzzwords of “closing loopholes” and “modest tax increases” won’t come close to solving the problem. The President’s most recent tax increase only funded the government for eight days, but the damage to hard-working American families will be felt all year."
U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson, R-8
“We have a jobs crisis in this country and tonight, for the first time since the campaign trail, the President finally acknowledged the need for job creation and real economic growth, but still failed to offer detailed plans. In many parts of his speech the President struck the right tone, especially regarding the need for bipartisan efforts to get our fiscal house in order and tasking our generation to reignite the engine of America’s economic growth. But what we need now, and what we have failed to see after President Obama’s last three State of the Union addresses, is real action to back up the rhetoric. Words are cheap, while the cost of living for millions of workers is not. The American people are desperate for pro-growth policies that encourage private-sector expansion, create jobs, and ensure a meaningful livelihood for our hardworking citizens."