Republican reactions to President Obama’s State of the Union speech
President Obama speaks to Congress in his State of the Union Speech on Jan. 29.
by Annette Birch
President Obama just made his work a whole lot more difficult when he in his State of the Union speech antagonized his Republican counterparts in Congress by threatening to use his executive powers if Congress did not cooperate.
“America does not stand still and neither will I. Whenever I can take steps to expand opportunities to American families without Congress, that’s what I am going to do,” Obama said even though Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Oh.) before had warned him against the reaction of Congress if he in the coming year continued to use executive orders to get his policy through.
President Obama outlined his plan to – with or without Congress – create jobs in the coming years and emphasized the importance for the American dream of having a good job.
“I believe this can be a breakthrough year for America. The decision we make this year is whether we are going to support or hinder this progress,” Obama said and issued a warning to Congress if they would not act on it’s own.
Washington Post’s take aways from the speech:
Republicans feel threatened
So how did the Republicans react afterwards? Well, probably as you can imagine: In the negative.
Boehner: Work with us, not against us
Speaker John Boehner (R-Oh.) stated in a message that “President Obama is clearly out of ideas” and “more interested in advancing ideology than in solving the problems.” He underscored that “the president must understand that his power is limited by our constitution, and the authority he does have doesn’t add up to much for those without opportunity…” Instead of threatening with unilateral action, the president should work together with Congress to create jobs, expand markets for American exports, immigration reform, education, new energy, etc.
Official Republican response was not that different from the president’s
The official Republican response delivered by Rep. Cathy McMorris (R-Wash.) was quiet moderate in its critique of the president, rather emphasizing what Republicans would do in the same loose terms as the president. McMorris emphasized the same areas of interest as the president, especially creating jobs. Even though McMorris stressed the difference in approach between the president and the Republicans, it was difficult to see what that difference really consisted of.
Tea Party favorites: Get America back on course
The response of Republican Tea Party favorites were sharper. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), who delivered the official Tea Party reply, criticized the president for knowing that America faces an inequality crisis that he “seems uninterested in truly confronting or correcting.
Then Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Al.) talked out against President Obama on immigration and economy, stating that the president fell short of dealing constructively with a broken immigration system and federal debt.
While Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.) called upon president Obama to acknowledge that his five years of presidency had not worked. He also called upon him to address that his government had widening the debt by spending more and more money, imposing more taxes and made life a lot more difficult for those five million people who had wanted to keep their health insurance after Obamacare.
Likewise, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) stressed in a press release that President Obama had not mentioned where the money to his plans should come from, “insisting that Washing keep spending more money than it takes in.”
And from Georgia, Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.) appealed for more emphasis on creating more jobs by helping small business owners, relieving them of regulations and taxes, not imposing new ones.