In addition to Nathan’s post earlier on Rep. Doug Collins’ response to the State of the Union (SOTU), we have received several press releases from other Republican members of Georgia’s delegation. They are available after the break in alphabetical order by last name, several with short videos.
Rep. Rick Allen (GA-12)
I had hoped the President would use his State of the Union address to discuss how he would work with Congress on solutions that empower all Americans through more opportunities and a strong economy. Unfortunately, what we heard tonight were more of the same failed policies of the past that grow the size of government instead of growing our economy. The President’s agenda of higher taxes to pay for more Washington spending is not the way to foster an environment that helps the middle class or creates jobs. Instead, we should focus on creating a simpler, fairer tax code that lifts burdens off hardworking taxpayers and business owners and encourages growth in the private sector.
I was also disappointed to hear the President propose more government regulations and increased spending. Working families already face a mountain of federal rules and mandates stifling job creation and increasing Washington’s control over their decisions on important issues like health care and education. Rather than expanding bureaucracy with more red tape and federal programs, we should be implementing proposals that expand opportunities for Americans by lowering their costs and increasing their choices.
Georgians in the 12th district sent me to Congress to solve these problems impacting them and get our country on the right track. The House has already passed a number of bipartisan bills this year that will put people back to work with good-paying jobs, build a stronger economy and limit the growing reach of the federal government. I will continue to work with my colleagues on these efforts and fight for legislation that empowers hardworking Americans while getting Washington out of the way. I hope the President will leave his ineffective policies of the last six years in the past and pursue areas where he can work with us on new, better solutions to move our country forward.
Rep. Buddy Carter (GA-1)
While I watched my first State of the Union Address on the House floor tonight as a United States Representative I was disappointed, but not surprised, to hear the same false promises and reckless policies from the President in his sixth address. I hoped for a call to unity and a desire to work with the new Congress for a better America. Instead, I heard a vision for our nation that promotes class warfare and burdens Americans with increased regulation and more bureaucracy. Of even greater concern is my fear that the President will act on his agenda with or without Congress while blatantly ignoring the United States Constitution. I will do everything in my power to ensure he cannot act alone.
If we want to truly put an end to our nation’s out of control fiscal situation we must enact true spending and tax reforms and advance solutions that increase opportunities for all Americans — not implement irresponsible policies that allow the government to choose winners and losers like we heard tonight. It’s time to empower the middle class by creating a fairer, simpler tax code. It’s time to increase our energy security and approve the Keystone XL Pipeline. It’s time for Washington to get out of education and provide the states the ability to promote an equal opportunity to a great education for all. It’s time to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a system that provides more choices, lower costs and better services. Most importantly, it’s time to cut up the credit cards and make sure the President realizes we have a spending problem, not a revenue problem. The President’s agenda tonight focused on failed policies of the past and I strongly encourage him to join Congress in our fight to empower America for the future.
Rep. Tom Graves (GA-14)
Hi, I’m Congressman Tom Graves.
Tonight, the president talked about his plans for the new year. And, as with past years, we heard a lot of the ways that the president would like to help certain groups of people by expanding the federal government with an action, a program or an initiative that benefits a segment of the population.
Some of these ideas, they may sound good. But, with a ballooning national debt of more than 18 trillion dollars, what we didn’t hear is a realistic way to pay for them. Or the consequences of expanding the federal bureaucracy.
After six full years of this presidency, we know that more government does not produce better results.
Wages are stagnant.
The economy still isn’t working for hard-working Americans.
And here in Georgia, our unemployment rate remains above 7 percent – significantly higher than the national average. And, in fact, in some parts of the 14th District, the unemployment rate is up to 9 percent.
Under President Obama, Washington hasn’t worked for people across North Georgia, or throughout the country.
And that’s why House Republicans, in sharp contrast to the failed policies of this president, are promoting an agenda that will help all Americans – not just certain groups.
Our agenda is focused on freedom, where government growth is stopped in favor of economic growth; where the private-sector is allowed to flourish and create jobs.
We are fighting to protect hard-working Americans from tax increases, unnecessary regulations and burdensome red tape.
Already this year, the House passed legislation to end Obamacare’s destruction of the 40 hour work week, help veterans find jobs and approve the Keystone XL pipeline.
We also passed legislation to fully fund the Department of Homeland Security, while denying any funds whatsoever from being used to carry out the president’s unconstitutional actions.
The president may choose not to work with us, but we have a clear mandate from Georgians and the American people to press forward.
And, even though we face many challenges, I am confident that we can force Washington to once again work for all Americans.
Rep. Jody Hice
Tonight the President rendered his vision of the state of our great nation while delivering his State of the Union address. Not surprisingly, President Obama’s speech was out of touch with reality. The State of the Union fulfills the President’s Constitutional requirement of updating Congress on how America is fairing. The President fulfilled one portion of his Constitutional duties by delivering the speech, but as we’ve seen most recently with his Executive Amnesty, he has failed to adhere to his Constitutional constraints time and time again.
The American people voted for new representation on November 4th, and the President spent tonight thumbing his nose at the American people’s voice. Ultimately, leadership is defined by our actions, not our ideas. While ideas like free community college sound appealing, the truth is, it’s not free. The government is already overtaxing hardworking Americans, Obamacare is stifling small business growth, and now the President is asking Congress to support policies that would tax the middle class even further. Americans deserve better than the President’s ideas; they deserve a President who is willing to work with the House and Senate to promote economic prosperity and truly foster economic improvement within the middle class.
It’s been reported that the President is in the fourth quarter of his Presidency. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Congress on moving the ball down the field in terms of smaller government, lower taxes, and more accountability. I urge the Administration to utilize the time left on the clock wisely and pay attention to the American people, before there is a new Coach in the Executive branch.
Sen. Johnny Isakson
I am very disappointed the president has chosen to lower expectation and raise taxes on the American people just at a time when we are beginning to recover. His plan is like pouring cold water on small businesses and employers. It is time to lift overly burdensome regulation and have a tax policy that’s fair and equitable to all Americans.
I’m also disappointed there wasn’t much of a talk about foreign trade and about trade promotion authority from the president which Congress needs to act on quickly. We have three pending trade agreements, which are important for American business: the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the African Growth and Opportunity Partnership. All need to be reauthorized or initiated, and they need to be done this year.
I am happy the president mentioned cybersecurity, which is the number one threat to our country and I pledge to work with him to find those ways we can to track those who would come to America and do harm to our people. May God bless the United States of America.
Rep. Tom Price (GA-6)
Listening to President Obama tonight it is clear that this administration is stuck in the past when it comes to thinking about how we solve the tremendous challenges facing our nation. The president believes we should continue pursuing the same failed policies that have contributed to an economic recovery that’s leaving the middle class behind and a long-term budget crisis that threatens our future prosperity and national security.
The good news is that these challenges can be addressed with positive, innovative solutions that empower American families, workers and entrepreneurs. Solutions like fundamental tax reform and a balanced budget that will break down barriers to economic growth and opportunity. Regulatory reform to make government more efficient and accountable. Improvements to the nation’s health and retirement programs so that we are saving and strengthening these programs for generations to come.
The president’s plan – higher taxes and more government spending when Washington cannot afford to pay for what it has already promised – is neither positive nor innovative. House Republicans are ready to work with the president and Democrats in Congress, but it is past time we moved beyond the same, tired policies of the past that failed to deliver on the president’s promises. We have to focus on unleashing an economy that benefits every American with a government that’s accountable to hard-working taxpayers. We invite the president to join us.
Rep. Austin Scott (GA-8)
I think the results in November sent a clear message to Washington that Americans across the country are looking for conservative solutions to some of our nation’s biggest problems. said Congressman Austin Scott. With growing threats abroad, the President should be focused on a full repeal of his sequester cuts that are threatening to decrease the capabilities of our military. Families back home in Georgia want to not only feel safe in their homes, but also confident with their budgets. However, more bureaucracy, over regulation, and his proposed tax hikes that take from one family to give to another are not the answer.
I hope the President will agree to work with the House and the Senate to give the American people what they deserve; a secure country, a thriving job market, and a growing economy.
Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (GA-3)
Once again, the president has shown he is out of touch with the priorities of the American people in his speech tonight, stated Westmoreland. The people spoke in November to have their conservative voices heard and they want to keep the progress on the economy moving forward. The president’s tax-increase proposal is the most effective way to kill that progress.
I have said it time and time again: our country does not have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. We want jobs and stability, and the middle class is the one that would benefit from jobs bills and tax cuts- not tax increases. Raising taxes to bring in $320 billion does nothing to cut spending and addressing our nation’s 18 trillion dollar debt. When there’s a leak in the dam, you plug the hole and fix it- you don’t add more water. It’s another example of the president’s agenda of top-down economics that never actually fixes the problem.
If President Obama wants to truly help middle class America, he will work with the Republican Congress to pass jobs bills, stabilize our economy, and simplify our tax code. Adding more taxes onto any American just grows the size of our government, and we need less government, not more. Solutions like passing a flat or FairTax and abolishing the IRS are bigger and better steps towards putting the priorities of the American people first.
Putting American priorities first also means defending our nation from the threats we face abroad and maintaining the important relationships we have with our allies, stated Westmoreland. President Obama’s weak foreign policy over the last seven years has crippled our international standing as a leader. The Obama administration failed to show support for our allies last week by not sending a top official to France after their terror attack. ISIS and al Qaeda have infiltrated Iraq and are heavily recruiting terrorists to murder the innocent. Russia annexed Crimea and invaded Ukraine, with no strong response from our president. There is no credibility for the president to claim success in these blatant diplomatic and international failures.
Our national security and standing in the world needs to be a priority as we face some of the most brutal and dangerous terrorists in the world. A new battlefield we are fighting is cyberterrorism. We face the threat of terrorists hacking into our large companies and government agencies, and a cyber-attack could be our next Pearl Harbor. Strengthening our cybersecurity while protecting civil liberties needs to remain a crucial role in protecting our nation. Through working with our allies and using force against our enemies, President Obama needs to show that we will not waiver in protecting our homeland and our interests abroad.
We’ve heard the same song and dance in the last six State of the Union addresses and are tired of President Obama’s political speeches. Now is the time for the president to listen to Americans, work with Congress to find solutions, and make the people’s priorities his priorities.
Rep. Rob Woodall (GA-7)
Tonight, President Obama spoke a great deal about the importance of building the middle class while reiterating many of his administration’s failed big-government policies as the way to do so. A robust economy—not a new government program—is the best way to empower and improve opportunities for hardworking taxpayers. In fact, much of the burden being felt by hardworking taxpayers has come from the government expansion, regulatory expansion and more spending that the President continued to defend tonight. The first two weeks of this new American Congress have seen the House pass multiple commonsense bills to unburden taxpayers, free job creators, and grow the economy. If we can find a partner in the President for these initiatives, all Americans—and particularly the middle class—will be the better for it. Efficient, effective, and accountable government is what Georgians are asking for, and I intend to deliver.