Michigan congressmen split on the 'State of the Union' speech

Jan 29, 2014

Michigan’s congressional delegation had a mixed reaction to the president’s State of the Union address last night.

Democrat John Dingell says Congress is capable of acting on the president’s call for a higher minimum wage and restoring federal jobless benefits.

“Whether they will or not I don’t know because as you know, the Republicans run Congress,” Dingell said after the president’s speech.

Republican Congressman Tim Walberg is skeptical of President Obama’s call for a “Year of Action” to deal with several important issues. Walberg says he hopes President Obama was being honest in his speech when he talked about the need for meaningful immigration and tax code reform.

“If he is willing to do that, we are certainly willing to step forward,” Walberg said after the speech.

Republican Congresswoman Candice Miller issued a statement after the ‘State of the Union’ saying, in part, “While I disagree with many of the policy ideas that President Obama put forward tonight, I do agree with him that we need to work together to get our economy growing and create much-needed new jobs here at home.”

Democratic Congressman Sander Levin issued a statement commending the president for extending “a hand to Republicans in a number of vital areas and I hope they will take him up on the offer to act together.”  Though Levin also noted that the president said he will act on his own if Republican congressional leaders don’t work with him. 

Republican Congressman Fred Upton struck a hopeful note after the speech.

"We can build on some of the bipartisan successes we have seen over the last couple months on the budget and farm bill as we look to immigration and real tax reform," Upton said in a written statement. "I was encouraged to hear the president again talk about his commitment to lower tax rates and promote job growth and innovation here at home. We need a year of action – not dysfunction.”