Within minutes of President Obama wrapping up his State of the Union address last night, Michigan lawmakers were sending out their responses to the speech. And, not surprisingly, Democratic lawmakers tended to have good things to say; Republicans, not so much. Here's a roundup of what some of Michigan's lawmakers had to say:
Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow:
“The most important issue facing Michigan right now is transforming our economy to create new jobs and improving economic security for middle-class families, and I was very glad to hear President Obama focus on these priorities. I was especially pleased that the President embraced the idea of a trade enforcement unit to help crackdown on countries who continue to violate trade laws to gain an anti-competitive advantage over our businesses and workers. I wrote the bill to create a trade enforcement unit years ago and I hope this gives the idea the momentum to become a reality this year."
Democratic Senator Carl Levin:
“The president’s emphasis on economic fairness was very welcome. We need to make sure that all of us who benefit from our country’s manifold opportunities contribute equitably to preserving and expanding those opportunities. And we need to end an era in which middle class families shoulder the cost of tax loopholes that favor the most powerful and privileged among us. The president is right to hope that we can work together over the coming months to restore growth through investments in education and infrastructure, and to reduce the deficit with additional targeted spending cuts, tax loophole closing, and restoration of equitable tax rates for upper-income individuals who have prospered so disproportionately in recent years.”
Republican Rep. Fred Upton, (MI-06):
“President Obama talked of a future where we’re in control of our own energy, but time and again, he has blocked our ability to develop our vast energy resources and partner with North American allies to lessen our dependence on hostile regions of the world. The President said we need an all-out, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy, but his government’s policies are keeping supplies locked away and squeezing our power sector, making energy less reliable and less affordable for working families and businesses struggling to grow. He said a lot about energy at a time when the American people recognize the jobs and security that come with energy development, but he stayed silent on two of the most significant energy issues facing our nation today: the Keystone XL pipeline he rejected and the failed government gamble on Solyndra. The silence speaks volumes about contrasting policy visions."
Republican Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, (MI-11):
“Tragically for the American people, in our unfolding globalized century the President remains wedded to a failed “Great Society” government: specifically, Washington elites dictating who gets someone else’s money. For the sake of our country’s economy and security, this President must learn that the great American tradition isn’t redistributionism; the great American tradition is exceptionalism. The sooner he does – or is relieved of the burden of governing – the sooner the American people will build a 21st Century of unprecedented liberty, prosperity and security.”
Democratic Rep. John Dingell, (MI-15):
“President Obama... wisely pointed out that education is a key to our country’s future success. It’s not enough to train the scientists and engineers of tomorrow at our world-class universities. We must keep them here and encourage their entrepreneurial spirit. We also have to support ongoing technical training for our workforce to maintain its adaptability to new and emerging industries. Students and workers need to be prepared in a variety of in-demand careers including health care, alternative energy, engineering and information technology. The importance of successful higher education programs and skill training programs cannot be overstated."
Democratic Rep. Gary Peters, (MI-09):
“Tonight President Obama clearly laid out a blueprint to help grow the middle class by investing in American manufacturing and American workers,” said U.S. Rep. Gary Peters.“Having both GM Orion Assembly Plant Manager Alicia Boler-Davis and UAW Region 1 Director Chuck Hall here tonight is very special because the Orion plant would have shut down without President Obama's work to save Michigan's auto manufacturing and the shared sacrifice of GM’s management and labor.”
Republican Governor Rick Snyder:
Prior to the State of the Union, Governor Snyder outlined what he hoped the President would address last night:
"Michigan is ready to continue driving forward with relentless positive action. I look forward to our federal partners joining us so Michigan and America can reach their full potential. We know what needs to be done. Let's work together at all levels to make it happen."