UPDATED: Preax and Reax: Lawmakers and Politicos on State of the Union

"Kumbaya" may be the tune of the evening, but a presidential address wouldn't be a presidential address without prebuttals and reactions from members and groups on both sides of the aisle. AEHQ keep you posted, right here, throughout the night as we hear from lawmakers, PACs, and advocacy groups on President Obama's State of the Union address.


"A truly impactful competitiveness agenda would start with President Obama putting the brakes on his own administration... No amount of new government spending on ‘competitiveness' can break the hammerlock that President Obama's regulatory agencies are putting on job creation and economic growth." - Steven Law, president of American Crossroads

"In Louisiana, one of the most decisive steps we can take to put people back to work is to start again issuing permits for deepwater oil and gas drilling. Since the administration imposed the moratorium in May, five of the 33 deepwater platforms then operating in the Gulf have left for other parts of the world, putting the squeeze on supply and service providers and costing Louisiana and the Gulf Coast nearly 5,000 jobs." - Senator Mary Landrieu, D-La.

"I was encouraged by the tone of the President's speech, and hopeful about his promise to finally pivot to job creation.

"We need to focus like a laser on pro-growth policies that will incentivize investment, promote job creation and get our economy moving again. We need to empower the American entrepreneur and free our small businesses from burdensome federal mandates and regulations." - Representative Sean Duffy, R-Wisc.

"While a focus of the address was America's international competitiveness, I am concerned that Administration policies are putting U.S. firms at a disadvantage compared to foreign companies." - House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus, R-Ala. 

Taxes, Spending and Size of Government

"Though he paid lip service to the deficit and reducing government spending tonight, if you listened carefully, you heard the President's true agenda when he spoke of making ‘investments'. That word ‘investments' sure does sound good, but it's really just a fancy way of saying ‘increase government spending', because it isn't HIS money he's talking about, it's YOUR'S - the American taxpayer. We've seen this type of ‘investment' before from President Obama and the Democrats in Congress. It was called their Stimulus plan - which by the way - only strapped us with even more deficit spending." - Senator James Inhofe, R-Okla.

"Throughout his term, and again this evening, the President spoke of making investments in our economy. If he means allowing taxpayers and businesses to keep more of their hard earned dollars, and providing them the freedom to invest where they choose, I'm all for it. Unfortunately, I'm afraid he will propose more government spending. The lesson we all should have learned from the pitiful results of the $862 billion stimulus bill, is that growing government does not grow our economy or create long term, self-sustaining jobs. Only the private sector can do that." - Senator Ron Johnson, R-Wisc. 

"From a crippling deficit that threatens the future solvency of our country to the prolonged absence of job creation, there is widespread recognition across the ideological spectrum acknowledging the many challenges facing our nation today. What we have learned in the past two years is that growing the size and scope of the federal government is not the answer. We cannot spend our way out of an economic downturn and into fiscal solvency. We cannot erect barriers on job creators and then expect robust job creation. We cannot sidestep the tough decisions about the future of entitlements and expect to make legitimate progress on the deficit. We cannot ignore the failures of the past for the sake of expediency or political gain. If we are to move our nation forward, beyond the challenges of the present, we must first demonstrate a commitment and a willingness to live within our means, reduce the footprint of government in our lives and reform a bureaucracy that has grown to comfortable with being careless with the American people's money." - Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), the Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

"The American people spoke loudly in November, they not only want the government to stop spending - they want the government to cut spending. While I applaud that the President is talking about fiscal accountability, his track record doesn't leave me with much hope for success. Over the last two years the President and the Democrats engaged in a spending spree that led to an 84% increase in non-defense discretionary spending. This was at the same time many family budgets were shrinking and small businesses were tightening their belts. With our national debt at a record $14 trillion, I urge the President to join Congress as we work to cut spending and look forward to his proposals in the budget he will release in a few weeks." - Freshman Republican congressman, Francisco Canseco of Texas

"I like the fact that he wants to do something about spending. However, freezing government spending for five years at the increased levels of the last two years is really not enough. We need to reduce domestic spending substantially. And I hope the President will work with us to achieve that.

"But overall it sounds to me like the President's changed the tone and the rhetoric from the first two years. And I think that's an appropriate adjustment in the wake of last year's election when the American people said basically they want to go in a different direction." - Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ken.


"President Obama set forth a challenge tonight for all of us, and we must be prepared to rise up and meet it. We cannot afford to let 2011 fall victim to the same petty, partisan squabbles that plagued us much of the past two years. The challenges facing our country are too big and the consequences of failure too great to allow these deep divisions to stand in our way." - Landrieu

"President Obama may have offered a change in tone, but it's still unclear when he will offer the change in his policies that voters asked for on Election Day. Americans ended the Democrats' one-party rule in Washington because they want a government accountable to the people. Unfortunately, the American people heard President Obama call for even more government spending under his familiar sales pitch for innovation and job creation.

"Now two years into his presidency, President Obama has the opportunity to turn his rhetoric into reality by rolling up his sleeves and working with the new Republican Majority to deliver the smaller government, lower taxes, and real job growth that American voters are demanding. It's past time for President Obama to replace his failed economic policies with common-sense solutions that the American people actually support." - National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Pete Sessions of Texas

"I am pleased President Obama is willing to look at our ideas to bring down health care costs, including medical malpractice reform to rein in frivolous lawsuits. The HEALTH Act, a bipartisan measure which I authored and introduced this week specifically addresses medical liability reform, in order to stop wasteful spending within our health care system and ensure better outcomes for patients." - Representative Phil Gingrey, R-Ga.

"House Democrats remain committed to putting people back to work and getting our fiscal house in order. When Republicans put forward ideas that help create jobs, reduce the deficit, and strengthen the middle class, they will find willing partners - but when they try to turn back the clock and put special interests back in charge, they will find a vocal opposition. As the President said tonight, we must all move forward together because the challenges we face are bigger than party or politics - there is simply too much at stake." - Representative Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.

"I agree with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle that we need to get serious about government spending and our country's deficit. But we must address this issue in its entirety and stop the political nonsense. The ‘YouCut' project is a prime example of the Republicans' diversionary tactics... As a nation, we must keep moving forward. It is time that we tone down the rhetoric and get down to the business of the American people." - Representative Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., co-chairman of the Democratic Caucus' Jobs Task Force

"The President outlined a Sputnik-type commitment to the entrepreneurial spirit of the American people, through which we can lead the world in innovation, secure energy independence and create clean energy jobs, and strengthen small businesses. That plan can build a broad-based prosperity that will ensure economic security for our children.

"Democrats are ready to win that future by creating jobs, strengthening the middle class, and reducing the deficit and we will work with civility, with everyone who is committed to maintaining America's leadership." - House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

"In Texas we prefer straight talk and promises kept, over grandiose pledges and zero results." - Republican Senator John Cornyn


"It is hard to believe that the President would talk about the urgent need to create jobs, and then call for amnesty that would legalize millions of illegal workers who take jobs from U.S. citizens and legal immigrants. While more than 14 million Americans are desperately looking for work, seven million illegal immigrants have jobs in the U.S. The President should put American workers first and enforce immigration laws to make scare jobs available for those legally authorized to work in the U.S." - House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas


"I am disappointed we didn't hear more about the need for our nation's energy independence. While we do need to focus on clean energy and bio-tech investment, we also have to continue to develop our domestic oil and gas supplies. Alaska's off-shore potential and prospects for an Alaska natural gas pipeline can help America meet its energy needs for the future" - Senator Mark Begich, D-Alaska

"The American people spoke loud and clear in the last election and directed the president and new Congress to focus on one main issue-job creation. It's unfortunate that the administration seems poised to stifle what remains one of America's strongest job creating industries.

"Tonight was a missed opportunity. The president focused on job growth through federal spending, but was silent on one of the best ways to create jobs: allow more energy development." - American Petroleum Institute President and CEO Jack Gerard