Idaho's congressional delegation weighs in on State of the Union

January 28, 2014 

Idaho’s congressional delegation critiqued President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech from various angles.

First District Congressman Raul Labrador blasted the president’s statements that he plans to take steps without legislation when possible. “Unfortunately, what I heard from President Obama tonight was hostility toward our foundational principles, condescension toward a co-equal branch of government, and a general aversion to common sense and bipartisanship. “ ...The fact that he is threatening Congress with executive orders if we do not follow his agenda is even more alarming. In response, Congress should insist that President Obama faithfully execute our current laws before trusting him to execute new laws. And if he refuses, we must hold him accountable.”

Second District Congressman Mike Simpson focused on health care and said the speech earned a failing grade. “The President could have used this State of the Union address to admit to the American people what most of them already know – that his signature healthcare initiative has failed and that it must be delayed while Congress works on a better approach. “He didn’t use this moment to level with the American people on Obamacare and for that reason, among many others, I give the President an F.”

Sen. Mike Crapo called for “repealing and replacing the failed policies with achievable reforms that result in affordable health care coverage and improved access to quality care” and said the president’s speech shows the country faces serious challenges ahead. “We must focus harder on our massive national debt. Now at a staggering $17 trillion, this level of debt is irresponsible, unacceptable, and quite frankly, dangerous. ... Lowering the tax burden on Americans should be a top priority of this administration and Congress that would spur economic growth and job creation. ... True reform means simplifying the tax code by eliminating its vast complexities and lowering the rates for all individuals, families and businesses.”

Sen. Jim Risch focused on economic issues, saying, “I am once again deeply disappointed he has failed to address our crippling debt and taken the wrong approach to creating jobs for middle class families. Idahoans do not need more government intrusion and free-wheeling federal spending in our lives. “What we do need is less government spending and debt and more opportunity for middle class Idaho families. There is no doubt these are hard times for many people with the median household income plummeting $4,000 since President Obama first took office five years ago and now the cost of health insurance skyrocketing.”

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