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Local members of Congress react to Obama

Local members of Congress react to Obama

Credit: AP

Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio applaud President Barack Obama on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012, as the president gives his State of the Union address. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

by Joe Arnold


Posted on January 25, 2012 at 9:33 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 25 at 9:35 AM

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell:

Well, unfortunately the President continues to try to convince the American people that the Congress and it's failure to act is somehow a problem.  What he conveniently forgets and hopes that all of us will forget is that he's been in power now for three years.  And, the first 24 months, the first two years, he got everything he wanted, stimulus, Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, a 35 percent increase in the national debt, and the American people I think have a right to ask at this point, 'How did that work out?'  We now have eight and a half percent unemployment, massive debt the size of our economy.  People want to go in a different direction and the President is regretfully asking us to do more of the same.  I don't think that's the way to get the country back on the right track.  We're always happy to have him back up here for the State of the Union but this is the wrong message for an improving America.

U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth:

I thought President Obama was the epitome of a strong leader tonight.  He was very decisive.  He laid out a very clear vision for the country both domestically and in foreign policy.  And, I think virtually every American can find a lot in there they they can support.

I was very proud to see the President mention Louisville and he was talking about the Metropolitan College which is a great partnership among the city and state and UPS and Jefferson Community and Technical College where young people earn their college diplomas and degrees by working their way through UPS and then they're trained to do important jobs.  About 4,000 Louisvillians so far have earned credentials through that program.  So, it's a great public-private partnership and I'm glad he mentioned it.

The program has worked phenomenally well.

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky):

Paul was first asked about the TSA controversy.

Really most people Republican and Democrat have come up to me and said they have had the same thing happen to them in the airport.  Most people in the media who travel often said they've had the same thing.  I think it indicates we need to change what's going on with the TSA. Why don't we have a frequent travel program after ten years?  And I'm not asking for anything special.  All I'm saying is, we need to make it easier on folks at the airport.  We need to be able to preserve the privacy and some dignity when you travel.

Most people I think are sympathetic to it.  And I get a lot of people picking up the trash around here, people cleaning, everybody comes up and say they've had a bad episode with TSA.

Which means the TSA needs to do a better job. and they need to treat us as people, as customers and not threaten us with full body searches if we touch our telephone, I think.  So I think people are looking for a better way.  We've had elderly folks in the airport having to have the adult diapers taken off, we've had babies having their diapers taken off, we need to use our brain and be a little bit more common sense as to 'who are the people who would attack us? Who did attack us? And who are the people who are just regular, ordinary Americans that want to travel on an airplane?'"

SOTU Reaction:

I think there were times when he was conciliatory and I've offered to work with the President.  I've rode with him on Air Force One.  The president wants to rebuild some of the infrastructure of the country.  I can work with him on that, but he needs to come half-way and sometimes I hear he talks the talk but I want to see him walk the walk.  And that means he needs to walk up to Capitol Hill and meet us halfway.  And, when I see that, I am more than willing to work with him.

U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie:

“Every Kentuckian watching President Obama’s address has to be wondering how this year is going to be any different than the past three.

“The question is of all the things he talked about doing tonight to get the economy moving forward, why hasn’t he done it the last couple of years?  

“He has been blaming the House Republicans, but for the first two years we had a Democratic controlled Congress whose policies have held back our economy – the stimulus bill and out of control spending.

“We need to work together. Republicans have a list of 30 bills that have passed the House of Representatives and are sitting in the Senate.

“I call on the president to ask Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to start working with Republicans in the House to start passing bills that will improve our economy.

“Let’s get to work to solve the problems for the American people.”