Following are statements released by members of the Kansas Congressional delegation following Tuesday's State of the Union address:
Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas:
"The President has proposed more of the same tax and spend policies that have left us with a nearly $17 trillion and climbing debt and with many still out of work. Rather than at least a path toward fiscal responsibility, we got another campaign speech.
“Kansans are tired of the brinksmanship. They are sick of the unknown; are tired of the government regulations, the taxes and the rising costs and uncertainty of the new health care law. They are fearful of the future for their children and grandchildren. If it was the President’s intention to lead the nation to an economic recovery, I am afraid the President missed the mark.
“The administration is already targeting painful cuts within the President’s own proposed sequester. In the coming days we will have to see if the President is serious about actions to avoid the pending disaster that is his sequester. If he does not, the American people will again be driven to the brink with a stalled economy.”
Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas:
“With 23 million Americans unemployed or underemployed, I was hoping the President would outline an agenda focused on policies that promote economic growth, job creation, and opportunities for every American. Unfortunately, he delivered the same message of higher taxes and spending, more regulation of our lives and businesses, and refused to address the need for solvent Social Security and Medicare programs. It is no wonder our economy is shrinking and businesses not hiring.
“Economic growth starts with the private sector, not government. That is why this week, along with Senators Warner and Coons, I will reintroduce legislation aimed at jumpstarting the economy through the creation and growth of new businesses called the Startup Act 3.0. The original legislation was introduced last spring, and builds on recommendations made by the Kauffman Foundation and the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness to boost economic growth.
“This President and Congress must work to make certain our nation remains a place where the American dream is alive and well. I’m ready to work with the President and my colleagues to reduce spending, encourage entrepreneurship, reform our complicated tax code, and reduce unnecessary regulations.”
Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Dist. 1:
“Empty rhetoric is no replacement for real leadership. Despite tremendous proof showing that Big Government does not work, President Obama doubled down on growing the influence of Washington in the day-to-day affairs of families, local schools, and state governments. And, even if it means abandoning the Constitution or acting above the law, President Obama made it very clear that he will take matters into his own hands and subvert the legislative authority of Congress.”
“Where are the jobs, President Obama? Nearly 23 million Americans are out of work, underemployed, or have given up looking for work altogether. That means millions of households where the American Dream is dying or is dead. For so many families across the nation, the prospect that the next generation will be better off than the last seems like a distant hope. Even if folks are employed, many face stagnant wages and higher costs of living; many are dipping into their retirement savings – or not even saving altogether. It’s a recipe for sustained financial disaster.”
“Why is your Administration waging a war against entrepreneurs? Only twice did you say ‘small business,’ despite the fact that it is the engine of economic growth. Our small businesses demand that Washington cut the red tape and cut taxes, yet your Administration’s record is abysmal on those fronts. Freedom, growth, and opportunity will prevail when Washington gets out of the way.”
“Where is the promised deficit reduction, President Obama? In 2009, you promised to cut the deficit in half by the end of your first term. Instead, you have a record of trillion-dollar deficits every single year of your presidency. Instead of paying down the deficits, let alone the debt, you have offered nothing but unbalanced and irresponsible budgets that ask the next generation to foot the bill for your lack of leadership. The 111th Congress tried your big-government stimulus; all that’s left is another $1 trillion in debt.”
“Why are you doubling down on your health care plan when there is overwhelming evidence that it is not going to deliver what you promised? Millions of Americans will lose their employer-based coverage, despite the assurances that they could keep their plan if they like it. CBO predicts more than a trillion dollars of unanticipated costs. And, most egregiously, this Administration is willing to eliminate the most precious of our freedoms – religious liberty – in order to advance their own narrow agenda. Forcing people of faith to pay for abortion drugs is a tremendous affront to more than 200 years of freedom of religion.”
Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Dist. 2:
“Tonight the president discussed his plans for his second term. And while I agree, our top priorities should be strengthening the economy, reducing our budget deficits, and increasing job opportunities for hardworking Americans, I disagree on how we get there.
“The hardworking American middle-class is what made this country great. An abundance of jobs allowed them to dream big, provide for their families, and save for their futures. But today, this American Dream seems just out of reach.
“Today, folks are struggling. There are still more than 12 million people unemployed. We see it all around us: the "going-out-of-business" signs...the college grads without jobs…the layoffs...
“The only way to fix it, is to get the economy churning again. That is how we protect the American dream for future generations - by creating the conditions for economic growth and job creation.
“You see, the government does have a role to play. But raising taxes, yet again, to pay for the latest big government program is not how you create economic growth. We've already done that, and your paycheck is less now, than it was 6 months ago. It’s time we put our trust back in hardworking Americans.
“Most folks agree, we need to balance our budget, fix our tax code and protect Medicare and Social Security. We can do that, but we don’t need any more campaign speeches. We need folks on both sides who can try to find some common ground. Republicans and Democrats must stop the rhetoric, get serious, and work together to benefit us all. That is progress, and that, is what your family deserves.”