RXN Raw: A-Z Initial Reactions to the President's State of the Union Address - Feb. 12, 2013 
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Excerpts Of Rubio's Republican Address To The Nation

Rubio: “Economic growth is the best way to help the middle class. … I hope the President will abandon his obsession with raising taxes and instead work with us to achieve real growth in our economy.”  

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) is set to deliver the Republican Address to the Nation, immediately following the President’s State of the Union addresstonight. Below are excerpts of his remarks to be delivered in separate English and Spanish responses:  

ENGLISH EXCERPTS:  

“This opportunity – to make it to the middle class or beyond no matter where you start out in life – it isn’t bestowed on us from Washington.  It comes from a vibrant free economy where people can risk their own money to open a business. And when they succeed, they hire more people, who in turn invest or spend the money they make, helping others start a business and create jobs.  Presidents in both parties – from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan – have known that our free enterprise economy is the source of our middle class prosperity.  But President Obama?  He believes it’s the cause of our problems.”

***  

“Mr. President, I still live in the same working class neighborhood I grew up in. My neighbors aren’t millionaires. They’re retirees who depend on Social Security and Medicare. They’re workers who have to get up early tomorrow morning and go to work to pay the bills. They’re immigrants, who came here because they were stuck in poverty in countries where the government dominated the economy.  The tax increases and the deficit spending you propose will hurt middle class families. It will cost them their raises. It will cost them their benefits. It may even cost some of them their jobs.  And it will hurt seniors because it does nothing to save Medicare and Social Security.  So Mr. President, I don’t oppose your plans because I want to protect the rich. I oppose your plans because I want to protect my neighbors.”  

***  

“Economic growth is the best way to help the middle class.  Unfortunately, our economy actually shrank during the last three months of 2012.  But if we can get the economy to grow at just 4 percent a year, it would create millions of middle class jobs. And it could reduce our deficits by almost $4 trillion dollars over the next decade.  Tax increases can’t do this.Raising taxes won’t create private sector jobs. And there’s no realistic tax increase that could lower our deficits by almost $4 trillion. That’s why I hope the President will abandon his obsession with raising taxes and instead work with us to achieve real growth in our economy.”    

***  

“The real cause of our debt is that our government has been spending 1 trillion dollars more than it takes in every year. That’s why we need a balanced budget amendment.  The biggest obstacles to balancing the budget are programs where spending is already locked in. One of these programs, Medicare, is especially important to me. It provided my father the care he needed to battle cancer and ultimately die with dignity. And it pays for the care my mother receives now.  I would never support any changes to Medicare that would hurt seniors like my mother. But anyone who is in favor of leaving Medicare exactly the way it is right now, is in favor of bankrupting it.”  

***  

“Despite our differences, I know that both Republicans and Democrats love America. I pray we can come together to solve our problems, because the choices before us could not be more important.  If we can get our economy healthy again, our children will be the most prosperous Americans ever.  And if we do not, we will forever be known as the generation responsible for America’s decline.”  

SPANISH EXCERPTS:  

“Esta oportunidad – de ser parte de la clase media o más, sin importar donde se inició uno en la vida – no provino del gobierno. Se trata de una economía vibrante en la que la gente arriesga su propio dinero para abrir negocios. Y cuando tienen éxito, emplean a más personas, que a su vez invierten o gastan su dinero, ayudando a otros a iniciar un negocio y crear puestos de trabajo.  Presidentes en ambos partidos – desde John F. Kennedy a Ronald Reagan – han reconocido que nuestra economía de libre empresa ha sido la fuente de prosperidad para nuestra clase media. Pero el presidente Obama cree que es la causa de nuestros problemas”.  

***

“Señor Presidente, yo todavía vivo en el mismo vecindario de la clase trabajadora donde crecí. Mis vecinos no son millonarios. Son jubilados que dependen del Seguro Social y Medicare. Son trabajadores que tienen que levantarse temprano en la mañana e ir a trabajar para pagar las cuentas. Son inmigrantes que vinieron aquí porque estaban permanentemente sumidos en la pobreza en los países donde el gobierno dominaba la economía.  Los impuestos y gastos de déficit que usted desea le quitarán a los trabajadores de la clase media su aumento salarial, beneficios y tal vez incluso sus puestos de trabajo. Y lastimará a las personas mayores porque no hace nada para salvar a Medicare y el Seguro Social.  Entonces señor Presidente, no me opongo a sus planes porque quiero proteger a los ricos. Me opongo a sus planes, porque quiero proteger amis vecinos”.  

***  

“El crecimiento económico es la única forma legítima para ayudar a crecer la clase media. Desafortunadamente, nuestra economía se contrajo durante el último trimestre de 2012. Pero si pudiéramos hacer que la economía creciera un 4 por ciento por año, se crearían millones de empleos para la clase media.  Y esto podría reducir nuestro déficit en casi 4 trillones de dólares durante la próxima década.No hay ningún aumento de impuestos que pueda logar eso. Aumentando los impuestos no va a crear puestos de trabajo en el sector privado.  Y no existe un aumento de impuestos realista que pueda reducir nuestra deuda por casi 4 trillones de dólares.  Esa es la razón por la cual yo espero que el presidente abandone su obsesión de aumentar los impuestos y trabaje con nosotros para lograr este tipo de crecimiento real en nuestra economía”.  

***  

“La verdadera causa de nuestra deuda es que el gobierno ha estado gastando un trillón de dólares más de lo que recibe en impuestos cada año.  Por eso necesitamos una enmienda a la Constitución que requiere un presupuesto balanceado.  Y la gran parte de nuestra deuda se debe a programas con gastos controlados por la ley.  Uno de estos, Medicare, es especialmente importante para mí. Proporcionó a mi padre el cuidado que necesitaba para combatir el cáncer y en última instancia morir con dignidad. Y paga por el cuidado que mi madre recibe hoy día. Yo nunca apoyaría ningún cambio a Medicare que haga daño a las personas mayores como mi madre que se encuentran actualmente en el programa. Porque cualquiera que esté a favor de dejar Medicare exactamente de la forma en la que está ahora, está a favor de su bancarrota”.

***  

“A pesar de nuestras diferencias, yo se que ambos los republicanos y los demócratas aman a nuestro país.  Le pido a Dios que podamos unirnos a resolver nuestros problemas, porque las opciones ante nosotros tendrán un impacto profundo. Si podemos hacer que nuestra economía crezca nuevamente, nuestros hijos serán como nunca los estadounidenses más prósperos. Y si no lo hacemos, entonces nosotros siempre seremos conocidos como la generación responsable por dejar caer en decadencia a los Estados Unidos”. 


Republican National Committee

Chairman Reince Priebus Delivers Response to State of the Union Address

WASHINGTON, D.C . - Chairman Reince Priebus released the following response to President Obama's State of the Union Address. The response is available in audio, YouTube and TV quality video formats. TRANSCRIPT OF PRIEBUS RESPONSE:
Good evening. I'm Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.

Tonight we heard another speech from the president, and it was nice to hear him actually talk about the economy for a change. It's been a while. But America needs more than talk; we also need action from the president.

Our federal government has a spending problem that affects our economy and every one of us--and while the president may talk a good game, he has done nothing but make it worse for the last four years.

As a father of two, I'm worried about what our 16 trillion dollar national debt means for my children. Like any parent, my goal for them is to grow up and have it better than I did.

But every day Washington, DC, borrows billions of dollars and puts our children's future up as collateral. If we don't stop spending too much, the next generation will have to pay off our debts.

Reckless spending hurts the economy. It weakens it and creates uncertainty. That means businesses aren't able to put people back to work or pay higher wages.

President Obama says he wants a "balanced approach" to reduce our deficit. That's code for higher taxes. But he already got his tax increases--and not just on rich people. If you've looked at your paycheck lately, you probably noticed it shrank. Why? Payroll taxes went up this year.

On top of that, we still haven't felt the full effect of the massive tax increase that is Obamacare.

Republicans want more money in your pocket--not in government's pocket. The right course is less spending, tax reform, and entitlement reform. We have to get our fiscal house in order so we can strengthen Medicare and save Social Security.

So, Mr. President, you're out of excuses--and we're running out of time. Let's cut government spending and get more money in people's pockets. We don't need more words. We need action. We need reform.

Thank you and God bless.
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National Republican Congressional Committee
State Of Denial
President Obama Offered Nothing Except 59 Minutes Of Empty Rhetoric
 
·         On issues ranging from his sequester to spending and ObamaCare, President Obama showed he is in a State of Denial when it comes to the real problems facing American families.
 
·         Just hours after the White House admitted that the sequester was President Obama’s idea, the president called it a “really bad idea.”
 
·         He also claimed his proposals won’t add one dime to the deficit, yet he said the very same thing about ObamaCare in 2009…and that’s currently set to cost $1.3 trillion.
 
·         And to top it off, he even tried to say ObamaCare was lowering healthcare costs. Yet, reports show that private healthcare premiums are rising by 108 percent. 
Republican State Leadership Committee

Republican State Leadership Committee’s Response to the President’s State of the Union Address

Washington, D.C. (February 12, 2013) – The Republican State Leadership Committee’s elected officials of the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), Republican Legislative Campaign Committee (RLCC), Republican Lieutenant Governors Association (RLGA), Republican Secretary of State Committee (RSSC) and the Future Majority Caucus (FMC) offer the following statements in response to tonight’s State of the Union Address. 

Republican Attorneys General Association Chairman General Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma:

"For the past four years, President Obama has taken every opportunity to expand government and bypass the courts and Congress to get what he wants. From spearheading the takeover of our health care system to imposing oppressive and costly legal and environmental regulations on American businesses and citizens, it is no wonder that our economy remains stalled, and that our people continue to struggle to find good jobs. What we heard from the President tonight was not a change in course from the failed policies of his first term, but instead an unveiled promise to continue and attack our basic freedoms. Republican attorneys general remain committed to supporting constitutional, free-market policies that provide opportunities for our nation’s hard-working, ingenious citizens and their families to get our economy moving again."

Republican Legislative Campaign Committee Executive Committee Chairman Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger of North Carolina:

"President Obama's fifth State of the Union address still finds America suffering from stagnant economy, persistent unemployment and utter dysfunction in Washington.  As state legislative leaders, we are required to pass budgets that are balanced and on time - it would do well for President Obama to submit a budget and attempt to do the same.  Since the recession started, Republicans at the state level have cut unnecessary spending to live within our means- this is how every day Americans manage their family budgets, and they expect the same from their elected officials.  Unfortunately, under President Obama's leadership, federal spending has far exceeded revenue, resulting in massive deficits and burgeoning federal debt.  This is unsustainable and if the president needs ideas on how to create a working budget we welcome him to look to the 26 states under full Republican legislative control." 

Republican Lieutenant Governors Association Executive Committee Chairman Brian Krolicki of Nevada:

"Tonight, President Obama offered America more of the same policies that have crippled our economy and plunged our nation into recession.  Our national unemployment rate is nearly 8%  - higher than it was when the President took office -  and our national debt is over $16 trillion, practically doubled in only four short years. Lieutenant Governors are spearheading stateside efforts to get our economy back on track. We would have welcomed a serious and thoughtful plan from the president addressing the devastating policies that are making it more difficult for hardworking families across the country to put food on the table, send their kids to college, make their mortgage payments and live the full promise of the American Dream."

Republican Secretary of State Committee Chair Secretary Delbert Hosemann of Mississippi:

“No election official likes voting delays.  They like individuals who are not qualified to vote casting a ballot even less.  Constitutional rights of States to determine the voting process is an original cornerstone which should not be removed. Sustainable employment will be stimulated and supported by individual investment, not foreign debt. As Americans, we must rely on ourselves for education and job creation.  They are irretrievably linked.

Representative Monica Youngblood of New Mexico on behalf of the chairs of the Future Majority Caucus:

“The president's policies of bigger government and more spending hasn't worked.  Unfortunately, Americans of minority backgrounds have been hit the hardest, with the unemployment rate among Hispanics at nearly 10% nationally. We hope the president will get serious about tackling our deficits and debt, so that small businesses can once again grow and create good jobs to help put more Americans from all backgrounds back to work."

About the RSLC

The Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) is the largest caucus of Republican state leaders in the country and the only national organization whose mission is to elect down-ballot, state-level Republican officeholders.  Since 2002, the RSLC has been working to elect candidates to the office of lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state and state legislator.  The RSLC has more than 100,000 donors in all 50 states.  In the 2011-2012 election cycle, the RSLC invested in 42 states, breaking previous fundraising and political spending records, set in 2009-2010, with an increase in fundraising by 28 percent to $39 million and an increase in direct political spending by 35 percent to $27 million. This cycle’s effort picked up six new legislative chambers, saw a net gain in 30 chambers, created or expanded 16 Republican supermajorities and picked up two new attorneys general.  Additionally, the RSLC successfully launched the Future Majority Project, spending more than $5.5 million in direct support of Republican candidates of Hispanic descent and women, and investing to expand digital outreach efforts to millennial voters.  To learn more about the RSLC, please visit www.RSLC.com or follow @RSLC on Twitter.

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Republican Party of Florida

Senator Rubio Offers Optimistic Contrast to President Obama's Big Government Scheme

 

Statement from RPOF Chairman Lenny Curry on SOTU speech and GOP Response:

 

"Tonight, just minutes after President Obama promised to spend more of our tax dollars, reduce American freedoms, and grow the size of government, Senator Marco Rubio offered a conservative vision for why limited government is the best way to return the middle class to prosperity.

 

"In the short time that Senator Rubio spoke, he dismantled the false promise of President Obama's big government, tax-and-spend agenda and explained, in easy to understand terms, how limited government leads to more freedom and better economic opportunities, and why America must return to limited government if we want to be a prosperous nation."

 

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Democratic National Committee

DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s Statement on President Obama’s 2013 State of the Union Address

Washington, D.C. – DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement following President Obama’s 2013 State of the Union Address:

“Tonight, the President spoke directly to Congress and the American people about his plan to create jobs and strengthen our economy for both the middle class and those still working hard to get there. As President Obama has emphasized from day one, a thriving middle class has always been the key ingredient to our economic growth – and continuing to make that growth possible is the defining challenge of our time. That’s exactly why the President’s plan grows our economy from the middle out by making smart investments in American manufacturing, infrastructure, clean energy, and a quality education that provides every American with the skills they need to succeed in the jobs of today and tomorrow. It’s a plan that is completely paid for and won’t add a penny to the deficit, while ensuring that those who work hard can earn a decent living.

“At the same time, the President continued to urge Congress to take action that will reduce our debt and deficits and address looming fiscal deadlines, while laying out his vision to keep bringing down the deficit in a balanced fashion – one that does not require America’s seniors and middle-class families to shoulder the entire burden. He also renewed his calls on Congress to take swift action to protect our children and communities by reducing gun violence, and to fix our broken immigration system to make certain that everyone plays by the same rules and that we are attracting the best and brightest workers from all across the globe. Finally, the President announced the formation of a bipartisan presidential voting commission – a proposal I wholeheartedly endorse – that will focus on addressing the setbacks that far too many Americans have faced in trying to exercise their fundamental right to vote. That includes Americans like Desiline Victor, a 102-year-old woman from my home state of Florida who attended tonight’s address and who just last year spent hours waiting in line at her polling place to make her voice heard.

“As President Obama stressed in tonight’s address, our path forward includes a number of commonsense proposals that have already earned support from both sides of the aisle. And while our leaders in Congress will not always be able to agree on a given issue, one fact remains: where common ground exists, the American people expect them to take action. That is precisely why we must heed the President’s call and come together to move our country forward."

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Libertarian National Committee

The Libertarian Party Response to President Barack Obama’s 2013 State of the Union Address
Delivered by Carla Howell, Executive Director
Libertarian National Committee

In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama proposes policies that make things worse for the economy and worse for Americans:

  • Higher government spending,
  • More dangerously-high government. debt,
  • Continued meddling in needless, costly foreign conflicts,
  • More rules and regulations,
  • Higher taxes,
  • And more assaults on our freedom.

Despite whatever response Republican politicians serve up, their proposals — and their votes — do the same thing: Preserve and grow Big Government.

The Republicans say they want “limited government.” Limited to what? A $3.8 trillion federal budget? A nearly $5 trillion budget?

Look at the Republican budget plan crafted by Congressman Ryan. That’s what Democrats and Republicans are planning to raise spending to over the next 10 years. “Limited?”

Democratic and Republican politicians are planning to raise the debt from today’s $16-and-a-half TRILLION — to over $20 Trillion dollars. “Limited?”

How high does government spending and debt have to be before Democratic and Republican politicians say it’s too much? Will they spend until the economy literally collapses — while workers struggle year after year to find decent jobs?

While retirees are trapped in poverty? And the middle class disappears?

When politicians talk about “limited government,” it’s their way of covering up the fact that they refuse to cut government spending — and that they continually raise spending.

The Libertarian Party says: Stop over-spending. Stop borrowing. NEVER raise the debt ceiling. Balance the budget — not in 10 years. NOW. Just like families and businesses must do every day.

Then keep cutting — until we have a small, constitutional government that is truly limited to protecting our lives, liberty and property — and no more.

Less money for politicians — and more in the productive, private sector — is good for the economy. American workers and taxpayers will have more jobs, higher take-home pay and more savings.

Big Government Democrats and Republicans will try to scare you into believing they’d have to cut essential services. That’s a lie. They’re spending double what Democratic President Bill Clinton spent in the year 2000.

They claim that if they cut spending we’ll have fewer jobs. Another lie. Cutting government spending will create jobs. For every government worker who may get laid off, it will create TWO jobs in the private sector. Cutting government spending will result in a huge net jobs gain. Plenty of jobs for everyone who’s willing to work.

Big Government Democrats and Republicans will keep spending recklessly, raising your taxes, assaulting your liberties and raising government debt — as long as you let them get away with it.

What can you do to stop them?

What you say or write has no effect on the behavior of Big Government politicians.

But how you vote does.

The greatest power you have to stop Big Government — is your vote.

When you sit out the vote, or worse, when you vote for Big Government Democrats or Republicans, it empowers and emboldens them. What do you get? More Big Government.

When you vote small government, you’re changing the game. When you vote for small-government-Libertarian candidates, you’re throwing down the gauntlet. You’re demanding a stop to high taxes, bailouts and obscene government debt. You make small government, low taxes, low government spending, more jobs, and more freedom possible.

Remember when Ma Bell was the only game in town for telephones and telephone service? Cell phone technology had already been invented, yet we were stuck for decades with big, clunky rotary-dialed phones.

When we took away Ma Bell’s government-granted monopoly, we got portable phones, cell phones, smart phones, mobile tablets, and hundreds of new features. Real competition breeds progress.

Democrats and Republicans want a monopoly on elections, just like Ma Bell. They want you to believe your only choice is a Democrat or a Republican who will deliver clunky, wasteful, high-tax, high-debt, war-waging, freedom-fading, job-killing Big Government.

But you have a choice. You can vote Libertarian.

Libertarians say: Stop overspending. End phony stimulus bailouts. Eliminate hundreds of agencies and departments that do more harm than good. Downsize Big Government — now.

Libertarians say: Remove thousands of useless government regulations, so businesses can compete and thrive in a global economy — and create new jobs.

Libertarians say: Federal government central planning of education gives us higher costs, red tape and worse outcomes. We must end government central planning and return control of schools to parents, teachers and local communities.

Libertarians say: Repeal the failed and deadly War on Drugs. Leave people free — so long as they harm no one else. Restore our freedoms while dramatically reducing crime.

Libertarians say: Don’t just oppose the ridiculous anti-gun measures that Obama’s proposing — that Republicans are caving into. Repeal all life-endangering laws on the books that that disarm peaceful, law-abiding citizens so they’re free to stop and prevent violent crime and horrific shooting sprees. That’s how we’ll make our streets and our schools safe.

Libertarians say: Repeal and defund Obamacare — now. And, with it, get rid of a boatload of government agencies, laws and regulations that serve to enrich special interests — while driving Americans to bankruptcy. Get government out of the way so health care and medical insurance serve the needs of customers and deliver high-quality care at a fraction of today’s prices and premiums.

Libertarians say: Stop handing out subsidies to foreign dictators. Stop engaging in foreign wars. Ground the 3,000 drones that are flying around spying on Americans. Bring our troops home — out of harm’s way. Cut military spending, and promote peace.

Libertarians say: Cut taxes now. Permanently. Big, bold tax cuts that take money out of the hands of politicians and return it to the men and women who earned it.

The state of the union today is: We’re in trouble. Our economy, our freedoms and our safety are at risk because government is way, way too Big.

Big Government Democrats and Republicans made it this way. We must stop them from growing Big Government more, turn it around, and make it small.

The Libertarian Party and our candidates are working for much smaller government, low taxes, no more debt, peace — and freedom.

Is that what you want?

It’s possible — but only IF you stop voting for Big Government Democrats and Republicans.

And only IF you vote for small government.

The Libertarian Party is the only political party in American that is dedicated to boldly and immediately shrinking Big Government — making it small.

Over 15 million, 750 thousand votes were cast for Libertarian candidates in 2012 — the highest ever.

We’re growing. And we need to grow more. We need your help. Are you ready to act? To take back this country?

Please join us. Please join the Libertarian Party today. Help us make government small — and make America prosperous, safe and free.



American Federation of Teachers

President Obama Lays Out Bold Blueprint to Strengthen Our Nation

‘America’s future depends on our investment in our people and in our nation,’ says AFT President Randi Weingarten

Washington—Statement of American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on President Obama’s State of the Union address.

“America’s future depends on our investment in our people and in our nation. The vision the president laid out will help strengthen and expand our middle class today and will lay the foundation for future growth and shared prosperity tomorrow.

“President Obama laid out a bold blueprint to strengthen our nation by making sure EVERY child has access to high-quality early childhood education programs, by expanding high school opportunities to be more hands on and more focused on thinking, rather than testing, like the P-Tech High School in Brooklyn, and by making college more affordable and accessible, including expanding opportunities to DREAMERs. But it’s not just about children—it’s about their parents too. The president offered tangible proposals to create good jobs, rebuild and upgrade our aging infrastructure, and ramp up job training to keep our compact with hardworking Americans in a rapidly changing economy. America is strongest when we live up to our shared responsibility to invest in our people and our nation, confront challenges with common resolve and expand opportunity for all who call our nation home.

“The president tonight reminded us that as a nation of immigrants, we must live up to our values of democracy and opportunity by ensuring a pathway to citizenship for hardworking immigrants who call our nation home. And he offered a clarion call for voting rights, equality under law, whether gay or straight, and economic and other protections for women to make real the promise of equality in America. Our love of freedom also demands that we do everything in our power to keep our citizens safe from gun violence in our schools and communities while ensuring the sanctity of the Second Amendment. And we will fight to make sure gun safety measures get the votes they deserve. We were reminded of that solemn commitment tonight by the presence of Sandy Hook teachers Kaitlin Roig and Natalie Hammond.

“As a democracy, our destiny as a nation is in our hands—for we are the people. We cannot cut our way to shared prosperity and opportunity. President Obama has laid out his vision to ensure that all Americans have a clear path to the American dream. It is now time for Congress to act.”
 


Follow AFT President Randi Weingarten: http://twitter.com/rweingarten

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The AFT represents 1.5 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.


Brennan Center for Justice


Brennan Center Statement on Bipartisan Voting Commission

Tonight, President Barack Obama highlighted voting reform for the third time in a major national address. The Brennan Center for Justice released the following statement from President Michael Waldman:

“Tonight, the president spoke powerfully of the need to improve the way we run elections in America. He’s absolutely right. His appointment of a new bipartisan commission is an important step, focusing on improving the experience of voters. This should be a critical part of the larger mission of modernizing elections so every eligible citizen can vote and have that vote counted. The moving story of Desiline Victor, told by the president tonight, underscores how vital this mission is. We urge the commission to think boldly, and we urge the Congress to do its part by enacting minimum national standards to modernize elections.”

Last week, the Brennan Center released a three-part plan to fix long lines at the polls. Read this New York Times editorial endorsing the Center’s Voter Registration Modernization proposal.


DREAM ACT COALITION

"'The Time is Also Now' to Stop Arbitrary Deportations and stop militarizing the Border”
"ALTO A LAS DEPORTACIONES"

DRM’s Response to State of the Union Address from President Obama’s & Sen. Rubio’s

The DREAM Action Coalition (DRM) welcomes the new tone and call for bipartisan action on immigration. Indeed, it is hard not to be inspired and hopeful to hear Obama say “Our economy is stronger when we harness the talents…[of] hopeful immigrants” and then elaborate on a pathway to “earned citizenship”. This positive rhetoric, however, must be backed up with actions; this means the President must take responsibility for his enforcement policy that is seeing record number of deportations. That is why the DREAM Action Coalition is urging President Obama to stop the deportation and grant deferred action to undocumented immigrants who have no violent criminal records.

President Obama’s positive rhetoric cannot erase the fact that he talked about the same “border security” that has become favorite talking point of Republicans.  Any bill which gets Obamas signature cannot allow those on the right wing of the immigration debate like Jan Brewer to obtain a veto power over issuing citizenships as many worry this bill may have.  While it will ultimately be up to Congress to craft this bill, the President cannot sit idly by as the Republicans place a Trojan horse in the bill.

We must also deal with the reality that it was Obama’s administration has deported immigrants faster than any other administration: it was Janet Napolitano, Obama’s pick for Secretary of Homeland Security, who publicly defended the entire ordeal of the attempting deportation of Erika Andiola’s mother. And the President should not just highlight a DREAMer to make him look good publicly while not confronting the real stories of mix-families who are facing the nightmare of the broken immigration system.

Rubio has had some of the most sympathetic rhetoric on immigration we have seen from a prominent Republican as a national political figure.  He speaks with great affection about his parents’ immigration story. At the same time, Rubio’s only legislative achievement stripped the Child Tax Credit from undocumented immigrant families, many which have citizen children who were the intended beneficiary of the Credit.  
 
Similarly to Obama, Sen. Rubio talked about border security.  Unlike Obama, however, he seemed to imply that any vague “permanent solution” for undocumented immigrants or other reforms would require us moving on “border security” first. The problem is that the border is as secure as it has ever been, with undocumented immigration at a net zero the jobs which attracted the immigrants are not as readily available. 
  
The Latino and immigrant communities now have the voting and political organizing power to look at the DREAM Act as the floor of what they can get.  Those rights below this new ceiling include LGBT rights such as gay marriages being recognized for immigration status, a Violence Against Women Act that includes more protections for battered, undocumented women and legal status for entire families that have been in the country for long enough to develop the deep roots we have in our communities.

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DRM Action Coalition serves as a voice for undocumented youth and lobbying arm of the dream movement. Our work ensures that undocumented youth are represented in the halls of power and are correctly and directly informed of the actions of Congress, Executive Agencies, and the Courts.

Economic Policy Institute

Statement by EPI President Lawrence Mishel on President Obama's support for a higher minimum wage

The president’s support for a higher minimum wage is a welcomed opening to the policy conversation that’s needed about getting wages growing again, after stagnating for the last ten years among both college and high school graduates. The proposed increase will benefit 21 million workers and increase wages by $22 billion by 2015. This will not only boost wages but facilitate greater job growth by increasing spending by low-wage workers.

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Family Research Council

State of the Union Address Offers More Spending, More Government
February 12, 2013

Washington, D.C. - Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released the following statement in response to President Obama's State of the Union Address:

"Tonight, President Obama tried to prove that he has the answer to economic stagnation. Unfortunately for America, his solution to the crisis is more of the same: more spending.

"However, throwing more money at our problems hasn't worked in the last four years, and there's no reason to believe it will now. It's time for the administration to drop the failed ideology that government is the source of America's greatness and allow the free market, fueled by strong families, get America on the road to economic recovery. While the Left looks for the answer to violence in gun control or poverty in welfare, America's greatest hope continues to be the home.

"As FRC's research makes clear, an intact married family who worships regularly is the antidote for almost every social ill addressed in this speech. Those growing up in an intact married family have greater educational attainment, are less likely to be involved in crime, and less likely to be poor.

"The President's speech included a call for 'stronger families' and 'removing the financial deterrents to marriage for low-income couples' yet his own policies undermine family formation. For example, the President's fiscal cliff deal imposed a new marriage penalty on many American families. As FRC's Marriage and Religion Research Institute (MARRI) reported today, family structure is virtually as important as education in determining favorable social outcomes. If the President was serious about strengthening families and society, he would not be working to further dissuade couples from getting married. We should be encouraging family formation, not penalizing it at any income level.

"The President declared his desire to encourage 'fatherhood.' How can he reconcile this statement with his endorsement for redefining marriage which intentionally deprives a child of a dad or mom?

"The President called for more government preschool programs while neglecting to mention that a recent Health and Human Services study found that the Head Start program offered 'little or no' benefit for children. And, by some measures, 'access to Head Start had harmful effects on children.' There are other ways to help low-income children than spending for spending's sake. If President Obama truly believes that education policy should be driven by 'what works,' then it's time to look beyond Head Start to real solutions--like parental choice.

"The President referenced his desire to protect 'God-given rights.' It's apparent that he does not consider among these rights, the right of Americans to live out their faith in public according to one's religious beliefs. He is trampling on religious freedom by forcing all insurance plans to carry abortion drugs and contraceptives even if employers have moral objections. He does not have a fundamental understanding of freedom in this country.

"In contrast, Senator Marco Rubio's response was refreshing in that he had the courage to talk about society's 'moral breakdown' and the failure of government to address it," concluded Perkins.

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Global Zero

Global Zero Statement on President Obama's State of the Union Address
 
Statement by Ambassador Richard Burt, U.S. Chair of Global Zero
 
We applaud President Obama’s announcement in his State of the Union speech tonight that he will seek further reductions in U.S. and Russian arsenals. This position reflects the mainstream view that has emerged – since President Reagan began the process of arms reductions – that the massive nuclear arsenal we inherited from the Cold War is poorly suited for today’s threats, including proliferation and nuclear terrorism. Most importantly, further reductions in U.S. and Russian arsenals will open the door to bringing other nuclear powers into multilateral negotiations to verifiably reduce nuclear arms worldwide, moving step-by-step toward global zero.
 
The reductions the President is calling for would not weaken U.S. deterrence as some critics have suggested. Our 2012 Global Zero U.S. Nuclear Policy Commission Report found that a U.S. arsenal of 900 nuclear weapons – smaller than what the President is considering – would still project a draconian threat at any prospective aggressor country and thus fully satisfy the requirements of deterrence. 
 
President Obama's plans to reduce nuclear arsenals worldwide are in the U.S. national security interest and squarely in the mainstream. Continuing with Cold War nuclear weapons policies is not. 
 
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Global Zero, the international movement for the elimination of all nuclear weapons, has grown to 300 eminent leaders, nearly half a million citizens and 150 university campus chapters worldwide. Its step-by-step plan to eliminate nuclear weapons has been endorsed by leading newspapers, the Financial Times concluding that, "Global Zero's plan has shown the direction to be travelled; the world’s leaders must now start moving."

GOPAC
GOPAC Chairman Frank Donatelli Responds to State of the Union Address:
"President Obama still doesn't get it."

 

Washington, D.C. (February 12, 2013) – GOPAC Chairman Frank Donatelli shared the following statement in response to President Obama's State of the Union Address:
 

"President Obama still doesn’t get it. 

 

"Despite his talking points, our deficit has not been cut in half, it is spinning out of control. And despite the president's eagerness to blame Congress for the upcoming sequester, it was his own 'bad idea.' Furthermore, the tax increases he fought for and won will not reduce the deficit either. 

 

"The bottom line: There can be no serious solution to deficit reduction and job creation without a relentless focus on economic growth.

 

"The agenda President Obama outlined – more spending, more programs and more taxes from the 'wealthy' – is not a recipe for economic growth, but government growth, and four more years of economic pain."

 
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International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association

SOTU Reaction from the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association  

Transportation and Infrastructure Are Part of the Solution

CEO of International Transportation Association Applauds President for Bold Agenda, Points to Highway Infrastructure as a Key Building Block for Success

WASHINGTON – After President Barack Obama delivered the 2013 State of the Union Address, Patrick Jones, CEO and Executive Director of the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association, the worldwide association representing toll facility owners and operators and the businesses that serve them, released the following statement:

“Tonight, the president articulated a bold economic agenda for addressing important national priorities. These will serve America for generations to come.

“An effective, national highway network is a cornerstone of any strategy that depends on quick, reliable transportation of people and goods. Yet our nation continues to confront a mounting crisis in transportation and infrastructure. By clearing the financial strain and physical congestion on our roads, the president and Congress can generate direct economic activity, while removing one of the biggest barriers to a sustained economic recovery.

“In a challenging fiscal environment, now is the time to explore the full toolbox of options for addressing the transportation funding crisis, and tolling is undoubtedly a part of that toolbox.

“Tolling generates needed revenue to support highway construction and maintenance, while easing the financial burden on federal and state governments. By delivering a dependable and sustainable revenue stream to support essential highway construction, maintenance and operations, the tolling industry is Moving America Forward to address the transportation crisis in a serious way. It’s an important conversation we must start having now.”

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The International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA) is the worldwide association representing toll facility owners and operators and the businesses that serve them. Founded in 1932, IBTTA has members in more than twenty countries and on six continents implementing state-of-the-art, innovative user-based transportation financing solutions to address the critical infrastructure challenges of the twenty-first century. Through advocacy, thought leadership and education, IBTTA has become the world’s leading resource on highways and tollways.  Follow us on Twitter @IBTTA and join the conversation at #tollroads. For more information, visit: www.IBTTA.org.


MomsRising

MomsRising Responds to President Obama’s State of the Union
 
Reaction by Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, executive director and co-founder of MomsRising to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech tonight:

On the Threat of Sequestration:  
 
“Moms across America are terrified by the looming threats of massive across-the-board cuts that would cost millions of jobs and hurt health care, education, aid to state and local governments, and vital programs that kids and families depend on, such as Head Start, child care, and food safety.  We cannot allow cuts to safety ladder programs like Medicaid, which covers 1 in 3 children in our nation.   Women and mothers are urging leaders not to throw America’s families overboard in the sequestration debate.”

On Early Childhood Education:
 
"Childcare now costs more than college in most states in our nation. Moms across the nation applauded to hear President Obama speak to the importance of investing in early learning for all children.  These early investments in our youngest and smallest save taxpayer dollars in the long run and helps fuel our future economy."

On Immigration:  
 
“America’s moms are ready for legislation that would strengthen our families, our communities, and our national economy, and that includes a roadmap to citizenship for aspiring citizens.  We need immigration reform that is inclusive and aligns with the values of our nation.  These reforms are especially important to immigrant mothers who work hard to contribute to our communities and care for their families, but who live in fear that any day they could be separated from their children.  Congress must come together to develop policies that are good for all our families.”
 
On Fair Pay:  
 
“America’s moms strongly support President Obama in calling for the passage of the reintroduced Paycheck Fairness Act which would penalize employers for violation of equal pay laws, prohibit retaliation against employees who ask about wage practices, empower women to negotiate for equal pay, and strengthen equal pay laws.  This bill is crucial to family economic security, as well as to our national economy. Women are half of the entire paid labor force for the first time in history, and three-quarters of mom are in the labor force, yet wage and hiring discrimination is still the norm.  It's time for our nation to catch up to modern realities. When women, who make more than half of all purchasing decisions, don't have funds in their pockets to spend, it hurts us all.”

On Gun Safety:  
 
“America’s moms stand with the President in calling for common sense approaches to protect our families from gun violence.  Universal background checks, restrictions on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, a crackdown on gun trafficking, and federal funding for research into gun violence are all reasonable and much-needed responses to a problem that harms our children and our communities.”  
 

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MomsRising.org is an online and on-the-ground grassroots organization of more than a million people who are working to achieve economic security for all families in the United States. MomsRising is working for paid family leave, flexible work options, affordable childcare, and for an end to the wage and hiring discrimination which penalizes so many others.  MomsRising also advocates for health care for all, toxic-free environments, and breastfeeding rights so that all children can have a healthy start. Established in 2006, MomsRising and its members are organizing and speaking out to improve public policy and to change the national dialogue on issues that are critically important to America’s families. In 2012, Forbes.com named MomsRising’s web site as one of the Top 100 Websites For Women for the third year in a row.

National Coalition for Immigrant Women's Rights

Women’s immigrant advocates encouraged by commitment to comprehensive reform
Much work remains to ensure policies support women immigrants, their health and their families

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Coalition for the Immigrant Women’s Rights, which released a Statement of Principles on Women and Immigration Reform last month, issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s remarks on immigration policy reform during the State of the Union address:

“We’re encouraged by the President’s continued support for the comprehensive immigration policy reform our country desperately needs. Tonight the President, whose guests included members of our community fighting for reform, like a young activist, a Latino service member, an Asian American hero, a Filipino nurse and a naturalized citizen from Haiti, called for stronger families, stronger communities and a stronger America.

In order to reach that goal, it is imperative that policymakers recognize the contributions of women immigrants and address their unique needs. Women’s issues have been marginalized in discussions about immigration reform, creating concerns about whether their rights will be protected. Women immigrants work hard, pay taxes and contribute to the economy — they are the backbones of their families and communities. To reach that stronger America, immigration policy reform must take into account the negative impact current policies and practices have on women, families and communities.”

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The National Coalition for Immigrant Women’s Rights is the leading national collaboration to specifically focus on women and gender issues in the public discourse on immigration. The coalition represents more than 70 leading organizations with a presence nationally and in every state. For more information about the National Coalition for Immigrant Women’s Rights, please visit http://nciwr.wordpress.com.


National Domestic Workers Alliance

Domestic Workers Respond to State of the Union Address

Statement from Ai-jen Poo, Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance

Washington, DC – We applaud President Obama for his call to action to pass immigration reform and including aspiring Americans in his vision for our nation's economy and the American Dream.  We commend his focus on safety and equality for women, and an increase in the minimum wage – these are all critical components of a better future for our children.  We cannot move forward as a nation unless we move forward together.  

But we must be careful that the road to citizenship for aspiring Americans does not become an obstacle course with unrealistic requirements.  Millions have already waited for years, while helping to build the economy in many industries – not only science and tech. Undocumented domestic workers care for our children, our homes and our elderly.  Their work makes all other work possible.  It's time we make America work for all of us.

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Co-founded in 2007 by award-winning leader Ai-jen Poo (“The Nannies’ Norma Rae” – New York Times and named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World), the National Domestic Workers Alliance has 35 membership-based affiliate organizations of nannies, housekeepers and caregivers located in 18 cities and 11 states across the country.

http://www.domesticworkers.org/


National Gay and Lesbian Task Force


National Gay and Lesbian Task Force responds to State of the Union address

WASHINGTON, Feb. 12 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force responded to President Obama’s State of the Union speech tonight by reiterating its call for an executive order prohibiting companies that contract with the federal government from discriminating in employment based on sexual orientation and gender identity; passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), federal legislation that would prohibit workplace discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people; and an end to the discriminatory “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA).

In his speech tonight, Obama said, “It is our unfinished task to restore the basic bargain that built this country — the idea that if you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, what you look like, or who you love.” He also said, “We will ensure equal treatment for all service members, and equal benefits for their families — gay and straight.” Same-sex couples were among the guests at the State of the Union. Tracey Hepner, co-founder of Military Partners and Families Coalition, sat with First Lady Michelle Obama. She is the wife of the military's first openly gay or lesbian general, Army Brig. Gen. Tammy Smith. Kelly Costello and her Peruvian wife Fabiola Morales were guests of Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), the lead sponsor of the Uniting American Families Act, which is aimed at protecting binational same-sex couples from discrimination. Costello and Morales, who married in Washington, D.C., are fighting to stay together in the U.S.

Statement by Rea Carey, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

“President Obama spoke pointedly tonight of the need to get our economy moving again, of getting people back to work, and of tackling the economic disparities that are hurting families everywhere. We couldn’t agree more and urge his administration and Congress to work together to ensure that everybody — including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people — have an opportunity to offer their unfettered best to America.

“Right now, this simply isn't possible. LGBT people remain acutely vulnerable in the workplace and on economic issues. Too many of us still head to work each day terrified it may be our last, simply because of who we are or who we love. The stories are painful, and the statistics are startling. But this is the reality for LGBT people all across America. To be open and honest about who we are, about our families, often means taking a huge risk in the workplace. Something as simple as sharing with a co-worker what you and your spouse did over the weekend could place your livelihood in peril.

“But we can change this. The president has the power to issue an executive order banning companies that contract with the federal government from discriminating in employment based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This is a direct and immediate action he can take that will help millions of Americans.

“President Obama should also exert pressure on Congress to finally pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. To be a strong country, to compete in the global economy, we must have an economy that means that all people are hired, evaluated and promoted on the basis of their work performance, not their personal characteristics. Just as non-LGBT people have tremendous talents, LGBT people are a resource that our nation can no longer afford to squander.

“America prides itself on giving everyone a fair shake and allowing them to fully and freely contribute their skills and talents. ENDA reflects these core values. It is why the public overwhelmingly supports job protections for qualified and competent LGBT workers. Many people think these protections already exist, but that's not the case. There is no clear federal law, and there are no such laws in over half the states. This jeopardizes our ability to have or keep employment, housing and feed our families. ENDA will help level the playing field once and for all.

“Finally, our leaders must act to end the unjust federal marriage ban on same-sex couples. The Supreme Court will soon weigh in, but Congress can also do its part by passing the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. DOMA is federally sanctioned discrimination against legally married same-sex couples and our families. It wraps its tentacles around nearly every facet of our lives, affecting our economic well-being, our family security, immigration equality and much more.

“For example, just yesterday, the Pentagon announced it was taking an important step forward by extending some benefits to lesbian, gay and bisexual military families. But the full range of benefits still remains out of reach due to the insidious DOMA. Every day, LGBT service members put their lives on the line, yet they and their families continue to be treated as ‘less than.’ DOMA is also used against binational same-sex couples who are forced to choose between family and country. This is unconscionable.

“We have often said that President Obama is the most pro-LGBT president in history. His first term was filled with monumental gains for LGBT people and our families, including the passage of a federal hate crimes law, repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and his declaration of support for the freedom to marry for same-sex couples.

“But the state of the union for many LGBT people remains one of economic inequality and insecurity. We urge President Obama to use his leadership to help get us over the finish line during his second term.”

To learn more about the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, visit www.theTaskForce.org
and follow us on Twitter: @TheTaskForce.

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National Jewish Democratic Council

Jewish Dems Commend Obama's Firm Support for Israel 
In State of the Union Address

 

WASHINGTON, DC- The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) hailed President Barack Obama's strong statement of support for Israel during his State of the Union address. NJDC Chair Marc R. Stanley said:

 

"President Obama's strong words in support of Israel tonight reflect his unyielding commitment to the safety and security of the Jewish state. From his leadership on the Iron Dome missile defense system and his vocal support for Israel's right to defend itself to his commitment to achieving peace, the President has been Israel's most important ally. We appreciate that the President reaffirmed his commitment to preventing a nuclear-armed Iran tonight, and that he continued to make clear that he stands with Israel as its neighbors experience instability and violence. We commend the President for his leadership in strengthening the U.S.-Israel partnership and making our special relationship a top priority of his foreign policy agenda. Because of his exceptionally strong support for Israel, we are eagerly anticipating his upcoming trip to the Jewish state."


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Jewish Dems Praise Obama for Making Gun Control 
A Key Second Term Agenda Item

 

WASHINGTON, DC- The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) praised President Barack Obama for placing gun control at the top of his second term agenda. NJDC Chair Marc R. Stanley said:

 

"President Obama is right to make gun control a top priority of his second term. Too many American families have been devastated by gun violence and the time is right to put in place measures to prevent the next Sandy Hook, Tucson, or Columbine. NJDC has joined with the broader faith community to urge Congress to follow the President's lead, and we will continue to be there as the President and Congress work towards passing new legislation."

 

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Jewish Community Supportive of State of the Union Address

 

WASHINGTON, DC- The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) lauded President Barack Obama's 2013 state of the union address and noted that the vast majority of American Jews support the President's agenda. NJDC Marc R. Stanley said:

 

"In November, Jewish-Americans voted overwhelmingly to give President Obama a second term. Tonight, the President made clear why. The policies laid out by the President on key domestic issues, such as immigration, climate change, protecting the environment, support for Israel, and other social issues are broadly supported by the vast majority of American Jews. Polls consistently demonstrate that the Democratic Party is the natural political home for American Jews and tonight's address by the President provides even further proof."

 

Polling data from 2012 released by the Workmen's CircleAmerican Jewish Committee, and the Public Religion Research Institute all show that there is strong support for the President's agenda among most American-Jews.

 

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Jewish Dems Slam GOP for Snubbing Israel in SOTU Rebuttal

WASHINGTON, DC- National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) Executive Director, Aaron Keyak, issued the following statement in response to Senator Marco Rubio's glaring omission of Israel and Iran from his State of the Union rebuttal:
 
"Speaking on behalf of the Republican Party, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) neglected to even say one word in support of Israel or our nation's efforts to stop Iran's nuclear weapons program. President Obama was clear that we must stand steadfast with Israel in pursuit of security and a lasting peace, and do what is necessary to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon."

 

"Jewish Democrats are proud to stand with President Obama and his second term priorities that put support for Israel and preventing a nuclear Iran at the top of his foreign policy agenda. Republicans should support President Obama and his strong leadership on these important issues -- or at least mention them when they choose to give a broad national address." 

  

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NJDC maximizes Jewish support for Democrats at the federal 

and state levels of government. 

 

NJDC also educates Democratic elected officials and candidates to increase support for Jewish domestic and foreign policy priorities.

 

We do this to promote both social justice in America and a secure, 

democratic Jewish State of Israel.


Our America Initiative

STATEMENT FROM GOVERNOR GARY JOHNSON IN RESPONSE TO THE STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS


February 12, 2013, Santa Fe, NM
-- Former New Mexico Governor and Chairman of the Our America Initiative Gary Johnson released the following statement in response the President Obama’s State of the Union address:

“What we didn’t hear tonight was a President telling the truth about the real state of the Union: that we are broke -- and that he and the Congress are succeeding only in digging us deeper into a financial hole that is, in reality, the single greatest threat to the nation’s well-being.

“Rather, we once again heard the tired argument that the challenges we face can somehow best be met by more government that costs more and taxes more.  We’ve tried that.  In fact, we’ve tried it so hard and so long that we have a debt totaling more than $90,000 for every worker in America.  

“And while he spent an hour laying out a mind-boggling list of things the government should do, from ‘investing’ in infrastructure, technology and energy to helping parents pick the best college for their kids, he assured us his plans will not increase the deficit by ‘a single dime’.  

“That is absurd on its face, and could only be based on the same arithmetic that has given us a $16 Trillion debt.  

“Once again, we witnessed a great political performance wrapped around promises that shouldn’t be made in the first place, and that we certainly cannot afford to keep.”
RATE Coalition
RATE Statement on the State of the Union
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – RATE Coalition Co-Chairs Elaine Kamarck, former White House adviser to President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore, and James P. Pinkerton, former White House domestic policy adviser to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, made the following statement following President Obama’s call for comprehensive tax reform in his 2013 State of the Union address.

“President Obama’s call for comprehensive tax reform that would strengthen the economy and boost job creation is an encouraging step towards making American businesses competitive in the international marketplace. Since the last major reform of the tax code in 1986, our leaders have allowed a litany of uneven, and counterproductive, policies to creep into the tax code that have led to the highest corporate tax rate in the world and slow economic growth. Now is the time for reform.

“The State of the Union presents leaders in both parties an opportunity to come together in a bipartisan manner to break the status quo and achieve comprehensive tax reform. Democrats and Republicans alike understand the need to improve American competitiveness and put the economy on a sustainable track that will result in hundreds of thousands of new jobs.”
President Obama’s remarks echo his support of comprehensive tax reform in both the 2011 and 2012 State of the Unions.

2011:
  • “I’m asking Democrats and Republicans to simplify the system. Get rid of the loopholes. Level the playing field. And use the savings to lower the corporate tax rate for the first time in 25 years.”
2012
  • “We should start with our tax code.  Right now, companies get tax breaks for moving jobs and profits overseas.  Meanwhile, companies that choose to stay in America get hit with one of the highest tax rates in the world.  It makes no sense, and everyone knows it. So let’s change it.”
President Obama called for comprehensive tax reform in his 2012 Framework for Business Tax Reform. The first step in the President’s plan called for “Eliminating dozens of tax loopholes and subsidies, broadening the base and cutting the corporate tax rate to spur growth in America.”

The full framework can be found here.

About RATE Coalition:
RATE is a coalition of 29 companies and organizations advocating for sensible corporate tax reform. Making the tax code fairer and simpler will help spur job growth and stimulate the U.S. economy, and make us more competitive globally. RATE members currently include: AT&T, Altria Client Services Inc., Association of American Railroads, Boeing, Brown Forman, Capital One, Cox Enterprises, CVS Caremark, FedEx, Ford, General Dynamics, Home Depot, Intel, Kimberly-Clark, Liberty Media, Lockheed Martin, Macy's, National Retail Federation, Nike, Northrup Grumman, Raytheon, Reynolds American, Southern Company Time Warner Cable, T-Mobile, UPS, Verizon, Viacom and Walt Disney. RATE members and affiliated companies represent over 30 million employees in all 50 states and support innumerable numbers of suppliers and small businesses.  More information about the coalition is available at www.RATEcoalition.com.
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Republicans for Immigration Reform


Regarding Immigration, Actions Must Match Rhetoric

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In response to President Obama’s discussion of immigration reform in his fifth State of the Union address, Charlie Spies - Co-Founder of Republicans for Immigration Reform - released the following statement:

“I'm glad the President has acknowledged the hard work and progress the Senate has made on a bipartisan comprehensive immigration plan.  In order for reform to pass, however, actions must match the rhetoric, and President Obama will need to join the Republicans and Democrats that are already working together to reach consensus and move this bill forward.”

About Republicans for Immigration Reform                                                          
Republicans for Immigration Reform will provide political support for Republicans who advance common-sense solutions to address the nation's broken immigration system.  These common-sense solutions must be implemented through comprehensive legislation that recognizes U.S. borders, Rule of Law, dignity of individuals, and policies that address the needs of our economy in the 21st century.

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