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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Congressman Chris Collins, R-Clarence, panned President Barack Obama's Tuesday night State of the Union Address while New York's Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, both Democrats, praised it.

"For weeks now, President Obama has been talking about using a pen and a phone to get things done. But the American people don’t need a pen and a phone, they need jobs and a paycheck," Collins said in a post-State of the Union press release. "We need to focus on strengthening our economy.  There are 91.8 million Americans out of work and at the end of the day jobs are created by economic growth, not mandates from Washington."

Collins said the president failed to address certain key issues he had been hoping for, such as tax reform, energy independence, and significant changes to the Affordable Care Act.

"We could immediately bolster our nation’s economy by changing ObamaCare’s definition of a full-time work week from 30 hours back to the traditional 40," Collins said. "And we could repeal the medical device tax, which is hurting American manufactures. But we didn’t hear any of these solutions from the President. Instead, we heard more 'big government knows best' solutions that are paid for by borrowing more money from China."

"Sadly," Collins concluded, "nothing in President Obama’s address indicates he has gotten the message that government works better when we work together. We need a President who will work with Congress, not around Congress."

Gillibrand and Schumer had very different takes from Collins.

Gillibrand specifically stated that she was impressed by the president's focus on the economy - and one of her primary concerns: women.

"This evening President Obama presented a compelling plan of how to achieve real opportunity for all hard working Americans," she said. " There is no doubt, the state of our union will grow stronger when every middle class American has a fair shot to earn their way ahead in our economy, and the next generation is equipped with the skills they need to reach their full economic potential."

“A growing economy and secure middle class also relies on making sure that hard work is rewarded with wages that can actually support a family," New York's junior senator said. "I am pleased the president is taking real action to raise the minimum wage for federal contractor workers to the level I am fighting for. But Congress must do its part this year, and raise the minimum wage for the 28 million Americans who have earned it."

“I hope that with President Obama, and with Democrats and Republicans working together in Congress, we can bring America’s outdated workplace polices into the 21st century, and give middle class workers the security they deserve. Because only when every woman and family gets the opportunity they deserve to achieve their potential, can America achieve hers.”

Sen. Schumer agreed with Gillibrand via his Twitter account, saying "Helping the middle class will supersede every other issue in November; the president’s speech shows that he gets it."



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