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Alabama Officials Respond to the State of the Union Address

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Tuesday, January 12, President Barack H. Obama delivered his last State of the Union Address to a joint house of the United States Congress.

US Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) said in a statement, “Tonight’s address was another political speech full of empty rhetoric that offered no real solutions to the issues facing American families and businesses each day. While the President used the podium tonight to tout his record, Americans at home know that he is poised to leave behind a legacy of failed policies that have damaged our economy and made America weaker across the globe.”

US Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) said: “If you like the direction our country is headed, then you probably enjoyed tonight’s speech. If you don’t think our country is headed in the right direction, then you were probably disappointed. I certainly was.”

US Representative Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) said, “For all President Obama’s lofty rhetoric and aspirational soundbites, tonight’s speech offered little in substance for how to actually address the nation’s problems. I was particularly disappointed that, once again, the president came up short of delivering a bold, decisive, comprehensive strategy to defeat Islamic State terrorists. Instead, we got a lecture on the semantics of war.”

US Senator Jeff Sessions said, “President Obama’s policy agenda on trade, crime, immigration, spending and debt all have one common feature: they make life harder for working Americans and put the country at needless risk.”

US Representative Mike Rogers said prior to the speech, “Over the past seven years, we have seen our country’s economy struggle, watched our national debt grow to astronomical numbers and lost our spot as a defense superpower in this world. We have watched the Federal government grow and become more intrusive in our day to day lives at the expense of our Constitutional rights. I am relieved President Obama’s time in office is coming to an end because no matter how much ‘hope and change’ was promised, our country is weaker and more polarized than ever.”

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Congressman Byrne said “President Obama tried to paint a rosy picture tonight, but the facts simply aren’t on his side. A quick glance around the globe shows our enemies growing stronger and our allies under attack. Right here at home, wages are stagnant, our borders remain unsecured, and veterans still aren’t receiving the care they deserve.

Senator Shelby said, “The American people deserved to hear from the President tonight about his real, comprehensive plan to defeat ISIS and radical Islamic terrorism. They also deserved to hear that he will not circumvent Congress, unilaterally infringe on law-abiding Americans’ Second Amendment rights, or allow thousands of improperly vetted Syrian refugees into our nation.”

Congresswoman Roby said, “I did appreciate President Obama admitting how he regretted the deep divisiveness of his presidency. He said he wants to ‘do better,’ and if he’s serious, he can start by engaging with the people’s elected representatives rather than attempting unilateral executive orders every time he doesn’t get his way.”

Senator Sessions said, “With wages down, record numbers not working, and crime rising in cities across the US, the next person to occupy the oval office will have to chart a dramatically different course.” That course must include: Immigration control and reduction; A dedicated effort to reduce crime and prosecute armed career criminals and drug dealers; Cancelling the sovereignty-eroding 2 million-word Trans-Pacific Partnership, and rebuilding our manufacturing core; Welfare-to-work: celebrating the dignity of work, and helping our own people move from welfare to good-paying jobs; Adoption and implementation of a balanced budget plan; Repeal of Obamacare; Creating a smaller, leaner and less costly bureaucracy; Streamlining the tax code, making it easier to keep jobs and wealth in America; Tapping into our vast energy resources; and Restoration of the constitutional rule of law.”

Rep. Byrne said, “Tonight marks the beginning of the post-Obama era, and it is time to start looking past this time of big government toward an America where the government actually works for the people and not the other way around.”

Sen. Shelby said, “The American people are sick and tired of this President’s blatant disregard for the Constitution, policies that prioritize what is best for Washington over what is best for America, and speeches to score political points. While I’m pleased that this is his last State of the Union address, the American people would be better off if it were his last day in office.”

Rep. Roby said, “I remain committed to fighting Executive Branch overreaches at every turn, should they occur. Whether it’s an attempt to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants or a power grab by the Environmental Protection Agency or a threat to erode Second Amendment rights, Congress must stand up and fight back against abuses of executive power during this last year of President Obama’s time in office.”

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Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) issued his own statement following President Obama’s final State of the Union and Governor Nikki Haley’s Republican Address to the Nation. Speaker Ryan said, “It was an honor to preside over the State of the Union address, and I’m hopeful this year we can find common ground to make progress for the American people. That being said, I can’t say I was disappointed by the president’s speech, but that’s because I wasn’t expecting much. As usual, the president tried to manage people’s perceptions instead of confronting reality: His policies aren’t working. He didn’t have an answer for how to defeat ISIS. If everything were as great as he said it was, two-thirds of the American people wouldn’t say the country is on the wrong track. Success doesn’t need hype; it speaks for itself. I just wish the president had leveled with the people—or at least with himself.”

Speaker Ryan continued, “On the other hand, Governor Haley drew a remarkable contrast with the president tonight. She is one of the most effective leaders in our party. She has turned conservative principles into real solutions in South Carolina. The vision she outlined for our country was inclusive and optimistic, and perhaps most important, it was grounded in reality. This is someone who’s done the tough work of governing. I think that showed in her remarks, and I commend her on a job well done.”

President Barack H Obama was elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2012. The people will elect a new President this year since term limits prevent President Obama from running for a third term.


Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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