Local News

1/30/2014

Speech encourages some, concerns others

The Brunswick News

Reaction to the State of the Union address by President Barack Obama on Tuesday drew mixed reactions.

Democrats lauded the address while Republicans question what the president has achieved or is proposing to achieve in 2014.

"In this season, where every Republican running for United States Senate in Georgia or Georgia's 1st Congressional District has been campaigning for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act while failing to offer any concrete proposals for replacement, I was pleased to see President Obama outline successes from the Affordable Care Act," said Mario Pacella, chairman of the Glynn County Democrats. "I look forward to hearing those candidates explain their solutions for pre-existing conditions and rising health care premiums."

Health care was not the only achievement Obama hit on during the national address, Pacella said.

"It was pleasant to hear the president outline successes that include improvements to our economy, increased employment opportunities, an improved housing market, and improvements to energy independence despite that the opposition party has been the party of 'no' during the last five years," Pacella said. "Our country has made great strides since 2008. I agree with the president that we can do more and need to do more to continue these economic improvements in 2014 and beyond."

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Georgia, disagreed with Obama's assessment that the nation is on the right track.

"America is not on the right track," Isakson said. "Since the president took office, median household income is down nearly $4,000, job opportunities are less during this protracted time of unemployment, and the American people are concerned for their future and the future of their children."

Isakson said Obamacare is not helping matters any.

"(Obamacare) is inflicting a great deal of pain on the American people, especially in terms of higher premiums, canceled coverage and fewer choices," Isakson said. "Obamacare is also causing Americans to lose their jobs or forcing them into part-time employment."

Isakson urged Obama to sign the Keystone XL Pipeline agreement. He said the agreement is sitting on the president's desk and would create jobs.

U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, R-1, a candidate for U.S. Senate, said the House is doing its part.

"While the president attempts to shift from the core issues that cripple our economy and threaten our security, we must bring attention to the solutions for these problems passed by the House but awaiting action in the Senate," Kingston said.

"With millions of Americans working only part time or out of the work force entirely, we cannot afford to wait. There are a number of projects we can begin now that will create jobs and strengthen our economy, namely the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project and the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline."

Kingston said 2013 marked a number of blunders for the Obama administration, from the failed rollout of the health care law to the feeble job market.

"Last year fell short of any projected success or progress on the part of the White House," Kingston said.

"We need the kind of growth that comes from stopping overregulation and supporting opportunities in the private sector. Instead of increasing the cost of health care, we need to encourage companies to hire full time employees instead of more part-time workers."

* Republicans react to State of the Union address, 8A