What Phila.-area reps said about Obama’s speech

Posted: February 13, 2013

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D., N.J.): "As the president highlighted tonight, we can strengthen our nation by making important federal investments in education, infrastructure, and manufacturing. . . . In New Jersey, investments in our rails, tunnels, roadways, and bridges will grow the state's economy and strengthen transportation access for the region.

"President Obama's call to pass gun safety legislation . . . was an especially important, timely message."

Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R., Pa.): "He said a lot of the right things - workforce development, strong manufacturing strategy that includes tax-code simplification, and cheaper energy. If it's good for manufacturing, it'll create jobs and it's good for our country. Now we've got to do the hard work of getting it done."

Rep. Frank A. LoBiondo (R., N.J.): ". . . Regrettably, South Jersey has seen this movie before. Until the President recognizes and responds to what really weighs on the minds of individuals and families across the country - unacceptably high unemployment, rising gas prices, burdensome debt passed to our children and grandchildren - the American people can only expect more of the same.

"I was encouraged, however, to hear that greater numbers of our men and women serving in Afghanistan will be returning home.. . ."

Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz (D., Pa.): "I commend the president for investing in education. We know that teachers and schools cannot succeed in their mission if their facilities are crumbling or if they lack textbooks. . . . The president has also called on Congress to protect our children by taking action to reduce gun violence. We must come together to enact commonsense gun laws."

Sen. Bob Menendez (D., N.J.): "The president's call for comprehensive immigration reform will move the ball forward on our effort . . . to bring 11 million people out of the shadows and on a pathway to productive citizenship.

"Tonight, the president put words to the music we heard in his inaugural address, and laid out an agenda that continues the progress we've made toward robust economic recovery at home and strengthening America's leadership role abroad."

Rep. Jon Runyan (R., N.J.): ". . . Obama had a great opportunity to unify Americans around a plan to address the biggest fiscal challenges facing the United States of America. Unfortunately, the president continued to focus on increasing taxes and spending while ignoring the nation's debt and deficit crisis."

Rep. Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.): "At the beginning of President Obama's second term, he has laid out a forward-looking agenda for America. The Congress should step up and be a full partner in moving our nation forward."

Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.): "Thematically there were some encouraging elements. I was glad that the president really zeroed in on economic growth and job creation, and spoke specifically about deficit reduction, including his willingness to look at some spending reforms, which are badly needed. Those were encouraging. I disagree with the idea that we need to raise taxes yet again, that's not a solution for this problem."

Sen. Bob Casey (D., Pa.): "I was particularly grateful that he recognized the need for investments in the manufacturing sector. . . . If we have more manufacturing, we're going to innovate more, and if we innovate more we'll be ahead of the world, that's where we've always had our edge."

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