Opinion

Reichert responds to Obama's State of the Union address

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Auburn. - COURTESY PHOTO
U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Auburn.
— image credit: COURTESY PHOTO

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Auburn, issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address:

“Tonight we heard the president talk about opportunity. I could not agree more that opportunity is what defines our nation and what makes it great.  It is the fabric of our history as well as our future. Americans deserve opportunities and they deserve a government that promotes those opportunities, not stands in their way.

“I agree with the president that job creation is the key to economic growth. We can create jobs by passing free trade agreements and leveling the playing field for American companies. Washington State is the most trade-dependent state in the nation; we sell our software, airplanes, outdoor apparel, coffee, apples, and cherries around the world.  This is why I have been a leader in urging my colleagues to support Trade Promotion Authority and started a caucus to promote a new trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. I encourage the President to work with Congress in support of TPA, because it is necessary to successfully conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

“The President said tonight that we needed to lower the corporate tax rate, and we do. But we must do more than that. We need to make sure that we reform the tax code and lower rates for small businesses and families, too. Lower tax rates give families, small businesses, and corporations more access to their money, creating jobs and opportunity. We need to make sure that the tax code works for the American people, not the other way around.

“We need to make sure that when people are down they have the ability to lift themselves up. The President talked about new job-creating programs, but there are over 80 welfare programs on the books already.  What we need is not another government program, we need to make sure that the ones we have are working.  Last year, the Ways and Means Human Resources Subcommittee, which I chair, found that our current welfare programs do not do enough to lift up many poor families in need. I stand ready to work with the President to reform these programs so that they give individuals and families the tools and training they need to find the next opportunity.

“Americans excel the most when they are allowed to make their own opportunities and to make decisions for themselves. Right now, that is not what is happening with the implementation of the President’s healthcare plan. He paints a picture of success, but Americans cannot keep their doctor and they cannot keep their plan. As we’ve heard from workers and employers around the country, the employer mandate and related taxes give businesses incentives to cut hours. And people who work less earn less. This isn’t the healthcare that America wants.

“Americans deserve opportunities. I believe that American hard work and ingenuity should create those opportunities, not the government. It is that hard work and ingenuity that has made our nation great and will make our nation greater.”

 

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