WNY Delegation Reacts to State of the Union

January 25, 2012 Updated Jan 25, 2012 at 12:13 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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WNY Delegation Reacts to State of the Union

January 25, 2012 Updated Jan 25, 2012 at 12:13 PM EDT

(WKBW releases) A number of Western New York legislators, along with the Republican Party of New York State issued statements following President Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday night.

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo issued a statement. It reads:

"In his 2012 State of the Union Address, President Obama put forward a bold vision to strengthen the national economy, grow America's middle class, and protect consumers. The President is right to put private sector growth at the center of his agenda to create jobs, and his address laid out specific steps to build our country's economy not just for today but for future generations as well.

Here in New York State we have seen the effectiveness of public-private partnerships at jumpstarting economic growth. I applaud the President's proposal to work with private industries to rebuild America's manufacturing sector and his call for tapping into alternative energy sources to power our economic recovery. As we in New York work to transform our state's education system, I welcome President Obama's call for a renewed focus on making sure all students receive the education and training they need to be successful in today and tomorrow's economy.

Our top priority must be jobs, jobs, jobs. When the national economy improves New York benefits, and I look forward to continuing to work together with the President and our federal representatives to grow our economy."

New York Congresswoman Kathy Hochul issued a statmeent. It reads:

“Tonight, President Obama reported on the state of the nation and laid out his plan to move our economy forward.  While we’ve seen some progress, we need to continue to invest in America, ensuring Americans have good jobs to go to every day.

The President’s proposal to revitalize our manufacturing community, invest in American infrastructure, and focus on job training at community colleges, like ECC, NCC, and MCC, will keep America competitive and bring jobs back to the United States.  It’s time we stop rewarding those companies that ship jobs overseas, and start rewarding companies that create jobs right here in America.

I, however, would have liked to hear more about the President’s plan to cut the deficit and reduce our national debt.  This is why I supported the Balanced Budget Amendment that requires Congress to balance its finances in the same way Western New York families do every day; and why I support efforts to streamline government, eliminate waste, and be more responsive to the needs of American businesses.

Right now is the time for us to come together and work with one another to strengthen our nation and give Americans the chance to get back to work.  We have the best ideas, the finest universities, and the hardest working people in the world – now we must create an economy that benefits the working families of America. 

Like the President said, every American just wants a fair shot at achieving the basic American promise; having a good paying job, buying a home, and raising a family.  Our country is strongest when every American is contributing their fair share, but this can only happen when we’re all given that fair shot.”

New York Congressman Brian Higgins issued a statement that reads:

"Tonight we heard the President discuss plans for an America “Built To Last” with a renewed focus on many of the very things historically that made this Nation great – opportunity for an affordable education, the encouragement of discovery and innovation, and for those who work hard the promise for a better tomorrow.
 
Many of the points hold great opportunity for Western New York.  Our region has a strong manufacturing base, is home to dozens of quality higher education institutions and our residents have a work ethic like none other.  A focus on the next generation of high-tech manufacturing is already creating jobs at the Ford Stamping Plant in Woodlawn and GM in Tonawanda.  The continuation of this effort to advance products “Made in America,” educate the next generation of thinkers and train our workers will help more local business grow and thrive. 
 
One of the steepest costs for companies small and large alike is energy.  Over 50 years ago our community found a way to harness our natural resources and create the Niagara Power Project, one of the cleanest and cheapest energy producers in the nation.  The President’s proposal to advance responsible domestic oil production and the development of alternative energy can help with the ever increasing expense of electricity and challenge of high gasoline prices for consumers and entrepreneurs. 
 
A major component of building America, one I hope to hear more about, is rebuilding America’s foundation; the infrastructure that holds our neighborhoods, businesses and people.  The idea is as old as Lincoln; he called them 'land improvements.’  Over the next year I hope to make those old ideas new again and working with our President and Congress achieve an aggressive infrastructure agenda that promises to create the quality jobs Americans need and deserve.
 
Tonight the President spoke about people who work hard every day and play by the rules. It sounds to me like the people of Western New York.  The people I go to Washington, DC to fight for and the people I can’t wait to come home to each and every week.  I have great hope and optimism about the future of our community and our country.  Working together we can make great things happen.”

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand issued a statement that reads:

“Our economy can’t afford another year of governing through brinkmanship that we’ve seen too much of from this Congress. We need to set our politics aside, and find the common core values we can agree on to create jobs and set economic opportunity for the middle class in motion – by giving everyone a fair chance to succeed, rewarding hard work, and investing in ‘Made In America’ again.

We’re not lacking the tools it takes for a thriving economy. We have it all in New York State: the hardest workers you can ask for, bright and innovative minds, world-class universities and research institutions, a thriving high-tech sector to rival Silicon Valley, and manufacturers to power our economy with new sources of clean energy that’s made right here. What we’re lacking is the political will to unleash all of its potential.

Just as President Obama showed us his leadership by supporting the 9/11 health bill, and just as he declared his commitment to fairness by repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ in his State of the Union two years ago, tonight we’re seeing his leadership again by urging Congress to play by the exact same rules as everyone else in America by making insider trading on Capitol Hill clearly and expressly illegal by passing the bipartisan STOCK Act I’ve been fighting for.

Guided by our sense of common purpose and bipartisanship, I know we can do what’s right, change the way Washington works, and foster the environment for a growing economy and a thriving middle class.”

The Republican Part of New York State also issued a statement. It reads:

Last September, Barack Obama became the first President in history to deliver a purely partisan political speech in front of a joint session of Congress.
 
Tonight, he did it again.
 
It is abundantly clear that this President has given up on governing and is focusing his efforts on riling up his base and raising the money necessary to run the most negative campaign in history against the eventual Republican nominee.
 
Lost amidst all of the empty promises and high-flying rhetoric were the promises that Obama and Senate Democrats, especially Kirstin Gillibrand, failed to keep. On the economy, jobs, health care, energy, the deficit, the debt, housing, lobbyists, ethics, and energy policy -- all of these issues - Obama and Gillibrand have broken their promises to New Yorkers.
 
Chief amongst Kirstin Gillibrand's failed initiatives and broken promises are nearly a dozen jobs bills, each of which was trumpeted to her constituents as the solution to New York's economic woes, only to stall in the Senate.   While Kirsten Gillibrand spent three years striking out in Washington, the unemployment rate in New York State rose from 7% to 8%.
 
In 2012, New Yorkers will finally have their chance to show both Barack Obama and Kirstin Gillibrand the door.