Tonight’s State of the Union message will “focus on the No. 1 concern in America: getting this economy moving again,” says U. S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). “It hasn’t come along as quickly as we wanted it to, but we are moving in the right direction, creating more private-sector jobs.”
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Durbin says the Republican primary campaign has brought up the question of how much government America needs. Durbin says any of the Republican contenders, as president, would have less consumer protection, for example. Any of those contenders, though, would make a better president than President Obama, says U. S. Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Peoria): “America expects its officials to lead with specific plans,” he says. So far, Schock says, Obama has failed. “What is his plan this year to address the economy?” Schock asks. “What will it take for companies like Excel in Pekin or Caterpillar in Peoria or any of the other manufacturing- or service-sector industries … to grow and to hire? They need certainty; they’re looking for comprehensive tax reform, which we’ve heard from the president before … but we have not seen a plan.” Schock said his guest for the evening would be Darren Frye, president of Peoria-based Water Street Solutions. They will sit with one of Schock’s predecessors, retired U. S. Rep. Bob Michel.