There’s a gulf between the opinions of Republicans and Democrats on the State of the Union.
That’s because the president laid out his agenda, and dared the Republicans who control Congress to ignore it. U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) says Congress will ignore the president at their peril. “How can you say that you really care about income inequality and struggling families in this country and ignore the litany of opportunities the president presented this evening? I don’t think that passing one Keystone XL pipeline is going to satisfy most working families in Illinois that that’s a good work agenda,” he said in a conference call with reporters after the speech.
The president also said reasonable regulation can prevent another economic disaster, and protect the environment. But U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) says regulations come with costs.
“The president’s proposed rule on coal-fired (electricity) generation, which amounts to a national energy tax, is gonna put thousands of people out of work in my district. There are three coal-fired power plants in my district in Central Illinois that will be shut down,” he said in an interview.
Davis says the last Congress was able to achieve bipartisan success with farm legislation and the water resources development act, but Durbin says if passing the Keystone pipeline and repealing Obamacare are the Republicans’ top priorities, that won’t be helpful.
U.S. Rep. John Shimkus (R-Collinsville), in a statement: “President Obama talked a good game tonight about growing our economy and strengthening the middle class. Unfortunately, the measures he proposed would instead grow government and weaken America’s ability to compete in the global economy. From energy to education, the president’s policies undermine, rather than enhance, the free enterprise system that has given Americans the opportunity to pursue their dreams for generations.”