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republicans criticize lack of spending reform

Local congressmen respond to the President's State of the Union address.
Posted on Feb. 12, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.

Emily Pfund


Local representatives on Tuesday evening, Feb. 12, criticized President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, saying he needs to do more to reduce the nation’s debt and reduce spending.

“While I am pleased President Obama finally has turned his focus back to the ongoing jobs crisis, I am disappointed that he continues to call for higher taxes to pay for more spending,” said Republican Senator Dan Coats in a news release. “We have heard many of these words before, the real test will be to see if the president finally will lead and act on pro-growth policies.”

Republican Representive Marlin Stutzman echoed Coats’ criticisms in his news release.

“Over the past four years, President Obama has championed more government and less freedom,” Stutzman said. “We’ve seen the result. Washington’s cycle of payouts, deficit spending, and tax hikes have put our country $16 trillion in debt and our men and women in uniform face devastating cuts to our national defense in just a few weeks.”

Stutzman added that “Washington could learn by watching how we balance budgets in Indiana.”

“President Obama also mentioned he is willing to restructure programs like Medicare. He has made this commitment before, but we have yet to see action,” Coats said. “I hope this time will be different, and the president will offer a specific plan.”

In addition to the economy and Medicare reform, Obama urged Congress to work towards immigration reform, stricter gun control laws, a $9-per-hour federal minimum wage and education reform.

 FILE - This Feb. 9, 2013 file surveillance photo provided by the FBI shows 73-year-old Walter Unbehaun, an ex-convict from Rock Hill., S.C., during a bank robbery in Niles, Ill. Unbehaun allegedly told investigators he intended to get caught so he could live his final years behind bars. On Thursday, April 17, 2014, Unbehaun is scheduled to be sentenced in Chicago. In 50 years, he has spent just six out from behind bars. His case highlights a wider societal dilemma about what to do with an increasingly elderly ex-cons, many of whom spent so much of their lives inside prison that they, like Unbehaun, can't cope with life on the outside. (AP Photo/FBI, File)
By MICHAEL TARM Associated Press
Posted 1 hour ago
 In this April 9, 2014 photo Holly Harris holds a plaque honoring her husband, Dallas Fire-Rescue Capt. Kenneth Luckey Harris, in her home outside West, Texas, on Tuesday, April 9, 2014. Kenneth Harris was one of 15 people killed in a deadly explosion at West Fertilizer Co., that still raises questions in the community one year later about what happened. (AP Photo/Nomaan Merchant)
Posted 1 hour ago
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