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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida reaction to State of the Union



Florida reaction to the State of the Union:

Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fort Myers: “This was another “do as I say not as do” speech from the President where the rhetoric does not match the reality of our struggling economy. I believe in a great future for America, not only for my one year old son but for generations of American children, and unlike the President’s vision of larger government and higher taxes, I believe that small business owners and American families will thrive and prosper when government gets out of their way.”

Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Miramar: "I agree that the challenges we face must be addressed in a balanced way – we simply cannot cut our way out of debt and into prosperity.  We must first reform our tax code to ensure that big corporations and the wealthiest few are paying their fair share.  Furthermore, we must also reevaluate our spending priorities, putting an end to wasteful programs while continuing to strengthen and improve vital ones such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid."

Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Panama City: "The President’s address tonight was less a blueprint for his next year in office than it was an indictment of his last four.  President Obama preached a message of fiscal accountability and giving rise to a strengthened middle class, but his administration has done more to increase wasteful spending, prolong economic uncertainty, and weaken the middle class than any administration in generations."

Sen. Bill Nelson: “You do that by creating jobs with better wages and making investments in education, manufacturing and high technology.   But you can only do that if you can work together in a bipartisan way, a non-ideological way, like we are trying to do on immigration.

Rep. Rich Nugent, R-Spring Hill: "When it comes to the immediate shortfall facing Medicare, one of the most fundamentally important federal programs in this country, he said, ‘those of us who care deeply about programs like Medicare must embrace the need for modest reforms’, which is the same thing he’s said in a State of the Union before.  But what did he give us in the way of proposals?  Slogans. Next week, call the White House and ask them for the numbers and see what they say. The fact of the matter is, the Board of Trustees of Medicare have made clear that in twelve years, the program’s main trust fund will run out of money to pay for benefits. Where I come from, talking about a problem isn’t the same thing as fixing it.  And the people I represent, the men and women who are counting on that program, they don’t have time for slogans.

Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter: "It also gave me hope to hear the President's call for a 'big deal' to find a long-term solution to our fiscal issues rather than continuing to take short-term piecemeal approaches to addressing our nation's fiscal and economic issues.  However, to come to a grand bargain, we need to find common ground to work together, regardless of party affiliation.  I would like to have heard President Obama speak even more about his commitment to bipartisanship."

Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor: "Tonight was an opportunity for President Obama to come forward with a clear framework for how we are going to create jobs and spur the economy. Instead, we were met with greater concern for middle class American families. Prosperity can only be achieved with a smaller, smarter government and less taxes. It is time to truly come together for the future of our nation, our children and grandchildren, to find solutions to the challenges we face, so we can get our country back on track."

Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Lakeland: “I am pleased, that even though it took three years, the president brought up the plan of the Simpson-Bowles commission in his speech. Almost a month ago, I filed a bill (the BOLD Act) that would implement some aspects of this bipartisan commission's plan. We must reform our tax system by eliminating loopholes, eliminating some exemptions, and creating incentives so businesses will thrive in America. My plan will cut government spending and will reform the tax system."

[Last modified: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 10:35am]


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