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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida reacts to Obama's jobs speech



Reaction to President Barack Obama's speech to Congress:

Sen. Marco Rubio: “So there are some things that the President outlined that I think we can be supportive of, but my problem with this, quite frankly, is that a lot of it just won’t work. A lot of it sounds like things we’ve already tried, such as more government spending. $800 billion didn’t create jobs, how is $447 billion going to create jobs? ... We need to create an environment where job creators feel the incentive to go out and create jobs, and you do that through regulatory reform, tax reform, certainty moving forward and confidence in America’s future."

Sen. Bill Nelson: "I think the President did a good thing by making jobs expansion priority number one, and I think we can do more. For example, fixing the economy by straightening out the banking system so that it can loan to small businesses, which are the backbone of our economy in Florida. And by so doing, getting community banks to be able to lend to mom-and-pop firms to expand, it provides a lot more jobs. That’s critical to Florida.”

Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami: “All of us, Democrats and Republicans, have constituents – teachers, first responders, veterans, and construction workers – who are desperate to get back on the job. How could anyone say no to them? These are bipartisan, middle of the road proposals that have received support from both parties in the past. “We must also remember that we did not dig ourselves into this deep recession overnight and we can’t expect to solve our all problems in the blink of an eye. It took us eight long years to get us into this mess in the first place and it will take us longer than two and a half years to get out.”

Rep. David Rivera, R-Miami: “President Obama once again mentioned the United States’ pending free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea as a potential area for economic growth and job creation in our country.  His own administration estimates that the three agreements could create upwards of a quarter of a million American jobs. ...  If the President is going to continue pointing to the free trade agreements as potential engines for economic growth, he should let his actions speak and send all three agreements to Congress where they will no doubt garner bipartisan approval.”

Rep. Rich Nugent, R-Brooksville: "As expected, the President said some things that appealed to both parties. I think everybody agrees that Washington needs to work together to give Americans a reason to believe that the economy is headed back in the right direction. I’m looking forward to seeing those proposals in detail on paper. The President has been criticized by folks all across the political spectrum for making big speeches and failing to follow through. I truly hope that’s not the case here, but only time will tell. The bottom line is that talking about solutions isn’t enough. The American people expect results."

Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor: While I appreciate the President coming to Congress tonight, we need long-term solutions, not another round of short-term stimulus that has proven ineffective. Time and again, job creators in the Tampa Bay area tell me that one key to improving the economy is more certainty. Reducing unnecessary red tape, repealing and replacing the federal health care overhaul, and simplifying the tax code are a few steps that would help provide the confidence that job creators need to drive this economy forward.”

Rep. Bill Posey, R-Rockledge: “Certainly some regulation is needed when authorized by Congress, but we need to take a step back and look at what Washington is doing, what is necessary, and how many jobs these excessive regulations are killing. So while I was pleased to hear the President tonight recognize the need to hold off on some regulations, we need action. There’s a lot of work to do in order to free up this economy to provide businesses with long-term certainty on taxes, federal spending and federal rulemaking.”

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Miami: “As the President continues to at best not lead or at worst lead in the wrong direction, House Republicans will continue to focus on real job creation. The President must understand that the federal government is not the premier job creator; it works to create the conditions that allow small, medium, and large businesses to do what they do best – hire, reinvest, and grow."

Rep. John Mica, R-Winter Park: “While the President reconfirmed that our highways are clogged and our skies are congested, his well delivered address provided only one specific recommendation for building our nation’s infrastructure. Unfortunately, a National Infrastructure Bank run by Washington bureaucrats requiring Washington approval and Washington red tape is moving in the wrong direction.  A better plan to improve infrastructure is to empower our states, 33 of which already have state infrastructure banks.

Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Panama City: “The President offered mountains of new spending and then told the American people we can figure out how to pay for it later.  He threatened to hike taxes on America’s job creators at a time when our economy can least afford it.  And he spent just a few short sentences discussing the job-crushing impact of government over-regulation, but then failed to provide solutions to eliminate the uncertainty that these regulations have created. “I’ve joined my House Republican colleagues in offering several proposals to improve conditions for job creation and jumpstart an economic recovery.  I stand ready and willing to find common ground with the President once he presents a plan that rises to the historic level of the economic challenges we face.”

Gov. Rick Scott also talked about trade agreements. "As the national debate on how to fix America’s economy begins to heat up, any serious job creation plan must include the immediate, no-strings-attached ratification of free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea." He elaborates here.

Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island: "Groundhog Day? Stimulus Part 2 over $447B in new government spending and equal in tax increases."

[Last modified: Thursday, September 8, 2011 8:56pm]


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