GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -- President Barack Obama says the state of the union is getting stronger, and he says the country has come too far to turn back now.
The President delievered the annual State of the Union address Tuesday night to a joint session of Congress.
Here is some State of the Union reaction statements offered by Minnesota lawmakers:
Rep. Tim Walz, DFL, 1st District - "When President Obama said he would bring our troops home from Iraq, he meant it. Now we must turn our focus to making sure returning vets have access to good jobs and the care they have earned. From his Returning Heroes Tax Credit to the online resources his administration is building for veterans to his efforts to improve the transfer to medical records between VA and DOD, he has been a fierce advocate for those who have served. I am proud to work with him to honor the sacrifice and service of our nation's veterans."
Rep. John Klien, Republicn, 2nd District - "Tonight, the President had the opportunity to rally our country toward the shared goal of a brighter future. Instead, he turned to the politics of envy, which creates deeper divisions among Americans. As we begin a new session of Congress we have an opportunity to work together on behalf of the American people. I urge the President to join Congressional Republicans and Democrats in pursuing policies that offer the certainty necessary for employers to put people back to work and move the economy forward. Minnesotans keep telling me they want solutions, not slogans, but they didn't get that tonight from the President."
Rep. Erik Paulsen, Republican, 3rd District - "Tonight, in his speech, the President expressed the need to encourage more domestic manufacturing and keep jobs here in America. The first place he should look is medical device manufacturing, which provides more than 35,000 jobs in Minnesota alone. This American success story has come under assault from our own government and unelected bureaucratic agencies. As a result, American jobs are being forced overseas. We need to repeal the President's new tax on medical devices and modernize the FDA, so we can keep innovation, manufacturing, and jobs here in the United States."
Rep. Betty McCollum, DFL, 4th District - "Tonight the President delivered a powerful plan for action. Congress and the American people were given a clear blueprint for rebuilding our economy, strengthening the middle class, and restoring tax fairness for hard-working Americans who are not millionaires. Looking ahead, the choice for Congress is between an agenda for action for the middle class or more political obstruction. I know Democrats are to ready to get to work re-building America, and I hope my Republican colleagues join us."
Rep. Keith Ellison, DFL, 5th District - "President Obama delivered a vision tonight for an America in which, as my hero, Minnesotan Paul Wellstone said, 'We all do better when we all do better. The President believes that everyone deserves a fair shake; that everyone deserves a shot at the American Dream; that everyone should pay their fair share, not just the middle class; and that we all do better when we all do better, not just the one-percent."
Rep. Michele Bachmann, Republican, 6th District - "President Obama's State of the Union rhetoric called for 'fairness' but the reality is that this President is anything but fair. The President presented ideas tonight that demonstrate his willingness to pick winners and losers. First, the President introduced a new tax loophole for a certain sector of manufacturers. He believes that high-tech manufacturers should get double the tax break that other manufacturers receive. This is wrong. Instead, there should be a level playing field for our manufacturers. In addition, I believe their tax rates must allow them to turn a profit in order to create more jobs."
Sen. Al Franken, DFL - "The top priority for me - and, I believe, for any elected official who really hears what their constituents are saying - is to get this economy back where it should be, and I was pleased to hear the president reinforce that reinvigorating our manufacturing industry is one of the key ways to get people back to work and rebuild the middle class. I just returned from my statewide manufacturing tour and it's clear that manufacturing remains instrumental to Minnesota's economy, accounting for one in seven private sector jobs in our state. Unfortunately, employers told me that they have jobs going unfilled because they need workers that are better trained. It's clear the president understands that challenge, and I was glad to hear that he's committed to investing in job training and education to make certain our workers can compete in a 21st century economy. The president's speech tonight outlined a path forward for our country and I hope my colleagues will join me in tackling our nation's problems."
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, DFL - Sen. Klobuchar invited the president of Alexandria Technical and Community College to the State of the Union. She released this statement after the address: "From paper mills to poultry lines, American industry is changing. Increasingly, economic success depends on matching advanced technology with workers who have specialized skills to use that technology and get the job done. Kevin's attendance highlight the tremendous success of Alexandria Tech at preparing students for jobs in the 21st-century economy and the importance of technical education for the future of America's economy."
R.T. Rybak, Minneapolis Mayor - "After inheriting an economic catastrophe, President Obama has delivered 22 straight months of private-sector job growth. Mayors across the country have benefited from his leadership in putting cops on the street, teachers in the classroom and unemployed workers back on the job - including in the auto industry, which made one million more cars last year because of the President's bold leadership. He has also delivered critical investments in small business, including upgrades in homegrown energy, which have created hundreds of thousands of new jobs that didn't even exist before. The President's leadership has delivered for America's middle class."
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