In his State of the Union address, President Obama sought to advance what many view as a liberal agenda. But the president also called for bipartisanship, after years of partisan fights over the budget. Two Ohio members of Congress were among those reacting to the speech Wednesday on 90.3's the Sound of Ideas. ideastream's Nick Castele reports.
Freshman Congressman David Joyce and other first-year lawmakers -- both Democrats and Republicans -- say they want to get things done. But Joyce was critical of much of Obama’s speech.
JOYCE:”A lot of the things that he brought up were solutions to problems that involved more big government.”
Though the president said his proposals wouldn’t add a dime to the federal deficit, Joyce said he didn’t buy it. Joyce said he wouldn’t go along with raising taxes -- that was done in the last fiscal cliff negotiation.
JOYCE: “He asked for more taxes, he got more taxes. All we’re asking is to do the same thing to control our spending, to bring our debt down. Because right now we’re paying $200 billion a year on our debt.”
Joyce said the tax code should be reformed to be flatter, fairer and simpler, and that loopholes should be closed -- something the president also called for.
Senator Sherrod Brown said he is solidly behind the president’s agenda, and that past attempts to compromise with Republicans were rebuffed. Now, Brown said, Obama should move forward even if he doesn’t have GOP support.
BROWN: “What he's done by executive order on immigration or what he can do on a host of issues is never as thorough or as long-lasting as Congressional action. But I think that he was elected on a series of promises and what he would try to do and what he would try to carry out. And I think he’s going to find the best legal way to do that.”
One area where Brown said Obama should use his executive power is in looking to the Justice Department to improve access to polling places.
Joyce and Brown both mentioned immigration reform as one policy area where Republicans and Democrats might be able to work together.