WASHINGTON - Here's GOP Rep. John Kline's reaction to President Obama's State of the Union:
Since the President took office two years ago, he and Congressional Democrats have overseen the largest budget deficit in the history of our nation, driving the national debt to a staggering $14 trillion. While the nation suffers from 20 straight months of unemployment above 9 percent, Washington has been on an unsustainable job-killing spending spree. After listening to the President's remarks during his State of the Union address, I hope his actions match the rhetoric we heard tonight.
In the first weeks of the new Congress, House Republicans have demonstrated that they are listening to the American people and leading by example: we have cut our own budgets by 5 percent, repealed ObamaCare, and rolled back non-defense government spending to 2008 levels.
This needs to be a Congress focused on jobs and the economy. One way my Republican colleagues and I have demonstrated our resolve to restore America's fractured fiscal house is by banning earmarks. I was pleased to hear the President is following our lead in putting an end to wasteful pork-barrel projects.
As the Chairman of Education and the Workforce Committee, I am pleased the President highlighted education reform as one of his priorities. As I did last week when Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and I visited Crystal Lake Elementary School in Lakeville, I am continuing to seek input from principals, teachers, parents, and students on what is working - and what is not working - at the school level and whether federal policies are supporting or hindering the work schools across the country are doing to ensure students are prepared to succeed.
Later this year, in its second-largest deployment since World War II, the Minnesota National Guard will send more than 2,400 troops - the famed "Red Bulls" - to the Middle East. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee and a veteran of the Marine Corps, I was pleased to hear the President reiterate his commitment to winning the war against Islamist extremists. Through initiatives like "Beyond the Yellow Ribbon," we must ensure we take care of our sons and daughters in uniform, and their families.
I encourage the Administration and Congressional Democrats to join Republicans in showing we are serious about restoring trust between the American people and those elected to represent them. I encourage Washington to heed the calls of the American people to do what we were sent here to do - provide security and freedom for our country, restore economic certainty, and enable America's job creators to put our nation back to work.