Response of Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick to the President's State of the Union Address


Date: Jan. 25, 2011
Location: Washington, DC

The President made clear tonight that he realizes that elections do have consequences. After last year's election, it is now time for Congress and the President to work together for the common good. On how to achieve this, I am encouraged that there is common ground.

There is agreement that spending has ballooned out of control over the last two years. The President has proposed a five-year freeze in discretionary spending. Today, my colleagues and I voted to return all non-defense, non-security related discretionary spending to 2008 levels. Likewise, I agree with the President's proposal to streamline and simplify the burdensome federal tax code.

I'm also encouraged the President agrees that Republican policies on energy, local control of schools, securing our borders and reducing the regulatory burden on small business are the right course for America. I look forward to working with the President to enact these forward thinking policies that create a positive environment for job creation.

There are areas of disagreement as well. The President feels that the new healthcare law can be tinkered with and tweaked. I feel we need to begin fresh with real healthcare reform that reign in costs and makes healthcare affordable for all Americans. The President focused on job creation and I agree that job creation must be our top priority, but the new healthcare law has burdened small businesses and stifled job growth across the nation.

The President must realize what small businesses across the Eighth District already do--government does not create jobs, the private sector does. Large new federal spending programs are not the answer. The Stimulus spent nearly a trillion dollars and unemployment still rose. Government spending can only create employment that is fleeting at best accompanied by deficits that endure for generations. We must embrace policies that create prosperity and opportunity for all Americans.