from – Speaker.gov – by Mike Ricci
The president did plenty of talking Tuesday night – so much so that we found at least 18 facts worth checking – but it’s clear he hasn’t been listening. A number of the people’s priorities went unmentioned in the State of the Union, including:
1. A pledge to sign bipartisan jobs bills, including the Keystone XL pipeline, a project that enjoys popular and bipartisan support. And while the president talked about hiring veterans, he failed to mention the Hire More Heroes Act, a bipartisan bill the House recently passed to help address this problem. If anything, it was the number of veto threats that garnered notice.
2. A plan to fix our tax code. Middle-class families and small business owners received no assurance the president is committed to fixing our entire tax code – only platitudes and proposals to make the code even more complex . “What we really need is to make our tax code simpler, flatter, and fairer, so we can create more jobs,” Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI)said.
3. A plan to balance the budget. The president did nothing to reassure parents concerned about all the debt we’re piling on our kids and grandkids. In fact, there was no discussion at all about protecting the unsustainable entitlement programs that are driving our debt. The president has never proposed a budget that balances – ever.
4. A plan to lower health care costs. The president made “only passing reference” to ObamaCare, which is stunning when you consider how much havoc it is causing for middle-class families and small business owners.
5. A plan to expand educational opportunity. Next week is National School Choice Week, but the president failed to mention the challenges underprivileged families face in gaining access to good schools and great teachers.
6. A plan to open new areas to American energy development. President Obama was quick to take credit for lower gas prices and America being “number one in oil and gas,” but conveniently left out the fact that our energy boom is happening in spite of his policies, not because of them. The president has put 85 percent of our most resource-rich offshore areas off limits and suppressed oil and gas production in areas under his control.
7. A plan to deliver 21st-century health care for our veterans. Instead of offering a comprehensive, long-term plan to address the problems at the VA, the president made a vague pronouncement about “making strides” on the issue. Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller (R-FL) said, “Unless he addresses these problems head on, many in the veterans community will be left wondering.”
8. A plan to secure our borders. The president made no mention of a plan – or even the need for a plan – to secure our borders. Meanwhile, his unilateral actions encourage more illegal immigration.
9. A plan to win in Afghanistan. The president turned the page on Afghanistan, saying our combat mission is “over” at a time when ISIL is now operating in parts of Afghanistan, and our top commander there is ‘worried’ that if we do not keep the pressure on our enemies, al Qaeda’s capability ‘will be able to grow very quickly.’
10. A plan to protect America and our allies by preventing a nuclear-armed Iran. The president said “our diplomacy is at work with respect to Iran,” when in fact Iran is ‘at work’ on two new nuclear plants after more than a year of negotiations with the administration. “One thing that could change Tehran’s resistance to accepting a meaningful and effective agreement to keep it from developing a nuclear weapons capability is the threat of more economic pressure,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) said. Instead, the president once again threatened to veto new bipartisan sanctions.
To be fair, we had a hunch the speech was going to be pretty light on serious solutions to the challenges our country faces, but nothing like this. It all goes to show the president is stuck on the same outdated, top-down ideas that haven’t worked. Only Republicans are offering bold reforms and solutions to build a stronger economy and a better future for our country.