"The most important thing, of course, will be what actions take place after the speech. The American people have heard plenty of speeches about what Washington wants to do. They now want them to actually do it."
STATEMENT BY CONGRESSMAN ERIK PAULSEN (MN-03):
"Over the past several months, the American people have sent a resounding message that Washington is on the wrong path. They've grown tired of runaway spending, massive deficits and debt, and more government intervention into their lives. They want a new path, one that above all focuses on putting people back to work and getting our economy moving again.
Tonight, President Obama acknowledged some of those concerns by articulating his desire to work on the key issues facing the American people. I share a strong desire to address these issues and turn the page on what has been a year of missed opportunities.
When it comes to new policy proposals, the devil is always in the details. However, there is no question we need a laser-like focus on job creation, recognizing that it's small business and the private sector -- not the government -- that will lead the way. We must take real steps to reduce spending and our deficit. A spending freeze, while certainly a good starting point, will not be enough by itself. We also need health care reforms that will lower costs for individuals, families and small businesses without breaking the bank or creating a new government-run program.
The most important thing, of course, will be what actions take place after the speech. The American people have heard plenty of speeches about what Washington wants to do. They now want them to actually do it. We will need real bipartisanship to accomplish our goals. I'm hopeful that tonight's speech can serve as a fresh start on many of the key issues before us, but equally important will be a fresh start to working in bipartisan fashion. The American people expect and deserve no less."