U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following statement Wednesday regarding the President's State of the Union Address:
"The President is always welcome at the Capitol, especially at a time when there is so much important work to be done on behalf of the American people.
"The President talked about jobs tonight. This is a welcome change in focus after the President and his administration spent nearly an entire year pursuing a partisan health care plan that would have spent trillions of dollars we don't have rather than on a plan for getting Americans back to work. I'm hopeful the administration's new focus on the economy will lead it to say no to more spending and debt, more bailouts, and more government.
"The President's words about the importance of deficit reduction are timely. The times require that we build upon these modest proposals. Americans are concerned about what kind of country we will leave to our children. The administration could address this concern right away by directing unspent Stimulus and TARP funds to pay down the federal deficit, and it could implement a true spending freeze. It could also assure families and small businesses that their taxes will not go up at the end of the year, as currently planned.
"The administration could also reassure Americans who are still rattled by the attempted Christmas Day bombing by vowing to make a priority of preventing the next terrorist attack, not treating captured terrorists like common criminals so we can place them in a civilian court. Americans have a right to find out everything captured terrorists know in order to prevent future terrorist attacks.
"Americans are concerned about government spending, debt, jobs, and keeping the homeland safe. They expect us to focus on these core issues until we get them right. In the year ahead, there is much work to be done, and the task before us is clear. We need to get Americans back to work and remain focused on keeping America secure and putting our nation back on the road to prosperity. Republicans look forward to working with the President on these shared goals."