U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren (IL-14) tonight released the following statement regarding President Barack Obama's address to a joint session of Congress.
"Tonight, I attended President Obama's address to Congress because, although I expected partisan rhetoric but little in the way of new ideas, I felt that it was my constitutional responsibility to do so," said Hultgren. "Unfortunately, despite his premise of bipartisanship, the President's prescriptions for our economy were political and wholly inadequate. Once again he urged more scattershot "stimulus' spending, at a time when we should be husbanding our constituents' hard-earned tax dollars and ensuring that they are spent as wisely as possible.
"I agree with President Obama that investing in our nation's infrastructure is needed and will create jobs. But we cannot do so blindly. We must ensure that our investments are targeted and timely, and we must work hard to cut red tape and limit the permitting delays that currently plague our investments in infrastructure improvement.
"While I also believe that tax reform is long overdue, I was disappointed to hear him resurrect his calls on increasing taxes. It is absolutely the wrong time to be raising taxes on Americans that Main Street often calls small business owners, entrepreneurs, or job creators.
"However, I wholeheartedly support the President's call for passage of the three Free Trade Agreements. I look forward to voting for them -- as soon as he sends them to Capitol Hill.
"And true to form, nobody is calling for the elimination of all regulation; rather, contrary to this Administration, House Republicans are working to ensure that regulations are commonsense and reasonable.
"While there will undoubtedly be bipartisan support for some of President Obama's proposals, none of them will create meaningful numbers of jobs or get our economy moving so long as the threat of more crushing regulations and increased taxes are hovering over the heads of small business owners.
"Moreover, as with so many of his speeches in the past, tonight's address lacked the specificity needed to be scored by the Congressional Budget Office, and instead rested solely on grand statements and eloquent rhetoric. I hope we have the opportunity to see these details in the days and weeks to come."