U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (PA-03) issued the following statement in response to last night's State of the Union address:
"I agree with President Obama that we need to preserve the American Dream for this and future generations. The only way we can do that is by working together, in a bipartisan fashion, to put in place policies that will spur job creation and get Americans working again. That is why I supported and the House passed nearly 30 bipartisan jobs bills that will create a better climate for economic growth in America, and why I believe we need to reform the tax code to make it more fair, flat, and simple.
"I heard some good proposals from the president tonight, including his plan to remove the regulatory barriers that prevent our nation from rebuilding our nation's infrastructure. I also agree with the president's assessment of the potential that natural gas holds for our nation, including the fact that the natural gas industry could support more than 600,000 jobs by the end of the decade. We know that Pennsylvania has been called the Saudi Arabia of natural gas, and I'm grateful that the president recognized the role this vast natural resource can play in our efforts to create jobs and become more energy independent.
"While the president gave a good speech tonight, and there were elements of the speech I agreed with, the reality is that, in the past, the president's rhetoric has simply failed to match his record.
"For example, in a 2009 speech before a joint session of Congress, the president promised to cut the deficit in half. Instead of delivering on that promise, he has presided over three consecutive years of trillion-dollar deficits, adding more than $4 trillion to our nation's more than $15 trillion debt. Under President Obama's watch, the United States' credit rating was downgraded, which was the first time this has ever happened in the history of America.
"The economy we are facing now is Obama's economy, and he needs to take ownership of it. Nearly 2 million more Americans are out of work since President Obama took office, and America has experienced the longest period of sustained unemployment since the Great Depression, with an unemployment rate of 8 percent or higher every month since 2009. The president has led us in the wrong direction over the past three years, but there's time to right the ship and put aside the failed policies of the past.
"I will continue to do my part to support legislation that will help America recover from our current economic crisis, promoting policies that will increase our development of domestic energy and reform our regulations and tax code to create a more level playing field for America's job creators. If we work together to promote these common sense solutions, I am confident that the state of our union will be better tomorrow that we find it today."