Congressman Rob Bishop (UT-01) released the following statement in response to President Obama's 2013 State of the Union Address:
"While I found the speech to be disappointing, I don't disagree with some of the concepts and proposals President Obama put forth. I liked the emphasis on families and that the President addressed the need to improve healthcare for our nation's veterans. I was also impressed that the President touched on the fact that the federal government doesn't have to solve every problem. However, in large part, the President was just playing to the crowd, telling them what they wanted to hear, and missed out on the opportunity to address some of the most immediate crises facing our country.
"I was particularly disappointed that the President's approach to addressing the looming financial crisis and sequester was to generate more revenue. In fact he only brought up the word "sequester' once, which is surprising given the scale of impact it will have on our country. Instead of introducing a feasible plan to halt sequestration, especially the cuts to national defense, the President is using this financial crisis to raise taxes on hard-working Americans and businesses in order to generate new revenue. The harsh arbitrary cuts from sequestration would jeopardize military readiness and fails to account for the cuts already occurring at the Defense Department, which are the main reasons why I opposed the idea of a sequester from its very inception and voted against the bill creating it. In the last election, President Obama told us that sequestration "will not happen,' and he should be held accountable to that statement. After all, the idea of a sequester was created by the President and his advisers.
"I think most Americans agree that education can be improved in this country. The way to do that is by increasing local autonomy and parental involvement, not federal intrusion and meddling. Having served as an educator for the better part of three decades, I have concerns with the concept of the federal government controlling education from birth to college.
"Also of concern is the President's agenda for energy. Just in the last month, multiple lease sales on federal lands in Colorado have been pulled because of bureaucratic red-tape. The reality is that any progress made on this front was done despite his administration's attempt to curb production and slow walk new opportunities for development of our public lands and resources. It's ironic that he touts natural gas production at the same time that his administration is working on new policies to limit methods of extraction and production."