Congressman John Shimkus (R, Illinois-15) issued the followed statement on the President's State of the Union speech:
"The President laid out an agenda for our nation that I disagree with. He proposed many ideas about making government bigger and more intrusive. He wants to raise taxes, limit gun ownership, and over-regulate the climate none of which will help grow the economy and reduce the unemployment rate.
"Our national debt stands at over $16 trillion, and yet the President claims we're over half-way towards a "goal' for deficit reduction. House Republicans have promised to restrain spending so that we achieve a balanced budget in ten years without additional tax increases.
"Democrat Whip Steny Hoyer recently chided me on the House floor for saying that the sequester budget cuts were going to happen. House Republicans passed sequester replacements twice already, so Democrats need to come up with equal cuts then, or -- as I said -- the across the board sequester cuts will happen.
"While I sympathize with the families of gun violence, legal gun owners should not be punished for the actions of criminals. States, including Illinois, should fully participate in existing law and provide mental health and criminal information to the federal database for background checks.
"Any push with regard to climate change should come through legislative action by Congress, not through fiat by the President. Cap-and-trade legislation has already failed in the Democrat controlled Senate. This bi-partisan opposition remains in Congress and trying to resurrect these failed policies or pursing efforts such as a carbon tax are misguided and would only serve to create further job loss and raise costs to working families still struggling to pay their bills.
"Now, is renewable energy a valuable part of our energy portfolio -- yes. But, can it replace base load generating facilities -- no. By putting our coal generating power plants out of business, the President and his Administration are harming the economy. They are taxing us through regulations and putting all our eggs in one basket when it comes to sustainable low-cost electricity generation.
"One of my overused refrains is that in order to have employees, you must have employers. Employers will not add jobs or start new business ventures when our government continues to create uncertainty about taxes and regulations. The President doesn't seem to get that.
"On the big issues of our budget, spending, and taxes, the President doesn't seem willing to work with the Republican majority in the House. In fact, he's moved farther away than ever."