Following President Obama's State of the Union address this evening, Senator Susan Collins released this statement:
"The 113th Congress faces extraordinary challenges as we work to grow our nation's economy, lower the unemployment rate, seek both short-term and long-term ways to reduce federal spending to bring the national debt under control, and debate a host of other important issues. I appreciate that the President tonight called for members of both parties to work together to address these challenges and I hope that he is sincere in his desire to work with all of us.
"Our national debt now stands at an almost incomprehensible $16.4 trillion. That ever-increasing sum, along with rising interest payments, is our legacy to future generations. The President outlined an ambitious agenda tonight, but I am concerned that he did not explain how he intends to pay for it without further burdening middle-income families and small businesses.
"Unfortunately, Congress and the President have missed several opportunities to enact a long-term plan to stabilize our debt, and instead we again face automatic cuts of nearly $1 trillion from defense and non-defense programs in the federal budget. This "meat-ax" approach would put our economy and national security in jeopardy and is the least responsible way to address our debt.
"We have exhausted all the alternatives -- excessive borrowing, budgetary gimmicks, the blame game, and all of the other attempts to avoid responsibility. Now we are left with that quality of our national character that has seen us through crises throughout history-- our resolve and our willingness to pull together."