Congressman Tim Murphy (PA-18) tonight released the following statement in response to President Obama's State of the Union address:
"At a time when over 12 million American citizens are unable to find work, I was hoping to hear more from President Obama this evening.
"In his address, the President stressed the importance of a rising, thriving middle class. I couldn't agree more -- which is why I've repeatedly championed expansion of our domestic energy production. President Obama's vow to cut red tape and speed up new oil and gas permits is encouraging, and would be a departure from the past four years, which is exactly what we need. Developing our coal, natural gas, and oil reserves will create more than jobs: it will generate well-paying careers that enable hardworking Americans to support their families, send their kids to college, and put money away for retirement. Simply put, utilizing our natural resources has the potential to fuel job growth and power our economy through this debilitating recession. That's why I'll soon be reintroducing my legislation, the Infrastructure Jobs and Energy Independence Act, to put our nation on the path to energy independence while creating jobs and fixing our aging infrastructure.
"Perhaps most importantly, our nation's overall fiscal problems demand more than empty promises to cut spending or firm promises to raise taxes. We absolutely must cut spending, cut the deficit, and advance a Balanced Budget Amendment to our Constitution. To accept any less than that jeopardizes the very future of our children and grandchildren.
"Finally, I am shocked the President referenced Newtown, yet did not once mention the words "mental illness.' We simply cannot have any discussion on school safety without addressing the issue of untreated and undiagnosed mental illness. Awareness, identification, and proper treatment can turn lives around, but we need to have a better understanding of what the federal government is doing in this arena. There are dozens of federal agencies responsible for direct care, public program grants, treatments, and research. Each federal program should be evaluated, and, as Chairman of Oversight and Investigations, I'll be leading a thorough review. With careful examination, we can address areas of failure and build on success.
"Like so many Southwestern Pennsylvanians, I was raised by parents who taught us to believe the future would be better because of our hard work, motivation, dedication to learning, and commitment to excellence. Right now, government is standing in the way of that dream, so we must recommit to the founding principles that made our country the greatest nation in history."