Senator Lisa Murkowski today assessed President Obama's state of the union speech, where he repeatedly stressed that his willingness to use executive actions to advance his agenda, instead of seeking Congressional collaboration, saying:
"Tonight marks another missed opportunity to demonstrate leadership from this Administration. Millions of Americans tuned in to hear the President express a willingness to roll his sleeves up and work with Congress in a bipartisan fashion to really help move this nation forward -- and I count myself among those hoping for an aspirational message.
"But what did we hear? We heard "I don't need Congress -- I'll work around them.'
"Go It Alone" politics is not governing. It is not what the nation expects or deserves -- and speeches like tonight are why the public's faith in government is at a depressingly low rate. I worry that this "Go it Alone" attitude will only set our nation back, when we need to move forward. And we move forward on difficult issues best when we are all pulling in the same direction. It's how our government is designed to work -- and the President should not be able to simply decide that it's too inconvenient for him or it takes too long. Ronald Reagan's legacy reminds us that he didn't dig in his heels against a Democratic Congress. Instead, he made the decision to pursue a goal-oriented approach -- regardless of who got the credit or blame--and successfully passed comprehensive immigration and tax reform.
"Tonight, President Obama said he wants 2014 to be a "Year of Action.' If he wants to follow-through on that claim, we need to all be part of the conversation -- not just have it be him telling Congress what he wants done. Let's talk about jobs and work together to expand opportunities that create jobs. Let's work on some of the bipartisan initiatives in the energy sector -- which is truly the bright spot in our nation's economy. We all want a "Year of Action' but it's going to take more than the President's pen and phone. It will take true engagement with Congress.
"Going it alone is not a solution and it's counterproductive in government. Consensus-building is hard, but 100 percent do-able. Let's get to work."