U.S. Representative Ed Whitfield (KY-01) issued the following statement this evening after President Obama delivered his annual State of the Union Address.
"As Americans across the country tuned in to watch President Obama deliver his annual State of the Union Address, many of my fellow Kentuckians spent the evening worrying about how they are going to put food on the table, pay their bills, or find a job. With the unemployment rate in the Commonwealth still at a staggering 10.7%, there is no question that many residents of the First Congressional District are still struggling to get by.
"During these challenging times, it is more important than ever for Democrats and Republicans to come together to deliver commonsense solutions that will put Americans back to work. While I appreciate President Obama reiterating his commitment to bipartisanship, the proof will be in the pudding if in the coming year the President, Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid at long last reach across the aisle to incorporate the very best ideas from both parties. It has become abundantly clear that the American people are opposed to many of the sweeping changes the Administration has advocated this year and are concerned about the impact these proposals will have on their families. Moving forward, I hope that President Obama will heed the call of the American people and work with Democrats and Republicans to implement change which will put our citizens back to work and turn our economy around.
"There is perhaps no greater threat to the future of our nation and the well-being of our citizens than the federal government's runaway spending habits and consequent record deficit. Since President Obama took office, federal spending has increased by 22% - putting us at the highest spending levels this nation has ever seen. Freezing spending at this level, while better than increasing it, will not get our country back on a path to fiscal solvency. It is time for us to make some hard decisions regarding federal spending before our national debt becomes an insurmountable burden for future generations. I am committed to reining in spending and reducing our national debt and will continue to do all that I can to ensure Washington starts living within its means."
"Public outcry against President Obama's and Speaker Pelosi's healthcare proposal has been loud and clear, particularly in the First Congressional District. While we are all committed to bringing down costs and ensuring every American has access to quality healthcare, the bills pushed through the House and Senate last year are simply not the way to do it. We need to enact reform that lowers premiums for working families and small businesses and leads to expanded access to affordable healthcare coverage for all Americans without increasing taxes, cutting benefits to seniors or raising the federal deficit. Moving forward, I hope the President and Members of Congress from both parties can come together and work openly toward reforms the American people can support.
War on Terror
"I share the President's commitment to maintaining stability in the Middle East and eliminating terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Having recently traveled to Afghanistan, I understand just how challenging the road ahead will be. The nation is deeply fractured and without the security being provided by U.S. forces, there is little doubt that the Taliban would take over. However, we must remember that the ultimate success or failure of our efforts will depend on the Afghan people. They and they alone must be responsible for establishing a government to protect their people and ensure a successful future for their nation.
"Our brave military men and women, many from Fort Campbell, continue to serve on the front lines as we root out terrorists abroad and work to keep Americans safe here at home. I share the President's commitment to ensuring they have the resources they need to fight the war on terror and the benefits they and their families have more than earned when they return."