By Reid J. Epstein
Following are reactions to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address from local political leaders.
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.): "The president has offered a balanced approach that hopefully can garner bipartisan support. He is aware of the need to rein in spending but also the need to grow jobs, the economy and middle-class paychecks. It makes sense to cut programs that are wasteful and unnecessary, but grow the programs that are needed to preserve the American dream. The president showed the kind of optimism that America relishes, thrives on and believes in."
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.): "President Obama laid out a bold vision for this Congress. It is time to come together and work to create jobs across America. . . . We need to continue the spirit of good will that led us to that victory. We need to keep working together, not as Democrats or Republicans, but as Americans who are committed to a growing economy and a better future for America's middle class."
Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton): "Ensuring our future prosperity means out-innovating and out-educating the rest of the world. We need to unite behind a fiscally responsible strategy that invests in education, clean energy and infrastructure to create jobs and lay the foundation for American success."
Rep. Steve Israel (D-Dix Hills): "Democrats and Republicans sat together for the State of the Union, but it's not about where you sit - it's about where you stand. And I am proud to be standing up for tax cuts for middle-class families, support for small-business innovation and a plan to educate our students to compete and win in a global economy."
Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford): "I thought it was short on specifics. I agreed with him on homeland security and Afghanistan, and I certainly disagreed with him on not repealing the health-care law. On balance, I thought it was a good speech."
Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola): "As an ardent supporter of reducing gun violence and a strong believer in government's ability to play a role in that mission . . . I'm disappointed that President Obama did not urge us to look at our nation's gun laws, as he did in his speech about the Tucson massacre earlier this month."
Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Roslyn Heights): "Ambitious, all-encompassing, challenging and inspirational. The president's message was right on target. He . . . laid out an agenda challenging all Americans to do what it takes to compete in the world of tomorrow."