"Moments ago, President Obama concluded yet another State of the Union Address. This annual address is a tradition that allows the President the opportunity to share with Congress and the American people how he plans to solve the most serious challenges facing our country.
"Multiple times before I have heard the same soaring rhetoric and promises to focus on the issues most important to the American people. Multiple times I have been disappointed. Tonight's speech was no different.
"Tonight was the opportunity to start anew and I hoped that his speech would do more to bridge a divided Congress rather than drive us apart.
"And yet, while his tone was partisan, I know we can and must find opportunities to come together as a country.
"It was refreshing to hear the President lavish attention on the need to move our economy forward. What frustrates me and so many others is the lack of emphasis on job creation during his first four years in office.
"Instead, we got ObamaCare, tax increases, Dodd/Frank regulations, and mountains of more regulatory burden on the backs of hard working taxpayers.
"And while the President said he is refocused on the economy tonight - he then immediately diverted from those words and began pressing a litany of social issues which--while important--are not nearly as vital as using this time to avert another recession
"With respect to our nation's debt. The House of Representatives is the only body to produce and pass a budget in the past four years. It is time for the President and his party to stop talking about balancing the budget - and instead produce one. And pass it through the Senate which is controlled by the Presidents party.
"We continue to hear about the need to raise revenue/raise taxes and that our approach should be balanced. Yet, in the first two years of the President's term in office -- when Democrats controlled the entire process - our discretionary spending increase 40% in just two years. When Democrats increased spending -- they didn't see the need to increase taxes. Why then now, do we need to increase taxes -- in order to cut spending? I think the hard working taxpayers of this country expect us to finally deal with Washington's spending problem -- without raising their taxes any further.
"If the President negotiates in good faith and lives up to his words tonight, we can jointly act -- in a bipartisan way - to prevent a debt crisis and get our economy back on track. But this will require Presidential leadership.
"While speeches can offer a vision, what our country needs is a road map back to prosperity. That is why the House will once again introduce a budget that will make the tough, but necessary decisions to curb spending, and eliminate the yearly trillion dollar deficits.
"We will again offer a budget that will reform & save entitlements, the major drivers of our debt, so that current seniors will not be hurt and those nearing retirement and even those individuals my age will have a safety net that will remain strong and solvent far into the future.
"The country can ill afford another year of kicking the can down the road. I will do my part to offer a way forward.
"The problems we face require a shared responsibility to solve. That doesn't mean pitting one class of Americans against another. It means showing leadership by offering ideas that solve these problems. Ideas that make our economy stronger. Ideas that make it easier for people to get a job.
"We have a lot of work ahead of us. I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress to present these ideas and get them passed. I hope the President will join us with his own specific proposals so we can work together.
"Our Nation and its future -- depends on it." -