STATE OF THE UNION: How they reacted to Obama's speechNewsday
January 28, 2010
Excerpts from Obama's State of the Union address:
"One year ago, I took office amid two wars, an economy rocked by severe recession, a financial system on the verge of collapse, and a government deeply in debt. Experts from across the political spectrum warned that if we did not act, we might face a second depression. So we acted - immediately and aggressively. And one year later, the worst of the storm has passed.
But the devastation remains."
"After two years of recession, the economy is growing again. Retirement funds have started to gain back some of their value. Businesses are beginning to invest again and slowly some are starting to hire again. But I realize that for every success story, there are other stories, of men and women who wake up with the anguish of not knowing where their next paycheck will come from; who send out resumes week after week and hear nothing in response. That is why jobs must be our number one focus in 2010, and that is why I am calling for a new jobs bill tonight."
"By the time I'm finished speaking tonight, more Americans will have lost their health insurance. Millions will lose it this year. Our deficit will grow. Premiums will go up. Co-pays will go up. Patients will be denied the care they need.
Small-business owners will continue to drop coverage altogether.
I will not walk away from these Americans. And neither should the people in this chamber."
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)
"It is clear that the president is listening to our country and is now leading Washington to focus on jobs, the economy and the middle class. His programs are of modest cost, but are sharply targeted at helping families on issues that keep them awake at night, like paying college tuition and getting good child care."
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.)
"President Obama's call to repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' marks the beginning of a new era of equality and justice in America. The military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy is an unfair, outdated measure that violates the civil rights of some of our bravest, most heroic men and women."
Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton)
"I think it was a great speech. The emphasis on getting the economy going again and putting this country back to work was well-placed. The necessity of an energy policy as it relates to economic stability was important. The way he spoke to us, perhaps even lectured us, on the way we conduct our business - on the responsibility we have to the American people... was a very important lesson for each and every one of us."
Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington)
"Tonight the president laid out his plan for jobs and a middle-class recovery. Now it's time for results. Long Islanders have had enough partisan bickering and stalling. They need and deserve decisive action by the administration and Congress to revive the economy, create new jobs and rebuild equity in people's homes."
Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford)
"Overall it was fairly well delivered, but I was disappointed. I think he was going through the motions of speaking for the middle class. I was disappointed he only spent a few lines on terrorism...That bank tax is going to have a devastating effect on New York."
Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola)
"I was extremely pleased to hear the president talk about jobs. There are still too many people without jobs, too many people struggling with debt, and too many people struggling to stay in their homes...Our immediate focus must be on the economy and the President laid out a good road map. Now it is time for us to roll up our sleeves and work together on getting it passed."
Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Roslyn Heights)
"The president nailed it. It's about jobs, education and economic security for the middle class. He was also correct in urging Democrats and Republicans to work together for the benefit of all Americans."