Press Releases

Roe Responds to President Obama’s State of the Union Address

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Washington, January 20, 2015 | Tiffany Haverly (202-226-8072) | comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This evening, Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN) released the following statement after President Obama’s State of the Union Address: 

Good evening.

Tonight we heard many of President Obama’s priorities for the next year in his State of the Union address. I was pleased to hear the president express interest in working with Congress, but unfortunately, his rhetoric has rarely matched reality.

Before the last election, President Obama said that his policies were on the ballot. Well, In November, the American people spoke loud and clear about the president’s failed policies at the polls. Since then, President Obama has not only failed to make a sincere effort to work with Republicans in Congress, he has openly indicated his willingness to go around Congress and the Constitution to achieve his goals. Make no mistake: I’m ready to work with anyone – including President Obama –to get things done for the country, but how can we work with someone like this? The first step to getting our country back on track is to stop the policies that are harming our country. When you’re stuck in a hole, you don’t keep digging. You find a way to climb out and make a plan for a new start. 

Some of the priorities laid out in the speech are goals that all Americans support. We should make sure that every able-bodied worker has a good-paying job that can support their family; we should improve our country’s education system; we should cut wasteful spending and we should make home ownership attainable to responsible, hard-working Americans. But even on goals upon which we agree, the president has an over-reliance on government as the solution.

It will be difficult to move forward until the president admits some truths that most East Tennesseans see clearly: Obamacare is not working; immigration reform should happen through changes to law passed by Congress – not executive action; and under no circumstance should we reward anyone who comes to this country illegally with citizenship.

Over the past six years the world has become a more dangerous place and the president’s policies of pacification are only emboldening those who wish to do us harm. ISIS, Iran, North Korea, Cuba and Russia have all undertaken serious transgressions against Americans and global stability without fear of repercussion. The president talked about his foreign policy tonight, but once again we see no strategic plan to strengthen our military and to achieve lasting peace.

We should fiercely protect the Constitutional rights – all Constitutional rights - of American citizens and fight to preserve the American dream. America is the greatest country on the fact of the Earth, and I am determined to keep it that way. We live in a country that democratic nations strive to replicate and that evil oppressors wish to silence. We won’t be silenced. We’ll continue to be the beacon of democracy for the rest of the world. We’ll lead. That’s what America is all about.

The reality is, to achieve anything that improves America in a meaningful way; President Obama has no choice but to work with the Republican-led Congress. And it’s time to get busy.  

Thank you for allowing me the great honor of representing you in Congress. As I’ve said before, my door is always open. God bless you; God bless your families and God bless the United States of America. 

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