Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Udall Statement on President’s State of the Union Address

Today, Mark Udall issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s State of the Union address.

“President Obama hit the right notes tonight in his annual State of the Union address. He underscored the importance of working together toward addressing our shared challenges – no matter what our political affiliation may be. The message I got from last November’s elections was that Coloradans want us to behave like adults to solve national problems, and I believe that President Obama struck that same chord tonight in his speech.

“As I’ve said before, we need to bridge the partisan divide that has hindered progress in Washington , D.C. , for far too long. We began this year in sadness, and it was in honor of our colleague Gabby Giffords and all of the other victims of the shooting in Tucson , that I called for Democrats and Republicans to sit together at the State of the Union address tonight. Gabby is a dear friend; she represents the district my father held for 30 years, and she represents everyone, regardless of party. I hope that we can build on the spirit of camaraderie we began today and work together on common-sense policies that will help Colorado ’s working families and small businesses.

“The President put it well when he said it’s going to take bold ideas to strengthen our economy and harness the American spirit of entrepreneurship and competitiveness. More than ever, our focus must be on job creation, getting our nation’s fiscal house in order, and reforming the broken ways in Washington . I believe we will continue to lead the global economy only if we can find ways to unleash innovation, invest responsibly, and create jobs here at home. Our debt is perhaps our nation’s biggest challenge, and I look forward to working with the President to pay it down. We need to do the same belt tightening in government that Coloradans have been doing at home over the past several years.

“I also want to commend the President for calling for a moratorium on earmarks. I agree – I called for a ban on earmarks in November because the practice has gotten out of hand. Earmarks are a small part of the budget, but eliminating them would be a big step toward greater fiscal responsibility. The President can help by lending his bully pulpit and his veto pen if necessary. I look forward to working with him and my colleagues from both sides on this.

“The President challenged us all to work productively toward making America ’s future brighter than ever. With members of both parties, I’m ready to roll my shirt sleeves up even higher to ensure that the future for our children and grandchildren will always be bright.”