State of the Union addressed

By Mac Cordell

January 30, 2014

In Madison County, a largely Republican county, community response to President Barrack Obama’s State of the Union Address on Tuesday was mixed.

Lawmakers representing Madison County, along with The Madison Press (@TheMadisonPress), sought immediate reaction from the public regarding the State of the Union address through Twitter and social media.

During the President’s speech, Greg Schultz (@Schultz6325) wrote that constituents need to educate themselves.

“Illiteracy is a big problem in the US, mainly civic illiteracy — no understanding of the US Constitution.”

Responding to Obama’s comments that “nothing in life that’s worth anything is easy,” Plain City’s Steve Hilbert (@SteveHilbert) wrote “you have to work for it!!”

Following the address, U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers (@RepSteveStivers), who represents Madison County and all of the Ohio 15th Congressional District, did not comment on any of the President’s specific comments, but rather the tone of his address.

“Unfortunately tonight’s State of the Union Speech just shows that the President has chosen to be the Divider in Chief,” said Stivers wrote in a release, first linked on Twitter. “We need to work together and that means neither party will get everything they want. But, we need to find middle ground and come together on the issues we can agree upon. It is what the American people expect and deserve.”

Paul Lambert (@PaulHLambert), responded to Stivers, Tweeting, “Please less criticism and more action. Get something done.”

Cynthia Luallen (@CynthiaLuallen) wrote she agreed with Lambert. She Tweeted that she felt the President, “covered a lot” and asked Stivers to “give solutions.”

“There has to be a way for you to jump in and work on something,” Luallen wrote.

Brian Endicott (@briancmh) said Stivers has repeatedly voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

“That’s not working together,” he wrote.

Senator Rob Portman (@robportman) responded immediately to the presidential address. He Tweeted a link to a statement immediately after the president’s speech.

“In tonight’s State of the Union address, President Obama talked about a year of action to restore an opportunity society, one where every American can pursue his or her dreams,” Portman wrote in his statement. “I couldn’t agree more with the goal, but I disagree with most of the President’s ideas about how to get there. We have tried the top down approach of more government, more regulations, more spending and record debt, and it hasn’t worked.”

He added, “The president did talk about a few areas where we could make progress if he is willing to build on common ground between Republicans and Democrats to break through the gridlock and create more opportunity.”

Portman offered comments to support expanding the president’s all-of-the-above energy policy, the need to pass the Trade Promotion Authority, the need for more skills training for American workers and the need for reform the corporate tax code.

“If the President were to engage with Congress on these four bipartisan proposals to increase opportunity, he could translate his words from the State of the Union into action,” Portman wrote. “It will take his leadership, and if he provides that, I believe both sides can come together and find common ground. Much more needs to be done — on the debt, health care costs, K-12 education, and many other issues. But let’s get started where we can. Republicans are ready and the American people need our help.

He concluded, writing, “The president talked about a year of action. Let’s hope he is willing to work with congress to turn his words into reforms that will help the American people.”

Senator Sherrod Brown (@SenSherrodBrown) offered comments in Tweet linked to a YouTube Video. He began by addressing a raise in the minimum wage.

“As our workers help their companies, and in turn our economy, become more productive, they deserve to be paid better,” said Brown.

The senator said he was “proud” Obama called for a raise of the minimum wage for government contractor employees to $10.10, but Brown pushed for the measure to go further.

“It is time to give all American, working low wage jobs, a raise,” Brown said.

The senator said he supports the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013. Brown said that legislation world give a raise to more than 30 million workers, including more than 1-million in Ohio. He said the legislation would also raise the minimum wage for tipped workers.

“Our nation, our region face challenges, but we also have the opportunity to take action,” said Brown. “By working together to raise the minimum wage and to expand our manufacturing base, we can continue moving Ohio forward.”

He said fostering innovation is the key to tending the state’s manufacturing industry.

“We know that jobs in Ohio’s manufacturing sector has strong multiplier effects and than manufacturing and innovation are linked when it comes to creating jobs,” said Brown.

The senator said he has authored the bipartisan Revitalize American Manufacturing Innovation Act.

“By helping our workers out innovate the rest of the world, we can create thousands of good paying, high-tech manufacturing jobs,” said Brown.

Brown also stressed a need to extend unemployment insurance. He said the country needs to be, more concerned about “creating and protecting jobs not taking away from those who are trying to get back on their feet.”

Brown said he was “glad” Obama stressed the need to train workers for high tech jobs.

“These are just the first steps to putting our economy back on track.”

Andy Plum Tweeted his response to Brown’s comments.

“Embarrassing. Not one word based in economic reality. U just want the #nannystate”

Jan Kennard asked, “who told you what to say?”