WASHINGTON (CBS DC) – Five-term Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers delivered the Republican party’s official response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address stating that “the president’s policies are making people’s lives harder.”
Rodgers, a top-ranking woman for the Republican congressional leadership, sounded doubtful about the number of promises Obama made to the nation in his address.
“Tonight the president made more promises that sound good but won’t actually solve the problems facing Americans,” Rodgers stated. “We want you to have a better life.”
She explained how the “Republican vision” will help the country recover and that all Americans will benefit from her party’s ideas more so than Obama’s.
“So tonight I’d like to share a more hopeful, Republican vision – one that empowers you, not the government,” Rodgers said. “It’s one that champions free markets – and trusts people to make their own decisions, not a government that decides for you. It helps working families rise above the limits of poverty and protects our most vulnerable. And it’s one where Washington plays by the same rules that you do. It’s a vision that is fair and offers the promise of a better future for every American.”
The congresswoman, who gave birth to a baby girl two months ago, highlighted the importance of family as a mother of three children and a wife.
“The most important moments right now aren’t happening here,” Rodgers shared. “They’re not in the Oval Office or in the House Chamber. They’re in your homes. Kissing your kids goodnight. Figuring out how to pay the bills. Getting ready for tomorrow’s doctor’s visit. Waiting to hear from those you love serving in Afghanistan, or searching for that big job interview. After all, ‘We the People’ have been the foundation of America since her earliest days – people from all walks of life, and from all corners of the world – people who come to America because here, no challenge is too great and no dream too big.”
House Speaker John Boehner responded to Obama’s address questioning one of his key points to Congress.
“I appreciate what the president said tonight, but I’m with those Americans who are asking the question: ‘Where are the jobs?'” Boehner asked.
Rodgers also questioned the president about American jobs and stated that his policies are causing Americans to fall “further and further behind.”
“Republicans have plans to close the gap … plans that focus on jobs first without more spending, government bailouts, and red tape.” Rodgers stated. “Every day, we’re working to expand our economy, one manufacturing job, nursing degree and small business at a time. We have plans to improve our education and training systems so you have the choice to determine where your kids go to school … to help you take home more of your paycheck … with lower taxes, cheaper energy costs, and affordable health care.”
The congresswoman explained her purpose in Congress is to “help empower people, not politicians; to grow the working middle class, not the government; and to ensure that everyone in this country can find a job.”
She also briefly addressed the president’s point about immigration reform.
“And yes, it’s time to honor our history of legal immigration,” Rodgers said. “We’re working on a step-by-step solution to immigration reform by first securing our borders and making sure America will always attract the best, brightest, and hardest working from around the world.”
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor responded to Obama and asked the president to really work together with Republicans to “find a common ground.”
“Tonight, President Obama said, ‘I’m eager to work with all of you’ in Congress,” Cantor said. “I wish that were so. For years, President Obama has chosen to withdraw from policy debates and ignore our Constitutional balance of power. Identifying that you cannot work with a Republican House or a Democratic Senate should not be a point of pride or a governing philosophy. Let’s put away the pen, and pick up the phone and work together to find common ground. That is something all Americans expect of the Congress, as well as the president.”
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., also doubted the president and tweeted, “What we heard tonight was what we’ve come to expect from Pres Obama every year—lofty speeches filled with promises that won’t come true.”
Bachmann followed up with another tweet stating, “Eventually the empty rhetoric will catch up to you—and reality is hitting this administration hard.”