Politics & Government

Kansas congressional delegation pans president’s speech

Kansas’ Republican delegates in Washington D.C. made it clear after President Obama’s State of the Union speech Tuesday that they didn’t like it very much.

Congressman Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, a former CEO, said the president has no idea what company CEOs want.

“He wants to cut ‘special loopholes’ that are neither ‘special’ nor ‘loopholes’ – they’re the same boring depreciation schedules all small businesses use,” Pompeo said in a statement. “He calls for modern pipelines to withstand a storm and promises to speed up permitting issues, but refuses to approve the long-awaited Keystone XL pipeline which would create hundreds of thousands of jobs. He wants to increase ribbon cuttings at special government-designated manufacturing hubs while he’s increasing taxes, costs, and red tape on manufacturers who already exist. And he wants to increase medical innovation at a time when Obamacare levies a huge tax on medical devices.

“He just doesn’t get it. The government doesn’t drive the creation of successful manufacturing. All the government has to do is get out of the way and American businesses will take care of the rest.”

Pompeo said he was disappointed Obama didn’t truly address the nation’s financial situation.

“We’re $16 trillion in debt, and no amount of taxation will get us out of that hole, and no amount of government-sponsored growth will help our economy,” his statement said. “The Congressional Budget Office has made it clear: we need structural entitlement reform and cuts to discretionary spending. The President didn’t provide clarity on either.”

Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Hays, said Obama delivered the same message of higher taxes and spending, and more regulation of people’s lives and businesses, while refusing to address the need for solvent Social Security and Medicare programs.

“Economic growth starts with the private sector, not government,” Moran said in a written statement..

Moran said he and Sens. Mark Warner and Chris Coons will reintroduce legislation aimed at jump-starting the economy through the creation and growth of new businesses called the Startup Act 3.0. The original legislation was introduced last spring. It builds on recommendations made by the Kauffman Foundation and the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness to boost economic growth, Moran said

“This President and Congress must work to make certain our nation remains a place where the American dream is alive and well,” Moran said. “I’m ready to work with the President and my colleagues to reduce spending, encourage entrepreneurship, reform our complicated tax code, and reduce unnecessary regulations.”

Sen. Pat Roberts accused the president of the proposing the same tax-and-spend policies that have left the nation with a nearly $17 trillion debt and many out of work.

“Rather than at least a path toward fiscal responsibility, we got another campaign speech,” Roberts said in a statement.

“Kansans are tired of the brinksmanship. They are sick of the unknown; are tired of the government regulations, the taxes and the rising costs and uncertainty of the new health care law. They are fearful of the future for their children and grandchildren,” Roberts’ statement said. “If it was the President’s intention to lead the nation to an economic recovery, I am afraid the President missed the mark.

First District Congressman Tim Huelskamp accused the president of using empty rhetoric instead of showing leadership in the speech.

“Despite tremendous proof showing that Big Government does not work, President Obama doubled down on growing the influence of Washington in the day-to-day affairs of families, local schools, and state governments. And, even if it means abandoning the Constitution or acting above the law, President Obama made it very clear that he will take matters into his own hands and subvert the legislative authority of Congress," Huelskamp said in a written statement.

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