Fla. officials respond to State of the Union address


Many officials responded Tuesday night to the President Obama's State of the Union address.

Gov. Rick Scott issued the following statement:

"President Obama has had more memorable speeches. But, in fairness, it's hard to top ‘if you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan.' Unfortunately, what we didn't hear tonight was how he would make healthcare more affordable by undoing his failed law or how he would undo the outrageous flood insurance hikes he forced on Floridians."

Sen. Marco Rubio issued the following statement:

"Americans deserve more opportunities to achieve a better life, and that's going to require a free enterprise economy that's creating more middle class jobs and a government with less debt. While the President discussed some areas of common interest, the heart of his 2014 agenda is clearly more about working alone than with the American people's representatives on the major reforms we need.

"President Obama missed an opportunity on several fronts, especially by insisting that Washington keep spending more money than it takes in, keep dictating to entrepreneurs how to run their businesses, and failing to level with the American people about how we can save our retirement programs. We need a real opportunity agenda that helps people seize the enormous potential that the coming years hold."

Click here to read more of Rubio's statement.

Congresswoman Frederica Wilson issued the following statement:

"Tonight, the President delivered a powerful vision to restore fairness and opportunity in America. His call for a renewed focus on jobs and wages should not only guide Congress's agenda in 2014, but also Florida's agenda.

Right now, there are two Floridas. While one is thriving, the other is struggling to survive. The agenda that President Obama laid out -- raising the minimum wage, closing the skills gap, boosting manufacturing, creating opportunities for youth through mentoring and educational investments -- is a path to real prosperity for all Floridians and all Americans. 

It won't take much to end America's unemployment crisis and get people working again. There are proven bipartisan proposals -- like those included in the State of the Union -- that could end the jobs crisis right now. But we need political will to act. I've been in Congress for more than 1,100 days now, and the Republican leadership has yet to bring a single serious jobs bill to the floor for a vote. It's time to come together and compromise to pass a jobs bill for the sake of the American people. 

This week I'm announcing the establishment of a Full Employment Caucus in Congress to advocate for proven and comprehensive solutions to the jobs crisis. This is not only about rebuilding the economy, but also restoring basic dignity for millions of unemployed Americans. I urge my Republican colleagues to join me in seeking to finally end the effects of the Great Recession.  Let's make 2014 a year of action."

Rep. Ted Deutch issued the following statement:

"This evening, President Obama laid out a series of concrete proposals that would grow the incomes of middle class families, expand economic opportunity and accelerate job creation. Nearly every item on the agenda outlined by the President, from raising the minimum wage to passing comprehensive immigration reform to ensuring equal pay for equal work, would boost Florida's economic recovery. Unsurprisingly, these proposals enjoy enormous support from the overwhelming majority of Americans, who believe that economic success and real financial security should be within the reach of anyone who is willing to work hard to reach their potential. The real question that remains is whether or not the leadership of this Congress, already the least productive in our nation's history, has any interest in working in a bipartisan way to advance a commonsense economic agenda that works for all Americans and not just the well-connected few."

Congresswoman Lois Frankel issued the following statement:

"I agree with the President, there's much more we can do to make sure that hardworking Americans earn a decent wage, that their kids have access to quality education, and families can save for a secure retirement," said Congresswoman Frankel. "Congress should work together in a bi-partisan manner with the President to get this done." 

Congressman Alcee L. Hastings issued the following statement:

"Our nation is known across the globe as a land of opportunity, where hard work and dedication lead to a more prosperous future. Every American should have the chance to succeed, yet this vision of the American Dream has slipped further out of grasp for an overwhelming majority of families now struggling to get by.

"Together, we have made great progress in creating jobs, expanding access to affordable health care, and improving educational opportunities for all. But it is not enough. Many of my constituents have felt the strains of economic insecurity long before the Great Recession, and many continue to lay awake at night – fearful for the future, and wondering when it will get better.

"Tonight, President Obama outlined his vision for putting our country back on track. Growing income inequality threatens to drive a sharp and painful wedge into communities all across our nation. Without increases to our national minimum wage or new efforts to help more jobseekers find work, we will continue down this dangerous path.

"With each passing day, more families face the threat of losing their home. With each passing day, our roads, bridges, ports, airports, and railways continue to degrade without adequate investments. And with each passing day, Americans burdened by long-term unemployment see little action in Congress to give them hope.

"Looking abroad, we must also strive to advance a foreign policy that reflects our nation's highest principles and advances our interests. We must be guided by the need to ensure the safety of the American people while working to alleviate human suffering, promote democracy and the fundamental human rights of all, and foster greater peace and stability around the world. From the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria that has killed more than 125,000 people and displaced 6.5 million, to the ongoing negotiations to dismantle Iran's nuclear program, to our nation's military and aid commitments, the United States must continue to exercise its leadership and engage the international community in finding solutions to global challenges.

"Every Representative in Congress was sent to Washington to do what is best for the American people. Yet dysfunction and partisanship has become so entrenched that many challenges have gone unaddressed. This divide has already had serious consequences. Cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) threaten the health and well-being of the one in seven impoverished Americans that rely upon the program for food and more than 1.5 million Americans have seen their lifeline cut loose by the expiration of emergency unemployment benefits.

"With so many Americans and their families enduring difficult times, we cannot afford to wait any longer. Americans deserve peace of mind and a government that functions. It is time for Congress to get serious about moving our country forward."