North Alabama lawmakers respond to State of the Union Address

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama used his final State of the Union address to summon an affirmative vision of his administration and for the future. He rebutted critics, naysayers and the GOP White House hopefuls, but also acknowledged his own failure to transform the country’s bitter politics and unite the nation.

With a year left in office, he presented that task as more urgent than ever and pleaded with voters to turn away from harsh voices and come together.

Senators Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.)  and Congressman Robert Aderholt (AL-04) responded to the President’s address with the following statements:

Senator Richard Shelby: 

“Tonight’s address was another political speech full of empty rhetoric that offered no real solutions to the issues facing American families and businesses each day.  While the President used the podium tonight to tout his record, Americans at home know that he is poised to leave behind a legacy of failed policies that have damaged our economy and made America weaker across the globe.

“The American people deserved to hear from the President tonight about his real, comprehensive plan to defeat ISIS and radical Islamic terrorism.  They also deserved to hear that he will not circumvent Congress, unilaterally infringe on law-abiding Americans’ Second Amendment rights, or allow thousands of improperly vetted Syrian refugees into our nation.

“The American people are sick and tired of this President’s blatant disregard for the Constitution, policies that prioritize what is best for Washington over what is best for America, and speeches to score political points.  While I’m pleased that this is his last State of the Union address, the American people would be better off if it were his last day in office.”

Senator Jeff Sessions:

“President Obama’s policy agenda on trade, crime, immigration, spending and debt all have one common feature: they make life harder for working Americans and put the country at needless risk.

With wages down, record numbers not working, and crime rising in cities across the U.S., the next person to occupy the oval office will have to chart a dramatically different course. That course must include:

• Immigration control and reduction
• A dedicated effort to reduce crime and prosecute armed career criminals and drug dealers
• Cancelling the sovereignty-eroding 2 million-word Trans-Pacific Partnership, and rebuilding our manufacturing core
• Welfare-to-work: celebrating the dignity of work, and helping our own people move from welfare to good-paying jobs
• Adoption and implementation of a balanced budget plan
• Repeal of Obamacare
• Creating a smaller, leaner and less costly bureaucracy
• Streamlining the tax code, making it easier to keep jobs and wealth in America
• Tapping into our vast energy resources
• Restoration of the constitutional rule of law.”

Congressman Robert Aderholt:

“The good news is that this was the President’s final State of the Union address.  The bad news is that just like his previous seven addresses to Congress, it was unfortunately filled with the rhetoric, partisanship and divisiveness the American people have rejected.

“President Obama is probably now worried about his legacy and exactly how he will be remembered. I do not think history will be kind to President Obama.  We have seen that Obamacare is an abject failure. There is still no plan for defeating ISIS.  The Iranian deal has isolated our allies while emboldening our enemies. And it is not fiction that our economy actually remains stagnant both in terms of growth and take home pay.

“The focus of my conservative colleagues and I is to spend the next year focused on restoring a confident America and getting back to the basic principles of the Constitution.  An America where people are empowered to make their own decisions and go after their own dreams and get government out of the way.”