Reaction President Obama's State of the Union address largely broke along party lines for Wisconsin's congressional delegation. U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, praised the president for putting "progress ahead of partisan politics." "President Obama made clear the path we must take to build broad based
economic growth and reduce our deficit without shortchanging our future," she said. U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh, said Obama paid "lip service" to job creation. "Once
again, his proposed solution was a demand for increased spending – he
called it investment," Johnson said. "He proposed paying for it by increasing taxes or
just simply putting it on the national credit card. You know, the one
that already has a balance of $16.4 trillion." U.S. Rep. Reid Ribble, R-Sherwood, said Obama once again proved he is a great orator, but he will try to focus on areas both parties can find agreement. "There's no sense in focusing on disagreement or attacking people because
it just prolongs the bickering and cheap talk that is so common in
Washington D.C.," he said. U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Milwaukee, praised the president for his pledge to prevent and reduce gun violence. “While some may dismiss the President’s message as simple fodder for
liberals, I believe that the message he gave this evening was -- as the
young people say -- ‘real talk,’" she said. "We are facing tough times, and the only
way that our country will thrive is with bold new ideas."
U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, said the parties need to work together to balance the budget or they will trigger a debt crisis.
"I’m concerned the President doesn’t fully appreciate the challenge of
our national debt -- and its threat to our economy," he said. "Tonight, he outlined
many new programs in detail. But when it came to spending restraint, he
was remarkably brief. He overstated his administration’s success on this
front. And he downplayed the task before us."
U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, D-La Crosse, said the government needs to make sure the economy is built to last, but has to do it in a fiscally responsible way.
"And that means eliminating wasteful spending and finding ways to raise revenue at the same time," he said.
U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Menomonee Falls, said the address renewed the president's "vision for an America where government expands while freedom contracts.” He particularly criticized the speech's focus on climate change, charging that Obama "was very clear that he will instruct his Administration to achieve his goals via regulation and administrative fiat."
"Whether by 'cap and tax' scheme or EPA regulation, these policies will ravage our economy and hike energy prices," Sensenbrenner said.