Jan 12 2016

“Tonight we heard President Obama deliver his final State of the Union address. Regardless of your views on the President’s politics or his policies, it’s a special occasion for the American people to hear from their President and participate in a healthy debate about the future of our nation.
 
With that said, even some of the President Obama’s own supporters will acknowledge the disappointment created as a result of the many broken promises and mistakes made by this administration.
 
Our economy has failed to fully rebound following the global recession of 2008. Inadequate job creation, weak economic growth, and fewer opportunities for younger generations of Americans have become the new “normal” for our country.
 
Simply put, we’re not where we need to be.
 
The President has seemingly forgotten that we’re a nation blessed with the hardest-working people, the most innovative minds, and the greatest abundance of resources the world has ever known.
 
We can’t allow mediocrity to become the new normal. We must do better.
 
And that’s why I’m committed to working with my colleagues–both Democrat and Republican—on commonsense solutions to reduce burdensome regulations, reform our broken tax code, and produce opportunities for hardworking families.
 
During his speech tonight, we heard the President once again call on Congress to approve his resolution authorizing the use of military force against ISIS. But the problem is that the authority the President is requesting would actually be counterproductive to our goal to destroy ISIS.
 
That’s because it would codify, into law, limitations that would force the United States to fight against ruthless Islamic terrorists with one hand tied behind our back. Instead of telegraphing to the world what actions he won’t take, the President needs to formulate a clear and decisive strategy to completely defeat ISIS and secure our homeland.
 
While President Obama and I may not see eye to eye on many issues, we both agree Washington needs to be doing far more for the brave men and women who have served our nation.
 
Over the past year, I’ve worked across the aisle with the Secretary of the VA and my colleagues on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee to improve care for our veterans, with a particular focus on expanding access to mental health care services and reforming the bloated VA bureaucracy.
 
I was happy when President Obama recently endorsed two pieces of legislation I introduced to increase educational opportunities for veterans, and I’ll work hard this year to send them to his desk so he can sign them into law.
 
The reality is, the American people are sick and tired of the gridlock in Washington.
 
The President has a choice to make. He can finally engage with Congress and work to find common ground, or he can continue to side-step Congress and the American people by implementing executive actions that divide rather than unite.
 
I hope the President will choose the path of collaboration and bipartisanship.
 
Regardless, I’ll continue to work hard on behalf of all North Carolinians, and I’ll work across the aisle to produce results for our great state and nation.
 
Thank you for your time. May God bless the United States of America.”

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