Regional SOTU Reactions
January 21, 2015

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill:
“The President outlined some commonsense ideas and opportunities for bipartisan cooperation, tonight, including tax cuts aimed at bolstering our middle class. We’ve made a great deal of progress for working families in the past few years—with a growing number of folks back to work at millions of more jobs, a much smaller deficit, and plunging energy costs—but there’s still more work to do. And I’m eager to roll up my sleeves with my Republican and Democratic colleagues to keep strengthening our middle class.”

Kansas Representative a Lynn Jenkins:
“President Obama used this evening to appease his political base and focused on dividing our Nation and using bureaucratic control to run our country with top-down Washington-centered solutions. I believe the key to growing a healthy economy begins by strengthening the paycheck of hard working Americans, putting more money into Kansans pockets, and growing our economy from the bottom-up. ”

Missouri Representative Sam Graves:
“The American people spoke loud and clear this past November in opposition to President Obama’s failed policies of the last six years,” said Rep. Graves. “The American people sent us here to forge a new direction in finding solutions to the problems facing our nation,” he continued. “Tonight, the President has once again shown that he plans to ignore the will of the people in order to push his big government agenda.”

Missouri Representative Vicky Hartzler:
“t is disappointing that President Obama has rejected an opportunity to reach out to and cooperate with Congress, preferring instead to outline an ill-conceived vision that continues to expand the reach, size, and scope of the federal government. The simple fact is that our country cannot tax and spend itself into prosperity. Government must get out of the way and allow the American people to pursue their dreams.”

Jackson. County Democratic Chairman Tom Wyrsch:
“We thank the President for his leadership in rebuilding our economy over the past six years. Our economy is now working better for the middle class than it ever was during the previous Republican administration. Our economy is growing again and industry is picking up, much due to the leadership of our President, the policies of the Democratic Party, and the continuing hard work and vigor of the American people.”

Community College Students & Blunt Assess Obama’s Free Community College Plan
January 21, 2015

In Tuesday’s State of the Union address, President Barack Obama is expected to propose making community college free for students who graduate from high school.

It’s a plan that is already in place in Tennessee and could have a big impact on tens of thousands of people in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

The plan aims to help increase the earning power of people in the work force.

Jason Fuller, a father of three, went back to school at Blue River Community College.

“I just kind of got tired of getting laid off,” he said.

He said he plans to get a full degree. An associate degree doesn’t hurt, but many people said it doesn’t fully bridge the wage gap.

The Obama community college plan is similar in some respects to the Missouri A+ high school program.

“They maintain a certain GPA. They do a certain amount of community service and meet certain requirements,” said Metropolitan Community Colleges Chancellor Mark James.

Community colleges already attract some students because of the lower cost and worries over long-term debt from college loans.

“If I would have put myself through school with student loan debt, I’d be paying it off until I was 40 or 50,” said Jakob Ganschow, who went to Blue River Community College.

The cost of the Obama plan, $60 billion over 10 years, has some people wondering about the plan, especially older, non-traditional students.

Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, who used to be president of a small college, said he thinks other student finance reforms might be more effective. He and others doubt that the president’s free community college idea will pass through a Republican Congress, saying that the idea is in the right church, just not the right pew.

James said he’s happy that the president is talking about community colleges and he’s eager to hear more details in Tuesday evening’s speech.

More Republican Reaction to SOTU
February 13, 2013

Republicans from both Kansas’ and Missouri’s Congressional delegations criticized president Obama economic proposed he spoke about in Tuesday night’s state of the Union Speech.

“I was hoping the President would outline an agenda focused on policies that promote economic growth, job creation, and opportunities for every American. Unfortunately, he delivered the same message of higher taxes and spending, more regulation of our lives and businesses,” said Kansas Senator Jerry Moran.
Wichita Congressman blasted the President speech for being out of touch with what businesses really need.
“The president thinks he knows what CEOs want. I was a manufacturing CEO twice: once in aviation, an industry which he has relentlessly attacked, and once in energy, an industry he has also relentlessly attacked. And I have news for him: He has no idea what CEOs want,” Pompeo said.

“He wants to cut ‘special loopholes’ that are neither ‘special’ nor ‘loopholes’ – they’re the same boring depreciation schedules all small businesses use.
Mo-4 Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler said she didn’t hear many new proposals in the president’s speech.
“He has again put forward recycled ideas that fail to move our nation forward,” she said.
Suburban Kansas City Congressman Kevin Yoder worries the President’s plans will increase the debt.
“Unfortunately, many of the President’s ideas involve greater government borrowing. Higher taxes and federal spending will only make our nation’s problems worse, while leaving in place the very anti-small business policies that are making economic recovery more difficult in the first place, “ Yoder said in a news release.

VIDEO: Ks. Sen. Pat Roberts on SOTU: “More of the Same”
February 13, 2013

Kansas Senator Pat Roberts calls the President’s SOTU another campaign speech:

Video: Blunt Says President “Missed a Real Opportunity”
February 13, 2013

Missouri Senator Roy Blunt’s statement on the president’s SOTU: