Barletta Statement Regarding Obama State of the Union Address

Jan 12, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today issued the following statement regarding President Obama’s final State of the Union address to Congress and the nation:

“As expected, the president indulged in a victory lap in his final State of the Union address, despite all of the mounting problems this country faces as a result of decisions he has made over the last seven years.  Our national security is in a more perilous position than ever before, his health care law has been a disaster, and his regulatory overreach has stifled private enterprise.  The prospects for the nation are indeed sound, but only because Americans are resilient and resourceful, and have a history of overcoming obstacles in order to succeed.

“The president made a big show of leaving a seat empty to represent victims of gun violence, but he failed to leave a space for Kate Steinle.  She was the young woman murdered in San Francisco by an illegal immigrant, a crime which is sadly representative of the failure of this president to enforce immigration laws.  Cities across the country have followed the president’s example and become sanctuaries for people who have broken our laws, and our citizens are at greater risk because of it.  His amnesty policies for illegal immigrants have made our communities less safe and jobs more scarce for legal residents.  

“The principal responsibility of the federal government is to protect the national security, an area where President Obama has been woefully asleep at the wheel.  Having labeled the Islamic State as the ‘JV team,’ he moved on to calling them ‘contained,’ when in fact they were spreading and growing in strength and numbers.  We see terror attacks committed by agents of ISIS and by others in their name in Paris, San Bernardino, and Philadelphia, but the president’s response has been to target the Constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans to arm themselves.  At the same time, he has given away the store to Iran, the most belligerent state sponsor of terrorism in the world.  This is the same Iran which, at the very time the president was giving his speech, was holding two U.S. ships and ten of our sailors in custody – not to mention at least four other Americans as political prisoners.  Our borders are wide open, ISIS is on the march, and each day brings us closer to a nuclear Iran.  Under no objective criteria could the president claim he has made America safer.

“Obamacare, the signature domestic ‘accomplishment’ of this administration, has been a dismal failure.  Begun with an embarrassingly faulty website, it has fallen millions of short of its promise of universal health care.  It promised lower premiums, but instead they have risen.  It assured people they could keep their existing insurance and their doctors, but instead they were displaced and separated from their physicians.  And it encouraged employers to scale back hours for some workers and completely eliminate others, rather than bear the burden of the mandated expenses.  It has contributed to an employment situation which has caused 93 million Americans to drop out of the labor force – more than at any other time in our history.  If this represents success, I’d hate to see failure.

“Throughout his two terms, President Obama has treated the Constitutional separation of powers as mere suggestions to be barely considered and then disregarded.  He has it in his head that if Congress doesn’t behave exactly as he commands, then he can go it alone.  His regulatory agencies, from the Environmental Protection Agency to the Internal Revenue Service, have treated Americans as though they were enemy combatants, stamping out entrepreneurial spirit and punishing ideological foes.  The result has been frustration among job creators and a stagnation of private industry.

“All that said, within the House of Representatives, I find a willingness to work together on important issues every day.  In my Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee, for example, all of our members enjoy a productive relationship, regardless of party, which has allowed us to save taxpayers almost $3 billion through better use of federal real estate.  In addition, my legislation to protect volunteer firefighters from Obamacare has passed the House three times without a single dissenting vote from either party.  In the areas where we can find agreement, real work does actually get done for the American people. 

“Ours is the greatest nation the world has ever known.  There is no problem so insurmountable that it cannot be solved by Americans set free to employ their God-given talents and abilities.  For these uniquely American traits, and for the continued success of the grand experiment known as the United States of America, I will always be grateful and give thanks.”