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Murkowski: State of the Union Speech a Disappointment

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Lisa Murkowski tonight responded to President Obama’s State of the Union address in a thorough critique she shared with Alaskans, where she discussed the President’s numerous suggestions and initiatives.

Senator Murkowski on the President’s lack of economic focus: (:28 -1:00)

“I was disappointed.  I have stated that the number one issue for us as a Congress and as a nation is to get our fiscal affairs in order.  In order for us to be strong economically and work towards real job creation, we have got to deal with our debt and fiscal issues.  Unfortunately, I did not hear the President speak clearly to those issues.”

Senator Murkowski on the President’s energy comments: (3:26-4:35)

“I was pleased to hear that he wants to do more on the oil and gas side, but that we’re going to have to deal with the regulatory permitting.  I think that’s a positive.  He also suggested that one thing we can do to advance our technologies that deliver us to that next generation of clean energy is his Energy Security Trust.  I have suggested a very similar fund – and have stated for years – that we should take a portion of the revenues that we receive from the rents and the royalties, the leases from our federal lands from ANWR or NPRA or OCS and put them in a renewable energy development fund.  So I think the President and I are tracking on that.”

Senator Murkowski: Government should “get out of the way”: (6:45-7:25)

“There were so many different areas where the proposal was ‘we the government will provide the answer.’ I’m not convinced that the government is the answer to all our woes.  I’m one that believes that one of the better things we can do to create jobs and get the economy moving is to have the government get out of the way and allow us to get to work, allow us to let the private sector be the innovator and spurs along the development that we need.”

Murkowski on the President’s closing statement on proposed gun legislation: (7:52-8:40)

“I do support the need for a full conversation in the country and Congress about how we deal with gun violence and how we work to ensure our citizens are safe – whether they be in our schools, our theaters or out on the streets – and that there is a level of safety and protection for us all.  But I also believe very strongly that the second amendment is one that we guard and protect very carefully, particularly those of us in Alaska.”

Murkowski’s overall takeaway from the speech: (9:10-9:56)

“If I had to give the President a grade on the speech, I would say it’s not one of his better speeches.  I did not think the enthusiasm from members of Congress – House, Senate, Republican, Democrat – was warm tonight, not that that must be a barometer.  It was telling that there was some hesitancy in the members reactions on many of the suggestions that came from the President tonight.”

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