Arkansas’ Congressional officials weighed in with remarks on Pres. Obama’s speech regarding job creation. Although there was bi-partisan acknowledgement, there was also tough language, espeically from Rep. Steve Womack (R), who said the speech "came across as a lecture."
Here are everyone’s released remarks with the exception of Sen. John Boozman (R) who has yet to comment publicly.
U.S. Senator Mark Pryor (D)
Our economy is paralyzed, and there is no quick cure. There are however, steps we can take to promote private sector hiring and put Americans back to work. Short-term initiatives, such as small business tax incentives or infrastructure investments could help stabilize the economy.
Of equal or more importance is a long-term strategy for economic growth and prosperity. That means setting the stage for America to innovate, grow and compete globally. When additional details of the President’s plan are released next week, I will be looking to balance these goals with the need to get our fiscal house in order.
Growing our economy requires Congress to be on the same team, wearing the same jersey and working together. Democrats and Republicans must stop trying to score political points against one another. It is not a winning strategy for our nation’s future.
Rep. Rick Crawford (R-District 1)
Tonight, the President presented proposals to Congress and the American people and I look forward to examining the details more closely. While honest disagreements in policy are natural, my goal is to find common ground that will foster job creation and avert a national debt crisis.
The issues facing our nation and economy are serious and require genuine bipartisan cooperation. I look forward to working with the President, the Senate, and my colleagues in the House, as we work to find agreements on policy that will foster job creation and avert a national debt crisis.
Rep. Tim Griffin (R-District 2)
First and foremost, the Congress should work with the President on points where we can agree. The American people and job creators lack confidence in the direction of our country, and the only way to restore confidence and stability is to tackle the big issues: We must stop excessive regulation, reform our tax code so we can remain competitive with other countries, expand our domestic energy production and make government live within its means.
I am ready and willing to work with the President to tear down the barriers to private-sector job creation. I look forward to studying the details of the President’s proposal, but from what I heard tonight, it appears to be more of the same stimulus that failed in the first place.
In Arkansas, the President’s previous stimulus plan cost taxpayers more than $273,000 for every job it created or saved in the state while adding a trillion dollars to our national debt. If the President wants to strengthen the economy, he should encourage the Senate to pass more than a dozen pro-jobs, pro-growth bills that we in the House have already passed.
Rep. Steve Womack (R-District 3)
I was not terribly surprised by the President’s speech tonight. It was long on rhetoric and short on details as to just how we pay for nearly a half-trillion dollars in new spending. He said it was "paid for" but I am still not sure how.
The speech came across as a lecture to Congress, and I felt as though he was framing the discussion in such a way as to ensure that any blame that comes from a failure to create jobs goes directly to the legislative branch.
My guess, without seeing the details of his plan, is a major tax increase on the very people we’re asking to create jobs. That’s a mixed message and only serves to add to the uncertainty plaguing our economic climate.
Rep. Mike Ross (D-District 4)
We need more private-sector jobs in America – right here and right now. I applaud the President for bringing Congress’s attention back to jobs and the economy. Moving forward, I believe we need bipartisan solutions that support our small businesses, cut down on federal regulations, stop deficit spending and bring confidence and stability back to the economy.
As the President’s proposals are drafted into legislation in the coming months, I encourage both sides to stop the partisan games, to actually listen to one another and to listen to the American people. Governing is about compromise. No one side has a monopoly on good ideas and we must honestly work together in a bipartisan way to reduce our deficit, get our economy back on track and put more Americans back to work.