McHenry County representatives react to President Barack Obama’s final State of the Union address
McHenry County’s congressional representatives reacted along party lines to President Barack Obama’s final State of the Union address, delivered Tuesday night to a joint session of Congress.
In a statement, Republican Rep. Randy Hultgren, who represents the 14th Congressional District that covers most of McHenry County, said the president failed to deliver plausible plans to bolster national security and rebuild the military.
He also said the speech made it clear that Obama’s vision for the future included a more expansive federal government.
“When government takes the driver’s seat to do more for you, government takes away more of your freedom and choice,” Hultgren said. “The president tonight forced a clear choice: Americans should decide whether they want four more years of government intrusion and a bigger government presence in your lives, or a new direction that gives economic freedom back to all.”
Republican Rep. Peter Roskam, who represents the 6th Congressional District that includes Algonquin Township, issued a statement calling the speech “a missed opportunity” for Obama to acknowledge his policy shortcomings.
He specifically challenged Obama touting his health care policy as an accomplishment and the president’s foreign policy.
“President Obama is misguided when it comes to his naïve and dangerous foreign policy,” Roskam said. “The simple fact is the world is a far more dangerous place following his two terms in office. Our friends don’t trust us and our enemies don’t fear us.”
In a conference call after the address, Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said he felt the president “poured his heart and soul into this speech” and praised his messages about expanding the economy, helping working families and making sure that education is affordable and approachable.
“He talked about our leadership in the world and the fact we can’t set out to nation build in every country that is unraveling,” Durbin said. “It’s the kind of speech given by a man who’s been tested by conflict and had to make tough decisions.”
Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk’s statement said both parties must work together to keep America safe and bolster security.
“Until our flawed screening process can be fixed, including reviewing social media posts, the security of the American people requires a pause in the Syrian refugee program,” Kirk said.