Local reaction from Obama's speech

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By The Staff

Reaction from Tuesday night’s State of the Union address by President Barack Obama:
State Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard (D-Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Sandoval and Rio Arriba):
“An underlying theme of the President’s speech was that America cannot wait on Washington. That is a message that I take to heart and I’m proud that our community and state are already rising to the challenge. In Los Alamos, our teachers and community leaders are working with the state to fix a teacher evaluation system that does not work. And at the state level, we are working on a constitutional amendment to provide funding for early child education. In addition we are also working in the legislature to make sure that New Mexicans who work full time do not have to raise their families in poverty. These changes we plan to bring to the voters for approval in November.”
Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D- N.M.): “Tonight, President Obama spoke of the great promise of America and the essential role that a vibrant middle class plays in enabling our nation to achieve its full potential. In declaring a time of action and signaling his determination to move our country forward, President Obama made it clear that the challenges facing our country and the American people can’t wait.
“With New Mexico facing high levels of poverty, too many hungry children, and so many of our friends and neighbors looking for work, the delays and gridlock of the past must remain in the past. Last year was the least productive Congressional session of all time. We cannot afford to have a repeat of that this year. Rather than waste time trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act and hold the debt limit hostage, House Republicans need to work with President Obama so that we can find common ground and make progress on jobs and the economy – not govern from one manufactured crisis to the next. “
Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.): “Like many New Mexicans, I’m frustrated by the tough economic recovery. People in our state are still working to pull themselves out of the recession. Now is a time for bold but practical ideas that will support middle class families and ensure they can afford to buy a house and educate their kids.”
RPNM Chairman John Billingsley: “Since his inauguration, President Obama has been good at one thing — filling Americans with empty words while heaping on additional unfulfilled promises. Much like he promised the world in years past and never backed up those words, we have to question why we should trust his words tonight.
“2013 was undoubtedly a rough year for the President. His promise that if you liked your healthcare plan, you could keep it under ObamaCare was awarded the ‘Biggest Lie of the Year’ and his Presidency has proven to be a far cry from the transparent leadership he promised back in 2009. In the past year, we have seen cover-ups and scandals—ranging from the IRS targeting of conservative groups and the NSA privacy breach to the disasters of ObamaCare. The American public deserves much more in terms of transparency, accountability, and leadership.”
Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) : “While I appreciate the President’s optimism, New Mexicans were hoping for solutions and answers to the problems facing us,” Pearce said. “Tens of thousands of New Mexicans have had their health insurance plans cancelled, and only a fraction of the initial goal have actually signed up. Last month’s jobs report showed the worst labor force participation rate in decades.”