Springfield, MO

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Missouri officials respond to State of the Union address

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Following President Barack Obama's State of the Union address Jan. 25, Missouri officials from both sides of the fence generally agreed that there should be less government spending in Washington.

In his speech, Obama called for bipartisan cooperation to boost economic growth in education, research, technology and transportation. Doing so, he said, would make the United States more competitive among other countries.

He also pledged to cut federal spending, proposing to freeze most discretionary federal spending for the next five years.

Both state Republican and Democratic officials said Obama's pledges to cut government spending weren't enough.

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said "investment" is the new buzz word for spending.

"This speech should have been about jobs and too much government spending," Blunt said in a news release. "Instead it was about ‘investment,’ which is just another word for more government spending.”

Fellow U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said the State of the Union address touched on many issues on the minds of Missourians.

"I appreciated his words about the need to deal with our deficit, but I don't think his proposal to freeze spending goes far enough," she said in a news release.

U.S. Congressman Billy Long, R-Mo., said the president needs to get "Washington out of the way so businesses can start hiring again."

"President Obama is a gifted speaker, and (on Jan. 25) he said a lot of things that both Democrats and Republicans can agree on,”  Long said in a news release.  “I usually agree with 80 percent of what he says and disagree with 80 percent of what he does.  

"I’m from the Show-Me State, so Mr. President, it is time for you to show me."

Blunt issued similar sentiment.

"The President said a lot of the right things," he said in his release. "But Americans expect action in addition to words."

McCaskill applauded Obama's pledge to veto any bill with earmarks, legislative provisions that direct approved funds to be spent on specific projects.

"The president also is right that we need better civility and bipartisanship in Washington to tackle the tough challenges facing our nation, so I hope everyone takes that message to heart," she said in her release.

The transcripts of the president's State of the Union address can be found on the White House Web site.
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