Whip Hoyer Discusses President Obama's State of the Union Address on CNN

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Transcript: 

“I thought it was an excellent speech. I thought it was a serious speech. We have a lot of challenges. The President obviously focused on what I think is critical to the American people that's jobs, first of all… We've had an agenda we call it Make It In America in the Congress of the United States for the last two years. We’ve talked to the President about it. His manufacturing focus we think was absolutely right. We’ve lost 9 million manufacturing jobs over the last 20 years. We need to expand our manufacturing sector. We need to make things here in America. We need to provide the kind of middle class jobs paying good wages and having good benefits that the America middle class needs to grow, not shrink. He also focused on obviously the successes we've had over the last four years. We are, in fact, better off than we were in January of 2009 today by the difference of a million jobs. We lost 786,000 jobs in January 2009. We picked up 200,000 jobs this last month. That’s a million shift. That’s a positive direction. But his point was, there is much yet to be done. Not only in terms of growing jobs, making it in America, but also in getting our deficit down. Those are the two major challenges confronting us.

“There's no doubt there was a deep hole, and as the President correctly pointed out, until his program was fully in effect, we continue to hemorrhage jobs. The month he took office otherwise known as the last month of the Bush administration, we lost 750,000 plus jobs in one month. Last month we gained 200,000 net jobs, 212,000 private sector, lost 12,000 unfortunately in the private sector. There is no doubt that the economy is reviving. The stock market reflects that. Jobs reflect that. Are we where we need to be? No, and that's what the President said. We need to do more. We need to grow the manufacturing sector. We ought to have a tax policy that encourages growth of jobs here in America, making things here in America. On the foreign policy front, he was absolutely correct. We have our people out of Iraq. We’re drawing down in Afghanistan. We have a savings that we can apply to infrastructure as his suggestion or other needs of the American people.”

“I think people who have disappointment with the Congress are absolutely right. The congress is not working. There’s no doubt about that. We have seen the partisanship and Senator McConnell said his principle objective was to defeat Barack Obama. In order to defeat Barrack Obama, he has to oppose policies that will make America better. That is not helpful, hasn't been helpful, continues not to be helpful. We’ve seen the same thing in the House.”

“The President said we need to work together. At the end [of his address], I thought he was powerful when he said, look, our men and women in the armed forces when we give them a mission… they work together to accomplish a mission. That’s what the President urged us to do – to show the patriotism to work, not for political ends or political objectives, but for policy objectives to make America better. I thought that was a powerful ending to his speech, asking for bipartisanship. Hopefully, we'll adhere to that.”