Valley congressmen react to President Biden's State of the Union address

Kate Nemarich Image
Wednesday, February 8, 2023
Valley congressmen react to President Biden's State of the Union address
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Valley lawmakers are weighing in after President Biden delivered his second State of the Union address to America on Tuesday night.

Valley lawmakers are weighing in after President Biden delivered his second State of the Union address to America on Tuesday night.

Biden's address came before a new Speaker of the House, Bakersfield Republican Kevin McCarthy, who took his seat behind the president for the first time.

"There was a big change tonight. Tonight, the president agreed that he would sit down and compromise and work on sensible solutions with Kevin McCarthy and our caucus," said Congressman John Duarte.

Congressman Tom McClintock says he didn't see the same effort to reach across the aisle.

"Instead, he just doubled down on the reckless spending, the war on fossil fuels, all these policies that are crushing families," McClintock explained.

Congressman Jim Costa says he saw the president's speech much more positively.

"The fact that we've gotten a lot done under challenging circumstances. He also took account for what's left to do. A lot of work to do in reaching out to the Republicans," Costa said.

Spending and the debt ceiling caused chatter during the president's address.

Each congressman did agree that spending needed to be reeled in.

"Let's not play fast and loose with America's checkbook and become a deadbeat and put at risk people's social security," said Costa.

Duarte says he still has hope for the year ahead.

"He's agreed to quit demagoguing on Social Security, Medicare and sit down with leadership and have an adult discussion. We are, at some point, going to need to quit putting it on the credit card," Duarte said.

McClintock called spending reckless and doesn't think the President is reaching across the aisle.

"He could've taken a page from Bill Clinton's book after Clinton lost the house in 1995. Admit his policies weren't working, reach across the aisle to work with Republicans to balance the budget, restore work requirements for welfare."

All three congressmen agreed that border security and immigration have direct impacts right here in the Central Valley but differed on how they should be addressed.

"Finish the border wall, restore court-ordered deportations," said McClintock. "And, of course, restore the remain in Mexico policy that was so successful."

"It's proved that a wall in most instances is ineffective," Costa said. "The efforts that previous administrations involved, if you come here not in the way that it fashioned, you're required to leave."

"We need to finish the border wall. Then we need to have more broadly in immigration a guest worker program that's scalable, flexible," added Duarte.

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