The Republicans are not happy after President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address. The party, as a whole, felt they were issued a series of ultimatums with the main one centering on what was essentially a threat to veto if they didn’t fall in line with his programs.
Utah Senator Mike Lee, a member of the Tea Party who helped protests against Obamacare that resulted in a 16 day government shutdown, believes the president is leading the country in the wrong direction. One of the Tea Party’s goals is the reduction of a big government and it believes government needs to just get out of the way.
According to Representative Orrin Hatch, states like Utah are enjoying economic success precisely because they do the opposite of Obama’s agenda, like lowering taxes and lessening regulations. Developing energy is also attributed to Utah’s success. Senator Rob Bishop claims that if the president truly wants to get the country back on the path to success, he ought to rethink his decision to pass laws by executive fiat.
At one point in his address, the president seemed exasperated by Republicans in Congress for stonewalling on just about everything on his agenda, but particularly Obamacare, with a verbal swipe at them about the “first 40 votes was enough” and he got that the Republicans were not happy with it. It’s likely a lot of Republican hackles were raised when Obama pushed for Obamacare sign-ups, which included a folksy comment about kids calling their moms to walk them through the application process and moms having peace of mind and being glad to hear from their kids.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah admitted to touching moments when the president honored the military. However, he maintains that the president can’t call for co-operation at the same time threatening to do it himself if the Republicans won’t. The general consensus among the Republicans is that the Tea Party needs to turn protests into to progress. It’s main opposition is big government implementing sweeping policies such as Obamacare and is the direct cause of existing inequalities amongst the American people and actually impedes the pursuit of the American Dream.
At least one Democrat is concerned over Obama’s intention to “do things on his own” if Congress doesn’t act. Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah calls the president’s address optimistic overall, but believes Congress should set policy—no matter who’s president.
One thing is for sure. The Republicans were not happy with Obama’s address, and so perhaps a bit of digging in their heels during the remainder of Obama’s term will be in order. It remains to be seen how far that will get them if the president merely uses executive fiat to further his agenda. If the first five years are any indication, whether Obama uses executive fiat or not, he’s likely to face an uphill battle in getting the Republican half of Congress to cooperate with his policies in any meaningful way unless there is a bit of give on his end.
Editorial by Lee Birdine