A West Central Illinois Congressman is telling us what he liked and didn’t like about President Obama’s State of the Union address.
Congressman Aaron Schock says he agrees with the president on tax reform.
“It is a no-brainer for us to get rid of the 70,000 page tax code, reduce the regulations, reduce the loopholes and flatten the rate, so it makes America competitive,” says Schock. “It makes the cost of compliance and fear of audit diminish. At the end of the day the White House and House Republicans agree it will create millions of jobs.”
Schock also praised what the president had to say about long-term infrastructure improvements and the Trade Preference Authority – which he says is necessary to pass future trade agreements to support agriculture and manufacturing in the 18th District.
Schock disagreed with the idea of raising federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. He says about two percent of the total workforce makes minimum wage and many of those people are under the age of 25 at entry level positions.
“Let’s establish the fact which is minimum wage is just that: a minimum wage for a starting position for somebody who is just starting out their career,” says Schock. “What we need to do is put in policies that create growth in our society because what has been proven throughout our 200 years is that people get lifted out of poverty not by artificially increasing the cost of labor through minimum wage, they get lifted out of poverty when there’s more opportunity in society through economic growth.”
President Obama also promised to act unilaterally where it’s possible for him to do so if Congress won’t compromise or won’t act. Obama told Congress, “America does not stand still, and neither will I.”
Schock says Obama is promoting the kind of imperial presidency that he accused President Bush of running.
“We have elections for a reason,” says Schock. “There’s 435 House members and 100 Senators for a reason. And he needs to respect the constitution and the rule of law. No matter how passionate he is about whatever agenda he’s got, no matter how insistent he is that a particular bill becomes law at the end of the day he has to persuade Congress and the American people that he’s right on an issue to get us to act.”
The rest of the Illinois Congressional Delegation reacted, predictably, in a positive or negative way –along party lines.
House Speaker John Boehner reminded the president that his power is limited under the Constitution.