The delegation that represents York County in the current Congress had these responses to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night:
U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., via email:
"The problems the President decried tonight have grown far worse as a direct result of his policies. Now he is threatening to double down on those failed policies with unilateral executive fiats that may exceed his constitutional and legal authority.
"The President overstated the extent of the economy's recovery under his policies. In fact, the labor force participation is at its lowest point in 35 years because more and more people have become so discouraged with our dismal job market that they have given up looking for work in the Obama economy. Median family income is down by $2,000 since he took office. And the very income inequality the President spoke of has exploded under his leadership, so that today there is a wider gap than there was under President Bush and even prior to the Great Depression in 1928.
"There are ways to create jobs and a more robust economy where all incomes rise — for women and men, upper and lower income, everyone. For instance, I have a bill with Democratic Senator Menendez to help small business grow and hire workers. I support tax reform that would spur economic growth and enable American workers to compete successfully against foreign workers.
"From 2007 to 2012, the places that saw median household income grow were predominantly energy producing areas. Let's approve the Keystone XL pipeline which would create many jobs for Pennsylvania-based contractors and suppliers and allow the production of oil and gas on more federal lands to diminish our dependence on foreign energy.
"I am glad President Obama stressed the need for Trade Promotion Authority tonight. On a bipartisan basis, we must allow the President to complete trade deals that will open up foreign markets for Pennsylvania exports. While we disagree on other economic issues, I am reassured that our President remains committed to maintaining America's role as a global trade leader.
"I remain eager to work with the President on this issue and other efforts that will grow our economy."
U.S.Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa, via email.:
"I am gratified that the President made jobs and the economy the central focus of his State of the Union address. Despite recent economic progress, far too many Americans are still struggling to get back on their feet. If you work hard and play by the rules, you should have the opportunity to succeed.
I was encouraged by the President's emphasis on worker training programs, hiring incentives and pay equity to ensure workers have the chance to get ahead. Responsible development of natural gas is something I have pushed for a long time and the President's proposal will help create jobs in Pennsylvania while at the same time decreasing our dependence on foreign oil.
I was also glad to see that the President underscored his commitment to early education and research to ensure our nation's long-term global competitiveness. I look forward to working with Republicans and Democrats to advance these efforts along with additional job creation measures like my bipartisan small business bill so that we can grow the economy and strengthen the middle class."
U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, R-York County, via telephone:
It's always a great privilege to be in the room when the president gives the State of the Union address - any president, whether you agree with him or not.
I am encouraged by the president's tone and demeanor; he was effervescent, as he always is.
He said he is willing to work with Congress, that he is eager to work with Congress.
But almost immediately every time, there is a caveat: "Unless Congress doesn't act, in which case I'm just going to do it myself."
I think most Americans are disturbed by that, are concerned by that.
We have a Constitution that's worked pretty well for more than 200 years. We don't need a president who goes off on his own without the Congress and the American people.
It's important that we work together. We don't need one side pushing bad legislation. I would cite the Affordable Care Act, which was passed on a straight party-line vote and which most Americans opposed at the time and still don't like.
In the speech, there was much that I agree with, there was much that's common ground. But we need action, not just empty rhetoric - as for instance on energy. The president says he's for developing more energy - yet he won't allow drilling on federal lands, he won't allow the Keystone pipeline, he won't allow offshore drilling.
But let's just say I'm guardedly optimistic.
We need to work together, so we get a little of what we want, and he gets a little of what he wants. And the American people get a lot of what they need.