Friday, January 31, 2003
Most legislators agreed that the economy needs help, but Iraq is a question mark.
STATES NEWS SERVICE
WASHINGTON -- Reactions to President Bush's State of the Union speech varied among lawmakers from Northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania.
Rep. Tim Ryan of Niles, D-17th, observing his first State of the Union as a congressman, said: "I think the pageantry of the event was very exciting."
"I don't think [Bush] addressed in an adequate way how we're going to stimulate the economy. I still completely disagree with his dividend tax policy," Ryan said.
"I just don't think that giving a rebate to the top 1 percent will stimulate the economy."
Regarding Iraq, Ryan said: "I think the president made a great case that Saddam Hussein is an extremely dangerous person, but I didn't hear any concrete evidence or any smoking gun that would provoke us to go and invade Iraq at this point."
Republican Sen. George V. Voinovich of Ohio said, "The economy needs a shot in the arm to get people working again, restore consumer confidence, and help states and cities have the resources to provide needed services. Any stimulus plans should have an immediate, job-creating benefit without adding to our long-term deficit woes. The president has jump-started the debate with a bold plan."
Regarding Bush's proposal on medical liability limits, Voinovich said: "The president is right to link access to affordable heath care with medical liability. The soaring medical liability costs have added to the high cost of health insurance."
URep. Ted Strickland of Lucasville, D-6th: "The economic plan the president outlined tonight is no cure for what ails America. It's just more of the same." In addition, Strickland said Bush "has still not made a substantial case for engaging in a nearly unilateral war against Iraq."
URep. Steven LaTourette of Madison, R-19th: "The president gave a sober but powerful speech that accurately summed up the state of the economy, the state of the world." The speech was a "clear message to those who would engage in terrorism around the world that although we will be patient, the clock is not limitless."
URep. Phil English of Erie, Pa., R-3rd: "We must act now to return hard-earned dollars to working families, spur capital investment, strengthen the social safety net and create jobs. I also applaud the president for renewing his commitment to a prescription drug package for American seniors." Regarding Iraq, English said: "I think it would be appropriate to give the U.N. weapons inspectors at least several more weeks."
URep. Melissa Hart of Bradford Woods, Pa., R-4th: "It's great to see that the president has again budgeted funds for a [Medicare] prescription drug plan -- and it's an incentive for Congress to deliver these and other overdue Medicare reforms to help our seniors."