WASHINGTON--U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., released the following statement in response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address:
"I think the President's focus on jobs and the economy is exactly where we need to be. While this recession is in our rearview mirror, we still need to do a lot of work to fully put it behind us."
Sen. Landrieu on Energy:
"I was glad to hear the President focus on the benefits of natural gas development. This is truly a game changer for our country that is bringing us to the verge of energy independence and has the potential to create millions of good jobs across our country. It also gives us an advantage in the manufacturing sector and is helping attract big business to America because of this cheaper source of energy.
"I do not believe it is right to single out the oil and gas industry for a disproportionate share of debt and deficit reduction. I don't believe this industry should be exempt from taxes, but they should not be subject to punitive action. The truth is that of the $16.6 billion the U.S. spends on energy subsidies, less than 13 percent is for the oil and gas industry. This sector provides more than 60 percent of the energy needed to power the United States, and has paid the federal government more than $100 billion since 2000 in taxes and other fees. I will oppose any plan that seeks to treat our oil and gas companies as ATMs for our nation's debt."
Sen. Landrieu on Revenue Sharing
"One of my highest priorities is securing a fair share of energy revenues for coastal producing states. To build on my 2006 energy legislation, the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act, or GOMESA, I will soon introduce new, bipartisan legislation to ensure a fair share of revenues for all energy producing states by eliminating the $500 million a year cap imposed by Congress on our revenues. With Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., at the helm of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee this term, I believe we have the best chance in years to secure meaningful revenue sharing and end the disparity between onshore and offshore producing states."
Sen. Landrieu on Small Business
"As Chair of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, I urge the administration to keep in mind the important role America's more than 28 million small businesses play in creating jobs and boosting our economy. With yesterday's announcement that SBA Administrator Karen Mills is stepping down, I look forward to working with the White House to find a talented replacement. Someone who will be a voice for small business in the President's cabinet and who will be a partner with our committee on important issues like increasing access to capital, contracting and opening international markets for small businesses in Louisiana and across the country."
Sen. Landrieu on Education
"I was encouraged to hear the President's focus on the need for quality and affordable education for all children from birth to college. America is on the verge of a tremendous manufacturing renaissance and we will need a strong, skilled workforce to fill those jobs and keep America innovating. While I support efforts to bring retain highly-skilled entrepreneurs from around the world to spur growth, I am focused on strengthening our homegrown workforce, so we have more PhDs, Masters Degrees and innovators coming from Louisiana and across the country. We also need to focus on education and training for our veterans so they can successfully transition from boots to businesses. They need the skills to secure good jobs when they come home, and hopefully to become business leaders and job creators themselves."
Sen. Landrieu on Voting Rights
"It is tragic that we have not done more at the federal or state level to ensure that Americans can vote in a reasonable amount of time. Voting rights are the foundation of our democracy, and we know how to reduce waiting times by lengthening hours and putting more machines in polling places. We heard some horror stories from the last election and this has to end. I will be working with my colleagues to put an end to this injustice so that no American has to wait in line for hours to vote."
U.S. Sen. David Vitter released the following statement in reaction to President Obama's State of the Union address.
"Well, on the positive side, I think President Obama focused on the right central theme - creating jobs. That's probably because we actually had negative economic growth last quarter with unemployment still around eight percent. But I think everything he's talking about is the same-old, same-old - more government programs and 'investment', code word for spending. For instance, if you look at how he wants to avoid sequestration, it's more taxes and more spending.
"But there are a lot of very important things we can do that don't involve that - including producing great energy jobs right here in America. If we just get the federal government out of the way and allow Americans to produce more American energy, those can be great high-paying jobs to really boost the economy," Vitter said.