Tipton blames Obama for killing jobs, growing disparity
President Barack Obama’s promise on Tuesday to act without legislation sparked a rebuke from U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., while his references to reining in the National Security Agency earned praise from Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo.
Obama’s comments on the needs of veterans returning home touched a chord with Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., who took a West Slope veteran to the State of the Union address.
“While I welcome the president’s call for a year of action on the economy, it remains to be seen what form that will take,” said Tipton, whose 3rd Congressional District includes much of the West Slope and southern Colorado. “The nation’s labor participation rate is the lowest it’s been in 36 years — more than 91 million unemployed Americans have given up on looking for work.”
Tipton blamed the Obama administration’s policies for killing jobs and contributing to the nation’s growing income disparity by driving down the number of hours in the workweek for many, reducing take-home pay and increasing health care costs, as well as reducing small-business growth by regulations.
Tipton viewed the speech in Cortez, where he is dealing with a death in the family. Republicans in Congress would work with Obama, Tipton said, to reduce income disparities with opportunities and jobs in the private sector, accessible and affordable health care, and restoring the 40-hour workweek.
Obama’s mention that of the need for a better balance in the nation’s surveillance program was encouraging, Udall said.
“It was important that he affirmed his commitment to privacy and security,” Udall said in an interview after the speech, adding that, “We can’t afford the veneer of reform, that would send the wrong message to the public.”
Udall said he would hold Obama’s feet to the fire on the telephone communication metadata program.
He also praised Obama for sounding “the right tone of opportunity and optimism” in the speech to both houses of Congress.
Bennet, who listened to the speech with Wayne Telford of Grand Junction, a Vietnam War veteran and father of Air Force Tech Sgt. Brooke Leigh Caffrey, a veteran who committed suicide in 2012, said Obama’s remarks about veterans “highlighted a commitment to our returning veterans. One of the most important challenges we face in the years to come is making sure our soldiers returning home from war have a support system in place to transition back to civilian life.”
Obama’s call for immigration reform also was welcomed by Bennet, who called on the House to pass the immigration bill that passed the Senate.