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Indiana lawmakers criticize State of Union as focusing too much on ‘big government’

Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd, dismissed President Barack Obama’s annual State of the Union address as “empty slogans and bigger government.”

“Over the past five years, families have paid a high price for this administration’s broken promises – smaller paychecks, health insurance cancellation letters and fewer jobs,” Stutzman said Tuesday in a statement.

“This isn’t what a recovery looks like, but it’s the same worn-out approach the president outlined tonight.”

He said Obama should urge the Democratic Senate to vote on numerous jobs bills passed by House Republicans if the president “is serious about making 2014 a year of action.”

Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., also was critical of Obama’s speech.

“Rather than use this speech to unite our country, the president turned to more political division and even vowed to circumvent the people’s representatives to change existing law with the stroke of his pen,” Coats said in a statement.

Obama “again demonstrated tonight that he is good at making promises, but Hoosiers know that promises don’t matter, actions do. The actions taken by his administration have led to increased spending, more taxes, job losses and a shrinking workforce.”

Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., said in a video issued ahead of Obama’s speech that he wanted to hear the president talk about programs related to Donnelly’s “Opportunity Agenda” – domestic energy production, job training, government spending for infrastructure and enhancing the climate for U.S. exports and business innovations – as well as measures for preventing military suicides.

“Members of both parties can agree there are few things more important than improving our economy, creating more jobs and taking care of our troops,” Donnelly said in the video.

Obama spoke about each of the four planks of Donnelly’s Opportunity Agenda, but he did not mention military suicides.

bfrancisco@jg.net

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