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Congressman Diane Black

Representing the 6th District of Tennessee


Rep. Black Responds to President Obama’s State of the Union Address: “We Can Do Better”

January 20, 2015
Press Release

Click image above for video

Washington D.C. – Tonight, Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) issued a video response to President Obama’s State of the Union address. In her response, Black denounced the President’s immigration overreach and proposed tax hikes, and highlighted Republican-led legislative initiatives in the new Congress. A transcript of her remarks is below, or click here to watch the video.

 Good evening.

Tonight, President Obama gave his State of the Union address outlining an agenda for what he has often called “the fourth quarter” of his Presidency. That’s an analogy that we in the Volunteer State understand well. We know that sometimes, the fourth quarter of the game can deliver a winning play, and sometimes you fumble the ball.

Of course the fourth quarter is also a time that, when all else fails, you try for the Hail Mary – and that appears to be this Administration’s tactic.

Whether it is the President’s unconstitutional executive action on immigration, his “free” community college proposal that simply shifts the cost to hardworking taxpayers, or his $320 billion proposed tax hike on families and businesses, the Obama White House is taking an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach while they try to run out the clock on the last years of a disastrous Presidency.

And while Washington’s bottom line gets bigger, Tennessee families have been left to pay the price for this Administration’s failures.

The President tried to put a positive spin on our economic situation in tonight’s address, but if he parked Air Force One long enough to talk to families in my district he would see what we already know: Our labor force participation rate is at the lowest levels since the Jimmy Carter Presidency while the latest jobs report shows that hourly wages have actually declined.

We can do better. That is why, in this fourth quarter, our new American Congress is going on offense with solutions to empower you, not Washington.

Today, we have new leadership in the U.S. Senate and the largest House Republican majority since 1928. Now, we’re going to use it by sending meaningful legislation to the President’s desk and finally forcing him to accept or reject our common sense ideas.

We’ll keep working to retool our rulemaking process with legislation like the REINS Act – ensuring that major government regulations receive a vote in Congress before they are passed along to you.

My colleagues and I on the House Budget Committee will once again offer a responsible, timely budget that brings our books to balance. And our Ways and Means Committee will continue working to reform our broken tax code.

We’ll go after the worst parts of Obamacare, like the arbitrary tax on medical devices – our top foreign export in Tennessee. And, if I have anything to say about it, we’ll keep fighting to repeal this law in its entirety too.

In the fourth quarter, our Republican majority in Washington will work its will. We will look for opportunities to find common ground, but we also won’t let veto threats and political posturing from a lame-duck White House stop us from pursuing a bold, conservative agenda.

And we will listen to the people who sent us here, because, at the end of the day, the best ideas to solve our nation’s problems won’t come from Washington bureaucrats and special interest groups – they will come from people like you.

Thank you for listening and for allowing me the great honor of serving you. Good night, and God Bless.


Congressman Diane Black represents Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District. She has been a registered nurse for more than 40 years and serves on the House Ways and Means and Budget Committees.