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Congressman Ryan Costello

Representing the 6th District of Pennsylvania

Costello Responds to the State of the Union Address

January 12, 2016
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Ryan Costello (PA-06) released this statement immediately following President Obama’s final State of the Union Address:

“Save for certain moments, it was a less partisan speech than I expected, which I find positive. There were points the President made which I agreed with, such as the need this year to focus on areas of bipartisan agreement, like criminal justice reform and eradicating the increase and dangers of prescription drug abuse. Also, that we should be thinking and policymaking not just for next year, but for the next 5-10 years and beyond. We are in a time, the President said, where ‘the pace of change will only accelerate,’ and that ‘the spirit of discovery is in our DNA.’ These are unifying observations that I felt are important for us all to realize as we assess how to prepare our country for the future, and what our collective challenges and strengths are as a nation.

“There were very concerning shortcomings to his speech, though. Most notably, the President failed to set forth a clear, cohesive strategy to eliminate ISIS, help restore stability in the Middle East, assist our allies, and provide further protective measures to our homeland security. Instead, he appeared to justify the decisions he has made, such as the disastrous Iran nuclear deal, which I think was a bad deal and hasn’t altered Iran’s aggression. I believe his desire to close GITMO is bad and dangerous policy. Consequently, I believe Congress should and will continue to press these issues to keep our country safe, deter threats, and help our allies.

“I also felt the President gave higher marks to our economic condition than are warranted, and didn’t address how our regulatory environment and tax code are hampering growth and opportunity for Americans all across the country.

“I would conclude by noting that at the end of 2015, we saw bipartisan legislation to improve our education system and transportation networks signed into law. And I was very proud to have played a role these accomplishments. I hope we can build on these successes and work with the President to find common ground on some key policy issues in 2016. During his final year in office, there will be areas where I will certainly disagree with the President, but I do hope we can work to provide solutions to many of the challenges we all know must be addressed to keep our country safe and grow our economy.”