NY Lawmakers prepare for State of the Union

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On January 28th, President Obama will deliver the annual State of the Union address.

Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA) does not expect much from the speech.

“A lot of rhetoric, broken promises, outright lies – and that’s it,” he said.

Marino says that’s all the American people have heard for the past 5 years. His opinion is strong, but he’s not the only Republican who doesn’t exactly have high hopes for the State of the Union address. Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) has similar concerns.

“I hope we don’t hear as much rhetoric as we typically do.,” he said. “And that we can really identify areas over the next 12 months that we can come to find common ground. Get people back to work. What are the areas we can really, truly, agree upon?”

2013 was a bitter, partisan year in Washington. But it ended with one of the biggest bi-partisan deals in recent history – the Ryan/Murray budget deal. 2014 started with another bi-partisan effort – the passing of the 1.1 trillion dollar spending plan. But our lawmakers don’t think we’re better off this year than we were last year.

“Ask the people who are unemployed,” Marino said. “This administration has an uncanny ability in times of crisis to tell us that the unemployment rate has decreased but they don’t want to give us any true figures.”

“I’m very concerned with where we’re at,” Reed said. “What I’m seeing out of Washington – the lack of leadership in regards to the WH with the level of disengagement – we need to focus on getting people back to work.”

Job creation is just one issue the president will touch on in his speech. He’ll also focus on the economy, immigration reform and raising the minimum wage.

The speech is changing this year. You can get directly involved with a new interactive site sponsored by the White House. It will allow users to see charts and other links to more information about issues the President is discussing in real-time. And will open up the conversation on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

The White House says the State of the Union is not just a conversation with Congress but a conversation with the American public. And it’s one that’s expected to shape this new year on Capitol Hill.

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