Canton Repository

January 21, 2004

Ohio lawmakers react to Bush along party lines

Copley Washington correspondent

WASHINGTON — Ohio lawmakers reacted in partisan fashion to President Bush’s State of the Union address Tuesday night, with Democrats criticizing his proposals and Republicans praising him.

“Almost 2.5 million jobs have been lost in the last two years, and the president has no plan to put America back to work,” said Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Warren. “The President’s support of job-destroying trade deals and wasteful spending ensures that job losses will continue for American workers.”

Rep. Sherrod Brown, D-Lorain, said Bush failed to inspire confidence that he will turn the country’s economic problems around.

“With more tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans and largest corporations on the horizon, the president is playing to his fans and doing his usual song and dance for the rest of us.”

However, Republican Rep. Bob Ney of St. Clairsville praised Bush’s “serious, determined leadership.”

“In stark contrast to the angry partisan attacks we have seen from his opponents in recent weeks, President Bush stood before the American people tonight with a clear vision to make America a more secure, more prosperous and more hopeful country,” Ney said.

Rep. Ralph Regula, R-Bethlehem Township, applauded many of the president’s proposals, specifically his initiative to address the loss of manufacturing jobs. Bush proposed creating an assistant secretary of commerce for manufacturing and services, something long sought by manufacturers, Regula said.

He also praised Bush’s effort to reduce the federal deficit by half in the next five years.

“Congress must look at the federal budget as a whole and make the difficult choices of how to bring it back into balance,” Regula said.

Sen. George Voinovich, R-Cleveland, said the economy is showing signs of recovery.

“Clearly, our stimulus plan is working,” he said. “Too many people are still without jobs, however, and I share the president’s commitment to working to rev things up so they can get back to work. I was especially glad to hear his commitment to fiscal restraint and to cutting the deficit in half over the next five years. Controlling government spending is critical if we want the private sector to thrive.”