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Local leaders react to State of the Union

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RAW: President Obama's inaugural speechAs expected, the President’s hour-long speech is getting mixed reviews from both sides of the aisle.  The economy, jobs, gun control and immigration were the main focus and the most controversial.

The reaction from local lawmakers is divided along party lines.  The President focused much attention on the economy, reducing the debt, and creating more jobs.  But the way the two sides want to grow the economy is the sparring point.  The point is leaving much room for disagreement.

The President urged Congress to work together towards improving a sluggish economy.  President Obama told Republicans that there is no way the country can simply cut its way to prosperity.

“Nothing I’m proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime.  It`s not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth,” said President Obama during the speech.

The President urged a balanced approach, including deficit reduction and a combination of tax increases and budget cuts.  This approach is getting a mixed reaction from Pennsylvania’s Senators.

“I think it’s critical we focus on job creation and that’s why I was very pleased the President focused on that issue and focused on strategies that get us there.  Also, a business tax credit that I’ve introduced, it’s one of the very good ideas out there to do that,” said Senator Bob Casey, (D) Pennsylvania.

“I disagree about the idea that we ought to raise taxes yet again.  But if the president is willing to look at some of the areas where we can curb spending, I’d be delighted to work with him to help put us on a sustainable fiscal path,” said Senator Pat Toomey, (R) Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania’s Congressional contingent took to social media to way in as well.

“What amount of tax is enough Mr. President? It’s not only the rich paying more tax. You have all folks paying more, for what?” said Representative Scott Perry, (R) 4th District on Twitter.

“The President gave us lots of soaring rhetoric about government investments tonight, but it appears that he wants to take money away from job creators to pay for all these programs. We’ve been down this road before with the 2009 stimulus bill,” said Representative Joe Pitts, (R) 16th District.

There is a lot of work to do and some impending deadlines on the horizon.  If no deal is reached by March 1, a series of automatic across the board spending cuts will go into effect. The process is called sequestration is the next decision in line.