WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Kay Granger (TX-12) released the following statement after President Obama delivered the annual State of the Union address this evening.

“The tone for the year ahead should be one that enables the country to move forward. The American people have chosen divided government, but not a stalemate between the White House and Congress. The focus should be on continued economic recovery and job creation, providing for our national security, taking care of our veterans, and reestablishing strong American leadership abroad.

“There needs to be a renewed emphasis on how Washington can create a vibrant economic environment. This should include eliminating excessive regulations, putting the federal budget on a path toward balance, and establishing new trade partners so American products can be sold to more marketplaces abroad. Reforming the burdensome tax code for both individuals and small businesses is vital to growing the economy. I adamantly oppose tax increases to pay for more government spending as the president has outlined. We need real tax reform that lowers rates, creates jobs, and rewards hard work and success. We have started to see new life in the U.S. economy, but there is still a long road ahead to full recovery and Washington should take this opportunity to expand growth, not restrict it.

“I continue to oppose the president’s approach to the use of executive authority. President Obama understands well the frustration Congress has with his decision to govern almost exclusively by executive action. The president should work with the new Congress, not circumvent the legislative process.

“Fighting and stopping terrorism, both domestically and abroad, must be a top priority for the U.S. for the year ahead to ensure our citizens remain safe. I believe reestablishing strong leadership abroad is critical to counterterrorism efforts around the world. This means standing firm when the U.S. makes a commitment. This also includes standing with our allies and standing up to our aggressors. In turn, it is the responsibility of the federal government to fulfill the promise made to all our veterans that we will take care of them once they return home. The federal government hasn’t lived up to that promise very well lately and more needs to be done to ensure this is a promise our country never breaks again.”