The need to expand domestic energy production and innovation was one of the only topics addressed by President Barack Obama during his State of the Union Tuesday to receive support from U.S. Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI).
Miller, who serves Michigan’s 10th congressional district, released a number of statements following Tuesday’s speech detailing her opposing view on issues ranging from state election rights to tax increases.
Chief among her concerns was the president’s response to the ongoing “sequester” – a series of automatic, across-the-board budget cuts enacted into law in 2011 and due to take effect at the end of the month unless Congress passes a resolution to avoid it.
“During tonight’s address to the nation, the President outlined very briefly why he thought the pending automatic federal spending cuts set to go into effect this year are a bad idea,” Miller stated. “However, the solution the President offered to replace the sequestration cuts, increasing taxes yet again, is even worse and would harm our economy."
In return for compromise on the sequester, Obama said he would agree to "modest" Medicare reform but held firm with his call for Congress to pass "comprehensive tax reform" that would close "tax loopholes and deductions for the well-off and well-connected."
Domestic energy production
While issues like taxes and the deficit are likely to remain highly partisan, there is some hope in other areas. Miller was complimentary to the president’s call to expand domestic energy production and innovation and said she is particularly hopeful that Congress can work together "on the idea to increase research and development for the use of our abundant natural gas reserves."
"Not only will this bolster our economic security, but in turn our national security through the use of domestic energy production and availability," she added.
Immigration reform/border security
Speaking to her role as Chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, Miller offered mixed views on Obama’s call for comprehensive immigration reform.
“Although our immigration system is imperfect and is in need of serious reforms, comprehensive immigration reform can only be considered once the American people are convinced the border is secure,” she said. “As Chairman of the Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, I want to ensure that we do not repeat the mistakes made in the past by accepting empty promises on border security.”
To verify these claims of the border being more secure than ever, Miller proposed that the Department of Homeland Security be forced to develop a comprehensive plan to secure the border and implement a system to measure progress.
The congresswoman also weighed in on the president’s proposal to establish a “non-partisan commission to improve the voting experience” and ideally eliminate experiences like that of special State of the Union guest Desiline Victor, who, at 102 years old, waited in line more than three hours to cast her vote in Florida.
“The President tonight noted long lines in the state of Florida at last November’s election. The state of Florida has recognized that they have a problem and Governor Rick Scott and Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner have put forward solutions to those problems which are currently being considered by the Florida legislature,” Miller said. “That is the way this issue should be dealt with because there is not a Washington one-size-fits-all solution that will solve Florida’s, or any other state’s, problems.”
Miller, who once served as Michigan’s Secretary of State, reiterated her belief that the administration of elections is “a state issue,” adding that the problem of long lines at polling places is “confined to very few states” and should not be influenced by a commission formed at the federal level.
Which parts of the president's speech did you agree/disagree with?