Indiana’s elected representatives in Congress are providing their opinions on this week’s State of the Union address.
The speech – which the president said early-on was a departure from the usual slate of policy proposals – discussed the accomplishments of his time in office, but also set an optimistic tone for the future of the United States.
Releasing a statement prior to the State of the Union, Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly said he hoped to hear the president mention proposals to deal with heroin and opioid abuse prevalent in Indiana. President Obama mentioned the issue was one of his first points of the night. Donnelly said he was pleased to hear the comments he has been working for years to address.
On the topic of the economy, the president outlined his record on jobs. Those points brought some disagreement from Republican Senator Dan Coats – who watched the speech from the Hoosier state. He attended Indiana’s State of the State address.
Coats said in a statement that the national debt has more than doubled under Obama’s tenure and poverty is higher than when the president took office.
Touching on issues of foreign policy and U.S. engagement around the world, the president brushed aside assertions that the nation’s military is weakening while dissenting forces such as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, are strengthening.
In response, Indiana Second District Republican Congresswoman Jackie Walorski said she’s still awaiting bold action to keep the country safe. Walorski says she’s currently working through the House Armed Services Committee on a proposal to defeat the terrorist organization.
Numerous other issues such as partisan divisions in Congress and redistricting were also addressed during the hour-long speech.
This was the final State of the Union address of Obama’s presidency.