Groups watch State of the Union

President Barack Obama gave his second State of the Union Tuesday night by addressing the tragedy in Tucson and bipartisanship.  In his speech, he reassured Americans about the economy and also focused on on improving innovation, education and infrastructure.

A large group of people were glued to the television at Neihardt Hall at UNL.  The group of Democrats gathered there from all around the city and watched as President Obama laid out his plan to “win the economic future”.

Representative Jeff Fortenberry says he believes its crucial the president do that.  “The government needs a total money maker.  We have $14 trillion of debt that translates into about $45,000 for every citizen in the U.S.  The spending is too much,  the deficits are too high and this is actually undermining the economic recovery.”

Those at the watch party were happy with what the president said.  UNL Junior Zachary Smith was there and says, “He proposed tough cuts ,though cuts all Americans will have to work with and that the government is going to have to work with.  He proposed just as tough investments that America is going to have to meet.”

Republican Senator Mike Johanns released the following statement after President Obama's address:

“I applaud the President for giving another fine speech and encouraging optimism for our country. While his words were characteristically lofty, I am always more interested in seeing how he and his Administration follow them up with action. This is not the first time we've heard talk about job creation, fostering a healthy environment for businesses and economic growth, or a tribute to trade and agriculture. What we need now is real action and real solutions.

“The President alluded repeatedly to investing, implying the expenditure of more tax dollars. As our debt continues to swell, as our economy continues to stagnate, as tens of millions of Americans continue to search for jobs, and after trillions of tax dollars have already been squandered in the name of “investment,” I cannot express how disappointing it is to hear the President's intention to continue on this unsustainable course.

“Nebraskans tuned in tonight hoping to hear of a more responsible government. They want a government that gets out of the way of job creation and economic growth rather than inhibit it. Continuing to spend money we don't have only digs us into a deeper hole.

“The President also issued a call tonight for greater bipartisanship and a more cordial political environment. With that I could not agree more. Nebraskans have long been accustomed to respectful politics and I appreciate the call for that in Washington. Our country faces no problem we can't solve together, and I look forward to working toward those solutions in the future.”

Democratic Senator Ben Nelson released this statement:

“Well, I was impressed with the President's speech tonight, focusing on the importance of bipartisanship.  We sat together, across the aisle, with no aisle to keep us apart.  We acted appropriately at the President's comments,” Senator Nelson said.

“I was equally interested in the fact that he pointed out how important biofuels and more research in biofuels would be. Relying on foreign sources of oil is not our future. Relying on own domestic production is the future.

“The final thing that I was focused on, that the President really hit hard, was about the debt.  He understands that our national debt is something that needs to be brought down.  We need to have a concerted effort from Republicans, Democrats, Independents and all Americans to try to reduce that debt, to control the growth and spending to make sure that we build an economy in America that is based on and is sustainable on what we have and what we want to produce in the future, not on imports and oil from other countries.  Not on imports.

“He talked about building our own jobs, reducing unemployment in America by creating opportunities here in America for our American workers.

“So, I am very encouraged by what the President had to propose tonight and I hope that we can bring this together in the days ahead on a very strong bipartisan basis.”