Collins looking for ‘true bipartisan solutions’ from President’s speech
When President Obama makes his State of the Union address tonight, Congressman Chris Collins, R-Clarence, wants to hear him talk about jobs, the economy and “the need to live within our means as a country.”
“I want to hear him talk about true bipartisan solutions, not his way or the highway,” Collins said Saturday during an interview at The Livingston County News.
“I want him to talk to America about our future, our children, our grandchildren and living within our means like every American family has to do,” he said. “That’s what I hope. We’ll have to see.”
Obama’s fifth State of the Union address is scheduled for 9 p.m. The annual address is when the president speaks to both Congress and the American public about his plans for the coming year and challenges that face the country. The speech highlights the president’s priorities and sets the tone for his administration.
Jobs and the economy, Collins said, are the most important issues for many Americans.
“The disappointment we have is that the president is not talking about jobs and the economy. He is talking about anything and everything but jobs and the economy. Why? Because the economy is not moving forward in a robust manner, we are not creating the jobs we need to get this country going and to get people back to work and the opportunity that we deserve and our children deserve,” said Collins, who just completed his first month in office.
The congressman noted that today’s State of the Union address comes on the fourth anniversary of the deadly plane crash of Flight 3407 in Clarence that killed 50 people.
Collins said he will spend much of his day today pursuing answers about why the Federal Aviation Authority has not implemented “some of the more significant safety rules” ordered by the administration following the investigation into the February 2009 crash.
“Safety in the air is the reason the law was passed and the FAA is not doing its job,” Collins said.
Collins said he and John Kausner, whose daughter was among the crash victims, will meet and also hope to be able to meet with an oversight committee of the FAA. They will also attend a memorial service for the families, and Kausner will be Collins’ guest at the State of the Union.
“That is where we can take individual issues and put them on top of federal issues, safety in the skies,” he said. “You want to think they did not lose their life for no reason. You’re going to take that loss of life and making something positive out of it.”
After Tuesday’s address, Obama will travel to Asheville, N.C., Atlanta, Ga., and Chicago to discuss proposals, unveiled in his speech, that focus on strengthening the economy for the middle class and those striving to get there, according to a statement from the White House Press Secretary that was posted on the White House website.
Collins has been appointed to committees on agriculture and small business. He is also chairman of a small business subcommittee on health and technology that will look at the effect implementing the president’s healthcare initiative, popularly called Obamacare, will have on small businesses.
“There’s never been a more important time to be a congressman than there is now given the magnitude of the issues,” Collins said. “We need a path to fiscal sanity, living within our means and not passing a trillion dollar of IOUs on to our children and grandchildren.”