Press-Republican

February 14, 2013

Local leaders urge unity in DC

By JOE LoTEMPLIO
Press-Republican

---- — PLATTSBURGH — North Country leaders in Washington, D.C., hope Congress can put aside its differences to complete some of President Barack Obama’s initiatives.

“America faces serious challenges ahead, but no single party claims ownership over every solution,” Congressman Bill Owens (D-Plattsburgh) said in a statement following the president’s State of the Union address Tuesday night.

“I commend the president for keeping the spotlight on jobs and the economy. It is critical that Congress put politics aside and get to work growing the economy, cutting federal spending and addressing broad concerns like immigration, farm policy and the tax code.”

NO LABELS PIN

Owens joined members of the Upstate New York congressional delegation in calling for bipartisan efforts to solve problems.

He wore a pin from the group No Labels, which promotes Democrats and Republicans working together on issues.

No Labels includes 18 Republicans, 23 Democrats and an independent from the House and the Senate who have vowed to work together to find common ground.

‘CORE VALUES’

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat from New York, also called for bipartisan efforts to get problems solved.

“For too long, Congress has let the smallness of its politics keep us from solving our greatest challenges, all at the expense of middle-class families and small business,” her statement said.

“I am hopeful that, with a fresh start, we can leave the partisan gridlock and gamesmanship behind us, build consensus around the common, core values that unite us and do our part to help create new jobs.”

Gillibrand said the American public wants action now on the economy, gun violence and immigration.

“Tonight, the president called on Congress to act on bipartisan common-sense ideas and for the American people to hold us accountable,” she said. “It is clear the American people are demanding action on a balanced approach to the economy and putting the middle class first.

“They are demanding action on finally moving forward with common-sense legislation to reduce gun violence, create a new, accountable immigration system with an earned path to citizenship, and a commitment to clean energy.”

URGING SUPPORT

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) said the president’s speech was his most stirring.

“The president focused squarely on the middle class and appealed to the average American. He talked about education, gun safety and immigration but, most of all, jobs,” the senator’s statement said.

“The president’s proposals will help put the middle class on a renewed path to prosperity and make our country safer. They deserve a vote, and they deserve our support.”

Email Joe LoTemplio: jlotemplio@pressrepublican.com