Oregon Congressmen react to State of the Union speech

, Posted: Tue, January 28 2014 at 11:08 PM, Updated: Tue, January 28 2014 at 11:38 PM

Medford, Ore. -- With a new Wall Street Journal poll showing the majority of Americans believe the country has been on the wrong track for a decade, President Obama addressed a critical nation in Tuesday's State of the Union speech.

In his fifth State of the Union address, President Obama promised 2014 will be a year of action. He repeatedly threatened to flex his executive authority if Congress won't work with him.

"Wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that's what I'm going to do," said the President.

Oregon Congressman Greg Walden, a Republican, took issue with the threat. Walden said, "I think that offends the constitution. I think it offends our traditional way of life, in terms of legislating. And I think it's wrong. I think he ought to put his pen in his pocket, pick up the phone, and work with congress to fix the problems of the country."

In his speech, the president tackled tough issues. Many of which are driving division between Democrats and Republicans. Issues like immigration reform.

The President said, "Independent economists say immigration reform will grow our economy and shrink our deficits by almost $1 trillion in the next two decades."

The president also spoke about expanding economic opportunity. He said, "Inequality has deepened, upward mobility has stalled."

Oregon representative Peter DeFazio agreed with the President's economic proposals. DeFazio said, "To invest in our transportation infrastructure - both water, roads, bridges, highways and transit. Those are great ways to put Americans back to work."

The president also pushed for raising the minimum wage nationwide. But until congress acts, the president said he'll sign an executive order to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour for new federal contract workers.

"Join the rest of the country. Say yes. Give America a raise," said Mr. Obama.

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