Iowa congressional delegation reacts to Obama speech

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September 9th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Democrats in Iowa’s congressional delegation say they’re ready to get to work on the jobs package President Obama outlined last night, while Republicans like Chuck Grassley and Steve King raise doubts about the president’s approach.

┬áRepublican Congressman Steve King of Kiron said the “best thing (Obama) could have done would be call for a balanced budget amendment” rather than introduce new spending ideas. Republican Senator Chuck Grassley said Obama’s proposal was just “more of the same” and it was “time for something new” like an effort to reduce government regulations. Republican Congressman Tom Latham of Ames didn’t criticize Obama’s plan at all in his statement after the speech, however. Latham said the “simple truth is that we must do better as a Congress and as a government to work together to find real solutions” to the nation’s economic ills.

Senator Tom Harkin, a Democrat, praised Obama’s plan as going “to the heart” of the problem by focusing on job creation. Congressman Bruce Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, said he hopes the president’s speech “refocuses the debate” in Washington. Congressman Dave Loebsack, a Democrat from Iowa City, said he hopes congress starts the “real work” that’s necessary to find “commonsense solutions.” Congressman Leonard Boswell, a Democrat from Des Moines, suggested Obama had said what most American’s believe, “that Warren Buffett and Bill Gates can afford to pay the same percentage of payroll taxes that their own secretaries pay.”

(O. Kay Henderson/Radio Iowa)