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Local lawmakers react to State of the Union Address

Published On: Feb 12 2013 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 13 2013 04:42:50 PM CST

The president has said his piece. Now cue the cheers and jeers on Capitol Hill.

After four years in office amid constant bickering between parties, could President Obama's speech Wednesday night break though political roadblocks?

"It is not a bigger government we need but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad based growth," the president proclaimed during his State of the Union Address.

The president urged Congress to support his efforts on everything from building and repairing infrastructure to spurring alternative energy and raising pay for workers.

"Plenty of areas where we can work together and that is where we need to focus," said U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, R-Bucks Co., who doesn't think looming cuts will lead to governmental shutdown come March 1.

Fitzpatrick also said the fact that Republicans agreed to higher taxes on higher income earners shows the parties can work together, but he said it's now up to the president to lay out specifics.

"We've met the president half way at the 50 yard line. It's time for the president to come out of the end zone and meet us half way," said Fitzpatrick, whose optimism  may stem from his involvement in a bipartisan congressional group called "No Labels," which meets regularly to build trust across the aisle.

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., is not in that group but did issue a statement, also leaving the door open for bipartisan kinship.

"I disagree about the idea of raising taxes yet again, but if the president is willing to look at some areas where we can curb spending, I'd be delighted to work with him on a sustainable path," said Toomey, who also touted his agreement with the president on tax reform.

We did reach out to Democrats, too. Gun control was also a big topic in the president's address.

Fitzpatrick said he does believe an up or down vote on President Obama's gun control policy will happen.