77
      Monday
      84 / 66
      Tuesday
      86 / 66
      Wednesday
      88 / 65

      Local lawmakers respond to State of the Union

      <p>Obama called on House Democrats and Republicans to follow their Senate counterparts in approving an overhaul of immigration laws.</p>

      In his fifth State of the Union speech, President Barack Obama said that if Congress doesn't take action on certain issues, he'll take action without them.

      Tuesday night, several of those representing northwest Ohio in Congress responded to the President's statement and his overall speech.

      Specifically, the President announced several executive actions he's already planned, including the increase of the minimum wage for some federal contract workers and creating a retirement savings plan for Americans.

      U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) was among those that applauded the President's first planned executive action.

      ??The President??s Executive Order to raise the minimum wage for employees of new federal contact will be strengthened by The Fair Minimum Wage Act, which we must pass to give nearly 1.3 million Ohioans a raise," Sen. Brown said.

      U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio), however, said that while he agrees with the President's goal of restoring opportunity in our society, he disagrees with most of the President??s ideas on how to get there.

      "We have tried the top down approach of more government, more regulations, more spending and record debt, and it hasn??t worked," Portman said.

      Congressman Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green) made a similar point saying "we must remove unnecessary regulations, eliminate wasteful spending and invest in industries that will grow our economy and create jobs, so we can get the American people back to work.??

      During his speech, the President did say he wanted to expand the earned-income tax credit, which he says also helps boost the wages of low-income families through tax refunds.

      Obama also called on House Democrats and Republicans to follow their Senate counterparts in approving an overhaul of immigration laws.

      The President also addressed foreign policy, promising that U.S. troops in Afghanistan after 2014 will only help continue to train Afghan forces.

      The White House made an effort to make this year's State of the Union an interactive experience for Americans and the entire speech can be found on their website.

      (The AP contributed to this report.)