Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Chair of the Huse Republican Caucus, speaks on the government shutdown following a Republican House Caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol on October 4, 2013 in Washington, D.C. The Democrats and Republicans are continuing to work on a budget deal as the government shutdown goes into its fourth day. UPI/Kevin Dietsch | License Photo
WASHINGTON, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., said Tuesday night President's Obama's policies are "making people's lives harder."
"Tonight the president made more promises that sound good, but won't solve the problems actually facing Americans," McMorris Rodgers, chairwoman of the House Republican Conference and the No. 4 Republican in the House, said in the official GOP response to Obama's State of the Union speech.
"Tonight I'd like to share a more hopeful, Republican vision. One that empowers you, not the government. It's one that champions free markets -- and trusts people to make their own decisions, not a government that decides for you.
"It helps working families rise above the limits of poverty and protects our most vulnerable. And it's one where Washington plays by the same rules that you do."
McMorris Rodgers shared her family story of rising up from humble roots, saying: "The president talks a lot about income inequality. But the real gap we face today is one of opportunity inequality. And with this administration's policies, that gap has become far too wide. ...
"Republicans have plans to close the gap. Plans that focus on jobs first without more spending, government bailouts, and red tape. Every day, we're working to expand our economy, one manufacturing job, nursing degree and small business at a time.
"We have plans to improve our education and training systems so you have the choice to determine where your kids go to school so college is affordable and skills training is modernized.
"And yes, it's time to honor our history of legal immigration. We're working on a step-by-step solution to immigration reform by first securing our borders and making sure America will always attract the best, brightest, and hardest working from around the world.
"And with too many Americans living paycheck to paycheck, we have solutions to help you take home more of your pay -- through lower taxes, cheaper energy costs and affordable healthcare."
U.S. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said government is responsible for the inequality Obama lamented in his speech.
In the Tea Part Express response to the State of the Union, Lee said "government-driven inequality" is the reason why families struggle to make ends meet.
"Americans have had it with our out-of-touch national government," Lee said, urging Americans to protest against the government as those who initiated the Boston Tea Party did centuries ago.
In particular, Lee said the Affordable Care Act puts too much power in the hands of the government.
"This inequality crisis presents itself in three principal forms. Immobility among the poor, who are being trapped in poverty by big-government programs; insecurity in the middle class, where families are struggling just to get by and can't seem to get ahead; and cronyist privilege at the top, where political and economic insiders twist the immense power of the federal government to profit at the expense of everyone else," Lee said.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., a likely 2016 presidential candidate, uploaded his own response to the State of the Union to Facebook, where he blamed the Great Recession on the Federal Reserve's interest rate policies that created the housing bubble.
"It's not government is inherently stupid -- although that is a debatable point," Paul said, arguing the government doesn't understand how businesses are created.
The "ticket to the middle class is not higher taxes" on businesses, he said.