Hoeven Statement on President Barack Obama's State of the Union Address

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today issued the following statement in response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address delivered to a joint session of the U.S. Congress:

“This evening President Obama laid out his plan for America’s future but he needs to focus more on building a strong business climate and private-sector investment, as we have in North Dakota. We need to provide the kind of business environment and opportunity in our country that will unleash the creativity and resourcefulness that made our nation great.

“The president recently said that we need to signal to the world that America is open for business, yet less than a week ago he said no to the Keystone XL pipeline, the largest shovel-ready, private-sector energy project in the nation. In effect, he said the gate to American commerce is closed to one of our closest and most trusted allies. Instead of creating jobs here in the United States, his decision will create jobs in China, which is aggressively pursuing access to the same Canadian oil resources. The president’s decision is not just a matter of energy security, but also of national security considering the Iranian threat to the Strait of Hormuz and the nation’s ongoing dependence on Middle Eastern oil.

“In the area of energy alone, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce last year released a study identifying 351 projects that are stalled nationwide because of over-regulation and a bureaucratic permitting process. Those delays are costing the American economy $1.1 trillion in lost economic impact and nearly 2 million jobs every year. Yet the president’s approach has been to implement even more regulation and create more uncertainty for American businesses and workers.

“The president professed a commitment to reinvigorate our manufacturing and energy sectors, as well as to strengthen education for our young people. Yet the legal, tax and regulatory restraints his policies have imposed on American businesses discourage the kind of private sector investments that will create jobs and opportunities for our young people, and generate revenues from economic growth to reduce our deficit.

“In the months to come, I am committed to working with my Senate and House colleagues, as well as the Administration, to advance the kinds of measures that we have applied in North Dakota for more than a decade, so that we can reduce our deficit and put the nearly 14 million unemployed Americans back on the job.”