Alabama delegation praises, pans Obama’s State of the Union address
By Mary Orndorff
The Birmingham News

WASHINGTON — Alabama’s mostly Republican delegation applauded President Barack Obama’s broad message of nonpartisan, military-inspired teamwork, but they were less supportive of the other policy proposals in his State of the Union address Tuesday night.

In brief interviews after the late evening speech, many members of Alabama’s delegation stopped short of calling Obama’s speech a purely political message aimed at re-election. But they still found fault.

“I’m not trying to be negative just to be negative, but some things I just don’t know how he is going to deliver on,” said Rep. Jo Bonner, R-Mobile. On the idea to require all children to finish high school, Bonner said, “I applaud the nobility of the mission, but it sounded like another unfunded mandate, telling the states they have to do it but there is no money to help you do it.”

Bonner said he was grateful that Obama mentioned making sure oil companies can contain spills like the BP spill in Gulf of Mexico, but “he still has to fulfill the promises like making the people of the Gulf Coast whole again.”

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Saks, said he was most amazed by Obama’s initiative to encourage more homeowners to refinance their mortgages to take advantage of lower rates because he believes it’s not possible.

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