A guest post by Emily Cornell of Keep Louisiana Working…
An estimated 30 million people tuned in to watch the President’s annual State of the Union speech on Tuesday evening. Of those 30 million, it’s sure some of them fall among the 5 million who have lost their existing coverage under Obamacare, or within the 3.9 million who are struggling with unemployment over 27 weeks, or event he over 300,000 who left the workforce in December.
Here in Louisiana we’re left wanting for details on issues that matter to us. The President made no mention of the Keystone Pipeline, despite citing a “commitment to energy independence.” As mentioned in Tuesday morning’s release, American Petroleum Institute predicts a partnership with Canada and the Keystone Pipeline would make the United States energy independent in ten years – by 2024.
The President also spent time defending Obamacare and criticizing his opposition for failing to present alternatives to Americas healthcare issues or solutions to the current law. The President failed to mention the work of Louisiana’s own elected officials Steve Scalise (R-01) and Bill Cassidy (R-06). Scalise lead the Republican Study Committee in drafting major legislation titled The American Healthcare Reform Act in 2013 and Cassidy co-authored the Exchange Information Disclosure Act “[requiring] the President and Secretary of Health and Human Services to make transparent key information on how Obamacare is operating, particularly the federally-administered exchange. The bill would ensure the public and decision-makers in Congress and the states have the necessary data points to identify the flaws with enrollment and the status of those flaws.” Two pieces of legislation completely ignored by the President.
Following the speech, Fox News anchor Bret Bair called the speech “very light on details for some of these initiatives.” And Charles Krauthammer noted, “there wasn’t a lot to the speech – of course he’s playing a very weak hand.” The President’s vagueness and omittance of topics important to Louisiana leave many wanting for a clear agenda and intent for the remaining three years of Obama’s administration.