Rep. Brooks reacts to the President's State of the Union

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Representative Susan Brooks , a first-term Republican congresswoman from Indiana’s 5th District is reacting to the State of the Union address President Obama delivered Tuesday night.

“I was very encouraged by the bi-partisan message we heard from our Commander in Chief,” said Rep. Brooks in a live interview on WISH-TV’s Daybreak. “But I think what was missing was a firm commitment to balancing our budget.”

In his first State of the Union address since winning re-election, Obama claimed clear progress in the economy and said he prepared to build on it as he embarks on four more years in office. He pushed for job creation to strengthen the middle class and an increase in the minimum wage to $9 an hour, with future increases tied to the cost of living.

Still, Rep. Brooks and other members of the Republican party criticized Obama for leaving out terms like balanced budget.

“I did not get the sense that he has in mind the type of cuts that are going to be necessary to get our house into fiscal order,” said Brooks.

Education reform was also briefly mentioned by Obama. He called on lawmakers to change the amount of funding colleges and universities receive, based on the institution's affordability, saying “I ask Congress to change the Higher Education Act so that affordability and value are included in determining which colleges receive certain types of federal aid."

This note resonated with Rep. Brooks, who served as Senior Vice President in charge of Workforce Development at Ivy Tech -- the state’s largest postsecondary institution – for years.

“I think tying it to performance is not a bad idea. We need to make sure that our young people and older people are getting what he [President Obama] called ‘bang for their buck.’”

Rep. Brooks referenced the President’s announcement that the White House would release what it calls a College Scorecard that parents and students can use to compare schools based on a simple criteria of “where you can get the most bang for your educational buck.”

“I agree that higher education can actually work to find much more efficiencies so we can try to keep tuition costs lower,” says Brooks. “Tuition costs have gone up around this country and I think much can be done in the higher education system.”

To see the text of the President’s State of the Union Speech, click here .

Copyright 2014 WISH TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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