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Obama's State Of the Union Draws Partisan Reaction From Sacramento Congress Members

Larry Downing, Pool / AP

Larry Downing, Pool / AP

Elk Grove Democrat Ami Bera says the president is focused on what the Sacramento region needs.

“He hit the right theme on opportunity, and you know that was woven throughout," says Bera. "Whether it’s opportunity by investing in the next generation. Whether it’s opportunity by investing in American innovation, in our small businesses. He laid out that agenda.”

FULL TRANSCRIPT: State of the Union Address

But Republicans were bristling. While the president asked House Republicans for assistance, he also said he’s going to aggressively sign executive orders where they want to blunt his agenda. Granite Bay Republican Tom McClintock says the president is walking a dangerous line. 

“If that is allowed to stand we will cross the very bright line that divides the rule of law from the rule of one man," says McClintock. "And that is specifically what the Constitution was written to protect us from. I think if he persists he is moving towards a constitutional crisis.”

McClintock says the president also missed an opportunity to refocus attention on the nation’s ballooning national debt. Bera says he regrets the president didn’t focus more on areas where there’s bipartisan agreement. But he says the president struck the right tone by not brow beating House Republicans for moving slowly on immigration reform.

"But we still have to work together. Right? As Democrats and Republicans," says Bera. "If you just push that through that just continues the division here. When he talked about immigration, I looked around, and I saw a number of my Republican colleagues standing as well in the house. So that tells me that they are ready to work on this as well, and lets get this done.”

In this election year, the State of the Union address is one of the first shots in an intense battle for the all important independent voters. And while President Obama isn't on the ballot this year, members of Congress are - with Bera one of several Californians facing competitive races.

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Matt Laslo

Former Contributing Washington DC Reporter

Based on Capitol Hill, Matt Laslo is a reporter who has been covering Congress, the White House and the Supreme Court since 2006. He has filed stories for NPR and more than 40 of its affiliates, including Capital Public Radio.  Read Full Bio 

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