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Local Congressional Representatives React To Obama's SOTU Speech

Susan Walsh / AP

President Barack Obama gives his the State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016.

Susan Walsh / AP

Kitty Felde | Capital Public Radio

In last night’s State of the Union address, President Obama said democracy grinds to a halt without a willingness to compromise. So is there any chance Congress will find common ground this year? It depends on who you ask.

President Obama said protecting the American people was his top priority. Democrat Ami Bera of Elk Grove says it’s a bipartisan issue.

"We all want to keep our country safe, we want to keep our communities safe, but let’s do that together," says Bera.

But for much of the President’s speech, Republicans sat on their hands. Congressman Tom McClintock of Granite Bay says the President worked with the GOP on trade.

"But overall, he’s not only not reached out, but he has deepened the partisan divide," says McClintock.

The number two House Republican, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy promised that one issue, the President’s call to cure cancer, would get bipartisan support.

"I lost my father to cancer," says McCarthy. "I believe cancer has touched every single family in America."

But on climate change, election reform, and income inequality, the partisan battles are expected to continue.