Mixed Reactions to President's State of the Union Address

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President Bush's State of the Union address set the stage for a new year, a year coming on the heels of a newly-controlled democratic congress.

A day after the president delivered that address, mixed reactions from the public and lawmakers have flowed in.

"The President laid out a comprehensive, forward-looking agenda that addresses many of the key issues facing America today," United States Senator John Cornyn said. "As Governor of Texas, the President had a strong record of accomplishment in working with a Democrat-controlled Legislature. It is my sincere hope that Democrats in Washington will likewise work to meet the President halfway. The 110th Congress has started on a strong bipartisan note, but a lot of hard work remains. I hope both parties will continue working together in the best interests of the American people."

During Tuesday night's address, President Bush urged both parties to work together.

"We can work through our differences and achieve big things for the American people," President Bush said.

One Texas A&M student said the speech had a solemn tone, and he thought President Bush got his point across.

"Overall I thought he did a good job and I thought he set the right tone for the next few months in trying to reach across the aisle in the spirit of bipartisanship," Trait Thompson said.

President Bush urged congress to help him expand health care coverage, reform immigration, and balance the budget.

"I like his proposal for health care better than the democratic way," Gene Howard, a Brazos County resident said. "I don't like the government to control my health care. I want to be able to get my health care myself."

Domestic issues were at the forefront of his address, but even though President Bush had recently laid out his plan for Iraq, it was not amiss from Tuesday night's address.

"Our country is pursuing a new strategy in Iraq and I urge you to give it a chance to work," President Bush said.

It's his controversial plan to send more than 20,000 more troops to Baghdad that again caught Americans' attention.

"I thought the president last night made a pretty good case that it would be irresponsible for us to fail to send reinforcements to our troops if we need those in order to do the job we've asked them to do," Cornyn said.

The public had mixed reactions.

"There's not a whole lot I agree with on sending more troops," Brazos County resident Gloria Caldwell said. "I want the troops to come home."

"I thought he laid out the case well for why to send more troops to Iraq," Thompson said.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has passed a resolution condemning the president's plan for more troops in Iraq.

The vote on the Democratic resolution, which says the troop buildup "is not in the national interest," was 12-to-nine.

Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel was the only Republican to support the nonbinding resolution.
He says the administration "better be damn sure" it knows what it's doing before sending more troops into what he calls "that grinder."

Committee chairman Senator Joseph Biden stressed it is an effort to prevent the president from making "a significant mistake" in Iraq.

But Tennessee senator Bob Corker said it will have "zero effect" on the administration.

Several Republicans who voted against the legislation expressed unease with the administration's new policy.
The measure is expected to come before the full Senate next week.