Candice Miller for Congress, Michigan

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Rep. Candice Miller and State Sen. Phil Pavlov attended State of the Union Address

by Candice Miller on February 5, 2014

Friday, January 31, 2014

By Jeri Packer Staff Writer

U.S. Representative Candice Miller’s response to President Barack Obama’s 2014 State of the Union address was not as positive as her first attempts to be a team player, despite her Republican worldview.

Miller said though she disagreed with many of the president’s policy ideas, she did agree that getting the economy growing and creating jobs was a top priority. And, regarding the military, she also shared his desire to pull out of the Middle East.

“I was pleased that the president noted that we will soon be bringing our troops home from Afghanistan,” she said. “I believe the mission of our troops in that nation is near complete and it is time to bring them home.”

That said, she said she still hoped he would have shared the “bi-partisan wins” they have made – like the budget, defense, the farm bill, she said.

She also agreed with Obama when he said that more opportunities in the energy sector were making it possible for the U.S. to be “closer to energy independence than at any other time.”

Still, she said she can’t understand why the president is stalling the Keystone Pipeline System project, which transports synthetic crude oil from Alberta, Canada.

“All the environmental concerns have been addressed,” she said. “It would create tens of thousands of jobs.”

The gloves came off after that.

“The president has overreached his powers,” Miller said. “The constitution has an executive, legislative and judicial branch that is co-equal, set up by our founding fathers.”

Miller was referring to Obama’s practice of ignoring the constitutional fail-safes put in place long ago, discouraging any one person or branch from having too much power. She also referred to the much-publicized cabinet meeting on Jan. 14 when the president said, “I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone,” interpreted that he is referring to how he gets bills through, even when he can’t get enough support from the legislature.

“We are not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we’re providing Americans the kind of help that they need,” Obama reportedly said. “I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone.”

“Making a comment like that shows a lack of leadership,” Miller said. “We have a president. We don’t have a king.”

This is one reason why Miller is involved in a group taking action against this type of governing called “Stop This Overreaching Presidency Resolution.” The resolution directs the House to institute legal action to require the president to comply with the law.

State Sen. Phil Pavlov (R) of District 25 was Miller’s guest at the evening event. His reflections after the address regarding how Michigan is faring were positive, but he said it was no thanks to big government. “Michigan is out ahead of many of the president’s proposals. The president’s big government ideas have been rejected,” he said. “In reality, innovation happens more at the state level.”

“Training today’s workforce, guaranteeing everyone a job” was also an important part of the president’s strategy to spark the economy until it ignites. Pavlov is on Gov. Rick Snyder’s Talent Investment Board, heading up in education. The board focuses on matching jobs with available talent and is housed within the Workforce Development Agency.

Current tax codes was another outdated process needing reform, said Obama. In Michigan, legislators were able to bring changes to the old Michigan business tax system. It was rated the worst in the nation, Pavlov said. Now, thanks to state legislators, there is a straight 6 percent corporate income tax.

“Now (the new corporate income tax) is seventh in the country,” he said. “We’re not relying on the government to come and fix it.”

Contact Jeri Packer at (586) 716-8100, ext 302; or on Twitter @JeriPacker.

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