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Rep. Thornberry reacts to State of the Union Address

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Amarillo, TX - In the last four years, we as Americans have seen the near-end of two wars, a measurable but still anemic improvement in our economy, and renewed debate about gun control, immigration, and a host of other policies.  And now most of us are wondering what the next four years will bring.

The State of the Union Address always carries with it an overall sense of anticipation in the collective American mind. And beneath the pomp and circumstance of any organized political event is usually a real and concerted effort to effect significant change in one way or another.  And while the address in and of itself does not actually change any existing policies, it generally lays out the current administration's top priorities.  And a few of the Obama Administration's top priorities mentioned in tonight's State of the Union Address are the U.S. economy, gun control, and immigration reform.

U.S. Representative Mac Thornberry was in attendance and offered his insight and interpretation of the President's remarks in a live phone interview as follows:

J.S. - Firstly, Obama was pushing very strongly his American Jobs Act - do you think the $447 billion plan is viable, or does that price tag outweigh the benefits?

Thornberry - No, I don't think it's going to be seriously considered; that's another version of another stimulus plan, and I think Senator Rubio made clear it's not government that creates jobs - it's the private sector.  So I don't think that's going to go very far.

J.S. - Okay.  Now, I was told earlier that gun control is one of the biggest issues to hit your office, and the nation as well.  Out of all the proposals made by Obama - the universal background check, the assault weapons ban, and the 10-round magazine, which do you think would be the most effective in reducing gun violence?

Thornberry - I don't think any of those would be effective, because remember that if somebody is going to shoot somebody, you're already willing to violate several laws to do that.  So making another law to restrict certain kinds of weapons is not going to accomplish anything.  The other thing to remember is that the vast majority of weapons used in the commission of a crime are obtained illegally anyway.  So you're already violating the law to get the gun before you commit the crime, and so I think all of this is looking for easy answers to tougher societal problems, and that's really where we'd be most effective.

J.S. - Okay.  Now, moving on to immigration, Obama is also pushing his DREAM Act, to streamline citizenship for immigrants in the country.  Do you think doing that would be beneficial or detrimental to our economy and national security?

Thornberry - I think doing that alone would cause additional problems to both our economy and to national security, because it would encourage other people to violate our laws and come here illegally - and some of those are not coming here to work - some of those are coming here to harm us.  I think the two things on immigration are to first: fix our legal immigration system, and he did mention that, but also, you've got to have enforcement not only on the border, but inside the country.  Those two things have to come first, those two things have to be done, before we have the discussion about what do we do with people who are already here.

If you'd like to read the full text of tonight's speech a little more insight into the inner workings of the White House, follow the links attached to this story.

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