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February 12. 2013 11:38PM

NH delegation responds to Obama's speech

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H.: "Strengthening the economy in New Hampshire and the United States is my top priority. I was pleased the President echoed this focus tonight because nothing is more important than bolstering our economy and creating jobs for middle-class families. We should begin with a focus on small businesses, not only because of the role they play in New Hampshire's economy but because of their prominence nationally. Small businesses create two out of every three jobs in the United States so it is critical that we ensure they have the tools they need to flourish."

U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.: "While I welcome the President's openness to simplifying our tax code to spur economic growth, as well as his acknowledgment that we must reform Medicare to preserve it, I'm concerned that he proposed many new programs without saying how we could afford them. With over $16 trillion in debt and the economic challenges we face, we need to enact a large deficit reduction plan that includes tax reform and entitlement reform, and a balanced budget amendment to put permanent limits on Washington spending."

U.S. Rep. Ann McLane Kuster, D-N.H.: "In his speech tonight, President Obama focused on what remains our nation's top priority: bringing Republicans and Democrats together in a bipartisan fashion to help create jobs and economic opportunity for middle class families across the country. As our economy continues to recover, we need to be doing everything we can to support job creation and economic growth. We all know that businesses, not government, are the engine of job creation. What the government can and must do is create an environment that helps the private sector create jobs. That means investing in a 21st-century workforce, developing affordable clean energy, and cutting red tape and streamlining regulations for small businesses."

U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, D-N.H.: "I appreciated President Obama's optimism even as he spoke about our challenges. He reminded us that whether it's job creation, national security, climate change, education, housing affordability, or gun violence, we are one people, and, as he said, it is our task to 'be the authors of the next chapter in our American story.' Our task is clear - to work together to make it a great chapter."

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