WASHINGTON – DFL Rep. Keith Ellison says he has mixed feelings about President Obama’s State of the Union address and said Obama’s move to the middle is dealing with the reality of a mixed government.
After the speech, Ellison told reporters that he’s pleased to see Obama is making a commitment to invest in public works projects and end tax breaks for oil companies but is concerned about the level of cuts put on the table.
“He said he’s not going to let the cuts fall on the poorest Americans, but you know what?,” Ellison said. “We’ll see. I’m very concerned about that. Unless we’re talking about some real cuts in the military, which he did mention, to his credit, I don’t know where he’s going to get it from.”
Ellison said he thinks President Obama and Congress should look first to making cuts to military programs and projects are considered “outdated” or out of use. Ellison also said he’d like to see Obama address what he called “income inequality” between the nation’s wealthiest and poorest citizens.
Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, also praised President Obama for encouraging the nation to embrace many cultures including the Muslim faith.
“He didn’t have to say what he said about Muslims being American family but he did,” Ellison said. “I can tell you there’s a lot of people who really appreciated him saying that…”