President Obama will deliver his first State of the Union address tonight before Congress, focusing on plans to energize the economy and strengthen anti-terror defenses, even against bio-terrorism. Not only is he dealing with 10 percent unemployment and a $1.4 trillion deficit, but his own ratings have dropped from 74 percent when he took office to 56 percent now.
House Majority Whip James Clyburn of South Carolina will be there, along with the other members of the South Carolina delegation. Clyburn says he hopes that President Obama will pay more attention to legislation from the U.S. House. He says Obama’s ratings have dropped because of the Senate, and says the president’s popularity would increase if he would support legislation from the House.
“Whatever he lays out that’s new, I hope that he will redo his support for what has been done in the House, and call upon the Senate to make them law so they’ll reach his desk,” says Clyburn. “I think he would see his fortune turn around in 90 days if he would do that. He doesn’t have a problem with the people because of what Congress is doing. He has a problem because of what the Senate is not doing. Everything that the people want you’ll find sitting in the Senate, already passed by the House. Housing, jobs, energy and education. Everything.”
Obama will show his budget to congress on Monday.
Clyburn responded to criticism from members of Congress, including some members of the South Carolina delegation, that the stimulus package has not worked. He asserts that the stimulus package has accomplished a great deal over the past year in the way of job creation, for the country and for South Carolina, generating thousands of jobs through the Energy Department, directed through the Savannah River facility, the Clemson University wind turbine grant and several South Carolina industries.
(Clyburn on stimulus package MP3 :54)
Clyburn says South Carolina even has the stimulus plan to thank, in part, for Boeing landing in its borders.