GREEN BAY- In his state of the union address, the president focused on one concept for America’s future.
“The simple profound belief in opportunity for all,” said President Barack Obama.
But what do our senators think opportunity means for people back in the Badger state?
“We’re a state that makes things and I think that’s a key ingredient to build an economy that’s built to last. And the president talked about the manufacturing sector in a number of instances during his speech,” said Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin.
“Increasing prosperity for all Americans. The way you do that is you make sure America, Wisconsin, and your community is an attractive place for business investment,” said Republican Senator Ron Johnson.
Johnson and other Republicans have been against the proposed increase to the minimum wage for federal contract workers. It’s an executive order proposed by the president and addressed in the state of the union.
“If the federal government dictates the wage level, you are going to eliminate entry level positions,” said Johnson.
Republican Congressman Reid Ribble (WI-08) says minimum wage control should be localized.
“If you try to have a one-sized fits all issue on minimum wage like the president was proposing, it doesn’t meet the needs of the economy. The cost of living in Green Bay is very different than the cost of living in New York City,” said Ribble.
While Baldwin says it doesn’t go far enough and more workers should be paid higher wages.
“It will affect a couple hundred thousand Americans which is really incredibly important for them, but he called upon the private sector to lead and decide themselves to go ahead and increase wages,” said Baldwin.
Baldwin, Johnson, and Ribble say they all plan to work together with other members of Congress and the president to make 2014 a year like the president called for.
“Let’s make 2014 a year of action,” President Obama said.
Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle say they’re confident one of the first bi-partisan bills to be passed will be the Farm Bill.
That could come sometime this week.