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Local congressional reaction to Biden's State of the Union is along party lines

President Biden hands his address to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Melina Mara
President Biden hands his address to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Tuesday.

Two local congressmen, one Republican and one Democrat, have very different views about President Biden and Tuesday night's State of the Union Address.

Orchard Park Republican Chris Jacobs attacked the message, saying "President Biden's actions, policies and agenda have been bad for our nation and American families are paying the price."

Jacobs attacked just about everything the president has done.

"Anti-American energy policies have killed our energy independence and driven fuel costs up for families. Open border policies have caused an illegal immigration and drug crisis at our southern border that continues to rage. Vaccine mandates threaten the viability of critical industries and the personal liberties of every American. And the reckless withdrawal from Afghanistan weakened our position in the world and emboldened our adversaries," Jacobs said in a statement.

Other than also attacking the nation's rising inflation, South Buffalo Democrat Brian Higgins liked the speech and likes the president's policies, saying new federal dollars are good for this region.

"To help Buffalo and Western New Yorkers, for sure, but to also position Buffalo, relative to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, to clean up our rivers and our lakes," Higgins said. "They have been polluted for over 40 years. We're hoping to get those de-listed within the next five years and new iterations of waterfront development financed by the new infrastructure law."

Higgins called for a variety of social programs the president pushed in his message, like cheaper child care, more money for cancer research and pushing against the drug problem. He also called for re-opening the U.S.-Canada border.

"It's time to open the border," he said. "For the past 24 months, the border has been closed, imposing economic costs, but also emotional, public health costs, as well. Families have been separated for too long and we need to lift these restrictions and we need to open the U.S.-Canadian border."

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.