Anchorage Daily News: State's delegates share thoughts

Here's how Alaska congressional delegation reacted to the State of the Union address:

• Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski:

"I think it was important that the president in his words tonight really tried to convey an understanding and appreciation as to where this country is, where families are, what their anxieties, their angst and their concerns (are). For months now, the Democratic conference and the president, the administration, have been so focused on health care, health care, health care. Well, you go back home and people are saying, 'Well, yeah, health care is important, but what about my job?' "

"I was leading the applause when he mentioned that on the energy front we needed to focus on nuclear and include that as a bigger part of our energy portfolio. I stood and applauded genuinely when he mentioned increased offshore production."

• Democratic Sen. Mark Begich:

"President Obama struck the right tone between optimism about America's future and determination about the enormous challenges our country faces, many of which he inherited. As he should have, he spent the most time addressing plans to help create jobs for Americans and get our economy back on track. That's been my focus the past year -- with the Recovery Act, new Alaska oil and gas development and military base expansion -- and is my priority for the future."

"I was especially heartened by his comments on the need for America's energy independence and clean energy. There's no better answer to those challenges than the Alaska natural gas pipeline, which will create thousands of American jobs and produce clean-burning energy here at home. Alaska's offshore oil and gas potential also hold enormous promise for meeting America's energy needs and the Obama administration already has given the green light to some development there."

• Republican Rep. Don Young:

"President Obama has dictated the spending of more taxpayer dollars in his first year in office than any other President in the history of our nation, and has increased the deficit by 308 percent. Unfortunately, his proposed 'spending freeze' is only a token effort to address a spending problem of vast proportions and will actually do nothing to help our country get back on track. Since taking office, this Administration has been on a shopping spree; stuffing money into every entitlement program and pet project they can get their hands on and bucking the rules to do it every step of the way. Enough is enough! Alaskans work hard for every dime they make, and they don't deserve to have their hard-earned dollars squandered by personal political agendas."

Source: By James Halpin. Originally published in the Anchorage Daily News on January 27 2010