U.S. Rep. Scott Rigell, R-Virginia Beach, issued the following statement on President Barack Obama's State of the Union address:
"I appreciate the respect and tribute President Obama paid to our troops. Our men and women in uniform sacrifice so much in defending our freedom, and I was grateful the President acknowledged that.
"We heard the President talk of the need to come together, yet some of his remarks pitted one group of Americans against another. I think that is counterproductive and divides, rather than unites, America.
"The President spoke of energy tonight, which is a top priority of mine. He said he is directing his Administration to open more than 75 percent of our potential offshore oil and gas resources. Though encouraging, it does not match up with Secretary Salazar’s recent decision to prohibit the exploration of energy off Virginia’s coast, a decision which is holding back job creation in our District. I hope that the President’s speech results in a reversal of that decision.
"The President also renewed his commitment to bringing jobs to America — while suggesting that Congress was being obstructionist in this effort. Obviously, I take issue with that given that nearly 30 jobs bills have been passed by the House of Representatives and are sitting, unacted upon, in the U.S. Senate. I would have liked for him to call out the fact that the Senate hasn’t passed a budget for America in 1,000 days. I would also have liked for him to acknowledge that his decision to shut down the Keystone XL pipeline project will indeed slow our recovery.
"Regarding tax reform, the President and I agree on the need to close loopholes, end subsidies and make our entire tax code flatter and fairer."