U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, said Tuesday that President Bush’s State of the Union address was bipartisan in both approach and appeal.
"I think the president understands, for him to get something done in the next two years, he is going to have to be bipartisan," Upton said in a telephone interview following the speech.
The Michigan Republican said the president’s tone was genuine and positive, and drew support from both Democrats and Republicans.
"You didn’t have the normal teeter-totter," Upton said of what he called the "one side is up, one side is down" response that often marks State of the Union speeches.
Upton praised the president’s energy-saving proposals, but said he does not support an increase in American troops in Iraq.
"As much as I’d like to think a troop surge would work, I don’t believe that it will," said Upton.
Upton said he supports the bipartisan plan to begin the phase-out of troops at the end of this year.
The lawmaker’s comments were among several issued by members of the area’s congressional delegation.
U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-2nd, said in a statement that, "I couldn’t agree more with the president’s message that, as lawmakers, we are here to work across party lines to provide hope and opportunity for every American."
Donnelly said he is encouraged by the president’s desire to "establish a steady and clean supply of energy that decreases our dependence on foreign oil."
"On the subject of Iraq," Donnelly said, "my greatest concern is that the additional troops that are being sent to Iraq could end up caught in the crossfire of a civil war."
Donnelly called for the establishment of specific benchmarks to achieve progress and monthly reports from U.S. generals "detailing the progress being made."
U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar said Tuesday that he is encouraged by the president’s proposals to reduce gasoline usage by 20 percent over the next 10 years.
The president also called for an increase in the supply of alternative fuels and the modernization of fuel economy standards for cars.
Lugar noted that in last year’s State of the Union address the president had declared that "America is addicted to oil," and said the president’s focus had helped spur "new thinking, new policy suggestions and a new realism."
Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., called the president’s energy plan "a positive step toward achieving energy independence," adding, "but we can do more."
Bayh said he has introduced bipartisan legislation to reduce American dependence on foreign oil and called for the president to embrace what Bayh called "our more aggressive plan."
U.S. Rep. Mark Souder, R-3rd, said he supports the president’s plan to increase the supply of renewable and alternative fuels. "But while I support the president’s efforts to secure our border and provide temporary work permits for immigrants, I oppose his plan to grant citizenship to millions of illegal aliens."
Indiana Republican Party Chairman Murray Clark praised the speech and said the president’s "commitment to alternative fuels is welcome news here in Indiana."