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Arizona’s congressional delegation reacts to State of the Union

PHOENIX — Arizona’s congressional delegation had plenty to say about President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday.

The lightning rod for the Republican contingent was the president’s vow to act on his own if lawmakers won’t cooperate with his agenda.

Rep. Paul Gosar said the president needs to work with both houses of Congress unlike what he has done so far.

“He’s more apt to negotiate with Iran, Russia and Syria rather than speak to his own Americans in the House and Senate,” Gosar said.

U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) said she would prefer to see Congress work together to pass legislation and understands the president’s frustration.

“The president’s decision may reflect a growing frustration on his part and perhaps the part of Americans that congress has been gridlocked for some time,” Sinema said.

Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) said executive orders are “written in water and the courts or the next president could easily change these.”

Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) questioned the use of the executive order setting the minimum wage for workers covered by new federal contracts at $10.10 an hour from the current federal minimum of $7.25.

“Artificially raising wages for a portion of the economy is not a full solution, it’s a Band-Aid to a serious problem that is not solving anything,” Salmon said.

And Arizona Rep. Trent Franks, a Republican, said “The president is showing a breathtaking arrogance toward the constitution. If we step away from the constitution then we’re in deep water without a reference point, and in my judgment this president in the things he has manifest in his attitude toward the constitution has violated his oath of office.”

U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) released a statement:

“President Obama’s pen won’t put Americans back to work. Sound fiscal policy, not more government and gimmicks, will,” said Flake. “While I’m pleased the president supports immigration reform and is finally focusing on trade, circumventing Congress won’t foster job creation and won’t result in economic growth. I hope that in the coming year, the president will work with — not against — Congress in these endeavors.”