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Party-line reaction from Wisconsin delegation after state of the union speech


UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)  Wisconsin Democrats hailed, while Republicans huffed at President Obama's latest plans to reduce the gap between America's rich and poor.

During his State-of-the-Union speech last night, the Democrat Obama said vowed to step around Congress and issue executive orders when necessary to narrow the nation's economic disparities.

House Republican Tom Petri of Fond du Lac said expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit would do more to help the working poor than the president's desire to raise the minimum wage -- which Petri said would reduce jobs and hurt the very people Obama's trying to help. House Republican Jim Sensenbrenner of Menomonee Falls said the president showed an "utter contempt" for Congress -- and he was not elected to rule by quote, "executive fiat."

But Senate Democrat Tammy Baldwin labeled it a "strong call for action to build a fairer economy, expand opportunity for everyone, and grow the middle class." Madison House Democrat Mark Pocan said Obama is providing the opportunity we won't see until quote, "our economy works for every American -- not just those at the top."

Obama announced his order for a $10.10-an-hour minimum wage for workers in future federal contracts. Obama also said he would use his powers to help low-income workers save for retirement. The president called for an extension of the Earned Income Tax credit for low-wage families. Obama also renewed his pitch for immigration reform.

The president will reinforce his economic plans during a speech Thursday at a General Electric plant in Waukesha.