Washington, D.C. – Tonight, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement after attending President Obama’s State of the Union address:

“I am most deeply concerned by President Obama’s demonstrated naivety in the message he is sending to nuclear-bound regimes in North Korea and Iran.   Less than 24 hours after North Korea’s latest nuclear test and as Iran moves closer to a nuclear weapon, the President proposes to engage with Russia to further reduce our own nuclear arsenal.  This is the wrong course.

“In this time of increasing danger, the President must strengthen, not weaken, the forces that protect us and also move quickly to deploy an effective ballistic missile defense system that is capable of defending the American people. 

“I was troubled that the President believes that the moral persuasion of disarmament will convince the dictatorial regimes in Tehran and Pyongyang to change course.  What is needed are real, debilitating sanctions.  I look forward to working with my colleagues in both the House and the Senate to increase the pressure by strengthening our sanctions and ensuring the full implementation and enforcement of existing law.

“Similarly, I question how seriously the President takes the growing threat of al-Qaeda affiliates throughout the world.  In his speech tonight, he continues to declare al-Qaeda a sinking ship.  If that is the case, why is it that we see so many in Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia jumping on board?   

“While the President emphasized energy security in his speech tonight, he missed an opportunity to announce the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would provide secure access to energy from Canada.  The President’s approval would create American jobs here at home and protect us from hostile countries. 

“I’m a supporter of free trade and have long supported the multilateral negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership.  Likewise, I was pleased to hear the President express an interest in a trade agreement with Europe.  But the fact is, this Administration has not successfully negotiated any new trade agreements during his term in office, which hardly encourages hope that this deal will get done.”