January 13, 2016

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Tech Reacts to Obama’s Final State of the Union

By
David McCabe
The Hill

(This article originally appeared on The Hill on January 13)

Not much tech policy made its way into President Obama's final State of the Union address, but that didn't stop some from reacting to the brief references Obama made to topics important in the tech world.

TechNet CEO Linda Moore praised the president's message in favor of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, his support for clean energy technologies and his prominent support for computer science and technical education.

"We couldn't agree more," she said in a statement. "Our economy demands that students have technical skills, but we're currently not doing nearly enough to prepare them for the jobs of the future."

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), who has become one of the loudest voices in Washington in favor of finding ways to provide benefits to freelancers in the on-demand economy, praised the president's call for making it easier for workers in the "new economy" to enjoy the benefits and protections usually associated with employment.

"Moving forward, I believe that we must seize the opportunities and confront the challenges of this new economy in order to make it work better for more people​ in Virginia and across the country," Warner said in a statement.

Not all the reaction was positive, however. Michael O'Reilly, a Republican on the Federal Communications Commission, said the president's mention of the agency's landmark net neutrality rules showed that the administration had used its influence in the process leading to the order.

"Not Surprising: Admin took full credit for #NetNeutrality in #SOTU, thereby destroying @FCC pretense of independent process," he tweeted, before adding the hashtag "#SOTUSwitcheroo."

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