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Days After SOTU Are Full of Lobbyist Feedback

Saul Loeb/AFP/Pool

For example, Obama said he is sending Congress a plan to help homeowners refinance their mortgages with the current historically low interest rates and no more runaround from the banks. A small fee on the largest financial institutions will ensure that it wont add to the deficit, and will give banks that were rescued by taxpayers a chance to repay a deficit of trust.

Banking lobbyists didnt exactly cheer that statement.

It just reiterated what weve known for a while: The president does not like banks, said Richard Hunt, president of the Consumer Bankers Association, which represents regional and large banks. We got the memo on that.

Even some of those progressive groups the White House reached out to didnt come away from the speech completely satisfied.

Lisa Gilbert, deputy director of Public Citizens Congress Watch division, said some of her biggest concerns came over Obamas rhetoric around regulations. Its a politically loaded area, with the business community blasting the administration for overregulating business and hurting jobs.

Obama called for Congress to tear down regulations that prevent aspiring entrepreneurs from getting the financing to grow. And he added, There is no question that some regulations are outdated, unnecessary or too costly. In fact, Ive approved fewer regulations in the first three years of my presidency than my Republican predecessor did in his. Ive ordered every federal agency to eliminate rules that dont make sense.

Gilbert didnt like what she heard. We certainly need to be smart about what regulations are put in place, but they are critical public protections.

Even though Terry ONeill, president of the National Organization for Women, did not hear Obama make a commitment to womens reproductive freedom, she said he gave her enough particularly by endorsing the idea of equal pay for women a NOW priority.

I listened to the entire State of the Union speech and listened to Mitch Daniels after that, she said, referring to the Indiana governor who delivered the Republican rebuttal. And after that entire experience, I was over the moon with Obama.

When it comes to the presidents jobs agenda, ONeill, like the Retail Federations French, said the president should have placed less emphasis on manufacturing jobs traditionally mens jobs and more on retail, nursing, teaching and other jobs dominated by women.

On net, women have lost almost 300,000 jobs since the summer of 2009, she said. Im all for manufacturing jobs, but there is an enormous amount of need for jobs for nurses and social workers, teachers, retail workers, hotel maids and day care providers.

But dont expect lobbyists in the manufacturing sector to come away from the speech without their gripes, too.

Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, issued a post-State of the Union statement attacking the administrations decision last week to reject the Keystone XL pipeline despite the promise of nearly 20,000 manufacturing and construction jobs along with the 118,000 indirect jobs that would ripple across our economy.

Timmons said the pipeline could have accomplished many of the goals espoused in the State of the Union address and, Its rejection undermines the presidents commitment to them.

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