From taxes to guns, Obama's call for action lands silently in Republicans' laps

President Obama came to Congress on Tuesday night armed with a lengthy wish list of second-term proposals, and Republicans responded by staying in their seats.

On issues ranging from taxes to guns to climate change, Obama’s call for progressive action in his State of the Union address landed silently in the laps of the Republicans he needs to persuade to pass his agenda.

House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorGOP sees McCarthy moving up — if GOP loses the House Feehery: The governing party 'Release the memo' — let's stop pretending that Democrats are the defenders of the FBI MORE (R-Va.), who runs the floor schedule in the lower chamber, sat through long portions of the president’s hour-long address without reacting. Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew Boehner4 reasons Mike Pompeo will succeed at Foggy Bottom The misunderstood reason Congress can’t get its job done GOP sees McCarthy moving up — if GOP loses the House MORE (R-Ohio) responded to the speech with blistering criticism, hours after telling television reporters that Obama lacked “guts” and the “courage” to confront his party on the deficit.

“In the last election, voters chose divided government which offers a mandate only to work together to find common ground,” BoehnerJohn Andrew Boehner4 reasons Mike Pompeo will succeed at Foggy Bottom The misunderstood reason Congress can’t get its job done GOP sees McCarthy moving up — if GOP loses the House MORE said in a statement following the president's address. “The president, instead, appears to have chosen a go-it-alone approach to pursue his liberal agenda.”

In the most memorable moment of the speech, when Obama and Democrats in the House chamber demanded that victims of gun violence “deserve a vote” on gun-control measures, Republican leaders stood and looked around but did not applaud.

The reaction was telling, if expected, and it provided a handy visual reminder that for all of the momentum that Obama carries from his November re-election, his agenda faces stiff opposition in the Republican-controlled House.

On a night filled with ritual, the bipartisanship was largely symbolic. Several members of opposite parties chose to sit next together, following the standard set in the 2011 State of the Union address that occurred just weeks after the shooting of then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.).

Sens. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchOvernight Cybersecurity: House Intel votes to release Russia report | House lawmakers demand Zuckerberg testify | Senators unveil updated election cyber bill Omnibus includes search-and-seize provision New kid on the tech block MORE (R-Utah), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandCynthia Nixon: Cuomo winning gold in Albany's 'corruption Olympics' 2020 Dems compete for top campaign operatives Amtrak to rename Rochester station after Louise Slaughter MORE (D-N.Y.), John McCainJohn Sidney McCainAfghanistan is our longest war ever and Congress has abandoned all responsibility Kremlin: ‘We have a long way to go’ before any breakthrough with US The GOP is Trump's party now MORE (R-Ariz.), Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerAmtrak to rename Rochester station after Louise Slaughter Conscience protections for health-care providers should be standard Pension committee must deliver on retirement promise MORE (D-N.Y.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenators introduced revised version of election cyber bill GOP senators push tougher sentencing for synthetic opioid Dems aim to turn ObamaCare hikes into election weapon MORE (R-S.C.) all sat together in a row, providing for a few amusing moments as the New Yorkers Gillibrand and Schumer tried to prod McCain into applauding policies they backed.

Obama gave McCain, his 2008 nemesis, a big handshake as he walked in, and he yukked it up with Boehner for a brief moment before his speech.

The biggest bipartisan ovations during his address were reserved for the guests he singled out in the gallery, including Giffords and more than a dozen other relatives of victims of gun violence. When Obama pointed out Desiline Victor, a 102-year-old woman who waited more than three hours to vote in Florida, some lawmakers gasped before erupting in applause.

One guest Obama did not point to was the musician Ted Nugent, an invitee of Rep. Steve StockmanStephen (Steve) Ernest StockmanTrump's right — to prevent gun violence, don't disarm our military What Stoneman Douglas activists can learn from Bill Clinton’s assault weapons ban SpaceX launch is step one in a new American-dominated space race MORE (R-Texas) who was mobbed by reporters after the speech. While Nugent has made incendiary comments about Obama in the past, he sat quietly through the address.

The reviews, like the applause, cleaved along party lines.

“It was a terrible speech,” said conservative Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho). "He's actually a great speech maker, and I thought tonight was boring. I thought it was disjointed. I thought it lacked focus.”

Labrador, however, gave the president somewhat better marks when it came to immigration, and issue on which he is working with Democrats. “I thought the tone was good,” he said of Obama’s immigration section.

While Democrats cheered the president’s demand that gun-control measures earn a vote, Republicans suggested it was the wrong move.

“We are interested in looking at those areas where we can actually do something,” said Rep. Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteHouse Judiciary chair subpoenas DOJ for FBI documents House Judiciary chair to subpoena for FBI documents WATCH: Judiciary chairman questions whether Comey lied to Congress MORE (R-Va.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. “Good intentions do not necessarily make good laws, and attempting to stampede members into voting on things that in the past have not shown an ability to prevent some of these tragedies is not the way to go.”

--Mike Lillis contributed to this report.