Local lawmakers respond to President’s State of the Union

Local lawmakers respond to President’s State of the Union
Photo courtesy ABC News / Getty Images

President Donald Trump urged Americans to ‘choose greatness’ in his 2019 State of the Union Address Tuesday night. The President delivered an 82-minute speech in which he called for unity, denounced what he called “partisan investigations,” and held firm in his demand for a wall on the southern border.

Several local lawmakers have released statements in response to the State of the Union. Washington’s 5th District Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers felt the address challenged Americans to “transcend our differences.” Her full statement is as follows:

“Tonight, the president challenged us to look at the opportunities ahead. He challenged us to transcend our differences and come together for the sake of our country. Our nation was founded on every person’s fundamental human rights for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. To protect our freedom and American greatness, those are the principles we can and must unite around.”

-Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R) WA

Washington’s Governor Jay Inslee’s response to the State of the Union struck a very different tone. Inslee said the President’s words, “ring hollow,” and “Our country deserves better from its leaders.” The full statement is below.

“President Trump appeared before the American people tonight asking everyone to ‘choose greatness.’

He should take his own advice. Over the past two years he’s chosen nothing but division and derision, pursuing policies that stoke fear in communities and families across the nation.

The president governs from crisis to crisis, imperils our nation’s standing in the world, endangers our future by denying the threats of climate change and sells out working people in favor of wealthy special interests.

Our country deserves better from its leaders and the president’s words tonight ring hollow.

If the president really wants to promote a strong union, he will stop vilifying our free press and individuals who dare to disagree with him. He will take bold action to fight climate change. He will work across the aisle to pass comprehensive immigration reform. He will protect people’s health care, not undermine it. He will stop using federal workers as political pawns and not compound their economic insecurity by threatening another government shutdown.

The actions of the president, members of his administration and his family speak louder than mere words. The State of our Union is strong because of the millions of people who do the right thing every day and put the interests of their families, communities and country above personal gain and empty rhetoric.”

-Gov. Jay Inslee (D) WA

Washington Senator Patty Murray released a lengthy statement following the address, in which she called the speech “a big step in the wrong direction.” An excerpt of the statement reads:

“Coming so soon after his completely unnecessary government shutdown I had hoped that President Trump would use this speech to lay out a vision for pulling our country back together, ending the chaos and dysfunction, and making some progress for the people we were elected to serve. But here is what we heard instead: more divisiveness, more partisanship, more finger-pointing, more fear-mongering, and more empty promises.

Families in Washington state and across the country are sick of the Trump Presidency reality show. People don’t want more Trump shutdowns or needless drama. They don’t want more empty rhetoric or broken promises. They don’t want to pay for a wasteful border wall, especially one that they were promised Mexico would pay for. They don’t want to hear President Trump talk about reducing health care costs while his actions are making care more expensive. … But President Trump isn’t listening to the vast majority of families across the country, and unfortunately, tonight that was clearer than ever.

The speech we heard tonight was a big step in the wrong direction, but I am going to keep fighting to get us back on track and I am hopeful that enough Republicans will join me to make some progress in spite of the divisive and detrimental rhetoric we all heard tonight.”

-Sen. Patty Murray (D) WA

Idaho Senator James Risch released a statement in support of the President, applauding Trump for his calls for bipartisanship. Sen. Risch’s full statement reads:

“President Trump’s second year in office produced an even longer, more impressive list of accomplishments than his first. As we heard tonight, our economy continues to soar, wages remain up, and unemployment is still at a historic low. Our military is second to none and our homeland is safer than it was just two years ago from the threat of terrorism.

While we have made considerable progress eliminating ISIS across the globe, extremist ideologies will always exist in the world and President Trump understands we must remain vigilant in our fight against terrorism. Our approach will shift as necessary, but our capabilities and resolve remain as strong as ever. The president reiterated that tonight and I feel confident in his path forward.

I appreciate President Trump’s call for bipartisan cooperation as we address the evolving issues facing us today. Meaningful solutions in Congress will require teamwork and I hope we can bring civility back to our debate.”

-Sen. James Risch (R-ID)

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