[State of The Union]
Rep. Nydia Velazquez: “While Donald Trump inherited a strong economy from President Obama, his Administration has done little to expand on this opportunity and create additional, sustained prosperity.”
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Donald Trump’s State of The Union Address clown show has been met with derision by Democrats who were present in Congress–unlike those who boycotted or just simply skipped going to the event altogether.
Several Democratic members of Congress released statements denouncing Trump’s lies during speech.
New York Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez said this after Trump’s State of the Union Address:
“The President offered little new tonight. He spent significant time distorting economic figures in an attempt to burnish his record. In particular, the President’s lies about rising incomes and manufacturing expansion painted a rosy and wholly nonfactual picture. While Donald Trump inherited a strong economy from President Obama, his Administration has done little to expand on this opportunity and create additional, sustained prosperity.
“Despite disingenuous promises to tackle the soaring cost of prescription drugs, the President and his Republican allies in the Senate have refused to act on H.R. 3, House-passed legislation to lower the cost of prescription drugs. The President’s track record on healthcare is clear: he has abandoned his promise to take on Big Pharmaceutical companies. He continues trying to undermine the Affordable Care Act and strip away preexisting conditions for millions of Americans, through relentless litigation, regulation and legislation.
“More recently, the Administration has proposed moving Medicaid to block grants, potentially slashing benefits for the one in five Americans who rely on that system for medical coverage. The American people see through the rhetoric and they know that when it comes to healthcare, Donald Trump is not on their side.
“In the more than 1,500 words in the speech two words did not appear once: Puerto Rico. This President refuses to acknowledge his Administration’s shameful record in responding to Hurricane Maria – a response that resulted in the loss of lives of 3,000 of our fellow citizens. We cannot allow this President to repeat these mistakes in light of the recent earthquakes in Puerto Rico. However, his failure to even reference the Island does not inspire confidence that the Administration is learning from previous failures.
“Rather than seeking to unite our nation and meaningfully address core issues working people care about, tonight Donald Trump retreated to his usual tactic of demonizing immigrant communities, castigating the vulnerable and sowing division. I suppose when impeachment hangs over your head and you’ve little new and substantive to offer the country, hateful rhetoric and cheap showmanship become your last resort. Our nation can do better than this and Democrats are offering a better vision – one that unites us and tackles the real challenges ahead.”
California Congresswoman Barbara Lee slammed Trump.
“Tonight, we heard Trump make a failed attempt to paint a positive picture of his leadership and the state of our nation. Sadly, nothing could be further from the truth.
“He is an impeached president who remains a national security threat, pushing cruel, inhumane, and extreme policies that undermine the very fabric of our nation.
“Just look at health care – where Trump is doing everything possible to destroy protections for people with pre-existing conditions, including his cruel lawsuit to repeal the Affordable Care Act. And just last week, he issued a new rule to take away life-saving health care from our most vulnerable families who survive on Medicaid.
“Or look at the economy, where incredible and immoral disparities are growing between the wealthy and everyone else – and of course, that is even worse for communities of color. Families across the country are working two to three to even FOUR jobs and still struggling to make ends meet.
“Under Trump, everyday people are getting left behind, and the only things making a ‘comeback’ are white nationalism, corruption, corporate greed, and the extremely wealthy.”
Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro said the following:
“The President walked into the chamber last night under a cloud of impeachment—one of the few Presidents in American history to give a State of the Union Address in the same chamber he was impeached. Instead of healing the country and bringing Americans together, President Trump used division and outright lies to rally his political base. He undercut himself when he used tired, xenophobic tactics, fearmongering immigrants to scare Americans. He disrespected our democracy when he deployed misinformation on the economy, income inequality, infrastructure, and pre-existing conditions.
“It’s difficult to sit and listen to a President lay out his ‘vision’ for our nation when he has told thousands of lies with little to no consequence. It’s difficult to claim any semblance of strong, moral leadership when our leader embraces our adversaries instead of our allies and cages innocent children at our border. This is not the era of the ‘American comeback.’This is the era of mistruths and moral ineptitude. The President abused his power and will continue to do so while throwing the very real needs of the American people under the bus. Last night’s address should serve as a clarion call for all Americans who deserve a President that values truth over fallacies, policy over partisanship, and moral clarity over cruelty.”
Virginia Rep. Bobby Scott, House Education and Labor Chairman, said:
“I am disappointed that President Trump’s State of the Union address failed to offer meaningful solutions to the critical issues facing students, workers, and families across the country.
“The president did not offer a serious plan to reverse the chronic underfunding of public education. Instead, he touted a $5 billion private school voucher program that would function as a tax break for corporations and the wealthy. House Democrats will not waste time on proposals that undermine public education.
“Despite his promise to support workers, the president offered no solutions for the overwhelming share of workers and families who are struggling to meet their basic expenses. We must take action to increase the minimum wage, give workers more power in the workplace, and help create an economy where everyone can succeed.
“Also, the president failed to offer a substantive proposal to make health care more affordable for American consumers. In fact, even today, the Trump administration continues to support a lawsuit that would strip affordable health care from millions of Americans, particularly those with pre-existing conditions.
“Unfortunately, instead of using his platform to propose meaningful solutions, the president chose to deliver a partisan State of the Union address that largely ignored the challenges facing students, workers, and families across the country.”
Ohio Congresswoman Joyce Beatty said:
“President Trump’s State of the Union Address was condescending, full of exaggerations and plenty of rhetoric. Trump’s remarks on education were heartbreaking, with so many public school systems desperately needing additional funding. His healthcare promises come at a time when he and Republicans are fighting in court right now to strip protections for pre-existing conditions; and it was President Obama who set in motion our economic recovery and current growth. Finally, he failed to offer any real solutions, but instead pandered and was deeply partisan.”
California Senator Kamala D. Harris said:
“The State of the Union address is an opportunity for the president of the United States to speak candidly about the challenges our nation faces and the direction he or she intends to take in the year ahead. Unfortunately, President Trump chose tonight to deliver a divisive speech that ignored the real challenges that working people continue to face to make ends meet. His remarks also failed to acknowledge the ongoing threat that his own actions pose to the integrity of our system of justice.
“The president spoke this evening before members of the very institution he is currently on trial for obstructing—the United States Congress. As a member of the United States Senate, I have spent the past few weeks considering the consequences of the president’s efforts to escape congressional oversight and block the testimony of firsthand witnesses in his impeachment trial. We heard a lot of words from the president tonight, but his actions demonstrate his complete disregard for the rule of law and for the principle that no one is above the law, including the president of the United States.”