Local lawmakers respond to President’s State of the Union

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 4th District Representative Dan Newhouse backed the president’s statements on border security and abortion.

“In his second State of the Union, President Trump made a call for greatness, laying out a vision for our country that we can accomplish if we come together to address the issues that matter most to Americans. Enhanced border security, implementing immigration reform, fostering economic prosperity, negotiating a level playing field for international trade, improving our infrastructure, and addressing skyrocketing prescription drug costs are top concerns for our nation. In the face of recent late-term abortion extremism, President Trump made a powerful appeal to the nation to protect unborn children as well as newborn infants. Our society must live up to our values by defending the defenseless. In a divided government, we must be able to come together on solutions to the problems our country faces and end politically-motivated obstruction. When we work together, we can accomplish major victories – such as last year’s bipartisan criminal justice reform and historic investments in ending the opioid epidemic. I look forward to working with President Trump and my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to continue to make progress on behalf of Central Washington.”

-Rep. Dan Newhouse (R) WA

Washington’s 5th District Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers felt the address challenged Americans to “transcend our differences.”

“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.”

“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

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