WASHINGTON, D.C. – Shortly after President Trump’s joint address to Congress Tuesday evening, local lawmakers in Washington and Idaho reacted with mixed emotions.
Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05):
“Tonight I am reminded that President Trump is a man of action. He’s about putting people first, and I am excited about this time in our nation’s history as we come together and reimagine government from top to bottom. We have an aggressive 200-day plan that’s focused on lifting the regulatory burden, repealing and replacing Obamacare, tax reform, and rebuilding our military. Congress is working every day. Closely with the Administration, to put our plans into action. And we are hitting every benchmark along the way. At the end of the day, this is about putting people back at the center of their government. This is about people, everyone, living their version of the American Dream.”
U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA):
“President Trump’s call for ‘flexibility’ sounds a lot like the Paul Ryan plan on Medicaid. Capping Medicaid would take health care from millions, kill jobs and local economies, shutter hospitals and clinics, and shift billions of dollars in costs to states and local government. We need to continue innovating in health care to drive better care at a lower cost – not cut, cap, and block Medicaid. I will continue fighting to protect health care access and bring costs down for working Washingtonians and for all Americans.”
U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA):
“President Trump has been in office for just over a month, and he has already broken the promises he’s made to put workers and the middle class first while doing exactly what he said he would do to divide our country, cause chaos and dysfunction across our government and in our communities, and help millionaires and billionaires like himself. The speech President Trump gave tonight was a clear indication that he plans to continue making empty promises while doubling down on policies and a budget that would hurt families, students, the economy, and our national security.
“I was proud to bring my constituent Marci Owens as my guest to the speech tonight. Marci fought for health care reform after her mom passed away, she stood next to President Obama when the ACA was signed into law, and she has continued to advocate for affordable health care as well as transgender rights. She is one of the many people in Washington state and across the country who are being targeted and hurt by President Trump’s divisive and harmful agenda, and she is someone I am proud to fight for and make sure has a voice here in Washington, D.C. She, and millions of others across the country, are standing up, speaking out, and fighting back--and I am proud to have her by my side.
“I am disappointed, but hardly surprised, that President Trump continues to demonize immigrants and refugees and pander to his extreme right-wing base. I will keep standing up and speaking out against un-American and unconstitutional policies to ban Muslims and tear apart immigrant families that do nothing to truly keep us safe or help us fight terrorists.
“Coming out of this speech tonight, I remain committed to fighting back as hard as I can against President Trump’s attempts to hurt families and communities in Washington state and across the country. Democrats, Republicans, and independents across this country want their elected officials to be working together to grow our economy and help the middle class—and I am going to keep working with anyone willing to stand with me to fight back against President Trump's hateful and damaging policies and get that done.”
Representative Raúl Labrador, (R-ID):
“The people of Idaho heard tonight a commitment from President Trump to honor the promises he made during the campaign. We’ve already seen him take strong, decisive actions to roll back some of the most oppressive regulatory burdens from the Obama Administration. He also promised to repeal and replace Obamacare, modernize our immigration system, reform our unfair and non-competitive tax system, and change the way Washington works. As long as these things are done in a fiscally responsible way that doesn’t add to the national debt, I’ll support the president and will do everything I can to help him succeed.”
U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID):
“Tonight, President Trump posed the question of where we want our nation to be as we approach our 250th year. As that milestone awaits, the President offered an agenda rooted in personal liberty and economic freedom. Many of the President’s proposals echo the concerns and questions I heard during my more than 200 town meetings across Idaho.
“The President’s speech included three bold agenda priorities: to strengthen our national security, provide for our veterans, and unleash robust job creation. Many of our military families, including those at Idaho’s own Mountain Home Air Force Base and those serving out of Gowen Field have been engaged in the ongoing global war on terrorism. We must continue our commitment to protect our communities while also providing for our military personnel who selflessly volunteer to serve, as well as their families. I agree with the President that we must prioritize our veterans. The feedback I have received from Idaho’s veteran community has focused much of my work in the Senate and I welcome the President’s plans to ensure we honor our commitments to those who have served.
“On job creation, the President spoke about the need for infrastructure revitalization through a national rebuilding initiative financed through public and private capital partnerships. This approach will help rebuild our nation while putting to work many of our neighbors.
“Shifting to regulatory reform, the President highlighted his work to establish task forces in every government agency to reduce regulation and limit the explosive growth of our government. Further, he has implemented a plan calling for every one new regulation, two old regulations must be eliminated. I welcome both of these approaches that will make government more efficient and responsive to the people it serves. Today’s action to scale back the overreaching ‘Waters of the United States’ rule is also welcome action from the Trump administration.
“The President addressed the need to repeal and replace Obamacare with a plan that offers real choice and access to many plans that are truly affordable. In Idaho, as in many states, only one health provider with costly premiums is serving some counties. During my town meetings and in the letters and emails to my office, Idahoans have shared stories about premium spikes, high-deductibles, and lack of access to doctors and choices. The President also spoke about maintaining coverage for individuals with pre-existing conditions, the expansion of Health Savings Accounts for individuals to purchase the plans that work best for them and their families, and for consumers to buy insurance across state lines.
“Additionally, the President spoke about the urgent need to deliver real, meaningful tax-reform. For our working, middle-class families and small business owners, creating a level-playing field will spur economic growth and enable U.S. companies, manufacturers, and service providers to compete fairly in an ever-increasing global economy. I have long-supported comprehensive tax reform and it is essential for Congress to act on this priority for our nation’s economic security and prosperity.
“Finally, President Trump addressed the need to enforce our immigration laws to protect both our economic and national security. I have long maintained that any immigration reforms must commit the resources necessary to have the strongest possible border enforcement realistically while reforming our screening and vetting process. I agree with the President that we can develop meaningful immigration policies that meet these priorities.
“The President has laid forth an ambitious, optimistic agenda that has great promise for our nation. This agenda contains many areas for bipartisan agreement and cooperation. I look forward to working with my colleagues of both parties to carefully study the details of each of these proposals and find ways that Congress can move this agenda forward responsibly for the strength and prosperity of our nation.”
U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-ID):
“Tonight, President Trump did a great job of outlining the vision he has for America and Americans – a vision shared by many presidents who have served before him. We should all dedicate ourselves to helping him succeed in the aspirations he has for our great country.”