Local lawmakers respond to the State of the Union Address

Lawmakers from around the Inland Northwest responded to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address Tuesday night.

SPOKANE, Wash. – Lawmakers from around the Inland Northwest responded to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address Tuesday night.

Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R) posted a Facebook live not long after the speech saying,

“I am inspired tonight. I was inspired by the stories of Americans, the stories that he highlighted of people doing their part in so many different ways, different backgrounds, different experiences, that was inspiring. I appreciated his message of unity. He said that he’s committed to restoring the bonds of trust between citizens and their government. That’s so important.”

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Watch her full response here:

Congressman Dan Newhouse (R) had a similar response to the President's words:

"Tonight, the President's message was clear: United as a people, Americans can succeed in solving the challenges we face. United in purpose, workers and families can realize the American dream. President Trump’s first State of the Union speech laid out a positive vision for the future of our country. The President’s leadership is critical on many important matters facing our country, and his willingness to support a legislative solution for DACA recipients and to secure our borders creates a window of opportunity for action on immigration. The President rightly pointed out that the passage of historic tax reform is already fostering economic growth and opportunity for American workers and middle class families. The President acknowledged that the institutions of the family and religion stand at the center of our lives more than the government ever could, and I applaud his support for our most fundamental freedoms. He made the case that the opioid crisis afflicting families demands action. President Trump laid out his administration’s commitment to the most important duty there is: strongly defending the United States and American citizens. When America is strong, unified, and proud, we can accomplish anything."

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Idaho Senator Jim Risch (R) also released a statement saying:

“The American people have asked for less taxes, less regulations, more jobs and more security - they are getting exactly that. As the President outlined tonight, we were able to accomplish so many priorities in 2017 including: historic tax reform, unprecedented deregulation, job creation, repeal of a significant portion of Obamacare, reform of the Veterans Administration, degradation of ISIS’ territory and strength, record breaking realignment of the federal judiciary, as well as confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, and the list goes on. All of this has established a very strong economy with low unemployment and strong growth. I am confident Americans will see more accomplishments in the next year and tonight the President outlined how he plans to do it.”

Idaho gubernatorial candidate Tommy Ahlquist (R) released a statement congratulating the president.

“I congratulate President Trump on both his first State of the Union address and all that he has accomplished in the last year. I'm thrilled for what has been done in such a short amount of time; regulatory rollback, tax reform, and making America safe again, the list goes on. Tonight is proof of what can be accomplished by a political outsider to shake up the status quo and bring a fresh approach and new ideas. Congratulations, Mr. President.”

Washington Senator Patty Murray (D) said in her statement the president was just trying to convince the American people that the problems in the country are someone else’s fault.

“President Trump can try to take credit for the economy he inherited, and he can try to convince people that every problem in America is someone else’s fault—but one year into his Administration it is very clear that our country is more divided, more chaotic, less safe, worse for workers, women, and the middle class, and a whole lot better for millionaires, billionaires, and massive corporations.

President Trump may be proud of his work over the past year, but I know the vast majority of people in Washington state and across the country are appalled by his rhetoric and his policies, and they want a change. So I am hopeful that this next year can be spent bringing Republicans and Democrats together to restore respect and get results in spite of President Trump’s bullying, divisiveness, and anti-middle class agenda—because there is a whole lot that needs to get done for families and communities in Washington state and across the country.

President Trump has spent his first year in office breaking the promises he made during his campaign, so it’s hard to take his new promises today too seriously. He promised to address the opioid crisis but hasn’t proposed any new funding. He promised to improve health care for patients but instead has sabotaged it at every opportunity. He promised tax cuts for the middle class but jammed through a tax plan that gives millionaires and billionaires another tax break. He touted infrastructure investment—something long supported by Democrats—but still can’t articulate a plan that doesn’t punish middle class families. The list of broken promises goes on and on, which makes it very difficult for Democrats or Republicans to count on anything he’s proposed today.

Although I may not agree with President Trump’s assessment of where we are as a nation or where we should go, I remain hopeful and energized by the millions of people across the country who are fighting for something better. I was proud to invite an amazing woman named Leah Griffin from Washington state to be my guest tonight. Leah is an incredibly brave person who turned her own painful experience into a personal mission to make sure that others who experience sexual violence get the respect, support, and compassion they deserve when they seek help. I’m amazed by Leah’s dedication and compassion for advocating for meaningful legislation to address gaps in our system, and I couldn’t be prouder to help lift up Leah’s voice—and her cause—in Congress.

Our nation is facing some serious challenges, and our government isn't rising to them just yet. But with people like Leah fighting every single day for a stronger union and a better tomorrow, I am confident that we will get there.”

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