WASHINGTON, DC – Following President Trump’s speech to a joint session of Congress, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) issued the following statement:

“President Trump made a lot of promises tonight, but his words often contradicted his actions.  

“We need a bipartisan commitment to helping middle-class families.  But when it comes to education, health care, tax cuts, and so many kitchen table issues, President Trump prioritizes policies that will undermine working families.

“About ninety percent of America’s students attend public schools, but President Trump wants to divert taxpayer dollars toward private schools.  On health care, he got both the diagnosis and the prescription wrong: repealing the Affordable Care Act will drive up health care costs for all Americans.  The President paid lip service to clean air and clean water, but he has already begun an assault on our environmental laws and plans to dismantle the EPA.

“It took years of hard work and tough choices to strengthen the foundation of our economy and get it back on track.  Over the last eight years, 15 million jobs were created, the stock market roared back, companies once mired in recession rebounded, the deficit fell, energy independence surged, and millions more got access to affordable health care.  President Trump’s economic plan jeopardizes this progress.  His policies are geared toward short-term gains for corporations and the wealthiest and long-term pain for American workers and taxpayers. 

“President Trump has a serious credibility problem.  He tries to take credit for jobs he didn’t create, and, with respect to the F-35 program, savings that were achieved before he even took office.

“In terms of national security, President Trump’s first month in office has been marred by dysfunction.  He has strained relations with key allies.  He also needs to understand that by retreating from the world stage, he is giving other nations the opportunity to increase their influence. 

“If the President wants to show the American people he is serious about national security, he’ll take back Steve Bannon’s seat from the permanent National Security Council and return it to the non-partisan Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“President Trump didn’t mention Russia in his speech tonight, but Americans cannot afford to turn a blind eye to Russian interference in our democracy.  We need to get to the facts and learn lessons to prevent future misconduct by foreign governments.  But this Administration and its allies are throwing up roadblocks to a fair, impartial investigation.  We need bipartisan action in Congress to ensure no foreign attack on our electoral process goes unchecked.

“As with any speech, the devil is in the details.  Now, in the days ahead, President Trump needs to start sharing some of those details.”