WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) tonight released the following statement on President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address:
“President Trump is a salesman, but when you look at the fine print, his sales pitch tonight just doesn’t add up.
“President Trump tried to whitewash over his divisiveness and his record.
“We are a nation of laws. And nobody, not even the President, is above the law. It is long past time for the Republican majority in both the House and Senate to restore Congress’ role as an effective check on the executive branch. We need a return to honest, accountable government that puts people first and can get things done.
“On key issues like education, health care, immigration, infrastructure, and national defense, the federal government needs to start working to strengthen our nation and improve people’s lives.
“The President finally seems to recognize that he needs to start working with Democrats to get our country back on track. We have offered commonsense proposals to improve our schools and infrastructure. We want to wisely invest in innovation and research to keep America on top now and in the future. And we have passed bipartisan legislation to enhance military readiness and meet evolving national security challenges today and in the future.
“I hope President Trump will change course and start working with us on forward-looking policies to keep our economy on an upward trajectory that benefits all Americans. But many of the items on his agenda would shift increasing tax burdens to states and working families, leaving more Americans worse off in the long run. And it is curious that President Trump called for things like workforce training investments in this speech, while his actual budget cuts existing job training programs. He paid lip service to fighting the opioid epidemic, but his administration hasn’t taken any real steps or provided the resources needed to actually tackle the issue.
“Tonight the President briefly mentioned infrastructure, but he’s spent the last year ignoring our nation’s infrastructure needs, and spent $1.5 trillion on tax cuts for the wealthiest instead of on our nation’s infrastructure needs. Meanwhile, Democrats have put forth a comprehensive, smart-growth plan to revamp America’s transportation network -- upgrading roads, bridges, airports, railways, and ports, while also investing in 21st century public schools, clean water systems, digital infrastructure, and hospitals. Improving our infrastructure will create blue-collar jobs, increase productivity and better connect people to jobs and opportunities.
“I encourage President Trump to get off the sidelines and start providing real concrete proposals to this debate. Congressional Republicans haven’t been willing to move on infrastructure without a clear signal from the President. Democrats can’t do this alone. I hope President Trump can help break Republican gridlock and get his party moving forward because we need a bipartisan bill.
“We also must do more to strengthen national security. So far, President Trump’s unsteady leadership, diplomatic blunders, and coziness with Vladimir Putin has been troubling to say the least. From Iran to North Korea to Europe, the Trump doctrine has isolated America from our allies and emboldened our adversaries.
“The gap between the President’s rhetoric and policies runs wide and deep. He needs to change course and help us lead the country in a better direction, toward bipartisan solutions that will improve the lives of all Americans, not just the wealthy and powerful.”