Area lawmakers react to Trump speech to Congress

Mar 1, 2017

Here are statements from some New York lawmakers to President Trump's address to Congress.

From U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D) :

President Trump made it clear in his speech tonight that many of his top priorities are still severely out of touch with our values in New York. I wanted to hear him outline a real plan to keep good-paying jobs in New York, but instead we heard more of the same talk about lowering taxes for rich corporations, building an expensive border wall, and gutting the Affordable Care Act that millions of Americans now rely on. These policies will not raise wages or create good-paying jobs for workers in New York. 

“President Trump also acknowledged our urgent need for paid leave, and I encourage him to support my bill, the FAMILY Act, which would create a national paid leave plan for every American who works.

From Rep. Chris Collins (R-Clarence) :

Americans across the country tonight witnessed a leader committed to restoring American greatness,” said Congressman Chris Collins. “This past November, voters elected a change agent. In his first 40 days in office, President Trump is already delivering the results Americans, especially those in my district of Western New York, have demanded. Whether it’s fighting to return American jobs stolen by countries like Mexico and China, or securing our porous borders, President Trump has shown the world he is a president of action."

Credit U.S Capitol

If we are going to restore the hope of the American Dream for our children and grandchildren, tough choices need to be made. Unlike our last president, President Trump acknowledged that reality, and outlined a clear vision for us to overcome the challenges we will face. We are going to fight for the American worker, respect the rule of law, and harness the endless potential all Americans possess.

“I look forward to President Trump implementing the change Western New Yorkers voted for, and will continue to fight here in Congress for policies that improve the lives of my constituents.”

From Rep. Brian Higgins (D-Buffalo) :

“Tonight’s address was long on platitudes and warm, deserving tributes to Americans who have overcome great struggles and made incredible sacrifices, but lacked the detailed plans and a thoughtful vision to bring this Country together. Great leaders don’t stoke fear, they inspire confidence and the actions taken by this Administration in recent weeks are invoking genuine concern in my Western New York district and across the country.

“Taking away healthcare, building walls, attacking hard-fought civil rights, catering to Wall Street influence, abandoning our allies and allowing for the pollution of air and water – these are not the accomplishments I want for my country or my community.

“In the United States of America facts matter, accountability matters and policies that seek to satisfy the greater good of all people matters. Generations before us toiled to lay the foundation for this good and generous nation.  We must not forget the sweat, tears and sacrifices that have contributed to a more perfect union as we continue the fight to do better each and every day.”

From Rep. Tom Reed (R-Corning):

"President Trump called on all Americans to put our differences aside and work together to rebuild our country. Our President gave a sincere speech outlining a bold plan to move our country forward by empowering the American people. We share a common belief that we must strengthen our economy, borders, military and health care system. I look forward to continuing to work with the President to reignite our economy and the great American spirit."

From Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-Fairport):

"The president’s address tonight was heavy on vague platitudes but light on specific policy. President Trump and Congressional Republicans have been using a seldom-used law, the Congressional Review Act, to eviscerate protections enacted by the prior president. They have already used this law to make it easier for coal companies to dump toxic waste in our waterways, roll back anti-corruption measures, and allow people with severe mental illnesses to purchase firearms. The president and Congressional Republicans are now trying to rip away health care from tens of millions of people and enact sweeping budget cuts that slash billions from domestic programs at the expense of workers and the poorest among us. Instead of supporting small businesses, President Trump’s plans prioritize large corporations. Rather than help our workers, the president is pursuing an agenda that helps billionaires. I will keep fighting to protect health care reform, Medicaid, and all programs that actually help working people. At the same time and for the good of our national security, I will also continue working tirelessly to hold President Trump and his administration accountable for their unprecedented financial conflicts of interest.”