Politicians and others comment on last night’s State of the Union Address

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Many of those who were in attendance of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address are weighing in, giving us their thoughts.

Here’s what Congressman Mike Kelly had to say:

“Tonight, President Trump once again affirmed his commitment to choosing greatness for our country. During his first two years in office, we have experienced unprecedented economic growth, and the quality of life for Americans has significantly improved. We now turn to the next chapter to build on those successes. The president outlined a bipartisan policy agenda and asked us to work together. This speech was an urgent call to action.
I look forward to working with my colleagues and the president to fix the crisis on our southern border, protect American workers in trade deals, rebuild our nation’s dated infrastructure, lower the cost of healthcare and prescription drugs, and enhance U.S. national security.”

And, sitting next to the president’s daughter was the experience of a lifetime for a local teacher and veteran Joe Pfadt:

“For me, as a social studies teacher, it was terrific. We talk about the SOTU, but to be here and watch it unfold on this grand stage was really quite a thrill.”

Senator Bob Casey:

“The President should have pledged tonight ‘no more shutdowns’ and committed to taking additional steps to help the 820,000 federal employees recover from the adverse impact of his government shutdown. He also missed an opportunity to speak to America’s middle class families who are struggling to make ends meet. He could have committed to a substantial tax cut for those families. He could have talked to working parents about a comprehensive agenda for their children – investing in education, safeguarding their healthcare, rebuilding their schools and protecting them from violence. Unfortunately, he used his platform tonight to reinforce the same talking points and to double down on his corporate agenda.” 

Representative Pat Toomey says:

“The economy is the best it’s been in decades. Economic growth has accelerated, unemployment has dropped to record lows, middle-class wages are rising, and for the first time there are more job openings than there are people looking for a job. This is largely due to our historic tax reform and deregulatory efforts of the past two years. The president was right to underscore the significance of our progress.

President Trump also made a reasonable case for enhancing security at our southern border. The obvious, necessary solution to our budget impasse is a compromise that improves border security – including physical barriers where requested by Customs and Border Protection – and delivers on some Democrat priorities, too. I hope Speaker Pelosi will come to the table and finally negotiate in good faith.

On trade, I continue to believe that the administration is taking us down the wrong path. Tariffs on products imported into the United States are taxes, paid by American consumers, that harm American families and workers. Congress must reassert its constitutional responsibility on trade, not cede even more to the executive branch. China does engage in the egregious theft of intellectual property. The administration’s negotiations with China should focus on ending this practice.

I commend the president for his focus on health care. He is right to urge Congress to adopt reforms that will make health care more affordable and available to more Americans. And he is right to set the ambitious goals of ending HIV/AIDS and childhood cancer. I look forward to working with the president and my colleagues to achieve these goals.”

Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan: 

“In his State of Union address tonight, President Trump reaffirmed his unwavering commitment to support our troops and to protect American national security interests at home and abroad. Under President Trump’s leadership, we are focused on the full implementation of the National Defense Strategy: increasing lethality, strengthening alliances and partnerships, and reforming the way we do business.”

Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Val DiGiorgio:

“President Trump gave us an outstanding speech and I could not be more proud to support his agenda. Whether it’s his concern for keeping Americans safe, advocating for innocent life, or his strenuous defense of liberty and American interests, President Trump demonstrated why he should be re-elected. 
President Trump also rightfully pointed to his many incredible accomplishments, achieved in conjunction with Republican leadership, that have created a booming economy, bolstered working families, strengthened our military, and fortified the Supreme Court of the United States.
As our country advances ahead, taking on new challenges and enjoying new successes, it is incumbent upon lawmakers of both parties to work together to choose the greatness President Trump talked about tonight and focus on the people they are elected to represent and not their base partisan differences.”

Representative Tom Reed:

“With a soaring economy and a restored leadership around the globe, President Trump highlighted the once in a generation opportunity our country holds to work together to pass laws that help people.

Many of the priorities the President laid out, such as rebuilding our infrastructure, lowering the cost of healthcare and prescription drugs, and ensuring our country embraces a safe, fair and legal immigration system, are issues the Problem Solvers Caucus made a top priority as well this Congress, and we look forward to working together.

Now extremists on both sides of the aisle have a choice to make: Will they adopt a willingness to compromise and ensure a legacy of greatness for our children and grandchildren, or instead, choose to play ‘gotcha politics,’ and guarantee the American people lose out on future opportunities? We sincerely hope they choose to put the American people first.”

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