Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) watched President Trump’s second State of the Union message to Congress on television at his office in the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington and released the following statement:
“I declined to attend this evening’s address because I want to hear the truth about the State of the Union from a President of the United States. The current president has no respect for the truth and is the subject of numerous investigations regarding his administration, his campaign, his foundation, his business and his inaugural committee. He has disgraced the presidency and does not deserve the respect and attention from Congress and the public that this address has historically received.
“We are all for border security but we will continue to disagree whether a $5.7 billion border wall is the answer. Diversity is our strength in this country and the President’s dog whistles about the nation’s golden yesteryears, his call to make America great ‘again’ is a false narrative to millions of Americans who fifty years ago did not enjoy the rights we now recognize for women, for minorities, for people with sexual and gender identity differences and for people with disabilities. We should not go backwards on women’s reproductive rights, voting rights, labor rights or health care.
“The initiative to stop the spread of HIV by 2030 is an admirable goal and I hope that we as a nation achieve it. I’m skeptical however of a plan to deal with this scourge from a President who would cut major safety net programs, like Medicaid, which delivers much AIDS care, and proposed cuts to the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program to give tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy.
“As a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I welcome the President’s call for a major infrastructure plan, but its value will be seen in its details.
“I was pleased to see Alice Johnson of Memphis, whose commutation request I supported, in tonight’s crowd, but I have suggested pardons and commutations should follow a deliberative, prescribed procedure, and be delivered to thousands of people, not to a few dozen people with celebrity sponsors.
“The President tonight called for an end to ‘decades of political stalemate,’ but he has helped create it by attacking House Democrats, Speaker Pelosi and even Republicans like my former Senator Bob Corker who disagree with him. It would be a step in the right direction if members of the President’s own party weren’t routinely blind-sided by ill-conceived, pundit-inspired policies out of right field.
“I’m concerned about the state of the union and hope we can return to making progress on climate change affecting not just our country but the world. We need to have sensible gun reform. We must do more to protect people with pre-existing conditions, those living in poverty and hunger, our veterans and working families. That’s what will keep America great.”
Senator Marsha Blackburn Releases Statement Following State of the Union
Washington, D.C. – Tonight, Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) released this statement following President Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address before Congress:
“President Trump conveyed an inspiring message and a hopeful vision for our country in tonight’s State of the Union message. He expressed confidence in our nation’s future and extended a hand to Democrats to work together, in unity, to produce results for all Americans.
“Bringing Knoxville Fire Chief D.J. Corcoran as my guest was a true honor. He and his wife, Wendy, who attended with Congressman Tim Burchett, lost their 22-year-old son, Pierce, in late December when he was killed by an illegal immigrant. The Corcorans are faith-filled Tennesseans who love their country, their family and their God. They have taken the tragic loss their family experienced and spread a message of hope that no American should have to experience the anguish of becoming an Angel Family. I am incredibly thankful they accepted our invitation to attend as our guests.
“As the president communicated in his speech, the state of our union is strong. Our nation is well-positioned to address our challenges in a way that meets the needs of the 21st century. I look forward to continuing to work with President Trump and with my colleagues of both parties to build on our success for the American people.”