Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) made the following statement on President Trump’s 2nd State of the Union Address:
“Tonight’s address was nothing more than a side-show. Following two years of divisive and incompetent leadership, the President’s call for bipartisanship and unity rang profoundly hollow. If President Trump truly wants to embrace bipartisanship, he first needs to understand that the Democratic House of Representatives is not going to let him walk all over them and the American people the way that Republicans have for the past two years. The President cannot call for unity while simultaneously considering sidestepping Congress on his border-wall pet project or threatening another wasteful shutdown. The President’s record of dishonesty is plain as day, and Democrats will not simply take him at his word.
“We are two years into this Administration and the President has failed hardworking and working poor Americans. While trying to claim credit for our improving economy, President Trump seems determined to undermine our nation’s economic growth at every opportunity. Ignoring this country’s urgent need for affordable healthcare, the President has sought to destroy protections for every American with a pre-existing condition, weakened the health insurance marketplace, driven up Americans’ healthcare costs, and caused a surge in our uninsured rate as a result.
The President has also rolled back protections against Wall Street’s fraud and abuse. Following massive tax giveaways to the wealthiest one percent and large corporations, including those that have shipped jobs overseas, our country is once again on a path towards trillion-dollar-plus deficits.
“I was also disappointed, though not surprised, that the President once again missed the opportunity to commit to acting on gun violence. The President can give his thoughts, prayers, and kind words to the victims of gun violence, but until action is taken, our country will continue to suffer. More than 40,000 Americans were killed in shootings in 2017, the highest rate in more than 20 years. In 2018, we endured a school shooting nearly once a week. There is no need to parse words here. The President needs to show the American people that he is serious about addressing the very real problems cities across America are confronted with, and he should start by supporting commonsense gun control reforms.
“Over the past two years, our nation has faced many challenges under the Trump Administration, from the delegitimization of the American news media, to the wasteful and unnecessary government shutdown, to the abdication of American leadership across the globe. One evening of faux-bipartisanship does not erase these and other failures of leadership. Tomorrow, the U.S. House of Representatives will get back to work making our country a stronger, more inclusive place for all. I urge the President and his Republican colleagues to join us.”
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings serves as Vice-Chairman of the House Rules Committee, Chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Co-Chairman of the Florida Delegation.