President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address was a hopeful and encouraging message as his administration heads into its second year, some lawmakers representing Lancaster County said after the president’s speech.
U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker, R-West Lampeter Township, said in a statement the speech was a “confident message to the American people,” and one that reflected the optimism he hears from constituents in his Lancaster-based district.
Both he and Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey applauded Trump for highlighting tax reform and for saying he wants to move on to a major investment in the nation’s infrastructure.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, in his mostly critical statement after the speech, also said the infrastructure package should happen “immediately.”
Below are some of their statements in full.
U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker
“President Trump delivered a hopeful, confident message to the American people. The optimism expressed tonight is reflective of the feedback I get from constituents all across the district – and with good reason.
“Over the last year, Congress and the White House have worked together to deliver greater economic opportunity for everyone. We’re transforming our economy from stagnant to prosperous, and the results speak for themselves. Millions of Americans are already receiving bonuses and wage increases as a result of our unified effort to deliver middle-class tax relief and to unleash American innovation.
“I am glad the president is taking a leading role in laying out a clear vision to improve our nation’s aging infrastructure. There is real bipartisan support for modernizing our infrastructure, and I am confident we’ll continue building on the progress already made in Congress.
“There is a lot of work to be done this year, and I look forward to continuing my work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle and this administration to improve the lives of the people I represent.
“Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, President Trump tonight introduced the American people to a number of individuals who are, simply put, heroes: A North Korean defector who today advocates for human rights, a police officer and his wife who adopted the child of a heroin addict, a California firefighter who ran into a burning building to save 62 children, and the parents of daughters killed by MS-13, just to name a few. These individuals embody the courage and strength of mankind, and their recognitions were eye-opening and profound moments of the president’s address.”
U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey
“Tonight, President Trump used his State of the Union address to spotlight the important progress that has been made during the first year of his presidency while laying out his top agenda items for the next year.
“Already, about three million Americans have received bonuses and raises due to tax reform—and this is all before the benefits of new investments are realized. I share the President’s view that tax reform will help to grow wages, create new jobs, and spur stronger economic growth.
“I was also pleased that President Trump laid out a clearer vision on three very important issues: infrastructure, immigration, and national security.
“I was heartened to hear him say we must streamline the approval process for new road and bridge projects, and I look forward to reviewing in detail proposed infrastructure legislation.
“President Trump also outlined a legal solution for DACA recipients, which goes beyond what President Obama had proposed, with an offer of a path to citizenship. We need stronger border security that enhances physical barriers, increases law enforcement patrols, and utilizes surveillance-based technological advancements.
“It was also encouraging to hear that the administration understands the clear and present danger represented by North Korea. Congress must act swiftly on the BRINK Act, my bipartisan bill with Senator Chris Van Hollen, to strengthen sanctions against this dangerous regime and any entity doing business with Kim Jong-un.
“Finally, I hope the White House will reconsider its course on trade. Tariffs are taxes on consumers and are designed to snuff out competition. I will be actively engaged with the administration on all trade matters moving forward.”
U.S. Sen. Bob Casey
“Donald Trump’s presidency has been a series of broken promises to the middle class and workers, a fact which tonight’s address did not change.
This Administration talks about helping workers and middle class families, but when it comes to actions, it’s all extreme right economics and decimating health care. After passing into law massive tax giveaways to the wealthiest and biggest corporations, Republicans in Congress now want to tackle “entitlement reform,” which is nothing more than the clever phrasing of a scheme to cut Social Security, Medicaid and Medicaid.
My State of the Union guest, Anna Corbin from Hanover, Pennsylvania, was here on behalf of her two children, both of whom have a disability and would be devastated by the cuts to Medicaid that Republicans in Washington are pursuing. It’s time to enact an agenda to rebuild the middle class.
Congress should immediately pass a bipartisan infrastructure plan that actually invests in our communities, instead of just giving more tax cuts to wealthy developers and big corporations. Congress should also pass commonsense, bipartisan legislation to reduce the cost of health care instead of sabotaging the current system and plotting to decimate Medicaid. The people of Pennsylvania have heard enough talk from Republicans in Congress and this Administration, it’s time for action on an agenda that raises their wages, creates jobs and reduces the cost of living for the middle class.”