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Velazquez Responds to Trump State of the Union

Velazquez Responds to Trump State of the Union
January 30, 2018
Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) released the following statement regarding President Trump’s State of the Union address: 
“After running a Presidential campaign fueled by some of this country’s ugliest, darkest sentiments, followed by a year in office spent trying to rip healthcare from millions of Americans and enact an enormous tax cut for the extremely wealthy at everyone else’s expense, it will take more than platitudes for Donald Trump to change the course of his presidency.  
“Most notably, I was disappointed to hear the President return to his unworkable immigration framework, including policies that would slash legal immigration by nearly half, while wasting resources on a costly, meaningless border wall. The President manufactured a crisis for hundreds of thousands of DREAMers in our communities and, now, he’s holding them hostage for his nonsensical wall. Nothing I heard tonight changes that dynamic.  
“Democrats are willing to compromise on immigration issues and we understand the need to secure our nation. But the President continues promoting policies that would make us less safe, sow fear among hardworking immigrants and threaten to tear families apart. That is simply a nonstarter.  
“I also heard little new when it comes to the types of economic policies we need to ensure American prosperity.  While the President touted job creation numbers from the first year of his Presidency, we need to remember -- jobs created in 2017 were lower than 2016 and lower than job creation in each of the previous six years, during the Obama Presidency.  
“We should also remember the President and the Republican Congress failed to pass any type of meaningful job creation legislation in the past year.  Instead, they shoved through their gargantuan ‘tax scam’, which benefits the wealthy at everyone else’s expense.  While 83 percent of tax cuts under that plan would go to the richest 1%, 86 million middle class and working Americans would see a tax increase.   
“Ironically, while starving the federal budget, the President tonight paid lip service to proposals that – if done properly – could actually make a difference in fortifying our economy for the long term like infrastructure investment.  Rather than dedicating adequate federal resources to fix our nation’s crumbling roads and bridges – creating jobs along the way – the President’s plan vastly shortchanges such an effort, putting the burden on strapped states and cities to make up the difference.  That’s not leadership and it isn’t the type of public investment we need for the long term.  
“Democrats have our own vision for a brighter future.  We want to raise wages, expand educational opportunities, create millions of good paying jobs and build an economy that works for all Americans. We are willing to work with Congressional Republicans to move the needle on these priorities, but there was little in tonight’s speech to suggest the President is serious about making such bipartisan progress. 
“Lastly, it is notable what was not in the speech.  Despite our fellow citizens continuing to face a humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico, the President only passingly mentioned the plight of the Island to say he ‘loves’ those still recovering – on the same day it is announced FEMA is winding down its assistance. That’s simply shameful.  
“The American people see through rhetoric. They know true bipartisanship when they see it and they recognize meaningful efforts for unity.  What they got tonight was neither. They know this President, in word and deed, has long sought to divide our nation, castigate our most vulnerable neighbors and undermine democratic norms and traditions.  This speech sprinkled rhetorical niceties among the same old, morally reprehensible policies the President has previously touted.”