Velazquez on Trump Address to Congress
Washington, DC – Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) released the following statement regarding President Trump’s address to Congress:
“I heard little substantive tonight to suggest that the President has adopted a new tone or is attempting to heal the deep rifts roiling our nation. As a candidate, Donald Trump ran on a platform of helping working families, but in forty days, he has done nothing to address the myriad problems facing America’s most vulnerable.
“Instead, we’ve heard time and again that Republicans and the President want to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, depriving 30 million Americans of medical coverage. In New York State alone, 1.6 million of our neighbors - who gained coverage through ACA - could see their health insurance taken away through this approach. And, 2.7 million New Yorkers who have enrolled in Medicaid could lose coverage.
“Yet, tonight, when he had the chance, the President did not offer a clear, cohesive policy that would replace the ACA and protect the care of America’s most vulnerable. Rather, he pointed to a grab bag of ideas that experts have repeatedly said would put the burden of healthcare costs on the poor and the sick, and only benefit the healthy and wealthy. If the President and Congressional Republicans continue down this path, they can expect resistance not only from Democrats in Congress, but also from Americans around the nation who are already making their collective voice heard and demanding that their care be protected.
“Likewise, I heard few specifics on how this Administration would create jobs, spur growth, raise wages, or provider greater economic security for Americans. The President says he wants a significant infrastructure investment but provided no details on how he would pay for it. These are areas where one might hope for common ground. Yet, there was little in tonight’s speech to suggest the President is ready for this type of progress, either.
“Lastly, on immigration, let me say this - the President says he wants to find compromise but continues reiterating rhetoric about walls, bans and division. Let’s be clear, tearing families apart and sewing fear in immigrant communities cannot be part of any compromise. That is a non-starter.
“Americans today increasingly feel troubled and unsettled. Every day, I hear from New Yorkers who have profound concerns about the direction the President has staked out. I continue hoping that, at some point, we’ll hear better, more substantive ideas from the Administration than what we heard tonight. But, if the President and Congressional Republicans double down on policies harming working families, they can be certain New Yorkers and Americans everywhere will stand up and oppose them.”