New England Lawmakers React to Donald Trump's State of the Union Address - NECN
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New England Lawmakers React to Donald Trump's State of the Union Address

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    Trump Gives State of the Union Address at House Chamber

    President Donald Trump addressed the nation Tuesday, a speech delayed for weeks due to the shutdown.

    (Published Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019)

    In his State of the Union address, President Donald Trump pushed for unity and cooperation between parties. But Democratic lawmakers from New England were quick to point out the gap between the president's words in the House chamber and his actions in the White House.

    "Unity is important. But I am dismayed at the lack of any kind of bipartisanship during the first two years of President Trump's presidency," said Rep. Richard Neal of Massachusetts.

    "It's great that @realDonaldTrump is talking about bipartisanship," Democratic Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts tweeted. "Dems & Republicans agreed on the bipartisan spending bills we passed in December — he was the one who shut down the government for 35 days."

    Trump Talks 'Greatness and Gridlock' at State of the UnionTrump Talks 'Greatness and Gridlock' at State of the Union

    President Trump calls for 'greatness' in his 2019 State of the Union address.

    (Published Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019)

    On the heels of the longest federal government shutdown in history, and 10 days from another budget deadline, Trump was expected to make his proposed border wall a key topic in his speech. The president's demand that the wall be funded, and Congressional' Democrats' refusal to do so, kept the shutdown going on for more than a month.

    "Tonight, I am asking you to defend our very dangerous southern border out of love and devotion to our fellow citizens and to our country," Trump said in his speech, making reference to caravans "on the march to the United States," seemingly referring to asylum-seeking migrants from Central America.

    "Seeking asylum is LEGAL," Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts tweeted, punctuating each word with a clap.

    "Everyone in this room, Democrat and Republican, that represents communities on the southern border opposes the wall," said Rep. Jim Himes of Connecticut.

    "If you support ICE, you should pay them," Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts said, alluding to the shutdown.

    In a statement, Sen. Maggie Hassan of New Hamsphire said she appreciated Trump addressed the need to keep skyrocketing prescription drug prices in check.

    "It's very troubling, however, that the president barely mentioned the opioid crisis that remains the number one public health and safety challenge facing New Hampshire and states across the country," Hassan added. "I am also concerned that the President wouldn't rule out shutting down the government again. There is biparrtisan consensus on the need to strengthen border security, but our approach needs to be grounded in reality and hard-working Americans must not be used as political pawns."

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