Here’s how Pa’s congressional delegation responded to President Trump’s #SOTU speech

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall in Tampa, Florida, on July 31, 2018. (Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

The final syllables of President Donald Trump’s second State of the Union address had barely stopped echoing through the hall of the U.S. House on Tuesday night before members of Congress started weighing in with their reactions.

Here’s what Pennsylvania’s members of Congress had to say about the speech – before, during and afterward. It will be updated as we receive more.

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D):

“The President should have pledged tonight “no more shutdowns” and committed to taking additional steps to help the 820,000 federal employees recover from the adverse impact of his government shutdown. He also missed an opportunity to speak to America’s middle class families who are struggling to make ends meet. He could have committed to a substantial tax cut for those families. He could have talked to working parents about a comprehensive agenda for their children – investing in education, safeguarding their healthcare, rebuilding their schools and protecting them from violence. Unfortunately, he used his platform tonight to reinforce the same talking points and to double down on his corporate agenda.”

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey (R):

“The economy is the best it’s been in decades. Economic growth has accelerated, unemployment has dropped to record lows, middle-class wages are rising, and for the first time there are more job openings than there are people looking for a job. This is largely due to our historic tax reform and deregulatory efforts of the past two years. The president was right to underscore the significance of our progress.

“President Trump also made a reasonable case for enhancing security at our southern border. The obvious, necessary solution to our budget impasse is a compromise that improves border security – including physical barriers where requested by Customs and Border Protection – and delivers on some Democrat priorities, too. I hope Speaker Pelosi will come to the table and finally negotiate in good faith.

“On trade, I continue to believe that the administration is taking us down the wrong path. Tariffs on products imported into the United States are taxes, paid by American consumers, that harm American families and workers. Congress must reassert its constitutional responsibility on trade, not cede even more to the executive branch. China does engage in the egregious theft of intellectual property. The administration’s negotiations with China should focus on ending this practice.

“I commend the president for his focus on health care. He is right to urge Congress to adopt reforms that will make health care more affordable and available to more Americans. And he is right to set the ambitious goals of ending HIV/AIDS and childhood cancer. I look forward to working with the president and my colleagues to achieve these goals.”

U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle (D):

U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R):

U.S. Rep. Madeleine Dean (D):

U.S. Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D):

U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans (D):

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R):

U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright (D):

U.S. Rep. Susan Wild (D):

“The president put forward a message of unity and bipartisanship and I look forward to working with the administration on commonsense solutions to help our working families, including to lower the cost of prescription drugs, create good paying jobs and raise wages for hard working Americans, and invest in 21st century infrastructure.

“I was happy to support and vote for several bipartisan initiatives last Congress to help our farmers with the Farm Bill and much-needed efforts to reform our criminal justice system with the First Step Act, and while I would happily work with the administration to reduce the cost of prescription drugs and protect Americans with pre-existing conditions, the president’s countless attempts to gut the ACA and the repeal of the individual mandate have done the opposite. I believe there are many areas in which we can work with the president to build an economy that works for every American, including on an infrastructure package to rebuild our roads and bridges and create jobs nationwide, and working toward fair trade deals that will help our businesses and working families in Pennsylvania thrive.

“I was, however, hoping to hear a commitment from him to work with Congress to avoid another shutdown. The last shutdown did nothing but harm our country, stress our federal workforce, Coast Guard members and their families, risk our national security, and hurt our economy. We all agree that border security is a priority and if the president is serious about bipartisanship he will work with us – Democrats and Republicans – to create rational, long-term immigration reform that secures our border with commonsense and cost effective measures, without holding the government and the American people hostage.”

U.S. Rep. John Joyce (R): In tonight’s State of the Union Address President Trump made it crystal clear to all Americans that we are moving full speed ahead on a path to prosperity. Due to his tax cuts and aggressive trade policies, our country has seen one of our strongest economic booms in decades. And workers in the 13th District have reaped the success of the President’s pro-growth policies, as shown by nearly a 23 percent decline in unemployment during the past two years in the ten counties that I represent. President Trump is correct. We face a monumental crossroads in the coming months – will we strive to work together and continue making common sense reforms, or will we revert to the status quo of Washington gridlock?

 “I will choose to work with our President and the rest of my colleagues to get things done for the American people on the issues that matter. Together, we can repair our roads and bridges, lower drug prices, secure our border and create even more jobs. Our President’s optimistic vision  for our future will be applauded and I stand committed to assisting him in continuing to make America great.”

U.S. Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R):

U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly (R): Tonight, President Trump once again affirmed his commitment to choosing greatness for our country. During his first two years in office, we have experienced unprecedented economic growth, and the quality of life for Americans has significantly improved. We now turn to the next chapter to build on those successes. The president outlined a bipartisan policy agenda and asked us to work together. This speech was an urgent call to action. I look forward to working with my colleagues and the president to fix the crisis on our southern border, protect American workers in trade deals, rebuild our nation’s dated infrastructure, lower the cost of healthcare and prescription drugs, and enhance U.S. national security.”

U.S. Rep. Scott Perry (R):

“The President outlined his vision for bipartisan leadership on a variety of issues including border security and legal immigration, protecting the American worker, bolstering infrastructure, curbing the cost of healthcare and enhancing our National security. I’m hopeful that Congress will come together in a spirit of cooperation on these issues for the benefit of the American People. The results of the President’s agenda are clear: the economy is booming. We added 304,000 jobs in Januarypay and benefits rise at fastest pace in 10 years, and U.S. Stocks Post Best January in 30 Years. The reason we can address other issues is because the economy is so strong; it’s important not to lose sight of that progress. The best is yet to come and I’m looking forward to getting back to work.”

An award-winning political journalist with more than 25 years' experience in the news business, John L. Micek is The Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. Before joining The Capital-Star, Micek spent six years as Opinion Editor at PennLive/The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa., where he helped shape and lead a multiple-award-winning Opinion section for one of Pennsylvania's most-visited news websites. Prior to that, he spent 13 years covering Pennsylvania government and politics for The Morning Call of Allentown, Pa. His career has also included stints covering Congress, Chicago City Hall and more municipal meetings than he could ever count, Micek contributes regular analysis and commentary to a host of broadcast outlets, including CTV-News in Canada and talkRadio in London, U.K., as well as "Face the State" on CBS-21 in Harrisburg, Pa.; "Pennsylvania Newsmakers" on WGAL-8 in Lancaster, Pa., and the Pennsylvania Cable Network. His weekly column on American politics is syndicated nationwide to more than 800 newspapers by Cagle Syndicate.

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