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Opinions mixed among Colorado lawmakers on president’s State of the Union address
President Trump announced plans during his State of the Union address Tuesday for a $1.5 trillion infrastructure spending plan that could be good news for Colorado’s ambitious road-building plans.
However, he also said he would move forward with a get-tough policy on immigration that is nearly certain to alienate the state’s large Hispanic population.
He continued his unbending rhetoric towards foreign adversaries, saying he would imprison more Middle Eastern terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, act aggressively to halt North Korea’s military build-up and insist that foreign trade partners deal fairly with U.S. exporters.
He spoke most proudly of the tax overhaul he helped to push through Congress late last year. He said it would allow average Americans to keep more of the money they earn while creating incentives for business prosperity.
Colorado’s Republicans in Congress praised Trump’s message while Democrats seemed suspicious.
Colorado U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, a Republican, said he liked the president’s call for “unity.”
“It’s time that we come together as a country and for Democrats and Republicans to work together on issues to achieve a compromise for Dreamers and make needed investments to our nation’s crumbling infrastructure,” Gardner said. “I was pleased the president also highlighted how the tax cuts have already resulted in billions of dollars of investment and wage growth. While urban areas along the Front Range are thriving, the forgotten corners of our state and country are not seeing the same level of success. We must do better for all America.”
Rep. Ken Buck, R-Windsor, said, “We’re already seeing the economic benefits of deregulation and of the job-creating tax reform package passed last year. I’m eager now to build on this momentum and work with the administration on important policy initiatives like border security, immigration reform, reducing government spending and military readiness.”
Colorado U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democrat, was skeptical whether Trump could deliver on his promises.
“He continues to promise results for Coloradans but delivers partisan soundbites and ideology,” Bennet said. “I want nothing more than to move forward to pass comprehensive immigration reform, lower drug prices, combat the opioid crisis and make investments in infrastructure. The president’s tone and lack of results make it difficult to believe his speech is anything more than hollow rhetoric.”
Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Arvada, used the speech to renew his disagreement with Trump administration immigration policies he believes are unfair to immigrants who contribute to the United States but face risks of deportation.
He agreed that infrastructure investments are important but was uncertain about the president’s strategy for achieving them.
“It’s unfortunate the Republicans chose to spend $1.5 trillion, at best, on tax cuts for their wealthy donors rather than helping hardworking families or addressing our country’s infrastructure needs,” Perlmutter said. “With many Coloradans feeling the squeeze of a growing economy and increased congestion, I hope President Trump and the Republican Congress approach infrastructure in a bipartisan way with real investments in our communities so it can have a broader impact and actually make a difference in the lives of hardworking families.”Content originally published by Colorado Politics on January 30, 2018.