On the State of the Union: Voices from Colorado celebrate and excoriate President Trump’s address

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Washington, D.C.-, January 30, 2018 | comments

Colorado reaction to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address rang out from the halls of Congress to the Front Range, touching on immigration, the economy and infrastructure. Here are of some of the highlights.

Colorado’s congressional delegation

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, Democrat: “Only this president could make a call for unity sound so divisive. He continues to promise results for Coloradans, but delivers partisan soundbites and ideology. 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. Instead of calling on Americans to join his dark, backward-looking vision for our country, President Trump should draw on our strengths and inspire us all to succeed.”

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, Republican: “I applaud the president’s call for unity tonight. 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. I was pleased the president also highlighted how the tax cuts have already resulted in billions of dollars of investment and wage growth. We must continue to grow the economy and reduce the burden of Washington on hardworking Americans. 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. Many of the goals outlined tonight will serve as a blueprint for what Congress can achieve for the American people in the coming year, and I hope Democrats and Republicans will work together to move our country forward.”

U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, R-Greeley: “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.”

U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Denver: “America’s reputation as a beacon to the world has been tarnished due to @POTUS’ trampling of democratic ideals, abandoning global commitments such as the Paris Climate Accord, and insulting other countries in vulgar terms. This only weakens our standing abroad. #SOTU”

U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs: “The president called on all of us in Congress to defend Americans — to protect their safety, their families, their communities, and their right to the American Dream. We will heed your call Mr. President. ‘Because Americans are dreamers too.’ #SOTU”

U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Lakewood: “Under this administration, we have seen confusion and chaos, but one thing is clear: We must continue to hold this administration accountable and stay vigilant against policies that threaten Colorado’s economy or infringe on the values Coloradans cherish.”

U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Boulder: “His immigration proposal is a non-starter. . . . It would waste tens of billions of dollars of taxpayer money on a border wall boondoggle. But, of course, like many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle (I know) we need to negotiate because he is the president to find a pathway for the ‘Dreamers.’”

Gov. John Hickenlooper, Democrat

“We have been working in Colorado on funding for infrastructure improvements for several years, and trying to contain the opioid epidemic for most of seven years. We also have proposed bills for drug-pricing transparency, which might actually lead to less expensive prescription drugs. If the president is sincere in supporting these goals, and truly supports criminal justice reform, and job retraining, we can work together. Even comprehensive immigration reform could be possible. We hope it’s not just talk.”

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock

“The President’s address tonight was simply disappointing. At a time when our country can be and is united behind common sense solutions to immigration reform, finally improving our aging infrastructure and more, this president offered nothing but empty words and self-congratulatory pats on the back for an economic recovery he had no part in. … What we heard is that tax cuts for the wealthy will supposedly cure all our economic problems. An infrastructure ‘plan’ without any direction or specifics that leaves state and local governments holding the bag. A call for immigration reform based on fear and that does nothing to address the mess he created for our Dreamers. An energy policy that removes the United States from a leadership role on addressing climate change. And platitudes when it comes to the challenges of the opioid crisis.”

On infrastructure

Sam Mamet, executive director, Colorado Municipal League: “There’s going to have to be real money put on the table to incentivize how we move forward on this. And it can’t come from just cutting other programs to fund new programs.”

On immigration

Anarely Marquez, DACA recipient and State of the Union guest of U.S. Rep. Jared Polis: The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program has “placed a lot of us — the Dreamers — in a tough situation because DACA finally allowed us to begin to build the roots that we’ve always felt we’ve had. Now this back-and-forth is kind of scary because you never know if in three months you’re going to have to get everything and pack everything up and go.”

Content originally published by the Denver Post on January 30, 2018.
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