Reaction to President Trump’s State of the Union speech from members of Maine’s congressional delegation:

Sen. Angus King, independent:

“It was a speech that covered a lot of ground, but the challenge now is what actions will follow the President’s words.”

Sen. Susan Collins, Republican:

“I welcome the President’s appeal for greater unity in this evening’s address. We must come together to develop the solutions needed to move our country forward and improve the lives of all Americans. The President discussed some initiatives that have broad, bipartisan support and should be our focus over the coming year. They include investing in our infrastructure to rebuild our crumbling roads and bridges, lowering the price of prescription drugs to make them more affordable and accessible, and increasing investments in biomedical research to combat diseases such as childhood cancer and HIV/AIDS.

“Congress and the President should also continue to advance policies that create more good-paying jobs and build on our strong economic growth, which has produced record low unemployment and the largest wage gains in a decade.

“Next week, we face a critical deadline to prevent what would be another destructive and harmful government shutdown. The recent shutdown was an example of how a refusal to compromise is a recipe for dysfunction that hurts American families and our economy. We should instead take a collaborative approach as we work to reach an agreement to address our border security challenges and to fund the federal government through September 30th, the end of the fiscal year.”

Rep. Chellie Pingree, Democrat, 1st District:

“I was glad that President Trump touched on a number of issues where we can find agreement, like investing in rural infrastructure, paid family leave, and lowering prices for prescription drugs. The disparity he noted about the higher prices Americans pay for medications compared to other countries is absolutely true, and one I’ve introduced bipartisan legislation to address.

“The President is also right that the American people want both parties to work together in the country’s interest. The question is whether he will follow through on tonight’s calls for unity with action. We’re still recovering from the longest government shutdown in American history, and he has issued threats to start another if he doesn’t get his way on a border wall. If he is really serious about unity, he should stop demonizing those who seek safety in our country and start working in good faith with Congress on immigration, effective border security, and funding the government.

“One important thing we didn’t hear from President Trump tonight was addressing climate change. It’s disappointing that the President continues to ignore this real crisis even as he manufactures others. That’s why I thought it was important to bring whistleblower Joel Clement to the speech tonight to help give voice to those the Trump Administration has tried to silence on the issue of climate change.”

Rep. Jared Golden, Democrat, 2nd District:

“Heading into tonight’s speech, I was looking for areas I could work with the president to get things done for Maine people. I’m focused on making smart investments in infrastructure and protecting American jobs through better trade deals, two issues where the president has said he wants to work with Congress.

“I agree with the president that NAFTA has failed working Mainers, but his NAFTA 2.0 proposal needs significant changes to ensure we don’t repeat the same disastrous trade policies that have led to closed mills, outsourced jobs, and stagnant wages. And while the president is right to focus on infrastructure improvements, his proposal should not place the burden on local governments and small businesses here in Maine. If the president can follow through on his bipartisan talk with bipartisan leadership, I’ll work with him to improve these proposals so they deliver results for Maine people.”


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