President Calls on Congress to Walk Together Along a Higher Road
‘So even though I know my Democratic colleagues’ first instinct these days is to reflexively criticize anything President Trump says or does, I hope they took some pride in the strong state of our Union which the President described. This great country belongs to all of us. And it’s going to take all of us to keep moving forward. As the president put it -- “cooperation, compromise, and the common good.”’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding last night’s State of the Union Address from President Trump:
“Last night, the president shared a hopeful vision of a bright future for America. In part, he reminded us, that future is bright because of big steps we have taken together in the past two years to move this country forward. Steps like the historic tax reform that has helped middle-class families across America keep more of what they earn. The regulatory reforms that have amped up our economy and fueled job creation. The landmark legislation we passed to combat the opioid epidemic. The long-needed investment in our armed forces that’s given our service-members the tools and training they need to keep us safe.
“As I mentioned yesterday, some of those accomplishments were delivered by Republicans alone. But the lion’s share of them were bicameral and bipartisan. They combined the ideas and priorities of both sides of the aisle in both chambers of Congress. So even though I know my Democratic colleagues’ first instinct these days is to reflexively criticize anything President Trump says or does, I hope they took some pride in the strong state of our Union which the president described.
“This great country belongs to all of us. And it’s going to take all of us to keep moving forward. As the president put it -- ‘cooperation, compromise, and the common good.’ Last night, the president highlighted in particular the national challenges he sees as most urgent and as top priorities for his administration this year. Tackling them will require that same bipartisan spirit here in Congress. He restated the administration’s commitment to addressing the humanitarian and security crisis at our nation’s southern border.
“To fighting on behalf of American workers and job creators, to rebuilding American infrastructure, to helping simplify families’ budgets by lowering the cost of healthcare and prescription drugs. On these and other challenges, the American people deserve the full attention of a fully-functioning Congress. They deserve a Democratic Party that puts the public interest ahead of political spite and comes to the table to negotiate necessary compromises.
“Well, it won’t be long before we’ll see if this institution can rise to the occasion. The next deadline for appropriations will arrive in a little over a week, and members in both chambers will need to prove we can move past making points and start making a difference. Throughout the coming year, if we’re serious about advancing meaningful policy, this basic requirement will remain the same: Good-faith efforts between a Democrat-controlled House, a Republican-controlled Senate, and President Trump’s Administration.
“Another challenge the president mentioned is the ongoing obstruction of his nominations to the executive branch and the federal courts. He was absolutely right. To an historic degree, Senate Democrats have slow-walked well-qualified nominees, gumming up committee consideration, and burning weeks of valuable time here on the floor. As I’ve said time and time again: this mindless obstruction is unacceptable.
“So I was encouraged that the president took an opportunity last night to highlight for the nation exactly what we’re up against in this regard. We are into the third year of this presidency. The American people deserve a fully-functioning and fully-staffed federal government. And it’s time for their elected representatives to be part of the solution. I know several of our colleagues are discussing ways to help the Senate better fulfill its duty in this area. I hope there can be cooperation from the other side of the aisle to identify and advance a durable and fair solution. So, the president offered a clear picture of the ways in which our policies are delivering significant results to families across America, and the urgent challenges that we still need to confront together.
“He offered us a powerful reminder that America’s strength and goodness are inextricably linked with our commitment to individual liberty and free enterprise — and that we can never allow the United States of America to dim our light by sliding into the failures of socialism. Socialism’s failed everywhere it’s been tried, and we’re not going to try it in this country. What we need to do now is move forward together. The brief Democratic response showed us one potential way forward. Our colleagues across the aisle could simply deny the facts in front of us about the progress that has taken place -- progress which middle-class families all across America can tangibly feel -- and wheel out the same tired, forgettable cliches to try and divide our nation along political lines.
“But the president offered a chance to walk together, unified, along a higher road. Both the tone and the substance of his speech would strike any fair observer as reasonable and thoroughly bipartisan. Once again, the only way this divided Congress will be able to choose greatness and deliver significant legislation for the American people is by focusing on -- as President Trump put it -- ‘cooperation, compromise, and the common good.’ That will need to be our motto, moving forward. The nation we love deserves no less. And the American people will be watching us.”
Related Issues: Jobs, Appropriations, Immigration, Senate Democrats, Economy, State of the Union, Homeland Security, Tax Reform, Opioid Abuse