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DeLauro Statement on Trump’s State of the Union Address

January 30, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC (January 30, 2018) Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) today released the following statement regarding President Trump’s first State of the Union address.

“President Trump spent much of the night talking about how great the economy is doing and how great the Republican Tax Scam is for the American people. He could not be farther from the truth. The American people were sold a bill of goods when they were told that the Republican Tax Scam would create jobs. Instead, corporations are continuing to outsource good-paying American jobs and lay people off. For instance, hundreds of Carrier workers the President pledged to protect have seen their jobs shipped straight to Mexico. And while Walmart recently announced a $1,000 bonus for workers, at the same time they began cutting thousands of jobs across the country for workers at Sam’s Club. In Connecticut, that means more than 300 people will be losing their jobs, including many in my own district. So, as much as workers could use a raise or a bonus, they could use keeping their job even more.”

“Corporations are also using their massive tax cuts in order to take care of their shareholders—buying back stocks and investing in automation to reduce the number of jobs available even further. These actions hurt the middle class and working people who are struggling to make ends meet.”

“You would not know it from President Trump’s speech, but the biggest economic challenge of our time is that so many people who play by the rules are in jobs that do not pay enough to live on. Wages are not keeping up with rising cost of childcare, housing, and healthcare, and too many families are struggling to make ends meet. We, the American people’s elected officials, need to respond to their needs, not those of the millionaires, billionaires, and corporations.”

“President Trump and Congressional Republicans have failed at governing at the most fundamental level. They have failed to pass appropriations bills to fund our government’s essential services, including our national defense and national health. They have allowed critical programs to expire—such as funding for community health centers—as we go from continuing resolution to continuing resolution.

“In Connecticut, the lapse in federal funding means that the funding to health centers in our state could be cut by 70 percent. That is why I brought Dr. Suzanne Lagarde, CEO of the Fair Haven Community Health Center, as my guest to the State of the Union. Fair Haven Community Health Center is one of the oldest Community Health Centers in Connecticut, providing critical healthcare services for the last 47 years. Dr. Lagarde knows this first hand, given the more than 18,000 patients Fair Haven Community Health Center cares for every year. If community health center funding is not restored, our most vulnerable citizens will not get the care they need, and healthcare professionals will be laid off. That is where my focus is, and that is where President Trump’s should be as well.”

“On the issue of standing up for workers, the President’s rhetoric once again fails to meet reality. If he were serious about this issue, he would support policies like the Paycheck Fairness Act, the FAMILY Act,  the Healthy Families Act and Schedules that Work—legislation that I have long-championed in Congress. Women deserve equal pay for equal work with the guarantee that they can challenge pay discrimination and hold their employers accountable. And all people should have access to paid family and medical leave, paid sick days and predictable work schedules because families that are living paycheck to paycheck cannot afford to choose between their wages and caring for an ill loved one, themselves, or their family obligations.”

“President Trump spoke a lot about our nation’s infrastructure, an issue of great importance to our nation. The United States has the opportunity to improve the lives of its citizens and create millions of jobs by making the robust, public investments in our infrastructure. That is why I released a Vision for the Future of Infrastructure today, and sent a letter to President Trump urging him to incorporate a National Infrastructure Development Bank into his forthcoming infrastructure proposal.

“There are examples all around the country of infrastructure that is crumbling and needs to be rebuilt, whether it is our highways, bridges, transit, airports, high-speed rail, waterways, ports, public schools or harbors. In order to address our infrastructure problem in a comprehensive way, we need robust public investment, not privatization alone. Any proposal that would privatize our system or push responsibility on to the states—as President Trump is expected to propose—will fall short of what is needed to improve the lives of the American people and spur economic growth. By following these core principles, Congress can address the tremendous shortfall in infrastructure investment, create jobs, spur long-term economic growth, and improve our competitiveness across the globe.”

“President Trump also promised the American people that he would bring back jobs and stop outsourcing by enacting tough trade policies and renegotiating NAFTA. After more than a year in office, the outsourcing has continued, and the policies are nowhere to be seen. Instead, every week that goes by, more American jobs are lost to low-wage countries. That is why including strong, enforceable labor and environmental protection must be at the cornerstone of the President’s NAFTA renegotiation. President Trump must fight for these objectives and follow through for the American people.”

“Perhaps no area of policy has received more attention in recent days than immigration. Months have gone by since President Trump’s heartless decision to end DACA, and the President once again reiterated his intention to fix the mess he created. These words ring hollow to the more than 800,000 DREAMers across the United States who could be deported in just over a month. The DACA program protects young, undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States through no fault of their own.

“Despite the heated rhetoric and misinformation surrounding this issue, DACA is not a free ride. There are many requirements to qualify, such as entering the U.S. before age 16, continuously living in the U.S. since 2007, not being convicted of felonies or significant misdemeanors, and finishing high school or serving in our armed forces. DREAMers have taken part in a rigorous application process and been approved to stay in our nation. We should not betray them by threatening their ability to learn, work, and live in the only country they have ever called home, nor should they be held hostage to cut legal immigration. Our country was made stronger by immigrants who have come as families over many generations, including my own. Our economy, culture, and democracy is stronger because of it.”

“On the range of issues facing our nation, President Trump has failed to govern our nation responsibly. His speech tonight has done nothing but double down on too many of his failed policies, and continue to lie to the American people.”