Statement from Rep. DeFazio on President Trump’s Address to Congress: Promises Made, Promises Unfulfilled
Rep. Peter DeFazio today released the following statement in response to President Trump’s address to Congress:
“Tonight we heard a lot from President Trump about the many promises he has made to the American people—promises that he has yet to make good on.
“In his speech, President Trump declared that we need to provide affordable healthcare choices for all Americans. His promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with no viable replacement would do the exact opposite of that: it would strip hundreds of thousands of Oregonians of their healthcare coverage and leave them vulnerable to the worst abuses of the insurance industry. I have never said that the ACA was a perfect law, but a total rollback of its protections is not the solution.
“Instead of bringing a guest tonight, I left my extra seat empty to represent a constituent who will die, or go bankrupt due to a healthcare crisis, if the ACA is repealed without a robust replacement. Countless Americans go to bed at night fearful they will wake up to that scenario as a reality. It is our duty in Congress to stop that nightmare from coming true and improve the ACA – not do away with it entirely.
“Thanks to the efforts of progressives in Congress, labor groups, activists, and dwindling public support, the Trans-Pacific Partnership—a massive multi-national trade deal that would have permanently devastated the American manufacturing economy and shipped thousands of jobs overseas—was defeated last fall. Tonight, we heard President Trump take credit for that defeat and promise a new path forward for America’s trade policy.
“Prior to taking office, President Trump repeatedly promised to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the disastrous trade deal that has decimated American manufacturing and sent hundreds of thousands of middle-class jobs overseas, within his first hundred days in office. As of January 31, the President has missed the deadline to notify Congress of his intent to renegotiate the trade deal within his promised timeline.
“I agree we need to significantly change our nation’s trade policies and do away with the failed legacy of NAFTA. However, any new trade deal must protect not only our workers but our environment, consumer safety, and U.S. sovereignty. It is not enough to simply renegotiate NAFTA: we must replace the deal with one that truly works for all Americans. I have introduced a resolution, the Blueprint for America’s New Trade Policy, that outlines the most essential principles that must be included in such a deal in order to help our nation’s middle class succeed and thrive.
“I have long advocated for increased investment in the nation’s roads, bridges, and transit systems, and President Trump has repeatedly said that he wants to invest in infrastructure and that he supports Buy America. He briefly reiterated those talking points again tonight. And yet again, the President failed to provide any real information about what his plan looks like, and more importantly how he pays for it. It’s easy to say you are for infrastructure investments—it’s a lot harder to offer real ways to pay for these critical investments.
“Earlier this month, I sent President Trump three legislative ideas that would invest in our crumbling infrastructure. These Investing in America proposals will rebuild our crumbling roads, bridges, and transit systems, modernize our aging airport infrastructure, and boost funding to address coastal and inland harbors. These proposals are fully paid for, and would not increase the deficit by one penny.
“We have an opportunity to make some badly needed investments in our nation’s infrastructure that we have been avoiding for decades, but it is going to require hard work and bipartisan cooperation. I hope that the President considers my serious proposals, so that we can build a modern transportation system that creates and sustains family-wage jobs, boosts American manufacturing, and keeps us competitive in the world economy.”
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