WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), ranking member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee and a member of the Senate Foreign Relations, Environment & Public Works, and Finance committees, offered the following remarks in response to President Trump’s State of the Union address.
“I listened carefully to President Trump’s words tonight. The president talked about serious foreign policy issues and serious domestic issues, as he should have, but his heated rhetoric, hyperbole and disregard for the facts overshadowed most attempts at a reasonable discussion of our national security, economic security, public health and public safety.
“There most definitely are areas where Congress and the President can find common ground, such as the need to invest in America’s crumbling infrastructure or righting the wrongs of our criminal justice system. I join him in applauding the historic number of women serving in Congress. And the entire nation salutes our brave military and incredible veterans. But the president’s attempts at political reconciliation rang hollow to anyone with a passing knowledge of how he has conducted himself over the last two years in office. In one breath he called for a new spirit of bipartisanship and in another, and another, he chose to be combative toward those who disagreed with his plans for a border wall. He talked about economic equality for women, but set a marker down that would deny women the right to control their own health care decisions. He called for protecting health coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, but yet declared victory over tearing apart the very system that finally made health care affordable for the millions of Americans who have such pre-existing conditions. Missing was mention of the small businesses, the environment, gun violence, or the harmful 35-day shutdown of our federal government caused by the president’s own hand.
“American voters chose a divided government in the last election to provide checks and balances on this president. As he meandered back and forth between aspirational goals and doubling down on hardline border security, President Trump’s State of the Union speech tonight illustrated how much that truly is needed.”