Schakowsky Responds to the President's State of the Union
“Tonight, President Trump came to the U.S. House of Representatives and blustered that everything is great in our nation, wages are up, and the economy is booming. Unfortunately, that is only true for men like Donald Trump, Paul Singer, Peter Thiel, Sheldon Adelson, Woody Johnson, and Carl Icahn. The millionaires and billionaires are standing up and applauding when the President makes these claims to us, but the truth is working families are struggling and not seeing the ‘lowest unemployment’ and ‘incomes soaring’ touted by the president. He claimed, ‘jobs are booming’, but forgot to mention that low-income workers are working 2 or 3 of those jobs to make ends meet.
“The American people don’t need an ‘As Seen On TV’ President, we need someone who can deliver real results, and not just spin in order to close a sale. Tonight, President Trump spun a story that sounds too good to be true, and that’s because it truly is. Here’s why. President Trump, as a candidate and as President, promised to protect those with pre-existing conditions. His Administration has instead repeatedly tried to strike down the Affordable Care Act with no plan to replace it, and he has refused to defend protections for those with pre-existing conditions in court. A GOP judge struck down the protections, and the law, and President Trump has promised us details on his plan after the election. There’s no comeback when the American people can’t get the affordable health care they urgently need.
“Candidate Trump promised to hold drug makers accountable, and to ‘negotiate like crazy’ with industry to lower prices for Americans. Instead, his Administration opposed H.R. 3, the House Democrats’ bill to lower costs by negotiating directly with Big Pharma. Worse, President Trump tried to stuff his renegotiated NAFTA trade deal with goodies and giveaways for Big Pharma that would keep drug prices high in the U.S. and make them even higher in Canada and Mexico. He’s had three years to work on his promises, but he’s done nothing to help people suffering from high drug costs.
“Candidate Trump promised to hold Wall Street accountable. But not only did his signature legislative achievement, the GOP Tax Scam, fail to help the middle class and force big banks to pay more, the result was a $32 billion windfall for Wall Street. Meanwhile, employment in manufacturing is flat since July, and hours worked in the past year declined. Most troublingly, manufacturing employment fell by 12,000 in December alone.
“President Trump has pledged an end to endless wars but instead has taken reckless actions that have alienated allies and could lead to America being bogged down in the Middle East for another generation. What’s worse, he even said on television that he assassinated Iranian Revolutionary Guard Commander Qasem Soleimani to help shore up his impeachment acquittal votes in the Senate, while lying to Congress about an imminent threat. That action nearly drew us into a hot war with Iran, a sophisticated country of 80 million people. He said that he has defeated ISIS but his own State Department recently confirmed they are regrouping and have numbers in the tens of thousands.
“All the while, President Trump has wrecked our country’s moral standing by separating families and locking children in cages, implementing a Muslim ban, withdrawing from the Paris Climate Treaty and reneging on the Iran Nuclear Agreement (JCPOA) that was verifiably cutting off every pathway to an Iranian nuclear weapon.
“The President’s spin won’t help people afford the medicines they need, won’t revive manufacturing, and won’t restore America’s standing in the world.
“It’s past time for the Trump Administration to work with House Democrats to pass H.R. 3 and enact an infrastructure plan that can improve our communities and beat back the existential threat of climate change. We need to get this done for the American people.
“The President doesn’t even deserve a credible mention for his performance over the last three years. He should instead retire and allow someone who thinks about America more than themselves lead us to a more prosperous and safe future.”