Top Democrats said that President Trump preached a message of unity in his Congress address, but his actions fail to back that up.
Democratic Senate Leader, Chuck Schumer said that President Trump has no plan and “he had not reached out to us once.”
President Trump struck a remarkably optimistic tone in his first address to both congressional chambers after a rough 40 days in his presidency in which a top aide was fired, and his travel ban was halted by the courts.
President Trump in his address Tuesday night said that the time for “trivial fights” was over and urged both the parties sitting in front of him to come together and address the problems of the nation.
Mr. Schumer, however, pointed out a number of issues in which President was reluctant to hear the Democratic side of the story and was unwilling to compromise.
He gave the example of Affordable Care Act, in which he said Democrats were willing to make the law better by implementing changes, but the President would only consider a repeal. Mr. Schumer also added that Democrats had sent an infrastructure improvement plan to the President, but haven’t heard back. He said:
“The speech and reality have never been more detached in a presidential speech.”
Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader in the House of Representatives, lambasted President Trump’s speech; she said that it was all rhetoric without any “reality in terms of any legislation.”
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel also criticized President Trump for saying that violence in the city was “unacceptable.” The President had previously stated that poor leadership was responsible for the high murder rate in the city and he would “love to help.”
Mr. Emanuel said after the speech that he had “repeatedly” requested help from the Trump administration for more funding for mentoring and after-school programs, but had never heard back.
Republicans seemed largely satisfied with the Trump speech, in which the President said that he was looking forward to a “new chapter of American greatness.”
Here are some of the highlights of the Trump speech, he:
- condemned anti-Semitic attacks and killing of an Indian man in Kansas as hate crimes
- kept a tough stance on immigration, and reiterated the construction of Mexico border wall
- outlined a blueprint for Affordable Care Act replacement and urged Congress to make it happen
- asked Congress to pass $1 tn infrastructure package.
It was described as a “big night” by White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer and President Trump simply tweeted, “THANK YOU!”
Vice-President Mike Pence praised the President in these words:
“What the American people saw last night is the president that I serve with every day. Broad shoulders, big heart, reaching out, focusing on the future.”
The White House briefed journalists earlier on Tuesday that the President might compromise on his hallmark immigration issue, by being open to permitting legal status to undocumented immigrants. President Trump’s speech, however, had no mention of that policy shift.