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Congressman Sires’ Statement Following the State of the Union

Jan 31, 2018
Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) – Congressman Sires released the following statement in response to President Trump’s State of the Union address:

“Last night, I did not attend President Trump’s State of the Union because time and time again he has chosen to divide the nation with vitriol and fear-mongering while governing for a select group at the expense of many others. 

Unfortunately, the President’s speech was more of the same misguided rhetoric and vague proposals.  He touted the rushed Republican tax bill which prioritizes the wealthy and corporations over those who need tax relief the most.  While tax breaks for corporations were made permanent, relief for individuals is only temporary and once they sunset people will see their tax bills increase.  Even with the new tax cuts, a number of companies have turned around and begun to lay off workers.

The President’s attempt at bipartisanship with a call for a $1.5 trillion investment in infrastructure rings hollow.  It does not reconcile with the fact that his Administration has so far committed to no more than $200 billion in assistance from the federal government, leaving the states to find ways to raise the other $1.3 trillion. President Trump should match his rhetoric with reality, and he can start by coming out in support of federal financial assistance for important national and regional infrastructure projects such as the Gateway Project.

Perhaps most disturbing was how the President continued to divide the nation, conflating students and industrious young people, who were brought here not of their own volition, with criminals who have committed horrendous acts.  By choosing to see the worst in our nation’s immigrant community, President Trump has turned his back on what America has stood for since it was founded – a place where hard-working people could come and build a life for themselves and their families.  The 8th District of New Jersey embodies this American tradition as a diverse community, filled with people from all walks of life who contribute to our society and economy every day.  

If the President was truly committed to bipartisanship and unity he would not use DREAMers as a bargaining chip or waver on his promise to help them as we approach his arbitrary deadline of March 5th.  He would encourage a clean vote on bipartisan legislation that would give them a pathway to legal permanent residence and citizenship so that Congress could work together to craft comprehensive immigration reform.

While I am disappointed in the message of last night, it is my hope that the President does not continue to divide our nation but instead chooses to govern for all those who call the United States of America home.”