Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson

Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson released the following response to President Trump’s first address to Congress:

On Immigration:

“A border wall will not achieve the goal that President Trump seeks to accomplish, and I disagree with its premise to keep all immigrants out of our country. Furthermore, building a 2,000-mile-long wall along our southern border is not only a knee-jerk reaction to our issues with immigration, it is fiscally irresponsible. Refusing entry to people who seek safety from danger and violence is anti-American and unconscionable. Comprehensive immigration reform, not constructing yet another barrier, is the best solution to resolve this issue.”

On the Affordable Care Act:

“Tonight President Trump once again called on Republicans in Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act, while providing no real plans for a replacement. Thus far, the Trump administration has only released an executive order that was without substance regarding healthcare, and a proposed rule that is nothing more than a delay tactic for their repeal and replace process.

“Over the past six years, nearly 30 million Americans have gained reliable coverage and seen an end to many of the unfair practices of the pre-Affordable Care Act insurance industry, including the end of lifetime limits, no discrimination for pre-existing conditions and free preventive care.  The Affordable Care Act did not just provide health insurance for millions of Americans, it reformed payment systems, introduced innovative care delivery reforms, and much more. To suggest that the system is ‘collapsing’ is off base.

“My hope is that we will find a way to work with Republicans in a bipartisan manner to come up with real policy solutions to repair the Affordable Care Act and continue to provide healthcare for all Americans. However, we will not idly stand by and allow Republicans to dismantle the health and economic security of hard-working Americans.”

On Transportation:

“During his campaign, President Trump touted his intentions to introduce a $1 trillion plan that would invest in our nation’s infrastructure. Five weeks into his presidency, we have yet to see a concrete plan to that end. This suggests that any tax plan to emerge from this administration would most likely rely heavily on tax credits for private entities, versus the federal direct spending that is so desperately needed. This approach is entirely off-mark.

“Nearly one in four bridges in the United States is structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, 65 percent of our nation’s roads are in less than good condition, our rail and bus transit systems are facing a $90 billion backlog, and dozens of our busiest ports are congested beyond reason. This is simply unacceptable. Our nation needs a real, comprehensive transportation infrastructure plan that combines direct federal spending with public private partnerships; not tax breaks for private investors for projects that would already be constructed anyways.”