Rep. Marc Veasey, left, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson
Dallas Voice has compiled responses from North Texas elected officials and candidates, and from GLAAD, to Trump’s State of the Union on Monday, Jan. 30. This is not a comprehensive list; it is simply responses sent to the Voice.
From John Duncan
Monday night, President Trump declared in the State of the Union that he and his administration have been “making America great again for all Americans,” and he called for unity in Washington. However, the Trump Administration continues to fail to treat all Americans with dignity and respect or to follow through on any promises of unity.
In his response to the State of the Union on behalf of the Democrats, Rep. Joe Kennedy III declared that America should not be treated as a zero-sum game. As Democrats, we will “choose both” and fight, stand, protest and work for everyone.
I stand in solidarity with the Democrats who steadfastly protested President Trump last night. To the members of the House Democratic Women’s Working Group, the Congressional Black Caucus and all others who vowed to hold this president accountable for his words and actions, I say, “Thank you.” The all-black attire, the kente cloth, and the “Recy” and “Time’s Up” pins you wore served as important reminders that we must continue to fight for true unity, inclusion and progress.
There is still much work to be done. President Trump’s immigration plan supports an expensive and unnecessary border wall and puts strict limits on family reunification. America isn’t about building walls between people and separating families.
President Trump claims he “ended the war on beautiful, clean coal,” but he fails to support renewable energy or the reduction of carbon emissions.
To truly unify as a nation that supports all, we must continue to fight for women, minorities, the LGBTQ community, immigrants and all families, workers and patients regardless of their socio-economic status.
John Duncan is a Democratic candidate for the Texas 6th Congressional District.
From Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson
Almost an entire year has passed since President Trump first addressed a joint session of Congress. Yet, we are no closer now than we were then to seeing a concrete plan on how the administration plans to shore up our nation’s infrastructure. The $1.5 trillion infrastructure package that President Trump alluded to [Monday night] sounds great on its face. However, the devil is always in the details, and there is still no substitute for direct federal spending when it comes to infrastructure, especially when we are talking about helping our rural areas.
In its last report, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) estimates that there is a current infrastructure gap of $1.5 trillion needed by 2025. The U.S. Department of Transportation also estimates that more than $800 billion is needed today just to bring our existing roads and bridges to a state of good repair. This is serious, and our country is exposed to greater risk every single day that we do not act.
The U.S. economy relies heavily on a vast network of infrastructure to move people, goods and services. Without a robust transportation network, we are putting our nation’s economy and its people at risk. The time to act is now. This administration owes it to the American people to deliver on his campaign promises to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure.
On the Economy:
Now more than ever, we need to be protecting our most vulnerable — particularly communities of color. Our economy should be working for every American, not just a select few. Yet President Trump’s only major legislative accomplishment during the first session of Congress was passage of a tax bill that overwhelmingly benefits the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations. This bill will end up costing the American people at least $1.5 trillion over the next decade, a heavy burden that future generations will be forced to bear for decades to come.
I am deeply disappointed in the president’s tone towards immigrants and the disregard to how they contribute to our nation. President Trump seems to forget that this country’s history has been about tearing down walls, not building them up. The fate of 1.8 million young people should not be considered a bargaining chip for the president to use so that he can permanently reconfigure our legal immigration system by eliminating the diversity lottery and family reunification.
President Trump should not use the hopes and dreams of thousands of DACA recipients within my district as a tool to erect an expensive wall. For too long, these young people have only known the United States as their home. Congress must swiftly pass a bill to protect these individuals without damaging our reputation abroad as a place where dreams of a better life can come true.”
President Trump signed the Republican Tax bill into law on Dec. 22, 2017. His tax bill is just the beginning of the Republicans’ plan to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. The individual health care mandate, which is the primary enforcement mechanism under the ACA for individuals, will be repealed beginning in 2019. As a direct result of this repeal, more than 10 million Americans can reasonably expect to experience increased premiums. Ultimately, this will result in fewer Americans having health care coverage for their families.
Within the next year alone, Medicare will be cut by $25 billion — effectively placing the burden of these tax cuts on the backs of our senior citizens. Sadly, Republicans in Congress and President Trump have demonstrated once again that they are willing to put the interests of a select few [the wealthy] ahead of the greater good of the American people. This bill will have a devastating impact on future generations for decades to come. We must continue to 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 ensure all Americans have access to affordable and effective healthcare.
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson represents the Texas 30th Congressional District.
From Sarah Kate Ellis
Managing to read a pre-written speech off a teleprompter does not make one presidential or lend a single ounce of legitimacy to Trump’s anti-LGBTQ agenda. Trump has spent the past year targeting vulnerable communities and surrounding himself with anti-black, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, anti-women and anti-LGBTQ activists with the goal of exacerbating discrimination and erasing LGBTQ Americans from the fabric of this nation.
Sarah Kate Ellis is president and CEO of GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBT media advocacy organization.
From Rep. Marc Veasey
The American Dream that the president tried to inspire all families to achieve is undermined by the very policies he so proudly claims as victories. From making Americans less safe on the job to stacking the deck against them to line the pockets of Wall Street and CEOs, he’s failed to put hardworking families first. It’s hard to believe that the president can stand before Congress and emphasize family values when he’s trying to tear apart the families of our nation’s DREAMers. I will continue to do everything I can to keep the Trump administration from deporting mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers from the only country they have ever known and make sure they can continue contributing to our communities.
While I want to remain open-minded that we can reach across the aisle on an issue like infrastructure, any plan that comes before Congress needs to actually put Americans to work. The reality is teleprompter Trump and Twitter Trump have proven to be two different people. The version Democrats want to work with cannot go back on his word or take back the promises he’s made tonight to the American people.
Rep. Marc Veasey represents the Texas 33rd Congressional District.