Udall, Heinrich And Luján Statements On President Trump’s First Address To Joint Session of Congress

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall


WASHINGTON, D.C.— U.S. Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján issued the following statements on President Donald Trump’s Tuesday evening address to a joint session of Congress:

Sen. Udall: “Over the last few months, I’ve heard from an unprecedented number of New Mexicans. Overwhelmingly, they are telling me that they feel unsettled and fearful about the direction President Trump wants to take this country. New Mexicans and many Americans are disturbed by his divisive rhetoric about building a border wall, mounting a military operation to deport millions of people, and decimating investments that protect working families and expand economic opportunity. And they’re angry that while President Trump promised to ‘drain the swamp’ of lobbyists and insiders — he has filled his cabinet with millionaires and billionaires who have led or presided over some of the biggest campaign and lobbying efforts in the country.

 “Americans know that tax breaks and special favors for millionaires, billionaires and special interests will add to the burden on working families. Repealing health care and slashing investments in education, environmental protections, and even American diplomacy and foreign aid will make families less secure. And unleashing anger at the free press and threatening some among us because of their background or religion undermines fundamental constitutional rights and ultimately will make all Americans less safe.

“Especially now, when our country seems so divided, it’s easy to lose hope. But New Mexicans are eager to get involved, and I’ll keep urging every one of the hundreds of people who contact me each day not to lose sight of the incredible power they have when they make their voices heard. I’ll keep fighting in the Senate for opportunity and progress for every New Mexican.”

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich

Sen. Martin Heinrich: “President Trump had an opportunity to unify the country tonight. Clearly he did not seize it.”

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján

Rep. Ben Ray Luján: “Tonight we saw President Trump in full pitchman mode as he tried to defend the turmoil and chaos that has plagued his administration over the past 40 days, and again attempted to sell the nation on his Trump-centric view of the path forward. I think we have all heard this type of fast and loose sales pitch before – but it’s what we have come to expect from snake oil salesmen, not the President of the United States!

“When it comes to big issues like healthcare, I think the President needs to decide who is calling the shots in his party, because he can’t continue selling Congress and the American people a bundle of vague promises that bear no resemblance to the heartless and short-sighted policy proposals Republicans in Congress are putting forward. If the President wants to back a tax increase that will hit more middle-class families and more small businesses than any previous tax in history, that concerns me; but let’s have that debate. But don’t come before Congress and say you are looking out for working families, while your Republican allies in the first few rows of the same chamber have proposed raising taxes on those same families.

“I remain troubled by this administration’s approach to immigration. Tonight the President suggested we wipe away the words on the Statue of Liberty. Forget the tired, the poor and the huddled masses yearning to breathe free — in favor of a means-test for potential immigrants. His rhetoric tonight may have been adjusted by his speechwriters, but the President’s actions so far — bans, mass deportations and a border wall – have done little to address our real immigration challenges, and his policies targeting families and dreamers have caused fear and uncertainty. If the Trump administration wants to face reality and sit down to discuss a comprehensive and long term solution to our immigration problems, my colleagues and I will work with him. But the proposal that he mentioned tonight is just not a realistic starting point.”