President Trump made an important call for national unity and restoring the trust between the American people and their government in his first State of the Union address, Washington’s top-ranking congressional Republican said.
The state’s senior Democrat, however, said she found the president’s call for unity hard to take seriously after his divisive first year in office.
“I’m concerned that people are losing trust in the legislative process and representative government,” Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the fourth-ranking member of the House Republican Caucus, said in an interview shortly after Trump finished his speech. “It’s very important to help restore that trust.”
The stories of the guests Trump invited to attend the speech were inspiring, McMorris Rodgers said, and he was right to call for both parties in both chambers to work together on major issues like fixing the nation’s infrastructure and immigration reform, although the details of his four pillars of immigration reform still need negotiations between the House and Senate, she said.
He also was right to cite the improved economy with low unemployment and new jobs in the last year, she said: “I sense momentum building.”
But Sen. Patty Murray, Washington’s senior Democrat in Congress and the assistant minority leader, said while Trump may be pleased with the past year, she contends “the vast majority” of people in the state and across the country are appalled by his rhetoric and policies.
“One year into his administration, it is very clear that our country is more divided, more chaotic, less safe, worse for workers, women and the middle class, and a whole lot better for millionaires, billionaires and massive corporations,” Murray said in a video released shortly after the speech.
“I am hopeful that this next year can be spent bringing Republicans and Democrats together to restore respect and get results in spite of President Trump’s bullying, divisiveness and anti-middle class agenda,” she said.
Murray invited a guest of her own, Leah Griffin of Seattle, a sexual assault survivor who has worked to expand other survivors’ access to forensic examination by trained medical personnel.
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