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Foxx, Burr and Tillis Respond to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address

By Nathan Ham

President Donald Trump shared his take on what is going right and wrong in the United States with the annual State of the Union Address that aired worldwide last night.

Several North Carolina politicians, including Rep. Virginia Foxx, Sen. Thom Tillis and Sen. Richard Burr weighed in on what Trump had to say.

Other interest groups across the country also shared their thoughts on the State of the Union Address.

Below are the statements emailed to the High Country Press about last night’s address.

Rep. Virginia Foxx

“We are in the era of opportunity. America is in the midst of the longest period of continuous jobs growth on record, with American workers and families reaping the benefits. Since President Trump’s election, the U.S. economy has gained 5.3 million more jobs, unemployment continues to hold at historic lows and wages are rising as opportunity abounds. Republicans are working with the President to continue these positive trends in our country.

“President Trump and Congressional Republicans have been leading the way to lower the cost of health care for Americans. We passed Association Health Plans to let small businesses band together to get health care, strengthened Health Savings Accounts, provided long-term funding for CHIP and passed historic legislation to fight the opioid scourge. Now, we need to tackle the high cost of prescription drugs by working as diligently in this area as we have to increase health care choices and affordability over the past couple of years.

“The President has followed through on his promise to negotiate new trade agreements that benefit American workers, farmers and businesses. As we’ve done with job growth in our country, we need to direct attention to increasing our competitive edge on the global scale. I support the President’s pursuit of overdue reforms that favor free trade and accountability for America’s trade partners.

“Thankfully, in a culture where the value of life has been eroded, the President supports the rights of the unborn and newborns. State legislators now use their power to eliminate the right to life and promote the idea that life is dispensable, even in the case where a child is viable and the mother’s life is not in danger. All life deserves protection under the law, and I will continue to fight to protect the rights of the unborn and newborns of our society from the atrocities of abortion and infanticide. 

“We’ve always been a nation of immigrants, and yes, we need safe and legal immigration that President Trump calls for. We need to know who’s coming into this country. We need to know why they want to be in this country, and we want them to be contributing members of our society. So, we need to fix our broken immigration system by making sure our borders are secure and that those who want to join the greatest country in the world will share America’s successes and help our country of opportunity become even greater.”

Sen. Thom Tillis

“I appreciated President Trump’s call for more bipartisan cooperation. The American people are sick and tired of people on the far-right and far-left drowning out those in the middle who want to get things done. We have an opportunity to produce major bipartisan results like modernizing America’s infrastructure, securing our borders and fixing our broken immigration system, and ensuring our veterans, servicemembers and military families receive the support they need and deserve. Now is the time for Democrats and Republicans to find common ground, not to bow down to the fringes of either party. I intend to continue to work across the aisle on commonsense solutions, and I urge all my colleagues to do the same and prove that a divided Congress can produce results.”

 Sen. Richard Burr

“Today, two years into the Trump Administration, our economy is booming, our job market is flourishing, and millions of Americans now get to keep more of their hard-earned paychecks each week. Unemployment is hovering steadily near record lows. Wages are on the rise. There are more open jobs than there are people to fill them. And employers and consumers alike feel confident about the direction we’re heading.”

“Our economy’s sustained success is largely thanks to this Administration’s efforts to prioritize Republican pro-growth policies. Under President Trump, Congress passed the first major tax overhaul in more than 30 years and enacted commonsense regulatory reform, rolling back needless bureaucratic red tape.”

“On top of that, we’ve filled a record number of judicial seats, confirmed two extremely qualified Supreme Court justices, taken action to address the opioid crisis, and passed bipartisan budget bills through the long-ignored appropriations process.”

“None of this guarantees the challenges that lay ahead will be easy or the answers simple. We still have much work to do to protect our borders, rebuild America’s aging infrastructure, improve healthcare affordability, and stand up to hostile foreign powers in an increasingly complex global environment.”

“By working together, however, we can continue laying the foundation for a bright and promising future. I hope my colleagues across the aisle listen to the President’s call for unity, and join us in focusing on the issues that matter the most to the American people.”

Jeanne Allen, CEO and Founder of the Center for Education Reform

“It’s a significant milestone when a president singles out a major education issue in the State of the Union address. Every year we wait in anticipation for the potential to bring much needed national attention to the most important domestic issue of our time – education.”

“We are grateful for the recognition that education opportunity is a vital link to economic success for all Americans.”

“Concerned citizens of every political stripe understand that the best hope for learners at all levels is expanded opportunity to access the very best education and training that meets their needs, fulfills their aspirations, and secures them a positive path to participate in the future.”

“At a time when barely 30 percent of students nationally are proficient in core subjects, and fewer than a third of high school graduates complete any postsecondary credential, a major reboot in federal education priorities is long overdue. We are hopeful that numerous Congressional proposals that we have worked to accelerate to provide hope and expanded opportunity for our most vulnerable students will soon see the light with the aggressive support of the Administration.”

Dan Weber, President of the Association of Mature American Citizens

“In his State-of-the-Union address, President Trump is expected to issue a clarion call for Congress to work with him to provide more affordable prescription drug prices and lower health care costs for the poor and elderly. Congress can take immediate steps to address part of this issue by passing H.R. 856 – the Physician Pro Bono Care Act. The bill would allow doctors and medical professionals who offer medical care for low-income Americans to receive a tax deduction for each low-income patient they treat for free.”

“The bill represents a bipartisan effort to improve access and choice to healthcare for those of limited means. From the positive feedback AMAC has received from physicians, we believe better medical care could be offered to as many as 7 million needy people.” 

“AMAC with its 1.6 million members has extensively lobbied in support of the measure. The Physician Pro Bono Care Act was recently introduced by Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL) and Collin Peterson (D-MN) and increases both choice and access to quality healthcare for the nation’s Medicaid eligible poor, while saving billions in Medicaid and CHIP outlays.”

“Many physicians drop out of the Medicaid program due to high administrative costs and procedural burdens. H.R. 856 effectively provides Medicaid and CHIP eligible individuals and families access to healthcare, the ability to choose their physicians and to establish long-term patient-physician relationships.”