Members of Arkansas’ all-GOP delegation lauded President Trump’s State of the Union speech on Tuesday (Feb. 4), while Democratic challengers criticized the address.
U.S. Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., said:
“President Trump delivered a confident message while sharing stories of the positive work that often gets lost in today’s hyper-partisan news cycle. There are many reasons to be optimistic as we start the new decade. Our strong economy has to be right at the top of the list. Americans from all backgrounds are benefitting from the fact that it is firing on all cylinders as a result of policies that put our small business owners and American workers first.
“We are seeing the benefits of this economy in Arkansas. Wages have risen, new jobs are being created at a remarkable pace and unemployment has fallen to its lowest rate on record under President Trump’s leadership. The new trade deals the president has negotiated, especially the historic U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement which Congress recently approved, should help us continue to build on this progress for years to come.
“I look forward to working with President Trump on the initiatives he laid out during his State of the Union address to help sustain the longevity of our economic growth.”
U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., who is running for re-election in 2020, said:
“Tonight, the president outlined an agenda that will continue to build on the achievements of the last three years. I share his commitment to building a strong economy that helps American workers and a strong military that keeps us safe from threats like China and Iran. Our efforts implementing this ambitious agenda must begin now, especially protecting Americans from the Wuhan coronavirus and dangerous sanctuary city policies.”
Sen. Joyce Elliott, D-Little Rock, is the Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress, District 2 and is challenging Rep. French Hill, R-Little Rock. She said:
“It’s remarkable that the President managed to undermine accomplishments well worthy of applause by overshadowing them with dark rhetoric and half-truths, and untruths. The country and the world need the President to be Presidential. After refusing to shake the Speaker’s hand as he delivered his remarks to her, the President proceeded to tout our ‘inclusive society,’ which he followed with a litany of divisive remarks and inhumane promises, many of which were cheered with standing ovations. It’s as if he considers himself to be President for some Americans, not all Americans. The state of our Union is undermined. It is up to the people to restore our unity and reject deliberate division parading as leadership.”
U.S. Rep. French Hill, R-Little Rock, said:
“Over the past three years, Congressional Republicans and the president have kept their promise to revitalize America by cutting burdensome government regulations, delivering the most sweeping tax reform in more than 30 years, modernizing the North American Free Trade Agreement, and working to even the playing field for American trade with China. These pro-growth economic policies have made the American dream more accessible for more Americans. And, our farmers and business communities are only beginning to see the benefit from the most recent developments in trade.
“The president has been tireless in defending our nation at home and abroad with the underlying principle ‘peace through strength.’ By investing strategically in our military to address the readiness crisis, Congress and this administration ensured our brave men and women in uniform are equipped for now and the future.
“Despite our accomplishments, there remains much to be done. We must continue to work to increase competition in our healthcare system, thereby reducing the high costs burdening families. We must work on a bipartisan basis to repair our broken immigration system and repair our nation’s infrastructure. I stand ready to work with the president and my colleagues to promote policies to enhance the future for all Americans.”
U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, R-Rogers, said:
“Tonight, President Trump delivered a powerful and inspiring speech. The United States is strong, and we have forged a new path of progress and opportunity. There has been a resurgence of confidence and prosperity within our country. By putting the people first and implementing pro-growth policies, we have unleashed the next chapter of American greatness. With our economy booming, wages rising, and unemployment at historic lows – hardworking families are looking to the future with confidence.
“We also know that there is no challenge too great for America. Whether it’s negotiating new trade deals, enhancing workforce training, securing our borders, confronting adversaries, or rebuilding our military—we have seen President Trump’s bold agenda turned into reality. These are promises that have been both made and kept despite unprecedented and desperate political distractions. As we look ahead, we must build on this historic momentum and focus on the issues that contribute to the strength of Arkansas and America together.”
Celeste Williams, Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress, District 3 and challenger to Rep. Womack, said:
“Each State of the Union address is an opportunity to create a more perfect union. Tonight’s address painted a picture of a thriving, united America that isn’t the reality for many of the everyday people I meet on the campaign trail.
“I’m fighting for an America where getting sick doesn’t mean you go broke, where our children have a world class education, and we restore dignity to every American worker. I want an America where we can trust our leaders and know that they are serving our country with honesty and integrity.
“I believe in an America in which we love our neighbors, not fear them. Let’s sow unity, not division.”
U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Hot Springs, said:
“President Trump’s address tonight reminded us of America’s founding principles of freedom, resilience and opportunity. Under this administration, Arkansas’ unemployment rate fell to its lowest rate on record – 3.4 percent – and our labor participation rate continues rising. Since January 2017, 50,000 new jobs have been created in Arkansas, and 85 opportunity zones are bringing renewed investments and awareness to places like Jefferson County.
“The president also spoke tonight about planting 1 trillion trees, which is an initiative that I’m particularly excited about. I’m working on legislation that would do just this: plant 1 trillion trees by 2050, with the goal of sequestering carbon and incentivizing the use of wood products. This would benefit both southwest Arkansas’ and the country’s thriving forest industries, as well as change the mindset of future generations regarding environmental stewardship.
“We’ve seen substantial American growth and change in recent years, but we still have a lot of work to do. I’m continuing the fight here in Washington to make lasting changes that benefit Arkansas’ businesses, farmers and communities. We have a bright future ahead, and I look forward to all that 2020 has in store.”