California leaders react to Trump's joint address to Congress - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

California leaders react to Trump's joint address to Congress

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - California leaders reacted to President Donald Trump's joint address to Congress on Tuesday night.

Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) in a statement said, "the president's attempt at unifying the nation fell flat. The divisive rhetoric he has used over the past years is not going to be healed by a few words in a speech."

"In his first 40 days as president, the only job creation we have seen is plum cabinet posts for billionaires. He has signed executive orders that terrify the immigrant and LGBT communities, threatened our environment, and took away consumer protections that could mitigate Wall Street greed. He continues to jeopardize health care for millions of Americans with calls for repeal of the health care law.

"America has always thrived when being led by an inspiring leader who promotes the values that define who we are as a nation. America's success has always come from having leaders who see the best potential in all Americans to achieve their dreams. Sadly, President Trump did not rise to the occasion."

Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) also released a statement in which he urged President Trump to " stop advancing divisive policies and inflammatory rhetoric and instead focus on policies that will grow the economy, create more opportunity for all, and make government work better."

"Tonight's address was a disappointment for those of us who hoped President Trump would back up his big promises with a coherent, specific plan for policies that Congress can get to work on.

"President Trump identified some issues where we might work with him, but it remains to be seen whether he can deliver. It's just hard to believe given his disorganized White House, reckless Executive Orders, and hyper-partisan cabinet nominations.

"And on other issues he is demanding cooperation, but only on his terms. It is one thing to criticize the shortcomings of the Affordable Care Act, but it is another to do so without putting forward a plan to fix what's wrong short of ripping healthcare away from tens of millions of Americans.

"His speech tonight doesn't change the devastating effect that his trade and immigration policies will have on our economy and our communities in San Diego, and it doesn't answer the many outstanding concerns about his conflicts of interest and his administration's ties to Russia.

"We already knew that President Trump can make big promises, but a speech does not make it so. Congress writes the laws, and sooner or later President Trump is going to have to come to grips with the separation of powers adopted by our nation's founders and figure out how to work with us."

Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) in a statement said he was " encouraged by the bold agenda put forward by the President tonight. He is right that we need to get more Americans back to work and that we need immigration policies that allow us to keep the best and the brightest from around the world."

"He's also right that we need a federal government that keeps its promises to our veterans and that we need to bring real reforms to stop health care costs from spiraling out of control. To make these worthy goals a reality, however, we all must heed the President's call to come together."

"Now is the time to put aside our differences and focus instead on what unites us, listening to one another, and focusing on delivering results that will improve the lives of all Americans. "

"I look forward to continuing to work with this Administration, my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and the American people, to advance these goals that will restore a freer, stronger, and more prosperous America."

In response to the president's address, California Senator Kamala Harris said, " the President failed to provide comfort to the hundreds of thousands of DREAMers and their families who live under constant fear of deportation in California and across the country. Treating all immigrants like criminals disparages the millions of incredibly hardworking and patriotic families who simply want a chance at the American dream.

"The President failed to provide assurances to the 5 million Californians who rely on the Affordable Care Act for their health insurance. Let's be clear - access to health care is not the guarantee of health care. The American people are counting on us to improve and build on what we've made, not go back to a time when insurance companies could discriminate against women or those with a preexisting condition.

"And the President failed to speak to refugees, many of whom have been vetted for two years, but are now facing a country that denies them entry. I sat with refugees in California who were detained in airports for hours with their families and lawyers on the other side of a door. This is wrong and it makes us less safe."

"The President said tonight that 'we are witnessing a renewal of the American spirit.' And I believe that renewal lives in the millions of Americans who are standing up to attempts to rip away progress and go back on our ideals. That is the chorus that has become an earthquake. We must continue to fight for an inclusive America that extends the ladder of economic opportunity and lives up to our core values."

San Diego's Republican Party Chairman Tony Krvaric in a statement said, "President Trump gave an optimistic speech that was measured and thoughtful, inviting all Americans to rediscover the unity that patriotism and national pride can bring."

"From bringing back mining, construction, and factory jobs to a call for a renewed effort to 'Buy American' and 'Hire American', President Trump appealed to so many Americans who have been neglected for far too long."

"The president further rightly identified education as the 'civil rights fight of our time', seeking to empower parents with school choice for their children to give every child a fair opportunity to pursue their American Dream."

Prior to President Trump's speech on Tuesday night, San Diego County Democratic Party Chair Jessica Hayes said in a statement, "Many San Diegans will join their fellow Americans in watching this president address Congress for the first time. Tomorrow we will continue to join the majority of Americans in resisting the divisive and corrosive agenda presented by Donald Trump and the Republican Party."  

"We have been heartened by the unprecedented political involvement mounted since the election in San Diego County, where voters decisively rejected Trump last November."

She further added that Congressmen Issa and Hunter have "dodge their constituents and weakly defend the indefensible, regular citizens are holding their own town halls and organizing against the un-American Muslim ban and the inhumane immigration orders. When not a single one of San Diego's Republican City Councilmembers voted yesterday to stand up for transgender youth in a legal brief, every one of our Democratic members signed on and sent an important message of support."

Hayes' statement continued to say: 

"On behalf of the Democratic Party, thank you for fighting these orders and policies, both in the streets and in the courts. We see you. We stand with you. We applaud you for showing the world what America truly stands for. 

The San Diego County Democratic Party is proud to recognize all the new activism and advocacy groups. Together we will push not only resist, but to enact policies at every level that reflect true American values like fairness, compassion, and responsibility. We encourage the continued movement of local progressives to join and lead local and state Democratic organizations. We are inspired by your dedication and vision. 

Looking beyond the rabid rhetoric of the president's speeches and tweets, San Diego Democrats will continue to fight to protect the Affordable Care Act, fully investigate Russian influence in the election, and uphold crucial environmental standards, all while supporting a free and independent press. With planning for 2018 already underway, the momentum to win elections - and create change - is on our side."
 

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