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Missouri politicians pleased with State of the Union

Missouri politicians pleased with State of the Union

February 7th, 2019 by Helen Wilbers in Local News

President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, as Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., watch, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Missouri's government representatives reacted positively to President Donald Trump's State of the Union address.

Trump delivered his annual address to Congress on Tuesday evening. Clocking in at 82 minutes, the address was the third longest State of the Union since 1967.

Trump promised a bipartisan focus during the address.

"The agenda I will lay out this evening is not a Republican agenda or a Democrat agenda," he said early in the speech. "It is the agenda of the American people."

He went on to paint a rosy picture of the country's economy and recent legislative accomplishments.

"In the last Congress, both parties came together to pass unprecedented legislation to confront the opioid crisis, a sweeping new farm bill, historic VA reforms and after four decades of rejection, we passed VA Accountability so we can finally terminate those who mistreat our wonderful veterans," Trump said.

He highlighted the passage of the First Step Act, a sentencing reform bill.

Trump also touched on health care, including the need to reduce drug prices and increase funding to fight childhood cancer.

Other talking points seemed design to appeal directly to his base, rather than a broader, bipartisan audience.

Trump renewed calls for a boarder wall, repeating claims that "organized caravans" are marching toward the border through Central America.

He spoke against abortion, even accusing Virginia's governor of being willing to "execute a baby after birth."

Trump appeared to criticize special counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. So far, at least 34 people have been indicted or pleaded guilty as a result of the probe, including six former Trump advisors.

"An economic miracle is taking place in the United States, and the only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics or ridiculous partisan investigations," the president said. "If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation. It just doesn't work that way."

Missouri reactions

Missouri's U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, a Republican, praised Trump's bipartisan goals in a press release sent Tuesday.

"Tonight, President Trump challenged Congress to break through partisan gridlock and get working for the American people," he said. "That's what we were sent to Washington to do: work at getting real things done. He outlined an ambitious path forward and I commend him."

Hawley voiced support for Trump's focus on healthcare issues.

"That's a top priority of mine in the Senate," he said. "Congress should immediately break up the big government-big insurance axis and lower health care prices for Americans. We also need to guarantee protections for those with pre-existing conditions."

The senator accused Democratic colleagues of using "partisan vendettas and 2020 presidential aspirations" as their reason for opposing some of Trump's proposed border security measures.

"We've got to get an immigration system that works for Missouri, and it begins by putting American workers ahead of those who come here illegally," he said.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson called Trump a "problem-solver."

"Trump shared an inspiring vision of American greatness and outlined a bipartisan agenda that can break decades of political stalemate," he said. "I was pleased to hear the President address our nation's workforce demands and infrastructure needs, reaffirming his commitment to fighting for free and fairer trade deals for Missouri farmers and sharing a bold vision for rebuilding American infrastructure, much like the critical needs our state faces."

Missouri's U.S. Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer, a Republican, was also a fan of the bipartisan nods.

"Although we often hear about what divides us, our nation has proven that extraordinary accomplishments are possible with bipartisan cooperation," he said Tuesday. "Our economy is stronger than ever and if we all continue to support American prosperity, together we will ensure generations of Americans can take advantage of a flourishing nation."

Luetkemeyer cited Trump's mentions of community safety, rebuilding aging infrastructure, fighting the opioid crisis and border security as issues he supports.