LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer gave the Democrats’ response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday night to swivel from impeachment to working-class voters’ worries, saying her party is focusing on easing health care costs and other pocket-book concerns.
Whitmer mentioned Trump’s impeachment trial only briefly near the end of her nearly 11-minute speech. She sprinkled in passing references to his behavior, such as, “Bullying people on Twitter doesn’t fix bridges — it burns them.”
But she spent the bulk of her address touting Democratic efforts on health care and people’s struggles to pay their bills, issues that helped her party win House control in 2018.
“It’s pretty simple. Democrats are trying to make your health care better. Republicans in Washington are trying to take it away,” Whitmer said from Michigan’s East Lansing High School, which her daughters attend.
During her speech Whitmer also mentioned Nevada’s governor saying, “Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak and North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper are working to give hardworking teachers a raise. And speaking of the classroom, Wisconsin governor Tony Evers unilaterally increased school funding by $65 million last year.”
The National Democratic Party weren’t the only ones who had a response to the president’s speech. Nevada Dems also had something to say. Their responses are below.
U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto:
“Instead of using the State of the Union as an opportunity to unite the country and bring people together, President Trump delivered more broken promises and lies. In the days and weeks before tonight’s address, President Trump announced plans to rip health care away from millions of Americans, expand his discriminatory Muslim ban, and threaten seniors’ hard-fought Social Security benefits. While the President touted economic growth under his Administration, too many Nevadans are still struggling to make ends meet. He has failed to keep his word to working families; he has actively pursued policies that would hurt them. President Trump has also sought to pay for his deficit-exploding tax giveaway to the rich and his ‘virtually impenetrable’ yet windblown border wall on the backs of hardworking Americans. The American people can see past President Trump’s empty words.”
Congressman Steven Horsford:
“Tonight, President Trump claimed that our country is thriving and that the economy is booming. That simply is not true for millions of Americans. More than 55 million Americans are currently working full-time year-round with an average income of $18,000 per year—barely enough to pay their rent, put gas in their car, pay their utility bills, and feed their families. Millions of Americans are barely making enough to survive. It is not enough for the President to claim that unemployment is down—we must keep asking ourselves: What kind of jobs are we generating and do they pay enough to live on? This year, I will work with my colleagues across the aisle to bring transformative change to the economic prospects of this country, starting with an infrastructure package that addresses our country’s 21st century needs and creating job training and education programs to skill up our workforce and create good-paying opportunities for all. The President also claimed that he is working to put patients first—to that claim, I encourage him to prove it and commit to lowering prescription drug costs and withdraw his administration’s numerous attempts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. The House has already passed H.R. 3, the Elijah Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act. The President must encourage the Senate to do the same.”
U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen:
“I hope that the President will keep the many promises that he made during his speech tonight,” said Senator Rosen. “This Administration must continue to work with Congress to support those who have given everything to protect our great nation. Veterans like my guest tonight, Gil Hernandez, know the struggles faced by our heroes who suffer from physical and mental health conditions. We must work in a bipartisan manner to increase medical treatment and veteran services for these heroes and break down barriers to care.”
“Here’s the truth,” Rosen continued. “When it comes to health care, immigration, prescription drug prices, and climate change, this Administration continues to undermine the ACA and strip protections for pre-existing conditions at every turn, dehumanize our immigrant communities, and ignore the science behind climate change. I will never stop fighting to protect and improve our health care system, standing up four our immigrant communities, or combating the real threat of climate change in order to protect our environment.”
Rep. Susie Lee attended the 2020 State of the Union Address with her guest Ms. Mary Richard, a resident of Nevada’s 3rd District experiencing the hardships of skyrocketing prescription drug costs. Rep Lee’s response to the president’s address is below.
“Mary’s story is heartbreaking because it’s so common not only in southern Nevada but across the country,” Rep. Susie Lee. “She’s doing everything right, including budgeting well and looking out for her health, but it’s still not enough because her prescription drugs are so expensive—even for medication as basic as drops for a chronic infection. We should be making it easier, not harder, for Americans like Mary to live and retire with dignity.
“With less than a year left in the 116th Congress, we need to get results,” Rep. Lee continued. “The only way we’re going to actually lower drug costs, bring down health care premiums, or improve educational outcomes for Nevada students, is to work together. The stakes are too high and the window of time is too short to be bogged down by partisan bickering or political inaction. So long as I’m representing Nevada’s 3rd District in Congress, I’ll be at the negotiation table, and any member of Congress feeling the same desire to get things done for their district can pull up a chair.”
“I am a 75-year young senior who lives on a fixed income,” said Ms. Richard. “Dealing with a chronic ear infection is no fun and I need to go to an ear specialist on a regular basis. Some ear drops were prescribed to me (tiny little bottle with a week’s worth of drops). When I picked it up from the pharmacy, I was quoted $100! When I asked for a generic prescription, I was advised this was generic! Needless to say, this is outrageous and a real hardship for me and for other seniors who pay exorbitant prices on prescription drugs. My neighbors and I have to decide between paying for food or prescriptions. This is a horrible situation for all us seniors. Please help us and get these prescription drugs lowered to a reasonable amount that we can afford.”