Merkley Statement on State of the Union

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement after President Donald J. Trump’s first State of the Union address:

“President Trump delivered a speech tonight that was virtually devoid of substance. 

“There was the long-awaited infrastructure plan which, instead of truly investing in our nation’s future and its infrastructure, leaves rural America behind, puts local taxpayers on the hook, and leaves our communities hostage to highway robbery from Wall Street. If the President has his way, instead of the Eisenhower Interstate System, Americans should get ready for ‘Trump Tolls.’

“And Trump’s remarks did little to allay the concerns of our nation’s 800,000 DREAMers. Instead of recognizing the real human toll of his actions against DACA recipients, Trump has turned the lives of DREAMers into bargaining chips for a $25 billion slush fund to build his border wall, and extreme right-wing immigration ideas that would cut legal immigration in half.

“I was honored to have Leonardo Reyes, an Oregon DREAMer, as my guest in the House Chamber tonight. Leo came to America when he was ten. He grew up here, went to school here, built a life here, and now works for the state of Oregon trying to give back to the community he calls home. He is an inspiration to me and should be to all Americans. Americans support restoring legal status to our DREAMers. We have a bipartisan bill on the table. President Trump just needs to get to ‘yes.’

“America was founded as a nation for ‘We the People,’ not ‘We the Powerful.’ Under Trump, the state of our union is moving further and further from this founding vision—but each of us has the power to help our country change course, to reembrace our founding ideals of equality and opportunity, and create an economy that works for working Americans. Trump’s speech tonight made it even clearer than ever before: It’s time for ‘We the People’ grassroots America to rise up, get involved, and take our country back in 2018.”