Murkowski Comments on President Trump’s Address to Congress

Tonight U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, released the following statement in response to President Trump’s address to a Joint Session of Congress:

 trump speech

(Click here to watch video of Senator Murkowski’s reaction.)

“Tonight was an important night, for the President, Congress, and the American people. With a new administration there is always a degree of uncertainty, so this was an opportunity for the President to outline his goals for our nation’s future. His speech tonight laid out his broad objectives and goals for our nation and what he hopes to provide to the country in his term as President of the United States. He spoke about his vision for the next four years to bring Americans together, covering a wide range of topics like jobs, the economy, rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, education, healthcare, and immigration.

“President Trump presented an optimistic, but realistic, vision for our country – including giving our military a boost for the security of our nation, and ensuring they have access to the care they need, making certain every child in America has access to quality education, and providing treatment to those battling addiction. I am also encouraged the President will be supporting an increase for our veterans and is committed to repaying our debt for their service."

“President Trump recognizes that the Affordable Care Act is far from affordable and has not delivered on its promises and expectations. I agree that we must repeal and replace the ACA, but I have said I will not support a repeal that leaves people hanging. I appreciate President Trump acknowledging that we must have a stable transition for Americans currently enrolled in the healthcare exchanges and greatly appreciate his recognition of the importance of flexibility for states like Alaska, including the expansion of Medicaid.

“Our economy has been suffering not only in Alaska, but across the entire nation. President Trump has an ambitious goal to get our economy back on track, by creating jobs and opportunities nationwide. The tax and regulatory reform that he has laid out will hopefully provide the relief that many Alaskans and Alaskan businesses so desperately need. Streamlining the regulatory process, allowing energy development, and building energy infrastructure in Alaska would create new jobs, reduce our deficits, refill TAPS, and strengthen our national security.

“We can all get behind the goal of making sure every child in America has access to a good education. However, I heard an awful lot tonight about school choice and little else, which concerns me. We cannot allow a focus on school choice to erode our public schools. In rural America, especially rural Alaska, there is simply no opportunity for school choice, and in our urban communities many parents are satisfied with their public schools. Secretary DeVos made commitments to support public education and improve all public schools. I look forward to working with the Administration to make good on that commitment.

“I agree with President Trump that we must prioritize resources to make our communities safer, but this also includes our most vulnerable and hard-to-reach communities in rural America. In Alaska, we have unique challenges when it comes to public safety, and I commit to working with President Trump to address those challenges.

“The Budget Control Act and the continued threat of sequestration has done great damage to military readiness and modernization. I appreciate the President's intention to end defense sequestration and significantly increase defense spending in the near term. The President's characterization of the F-35 as fantastic is welcome news to Interior Alaska which awaits the arrival of this state of the art fifth generation fighter. And strong defense budgets ensure the survival of the Army's 4th Airborne Brigade Combat Team at JBER.”

“The President made encouraging remarks tonight about how members of Congress need to come together and work together to achieve these goals. He spoke to the country to try to heal the divisions that we face, making an appeal to all Americans to lay down those differences that divide us. His message this evening was uplifting and optimistic, and my hope is that people listened tonight and heard his vision.”