January 30, 2018

Whitehouse Statement on State of the Union

‘Tonight the President tried to paint a very different picture of his first year from the one the American people saw’

Washington, DC – Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) released the following statement on President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address tonight:

“Tonight the President tried to paint a very different picture of his first year from the one the American people saw.  He touted his massive tax giveaway for corporations and the wealthiest few, which offers mere scraps to middle class families and puts vital programs like Social Security and Medicare in the crosshairs.  He tried to spin his handouts for industry special interests that are eroding protections for Americans’ health and safety.  And he called for bipartisan cooperation as if we have ever seen a sign of that in his divisive, erratic behavior every day.

“Rhode Islanders aren’t buying it.  They know that their children and grandchildren will have to fill the $1.5 trillion hole he blew in the federal budget.  They know his offshore drilling plan threatens the jobs of hardworking fishermen on Narragansett Bay like my guest tonight, Chris Brown.  Rhode Island companies and workers watch jobs and business flow overseas, and see a trade deficit that’s risen to historic levels.  Rhode Islanders, like Americans everywhere, are sick of the special interest influence and dark money dealing that’s made a mockery of the President’s promises to drain the swamp.  Tonight’s speech just didn’t stand up to reality.

“Democrats and Republicans will work in Congress to solve our long-term budget impasse, bring some common sense to our immigration policy, and put Americans to work building the infrastructure that will power our economy.  If the President wants to join those efforts in a constructive way, I welcome his help.  Otherwise, just let us do our work.”

Whitehouse hosted Rhode Island fisherman Chris Brown at the Capitol for the address.  Throughout his career, Brown has founded and led organizations to make the fishing industry more sustainable.  He currently serves as President of both the Commercial Fisheries Center of Rhode Island and Seafood Harvesters of America, a national commercial fishermen’s organization that promotes sustainable fishing and responsible stewardship of ocean resources.

President Donald Trump recently moved to expand oil and gas drilling off the Atlantic coast, putting the local commercial fishing industry and the Ocean State’s coastal economy in harm’s way.


Press Contact

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921