All three members of Alaska’s congressional delegation released written statements and recorded video critiques after President Trump’s speech before congress last night.
We have compiled each of their statements and videos below so you can more easily review and consider the thoughts of our representatives in Washington D.C.
Senator Lisa Murkowski
WASHINGTON, D.C. – 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:
(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 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.”
Senator Dan Sullivan
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) issued the following statement after President Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress:
(Click on the photo above to watch video of Sen. Sullivan’s reaction)
“Tonight, President Donald Trump gave a strong, unifying speech, focused on how to reignite the great engine of our country’s economy by investing in our infrastructure, cutting regulations and unleashing the power of the American worker. I also appreciate that the President spoke about strengthening our alliances overseas and increasing investments for our military at home. I want Alaskans to know that I will work with the President and his administration to make sure that our state plays a leading role in rebuilding our economy and strengthening our national security, by increasing production of our natural resources, and making greater investments in our military in Alaska.”
Congressman Don Young
Washington, D.C. – Alaska Congressman Don Young shared the following message with Alaskans immediately after President Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress:
Congressman Young shares message following President Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress (click here to watch).
“I would say – very frankly – he did what he said he was going to do… he restated what he said he would do during the campaign. His big job now is trying to get the country back on the road. The President, I’ll give him credit, he’s convinced me he’s doing a better job than people expected him to do – regardless of what you read in the media…
“He will come down with a budget, I may not agree with it. He’ll come down with some ideas, I may not agree with those. But I’m going to give him the respect as the President for what he does for this country and I’m going to wish him all the luck in the world for being the leader of the free world.
“He does not agree with some things that have been done in the past, especially under regulatory law – I’m with him 100%. He wants to take and improve the military; I’m with him 100%. He wants to make sure regulations are, very frankly, revamped. I like his one in two out proposal, although I’d like him to be a little stricter than that. He’s going to put handcuffs on the agencies that ignored the public – that I support. I’m not happy right now with the BLM and you’re going to see a different sheriff in town. I’m not very happy with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the attempts they attempted under the previous administration. Most of these agencies do not understand Alaskans have to be considered and treated as people too, not just the outsiders.
“Overall, I was happy. I think it was a good step forward and I look forward to making sure the Congress fulfills our obligations – that’s to lead the people of this nation. It’s our job. It’s not the President’s job. The media has made him out to be the one that will lead, but it is our job as the Congress… It’s important to recognize that this is a great nation. We have a great state. We need to make sure we prevail. When I say we – good for the country, good for the people – not the federal government.”