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Politics and Government

Illinois Delegation Reacts to Trump's First State Of The Union

Win McNamee
Pool via AP
President Donald Trump gestures as he finishes his first State of the Union address in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol to a joint session of Congress Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018.

Illinois Democrats and Republicans sat in the same chamber listening to President Donald Trump's State of the Union on Tuesday night, but they came away hearing different messages. 

U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Dunlap, called it a strong, optimistic speech that reached across the aisle.

$1.5 trillion in infrastructure—that’s a bipartisan issue. Secondly, fighting opioids and the opioid epidemic in this country, again that has broad bipartisan support,” LaHood said. “Bringing down drug prices—traditionally not a Republican issue. The president talked about how we hold drug companies accountable and how we bring down those prices.”

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, said Trump’s speech was a strong bipartisan appeal to move the country forward.

“I liked the bipartisan tone. I think he laid out a plan for immigration that not many people expected. Infrastructure. Talking about rebuilding our military,” Davis said. “I wish the president would’ve talked a little more about agriculture. I’m glad he highlighted the need to be bipartisan.”

Davis, who represents parts of Bloomington-Normal along with LaHood, said the president’s next challenge is to show leadership and put meat on the bones of his proposals like the $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan and get support from both Democrats and Republicans.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., issued a brief statement after the speech.

“If the President chooses to follow through on his prepared remarks tonight, he will find Democrats ready to work with him on lowering prescription drug prices, making massive new investments in America’s crumbling roads and bridges, passing meaningful paid family leave legislation, and protecting Dreamers,” Durbin said.

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., was more critical of Trump’s remarks.

“We need our commander-in-chief to change course, try to forge bipartisan agreements on issues like immigration, and present the American people with a more positive and inclusive message that moves us forward as a nation,” she tweeted. “Tonight, President Trump failed on each of these counts.”

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